Finding the ground
Embodiment. Seems like in some way we are all on a quest for greater embodiment. To be present, in this moment, participating in the full experience of life. In spiritual circles embodiment is a popular topic and is often referred to as being “in” our body, feeling the sensations, and moving our bodies with the inner rhythms of our being. It seems that the aim of the embodiment movement is the shift from living in our head/thoughts into a more visceral, connected or integrated experience of existing. Along with embodiment comes the idea of being grounded, which we often associate with a down or into our physical body direction.
For many people there is an experience of overwhelming activity in their day to day, which can feel scattering, lead to being hyper-mentally focused, and or an experience of being “up”. This up or scatter is what people attempt to bring down through embodiment practices. These practices are incredibly beneficial, particularly if we feel disconnected from our physicalness or from our feeling body, but they are not the full picture of embodiment. While they can greatly support us feeling more alive and engaged if we are stuck in our heads, the overarching goal of existing is not to be more “in” our physical body. Rather the goal, so to speak, is to be or express more completely in and through all our bodies, of which the physical body is but one expression of who we are.
The most pertinent questions here now are how do we be grounded, energized and expressing through all of our bodies? And how do we become aware of the life and intelligence in all aspects of ourselves? Our physical, emotional, mental and soul bodies are all vital expressions of our beingness. True embodiment is being present in all directions and levels of ourselves. Being grounded up, down, in and out. If we are too physically focused our spiritual bodies might not be energized. If we are too spiritually focused our physical, mental or emotional bodies might not be energized. There can be any combination of these occurring. You might wonder how you would ground up and out, since this is not the typical direction that people associate with the ground. As a reframe, think of ground as everywhere and more as a state of being rather than as a dense form. Throughout the entire universe there is ground. Ground is not just down into the earth, but it is water, it is sky, it is the infinite cosmic expanse. Ground is also not just physical, but it is subtle and etheric. In fact the most coherent and stable ground is pure light itself; ever present, always here and the source of all life.
GROUND OF BEING
If ground is everywhere, then you can experience ground in your physical body, ground in your emotions, ground in your thoughts and ground in your soul. You might wonder what it looks like to be grounded in all of your bodies. Being grounded in your physical body means your sensory-motor skills are intact and things are running smoothly with all of your physical body parts. You are also not overly tense and breath moves freely through your body. Being grounded in your emotional body means you know what you are feeling and you can feel your emotions when they are present. You don’t try to think your emotions and you are not numb to them either. Rather emotions are present, you feel them and the energy of them moves. Being grounded in your mental body means that you have clear, coherent and organized thoughts. You can pay attention to detail, follow things through and also see the larger perspective of how things fit together and impact each other. Being grounded in your soul body means you know your multifaceted, multidimensional nature. You feel connected to your heart and the hearts of others through yours. You know knowledge without needing to learn it in book or from someone else. You regularly feel ecstatic states of bliss and rapture.
Each of our bodies do have different directionality, frequency and relative size or distance. Physical body density is slower. You can see the size of this body with your physical eyes and the directionality is down/in. The emotional body is less dense, but still has substance or thickness to it even in its non-physicalness. Emotions can feel heavy or light and the direction can be up or down. The mental body is less physical as we don’t directly see thoughts with our eyes like we do our physical body. The frequency of thoughts is higher than emotions or the physical body, and the direction tends to be up. The soul body is the most subtle of our bodies. It has the fastest frequency, and is the largest and most expansive of all of our bodies. Its direction is up and out, and eventually all pervasive as you reach full fusion or unity. I share all of this because as you learn to ground in each of your bodies, knowing how they move and where to find them is useful. If you are constantly drawing your energy and awareness down and in, then it may be more challenging to find coherent thought or expansive states of unified bliss and rapture. Opposite of that if you are always up and out, your physical body or emotional body may be a bit more elusive to you.
Embodiment includes of all you, in all directions and all rhythms. Sometimes you may need to find up, at other times down, sometimes in and at other times out, until eventually you are rested in the allness of everythingness that has no direction and no distinction of bodies because it is just one unified whole. This is the ground of all being. The source from which all life sprouts forth from and returns to. The source of existence and existing. We are all already this. The journey of embodiment is the expression of this source into infinite forms (ie. what we call creation or the universe), until the eventual return of the essence of these forms dissolves back into the source from which it emerged. Returning to itself. Expanding out and contracting back in. Embodiment is the creation, it is the expansion out. The return to source is the dissolution of all bodies and forms, aka disembodiment, but that is a topic for another time.
Dr. Amanda Love, Network Spinal Analysis Chiropractic, Boulder, Colorado