“Our embodiment is our extraordinary ability to put complex actions and interactions on autopilot. So that what comes next, or how to respond, becomes second nature... I'm talking about the body as a reflection of the person who lives within it.”
-Amanda Blake, Your Body is Your Brain
Embodiment, Learning and Leadership
Amanda Blake is the author of Your Body is Your Brain, a Ph.D. candidate in Leadership and Management, and an expert in experiential leadership learning and the art and science of embodiment.
Today we explore the positive impact that embodied self-awareness has on our resilience, our effectiveness in leading, and ultimately in living a more fulfilling life.
What is embodiment?
[06:55] “Embodiment is a felt sense way of knowing about ourselves about others and about the world…non-judgmental attention to what our interior state is to our sensations or movements…A way of being, a way of knowing, and a way of paying attention.”
A pathway to resilience
[18:39] “When we start to develop our embodied self-awareness, part of what happens is we get better at noticing the red flags, and stress.”
[19:57] “It's like this secret superpower where you can go, ‘I'm just going to soften my shoulders a little bit here, I'm just going to relax my jaw or feel myself sitting in my seat.’ All of a sudden, that starts to change the constellation of stress hormones in my body.”
Recognizing when you carry stress in your body is the first step to overcoming and bouncing back. This can help us return to the path we need.
Embodiment is personal and pragmatic
[24:10] “It's very unique and individual what we might need or want to do to counteract the tendencies we might have that can be totally unconscious.”
[25:55] “Prime people to think about, okay, for this meeting, this conversation, this activity, how do you need to bring yourself to it? What way of being will best serve the outcome that you're aiming for? Then how do you embody that..whatever that may be?”
Do you need to open your shoulders and lean forward to better engage? Do you need to soften anywhere to relax and appear approachable? It’s up to you to determine what’s best for the situation and what to do physically to bring your best self.
For more conversations on embodied leadership, try out Rise Leaders Radio episodes #25 & #32.
Free download mentioned in this episode: Stress to Serenity Guide: https://embright.org/centering-challenge/
Order the book through Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/a/16835/9780999368107