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Embodiment Through Creativity

We hear a lot about stepping into our bodies to truly experience life. To move through our emotions. And the most common way we do this is through physical movements, like shaking, yoga, dance, breathwork, and walking.

They are all great modalities to assist in the processing and the moving of stuck, trapped emotions in our bodies as we heal, but there is also passive embodiment.

Passive embodiment is the moving of these emotions through the body by utilising subtle motions through our hands to create. It is a practice that starts more in the mind and transmutes itself through our cells. It’s a subtle processing of our thoughts until we are no longer thinking, and our motion is just about flow.

I would almost liken the thoughtless creative manifestations as emotional therapy.

When I need to process something, but my conscious mind cannot figure it out and I just don’t feel like being active and physically moving – hello slob mode - I am drawn to an artistic outlet.

In the past, this has looked like painting, drawing, embroidery, and macrame. A process that results in the creation of something visually artistic. They are not all polished pieces, or with a thought-out purpose. I called it art vomit. The vomit of my emotions on the canvas.

In my late teens much of my artistic work had a darker edge – I was emotionally abandoned, by my family and most importantly myself. As my skills developed and I struggled to find a wholeness in myself, the expression became a lot less structured and took on a more abstract nature.

This was the outpouring of my trapped emotions onto the canvas. Creating shapes, texture, and painting over and over the layers until I felt ready to move on from it. Much of this artwork has been destroyed, moving multiple times in their conceptions, I had never intended to hold on to them and be reminded of the emotions I was expelling. When I looked back on them, I felt uncomfortable, and I could never really figure the why of it.

Even as unaware as I was of it at the time, the process was my therapy, it was all I had available to me.

When I found myself in motherhood – this process stopped. I struggled to give in to my own needs to escape to this therapy to process the changes to my life. Unwilling to give up my artistic passions altogether, I pivoted. Switching to creating smaller scale drawings, then eventually fibre art as it gave me the ability to stop and start without recognisably interrupting flow.

The emotions I moved in this slower process took longer to expel – and not as fully as my previous practices did. They were not the big dumps of built-up energy and frustration that they used to be in my painting sessions, but they did bring a release of built-up unprocessed emotions.

Even now, being a mother of two young boys, a tween boy and facilitating family duties, as well as a full-time job and managing the comeback of my health has been a mountain to climb. It has brought to light what my current priorities are and what I truly wish them to be.

Re-organising them hasn’t been an easy task, but I have been taking smaller steps to work towards allowing myself more time to truly find embodiment, in both physical movement and passively.

Even if it’s 10 minutes with head phones on dancing away in the kitchen whilst I make dinner and pack the next days lunches, it helps me shed the days woes and frustrations and come back to myself, allowing me time to present with the people that matter the most to me.

My current goal is to find more time outside in nature.

Sitting on the beach, with a cup of tea, meditating or simply pondering was such a ritual for me when I lived on the beach. Even having time to play and learning how to hula hoop. But since moving further into the suburbs, not as far as the hills or along the creeks, has been a struggle to find that special moment to create ritual.

It has been tricky to find balance between life and allowance for me to step into any type of embodiment practice.

I realise that when I let it lapse, that I am easily frustrated with everything around me when all it is, is a reflection of the frustration I have for myself. When I allow my body to flow, I have release. The stagnant energy moves and re-balances. I can find a stronger connection to my own heart and my intuition.

Writing has been a great way to help me alter mindset and move energy. Even the act of journalling, not necessarily in my journal but on note paper and burning or burying the writing has felt cathartic. I recently realised; this practice is still passive embodiment.

The expression of thought and emotion through the subtle movement of my hands.

(For any yogi’s reading this, I would love to know are there any mudra’s that represent/or are a similar gesture to handwriting?)

The days when I do manage to find the time to engage with passive embodiment, my heart feels lighter and my mind clearer. And it is a constant reminder to myself I shouldn’t neglect this practice as often as I do.

When I practice moving my hands more often, it opens up my channels and I start to feel the movement really begin to drop in. My shoulders begin to shimmy, my feet begin to tap and my hips sway in my seat. Some days that is enough, others it’s the encouragement I needed to get out of my head, to release the mind and my thoughts and get up to move and flow with the energy.

I am interested to know, do you have an passive embodiment practices for getting out of your head and dropping into your body?

Share in the comments.

Love, Sharai xx

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