Owning Pink Bloggers

Shifting your perspective is easy. You can simply decide to see the world with fresh eyes.

How To Be In Your Body - Part 1

Lissa Rankin's picture

how to be in your body

For years, people have been accusing me of not being in my body (read about it here). I used to have no idea what that meant. I mean, of course I’m in my body, right? I have a body - and I’m alive. So by every medical and spiritual definition I could imagine, I’m in my body.

Yet, my mentors kept telling me I’m not - not just Tricia Barrett, my dear friend and spiritual counselor, but Debbie Rosas, the founder of Nia dance.  When Debbie and I were talking awhile back, she said, “Lissa, I know you’ve done a lot of personal growth in the past few years, but I feel like embodiment is the missing piece.” And she invited me to come train with her at her Nia White Belt Intensive in Portland.  Since Debbie is the most grounded, solid, rooted, sensual woman I know, I decided that I wanted some of what she was having - so I said yes. And WHOA, NELLY! Debbie was right. I haven’t been in my body.

What Do I Mean By “Be In Your Body?”

I’m pretty much a walking cerebrum. I identify primarily with my mind, so much so that when I showed up for my Nia training, I couldn’t feel a body part in space unless it was hurting. Like when Debbie asked me how my arm felt, I was speechless. If I touched it - or if touched the floor, for example, I could feel it. But a body part floating in space? I was completely numb.

After only three days into the training, I couldn't believe how much sensation was awakened in me. Like WOW! I could feel my nose. I could feel my hips. I could feel my belly button. I could feel my pinkie finger - and none of those body parts were in pain. When I woke up in the morning, instead of noticing the racing thoughts in my mind first thing, I actually noticed the slippery, soft, sensual sensation of the sheets on my bare skin.

Holy sheet! This is revolutionary for me. I don’t think I’ve ever really felt my sheets before.

So what does this mean? What do you get if you make the journey out of your mind and into your body? Here’s a list Nia founder Debbie Rosas and I wrote together.

20 Reasons To Be In Your Body

Being in your body:

  1. Increases pleasure. If your body is numb - and you don’t reside within it, you can’t enjoy pleasure. How intense can an orgasm be if I barely feel it? How much pleasure can I receive from the soft touch of someone who loves me on my arm, if I’m not even aware of my arm?
  2. Ramps up your vitality. When you feel more sensation, you feel more alive.  Yes, you notice the little aches and pains of the body more, but this also translates into feeling loads of intense joy.
  3. Helps you tweak what’s not working. When you’re living in your body, you notice the subtle messages your body sends you. When you hear them - even as soft whispers, you can tweak your body movement - or even something bigger in your life - like ending a relationship that isn’t working or saying no to a job you don’t want to do.
  4. Keeps your body safe. When you’re not in your body, you might overdo it. You might ignore the first warning signs of disease. Pain is meant to protect you from danger. Feeling pain is good because it can keep you safe if you listen to the signals and “tweak” your movement, posture, or life circumstances in reaction to the pain.
  5. Is the first step to self-healing.  The body is the first thing to get knocked out of balance if your whole health (which includes your relationships, your work/life purpose, how you express yourself creatively, your sexuality, your environment, your financial situation, your spirituality, and your mental health) is out of whack. If you’re not aware of the sensations of your body, you can’t self-correct and begin the process of healing yourself.
  6. Cultivates a deeper emotional connection. This allows emotions to be experienced, embodied, and quickly released, increasing emotional agility and fostering the ability to quickly let go of negative emotions and fully enjoy positive emotions.
  7. Helps you make conscious choices.  When you feel undecided, get in your body. The body will tell you what to do.
  8. Keeps you more grounded. You won’t feel chaotic, spinny, buzzy, or floaty the way you might when you’re in your head.
  9. Helps you sleep. When you tap into body sensation, you can help turn off the mind.
  10. ROCKS your sex life. It’s much more fun to get it on when you’re actually in your body.
  11. Helps you be in relationship with yourself and others.  When your body is in relationship with someone else’s body, you’re communicating on a whole different level.
  12. Guides you in being able to read other people’s bodies. There’s a conversation going on without words.  You’ll get a better sense of who that person really is, how they’re feeling, and what you need to know about that person.
  13. Helps you feel the sensuality of the world.  When you’re in your body, you’ll feel things deeper, smell things more vibrantly, taste things more fully, hear things on a whole new level, and touch with more sensitivity.
  14. Helps you dance through life.  When you feel more sensation, you tap into the joy of even subtle movements of the body. Every aspect of your life can become a dance.
  15. Helps you lose weight. When you’re paying attention to sensation, your food is more enjoyable, you’ll notice when your belly feels full, you’ll appreciate the yumminess of your body, and you’ll probably eat less and lose weight.
  16. Helps you see life as art.  When you enliven sensation, you see the world with fresh eyes that can turn even the most mundane thing into art.
  17. Improves confidence and sex appeal.  When you live in your skin, you can’t help but shake your hips, throw back your shoulders, and step into your sexy greatness.
  18. Awakens intuition.   When you feel your body, you’re more able to tap into gut sensations and other somatic feelings that will help guide your path.
  19. Helps you reclaim your personal power.  You’ll feel the visceral sensation of your power right in your belly, and you can use that feeling to stop giving your power away and bring it back into your body.
  20. Helps you create stronger boundaries. You’ll learn to be able to recognize the difference between your body and someone else’s body so you can erect personal boundaries that increase your capacity for love and empathy, while also protecting you from energy vampires who long to suck you dry.

