art: Ashley Christudson
What do we mean when we speak if embodiment? Let’s begin with the basic definition of embodiment, shall we?
a tangible or visible form; a representation or expression of an idea, quality or feeling. Incarnation. Personification. Manifestation. Expression.
From this definition, there are many aspects we embody, all the time. That is, energies with specific characteristics are ‘alive & well,’ being experienced and expressed, in and through our physical body. What happens when we identify strongly with a particular emotion, let’s say anger, for instance. Can you think of a person in your life, who’s had a tough go of it? Perhaps they’ve experienced mistreatment, abuse, or been deeply hurt emotionally, and anger has been they’re protection. Or maybe you know someone with strong political, religious, activist, or advocacy for justice ideals? That intense passion and desire for truth may carry with it sense of judgement and indignation, regarding how truth and justice should be expressed in the world. Understandable so, there are many injustices we witness regularly in our world. Through repeated disappointment of their perception of justice, the frustration may be a righteous anger. If anyone comes to your mind, there doesn’t need to be a judgment of right or wrong, but only a recognition of the quality of energy the person is embodying, whether they are angry in that moment or not.
I remember years ago, just after I entered into sobriety, someone walked past me after an AA meeting and commented, “You’re so militant.” I honestly had no idea what that meant or why he would say that to me. We’d never even spoken to one another, for goodness sake! It wasn’t until a few years later that I reflected back and understood. I was very angry those decades ago. I was quite serious and intense then. I wore a scowl between my eyebrows, that maybe appeared like I was on a mission to kick some ass. (Remember your mother saying, “if you keep looking like that, that’s how your face will freeze?” . . . well the line is still visible!) I embodied anger whether that emotion was front and center or not, or up close or at a distance, apparently.
Embodiment can be said, to be the state of being, our most prominent qualities of personality that we possess and express. Most often they simply run through us, unconsciously. We have surrendered to that specific energy within our being. These qualities, energies, expressions, are rooted in our physical/mental/emotional self, expressed through this person that we are.
But what about Sacred Embodiment? I see and feel Sacred Embodiment in layers and they are the product of spiritual awakening.
- Meeting the Shadow
- Presencing the Sacred
- Living Temple
The Threshold layer of entry, the initial glimpse to the Sacred, is body-centerdness, visceral, and experiential. It includes connecting to the guidance of the body and intuition of the heart/soul. Sometimes I refer to it as the ‘path of the body,’ This entrance point requires, becoming present with everything we are feeling in our body, its energies of the mental and emotional being, with conscious non-judgement observation. This awareness is strengthened with committed practice. It means living more from our feeling center, rather than our thinking center. This is the entrance into the Sacred.
Meeting the Shadow creates deeper understanding of the energies we embody unconsciously. We tend to want to choose Joy over Anger, or put labels of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ on our emotions and experiences. Of course, Joy feels pleasurable to us. Joy has a higher vibration and is beneficial for our health, immune system, and cells. And yet, as human beings a primary aspect of this human being-soul journey, is that of experiencing the full spectrum of emotional energy in an ‘in-body’ state.
Anger, though it doesn’t necessarily feel good or bring us health, it nonetheless has messages it carries for our journey, and it leads us to our Joy. Anger can alert us to a boundary that needs to be put into place for our safety. Anger, may be a voice of an old wound, that is seeking our love and attention, in order to heal. It’s only when we can make Anger and its energy Sacred, that means, become conscious and aware of it, be able to hold it with honor, that it begins to dissolve into a new form. This happens with presence and inquiry, such as:
“Dear Anger, what is it that you need to teach me? What am I not seeing which you are trying to bring to my attention? Thank you for speaking to me, so that I may heal a hurt, long since forgotten. I love you.”
Now, being tended to and cared for by our conscious self, the energy of Anger is given conscious space for Grace, within our being, to transform and to serve our upliftment and highest good. This offers a new experience, a new energy and higher vibrations to live through our body . . . to be consciously embodied. It has been transformed into a gift and made Sacred.
