Two weeks ago I ran a half marathon in Moab, Utah. The run was absolutely gorgeous! It went through one of the canyons along the side of the river. See my photo.
I almost always run on trails. This run was on pavement. 13.1 miles of pavement….
By mile 6, my feet hurt.
My intention for this run was to finish it and enjoy myself in the process. Because of this, whenever I would notice thoughts about the pain in my feet, the desire to simply be finished with the run already, or any other thoughts of discomfort, I would ask myself: where is there space & ease right now in my body?
With playful curiosity, I would then do a quick body scan feeling my internal self and find where I felt like there was ease and space. I would then bring my attention to this place of ease. I would bring my breath to this place. What I found is that it lessened the ‘loudness’ that was coming from my complaining feet and mind.
Embodiment is our anchor to the present moment. When we are embodied, we experience greater energy and ease.
But, how do you feel your internal self? What does it mean to do a body scan? What does it mean to be embodied?
Curious to experience for yourself?
Let’s start with a simple practice. Shake your hands vigorously for about 10 seconds. Hold your hands still for a moment. Feel the energy that is moving inside your hands. Now feel the energy that is radiating off your hands.
You are embodying your hands.
This tingling sensation is your energetic presence.
It is always there. We can always access it.
When we choose to feel it, we become more present, we have more energy, and we become more magnetic. We become more visible.
The Energetic Presence is a practice from the line of work I teach called The Art of Feminine Presence.
It was fun to play with this practice on my run, particularly in my moments of discomfort. I do want to be clear, the intention for this practice is to not ever feel discomfort. However, it is instead how to be present, calm, and centered when discomfort is present. How can we find the pleasure, the opportunity for something new to learn or experience in the discomfort?
Whenever I experience discomfort in my body, particularly doing a physical activity that creates some pain or sensation that feels hard, I tend to want to completely disconnect. I tend to leave my body and bring my attention elsewhere. I become distracted. I am not present. I lose my power and my potency.
The more you can practice this simple, yet significant shift in your attention and perception in the areas that feel more like play, for example, when you are exercising or in your morning meditation, the more resource you will have to draw from for when chaos ensues in your life.
I invite you to check-in throughout your day. Start small. Start simply with your hands. Can you feel inside your hands?
From there, you can expand to seeing if you can feel that tingling sensation move from your hands, up through your arms, through your torso, and down your legs.
What would it be like if you could inhabit every single cell of your body?
What would be possible?
How would you show up in the world?
How would you interact with others?
Can you be present when discomfort or pain comes into your body?