Do you want some of that, love? Stay tuned for Part 2 of How To Be In Your Body, wherein I'll give you some tips for actually being there!

Somatically yours,

Lissa

Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of OwningPink.comPink Medicine Revolutionarymotivational speaker, and author of What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.

n/a

Comments

Michelle Medina's picture

Woooooow. . . Ok, I am in my

Woooooow. . . Ok, I am in my body PARTIALY!! Thank you for this Lissa, off to read the second installment NOW!!!

Lissa Rankin's picture

By special request

For those who asked for Part 2 (practical ways to actually get into your body), here's the second part of this blog series!

http://www.owningpink.com/blogs/owning-pink/how-to-be-your-body-part-two

Much love
Lissa

n/a
Lissa Rankin's picture

Yes!

How to be in your body- part two- coming right up!
Thanks for your patience.
Much love
Lissa

n/a
Eating As a Path to Yoga's picture

So radical

I've spent most of my life numbing myself and being out of my body. This is a radical step.

Lissa Rankin's picture

how to be in your body

Dear readers,
this is the first of a two part post- so stay tuned to get tips on how to actually accomplish this!
Much love
Lissa

n/a
Anonymous's picture

Hi. Are you still planning on

Hi. Are you still planning on writing part 2. I have been watching for it!

Anonymous's picture

Hi. Are you still planning on

Hi. Are you still planning on writing part 2. I have been watching for it!

Lissa Rankin's picture

Part two

Dear Anonymous,
Just wanted to make sure you saw Part 2, just posted today:
http://www.owningpink.com/blogs/owning-pink/how-to-be-your-body-part-two

Much love
Lissa

n/a
Anonymous's picture

I did see it! And loved it!!

I did see it! And loved it!! Thank you :)

Anonymous's picture

More info, please!

Hi, Lissa.

Thanks for spending your time writing this. I really appreciate it. Are you open to doing a follow-up piece that lists 20 ways to be embodied? I also struggle with being in my body and get that it would be exquisitely beneficial. I was drawn to the title of your article, "How to Be in Your Body." Your article left me wanting more information. How do I achieve embodiment? What are your recommendations? What is NIA? Is it only for dancers?

With love and light,

One of your faithful readers

Anonymous's picture

How?

I also struggle with being too much in my mind and only feel my body when it is in pain. This is a beautiful list of the benefits of being in your body, but I still am pretty unsure as to how to go about it. Any suggestions for what to do?

Hadley Gustin's picture

Just What the Doctor Ordered

Great blog, Lissa! I fully agree that we all need to spend more time in bodies to get out of our heads and feel alive. Some of the sensations you experienced are exactly what I feel when I do yoga, power walk, dance, etc... I love it because it brings about a greater consciousness of my total terrain. The mind is beautiful; there is no question of that. However, we have these massively powerful bodies that we need to remember to tune in to. When we do, we experience the full boat of pleasure.

When you comment on an Owning Pink blog post, we invite you to be authentic and loving, to say what you feel, to hold sacred space so others feel heard, and to refrain from using hurtful or offensive language. Differing opinions are welcomed, but if you cannot express yourself in a respectful, caring manner, your comments will be deleted by the Owning Pink staff.