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by Janice Stieber Rous

What Is Embodying Wisdom All About?

Most people hear the word embodiment and think it’s purely about being in our physical bodies. It is about coming into our bodies, but it’s much more than that; it’s energetic, it’s about presence.

Embodiment–or what I call embodying wisdom–is a tool that allows us to tune into ourselves to feel into what we are experiencing in the moment. It is a way of bringing a conversation back to center, a way of tuning in to your breath, body, intention, and tone of speech–and to others’ as well. There is a flow everyone experiences in the room, and usually a deep felt sense of satisfaction. This is in contrast to what I call dislocation–those conversations in which one leaves the space not quite sure what actually happened and then spends a lot of time trying to process how to get back to what they perceived and imagined was possible, but only in their own frame.

Embodying Wisdom in Groups

Here’s why embodiment is important in groups. Embodiment is a tool we can use to tune into what is not being said within a group, but is felt. Think back to the many one-on-one and group conversations you’ve had in your professional and creative life. How often do we find ourselves saying “that did not feel good” after the fact? We want to cultivate a practice where we know what we are feeling when we are feeling it.

More often than not in meetings, something distracts us. Something distracting may be happening in the moment, or we may get triggered by something that happened in the past. Our level of distraction individual and collective distraction is what determines whether our conversation allows us to communicate deeply with one another, or whether our words and ideas simply float in the space with no grounding to them.

Embodiment is also way of energetically sensing a larger field than is often presented in words. This can be demonstrated by the work of the heart field. When people are able to share in a heart field, an energetic shift occurs. People often feel a sense of lightness, possibility, and/or connectedness. Finding ourselves in this situation can feel delightful, it can feel calming. It often comes with a shared sense of relief and a large exhale.

This is incredibly valuable when we think about all the work we seek to accomplish together in our teams and organizations. Ideally, when we are connected and tuned into ourselves and others in the room, we’re able to track energetically if we are all sharing a communal experience. That knowing allows an idea, feeling, or experience to “drop in” collectively. Many of us can recall stumbling upon these moments accidentally. In these moments, we can feel that everyone in the conversation is in alignment. Everyone is speaking and listening to each other with intention.

Why does this matter?

We all want our conversations to matter. We’re all capable of becoming active players in shifting our own consciousness and the collective consciousness of a group. When we are in our bodies, we embody our own sensing and knowing. This new way of sensing and recalibrating one’s own energy allows us to know where our conversations are going. If we notice that a conversation needs to be brought back to center, there are ways that we can redirect the energy of group.

For a long time, we believed this ability to embody and express wisdom was only a gift of the intuitive. After many years of practice, I know this is something that can be taught and cultivated. In order to deepen our intuitive faculty, we must develop an ability to notice when we are not in alignment with our breath, thought, action, and intention.

Our conversations are more than a mere exchange of thoughts and ideas. Rather than seeing conversations as difficult, we can begin to think of them as akin to a series of agreements. When we’re in alignment in ourselves, we are better able to communicate and find alignment with others.