I often wonder how different life would be if we didn’t confuse pushing through, no matter what, for resilience.
Of course, there are many times that we simply have to show up and deal with whatever is going on in life. But as women, to only operate from that mindset is like living only half a life.
Today I want to share some of my story with you of how I went from feeling numb to living untamed and embodied. This is my journey of coming home to myself.
The birth of my son, almost a decade ago was a catalyst in my life. This was the event that put me on the path of embodiment, after I came to a grinding halt because of pushing through no matter what.
There were a few factors that made my birth experience traumatic and not as joyful as I desired it to be
- I was 5 months pregnant when I moved to Austria where I gave birth
- I wasn’t very fluent in the language, making it hard to communicate and express my needs.
- My mom wasn’t there during the birth.
- I was still dealing with the loss of moving from my country and my friends and closing down my business back home.
- There were some complications during labor and our boy was then delivered with an emergency C-Section.
In the weeks after, I felt disconnected and disembodied. Although back then I didn’t have words for what I was going through. I just knew that I didn’t feel like myself.
The way that I handled this though, is I started building my new coaching business as soon as I was able to. I kept myself busy and distracted by working as much as I could. I never gave myself chance to rest and recover and heal from the experience and all of the emotional shifts and upheavals and changes that I have gone through.
But this was not unusual because that’s the way that I always used to deal with things.
We pride people on overcoming the odds. We pride them on being strong and getting through the hard times. But, take a moment and consider the cost of doing that. The cost of pushing through no matter what is going on in our lives.
It means that we have to push our feelings and our emotions to the side. And there is certainly nothing unusual or strange about thal. This is how we live.
We live in a world that makes it easy for us to be distracted. We live in a world that prizes success and achievement.
We live in a world that makes us believe that who we are, our worth and our value is attached to something outside of us. Our value is attached to our results and the things that we can show in the outside world.
This is how many of us, myself included, learn how to measure our success and our worth.
But what happens in the processes?
The price we pay, is that we lose touch and connection with our own truth. We disconnect from our body’s wisdom because we override our needs and what is alive in the body, in order to get on in the world.
So this big question is why does this happen?
For me, this was a survival strategy. This is what I used to do to get on in the world. And perhaps you can identify and resonate with that, that you do the same in your life.
When we push all of our feelings away, we do that in order to survive in order to get on. So I fully recognize that this has a place, but when we live in constant survival mode, it has a detrimental effect on our nervous system and our overall wellbeing.
The effect on me was that I was feeling flat. Emotionally I had access to only the very strongest emotions like extreme sadness or extreme excitement or extreme anger. There was nothing in the middle.
And I remember thinking I have to get myself back. I had to get my feelings back because I was numb, and I also started struggling with chronic pain and fatigue as well as digestive issues.
Today I’m very grateful to my body for crunching to a halt because she forced me to stop so that I could learn how to listen to her.
I had to learn to tap into her wisdom and follow her guidance instead of overriding and pushing away all of the undesirable and unpleasant feelings and emotions that I didn’t want to feel, and also not wanted to face.
I started doing research to see how I could heal and I came across the concept of masculine and feminine energy. When I discovered that these essences are alive or present in us, it was the second pivot in my life.
I recognize how much I relied on my masculine energy, which is a go energy. It’s the directive, take action, make things happen, kind of energy.
And, I was out of touch with my feminine energy, which is a more receptive, open, slower and cyclical type of energy. It is the feeling, flowing part of ourselves.
I had really bought into this hyper-masculine way of living, where we always go for the next goal. We always go for the next achievement and there’s no time to stop. There’s no time to slow down. There’s no time to explore feelings because they get in the way of getting things done.
I found it really difficult to slow down or relax unless I was able to justify it and take it as a reward.
So this is really where my journey of starting to reclaim my feminine energy began. Finally, I landed on the work of Jenna Ward and her School of Embodied Arts where I did my feminine embodiment coaching training certification.
Since working as a feminine embodiment coach I see this same tendency in so many of the women that speak with, so I am certainly not unique. So often we put our own pleasure (read wellbeing) at the end of our list.
What I’ve learned through my journey is that our bodies hold so much wisdom which is ripe for us to tap into.
Our mental plane, our physical plane, our emotional plane, and our energetic plane, all of those can be felt in the internal body. And they can be felt as our internal felt senses.
When we are always in go mode and moving to the next thing we turn the volume of our internal felt sense down. When we are always taking action and being busy in our minds, thinking planning, strategizing, and doing, we are effectively shutting out the information from our bodies. And in my experience, these messages will keep on getting louder until you pay attention.
So my journey toward living untamed and embodied is still unfolding, and I imagine that it will continue to do so. There is no final destination to be reached. No point to arrive at.
Here is my definition of being untamed and embodied.
Untamed refers to our wild nature, which many of us suppress.
This is the nature of our intuition, as opposed to in the world, where often logic is favored over intuition. We like to see empirical evidence of things instead of going for the more subtle and unseen experiences. And yet the subtle and the unseen which is often nebulous, this is the feminine, this is part of our wild nature.
Another aspect of our wild nature is the ability to speak up, speak up for ourselves and for our needs and for our values and for what we believe in.
I always say that parts of living in your head and effectively being cut off from the neck down often also cuts off our voice box. It cuts off our ability to speak up for ourselves. And it’s really when we land in the body, when we come back into our bodies, that we can find our voice again.
Our wild nature also allows us to be grounded in our own self-worth. We don’t have to look for that validation, recognition, appreciation, and confirmation of our own worth in the outside world. We don’t have the need to measure ourselves to any external standards, but we’re deeply grounded in our own value and in our own worth.
And then finally our wild nature is to allow ourselves to feel and experience and live fully alive, not live only half-alive in go mode, but fully alive, where we have access to an entire bandwidth of experiences and feelings and sensations.
To be embodied means that we are in the body. We are inhabiting the body, as my teacher Jenna Ward says.
Because we are inside bodies, we are always embodied to some extent, but the degree to which we are embodied defers. And as we spoke about already, our body really holds the keys to our aliveness. Our body holds our wisdom. We can feel our yes and our no, and our impulses inside the body.
When we begin to honor that which is alive in us, it allows us to flourish. It allows that inner fire to become activated so that we step out from the shackles of numbness and flatness and overwhelm and overthinking. And we can step into our own sovereign power where we unwind and unravel all of the tension and internal oppressive systems that dim our light and that keep us small.
By becoming more embodied and tapping into our feminine flow, we can move beyond numbness and have access to a full and expanded life experience.