I find myself in constant awe of what a brilliant work of art our bodies are.
As a little girl I watched my parents dance and loved seeing how much they enjoyed it. I think this is where my curiosity with people and bodies began. I admit I am one of those people that becomes completely awed and captivated by dancers and athletes. The way they move, extend, and hold tension and relaxation all at the same time. I also believe that the body is part of a greater puzzle. I believe that it is aligned with heart, mind, and spirit of every person. Each piece influencing and affecting the other.
To be embodied means that I fully feel and I am fully present to what is happening in my body as it moves through whatever external condition that becomes present. I feel my emotions – energy in motion – and let my body express each feeling as it needs. If I am sad, I cry. If I am happy, I smile… or even dance. I don’t stifle, stuff, or ignore my feelings. The more I feel my body, the more enjoyment and pleasure I can derive from it. Not all the feelings are always positive. I have learned that even what can be considered negative emotions add to my sense of aliveness eventually.
It is my heart’s calling to assist people in feeling more embodied and to enjoy their bodies. One way of doing this is to help others be more curious about how our bodies communicate with us by slowing down helps us recognize the subtle nuances of how the body speaks.
Our bodies are always speaking through pings, pangs, and other tidbits. When we slow down, our tension becomes a kind of Braille we can use to read our bodies. The knot in your back transforms into a message. Your tight jaw perhaps a reason for inquiry. Another way to increase curiosity is through movement. Now I do not necessarily mean dancing although dancing can be a form of movement.
Movement is a way of reengaging the body and giving oneself the opportunity to remember parts of ourselves by doing so. As young children most of us moved to sound and music in a natural innate way. It was not about performance or looking good. It was about being fully present, in the moment, and enjoying the body.
When I invite a client to practice a specific movement, it is an invitation to reengage and remember his/her natural flow. It serves as a reminder of the body’s innate wisdom. Movement helps us tune into ourselves and tune out what does not serve anymore. Movement also naturally generates more vitality and joy. Get up and shake your bootie for a moment and you will ‘feel’ what I mean.
As a sex therapist, I believe that it is vital that we engage and connect with our own bodies before we engage with another. If I am unware of what my body specifically needs to increase my connection to pleasure and joy, then it makes sense if there’s lack of connection with another.
Put on some music… Get up. Breathe. Twirl your wrists. Shake your bootie. Breathe. Be curious. What felt good? What did not? What did your body say? Repeat.
Jacqueline N. Mendez, M.A.
Professional Life Coach
AASECT Certified Sex Therapist
21201 Victory Blvd, Suite 200
Woodland Hills, CA 91303