When we move it is not just our physical body that we are moving
Our emotions, our thoughts and our soulfulness move right along with us.
We move body, heart, mind and soul.
It is impossible to move only the body without moving these other parts of us. This is why in Open Floor we include the 4 Dimensions of Embodiment in our movement practice.
1. Physical Embodiment
Physical embodiment refers to the process of becoming present, rooted, sensitive, and alive in the body. It is a sense of being at home in one’s skin. It includes sensate awareness of :
- Where one is in space
- Where one’s body begins and ends
- Breath, sensation, weight, gravity
- What physical movement impulses are arising and passing
- Activation and settling as it is occurring within the nervous system
- Basic anatomical structures and functions – how different body parts feel when we move
- And how our muscular and skeletal systems relate to and interact with the other major systems in the body
2. Emotional Embodiment
Emotional embodiment refers to the process of learning to become wise, resilient and creative in relation to our own and other’s emotions. It refers to our capacity to feel emotion and to remain present and creative in all four domains of relationship (alone, with a partner, in a group, and in relation to spirit). Being emotionally embodied and having emotional intelligence means that :
- We have a physical language for our emotions, and can move creatively with them
- We are able to allow feelings in, out, and through us
- We can witness emotion as it passes in and through our nervous system, and are able to track emotion as energy-in-motion in our own bodies and also in others
- We are comfortable with the full range of emotional impulse and can mindfully choose to nourish and express an emotion, be with it, or calm it down.
- What we are presenting on the outside matches (or is congruent with) what is occurring inside us
3. Embodied Mind
An embodied mind is more than a functioning brain. When we speak of “mind” on the Open Floor it includes insight, thought, cognition, mindfulness, logic, body brain, brain functioning, imagination, intuition, dreams, visualization, and memory. To have an embodied mind means :
- Having an integrated, felt sense of the brain’s interpretations, interactions, and interplay with consciousness
- A mind that is creative, intuitive, imaginative, inventive, insightful, mindful, articulate, discerning, clear, aware and astute
- A mind that is open to the vastness of knowledge, intuition, and imagination, while still connected to body and heart
- Being able to dance the energy and texture of thoughts, images from nature, dreams, mythology, and archetypes
- The ability to focus on a sensation, a movement, a person, a space, and to be receptive to the vastness of the mind beyond our own immediate perceptions — to create space for insights
- Creating bridges between learning about the body, the emotions, and the mind in books and videos, etc. and bringing that knowledge into the movement and the experience of the body
- Having a mind that knows how to use intention
The activity of the brain, and its contribution to our ability to be mindful creatures, is a complex choreography of our neurophysiology and consciousness. When we are embodied and consciously practice movement, we increase our capacity for mindfulness in every cell of our body. This mindfulness in turn supports our receptivity and integration of our imaginative, visual, artistic, linguistic, and logical capacities.
4. Embodied Soul
This refers to our capacity to explore, embody and integrate layers of the self much deeper than personality, to include our connection to the largest sense of Self. We use our embodiment practice to uncover the secrets and mysteries of our individual lives, our dreams and destinies, our sense of meaning and purpose, to find the unique gifts we were born to bring to our communities, and to experience our full membership in the more-than-human world. Embodied soul refers to our capacity to be at one with our deepest sense of self, with each other, and the larger field, our surrounding environment, the natural world, and something so much greater – the vastness of existence.
In Open Floor, we practice attuning to, and listening for, embodied soulfulness in ourselves, in others, and in the collective. We investigate what it is to be inspired by Spirit, to be resourced and informed by a larger/largest perspective, to be danced, to dissolve, surrender and trust in the mystery. We practice being present in the moment without agenda or plan. We cultivate comfort and faith in dancing and dwelling in the unknown. We offer ourselves freely and openly to Life so that it can move and express itself creatively/uniquely through us as embodied Soul.