When we do not honor our Shadow-selves, our darker expression, they become unconsciously embodied, bringing destruction or chaos to our lives, via ill-health, destructive life patterns or relationships. When we do honor these shadow aspects, we shine the light of awareness onto them, and in that light, they are transformed into Wisdom and Love. The alchemy of these energies are embodied with a re-birthing of Spirit, within our heart!
We all have emotional courage. The question is only, have we accessed it and practiced it? As more and more of us begin to actively inquire within our own being, explore the emotional terrain of our deepest dark and brightest light, the world has the potential be a very different place . . . and this is the call to action many are hearing in these powerful times we are in.
The deepening layer of Sacred Embodiment, is connected directly to the Sacred/Divine Feminine principle. This Feminine principle is in all of us, men and women alike. We each hold the Sacred/Divine Masculine as well.
Presencing the Sacred takes place when this process becomes completely natural. When we have traveled along our spiritual journey for a time and have learned to become more present with our emotional/mental energies outlined above, the language of communication our body/soul uses to talk to us, and the ability to trust our heart’s intuition, we are practicing the subtle, yet profound Art of Sacred Embodiment.
We begin to reap the benefits of what may have been more challenging and painful moments of practice. These early days bring about a clearing and neutralizing of our heavier, denser thoughts, emotions, beliefs . . . energy, because we have chosen to become conscious of the energies we’re embodying. We change ~ we Transform! Who we were changes and moves through many cycles of transformation. This is the Feminine principle at work, in action. She is Transformation!
Eventually, we are empowered and embodied by divine energies. The true essence of who we are rises to the surface, freed up by what no longer serves our Highest Good. Our vibration and expression becomes lighter. Where perhaps once we embodied anger, now Love or Joy or Peace, become the most prominent expression in all we do. Our thoughts, emotions, desires, are uplifted to a higher frequency. And where we encounter our own sadness, grief, anger, jealousy, (and we will, because it is a part of our human journey), we learn to acknowledge and honor these energies. We have the skills to transform them, once again. Through learned presence and awareness, continued Wisdom flourishes, and integration takes place. We are able to be present to what is present. Therefore we are present to the Sacred in all people, places, things, circumstances, because the Sacred is always present.
When we can carry our energies with balance, awareness, honor, and presence, Sacred Embodiment is evolving. The Art of Sacred Embodiment is the the inner work of transformation. Simply by doing this inner work, with all of its subtleties and nuances, more space is created within our being, our heart, our consciousness, to connect to the deeper essences of our True Selves.
The Living Temple is our deepest & highest potential, manifested in our physical form. Some say, it is when our Highest Self is integrated onto this physical plane. This is how we become vehicles and vessels of the Divine. This is when the qualities embodied of the highest frequencies of Light and Love. They are divine qualities of Love. Peace. Compassion. Wisdom. Beauty. Joy. Like the Lotus flower, which blooms in the sanctity of her muddy waters, she rises into her divine Light, embodying Purity, Radiance, and Beauty.
We see this level of vessel-hood in the great spiritual Masters, such as Jesus or Yogananda or Anandamoya Ma. And, if we are playing with the energy of words, we may feel a jump from a Sacred Embodiment to Divine Embodiment, when we think of these beings.
The key to the Sacred Embodiment path, is one of honoring and acknowledge all of who we are, at any given time. By doing this we allow the transformational powers of the Sacred Feminine and consciousness, to dissolve the unconscious, dense, patterns which fail to uplift us. We learn to be present with compassion and love for oneself and others.
We are the Living Temples which Jesus spoke of. As you rise in consciousness, as you enter the path of Sacred Embodiment. You are creating your body as a Living Temple to be Embodied by the Divine . . . some day, near or far . . . it is the destiny we all blooming into!
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