What do you think of when you read the word embodiment? You might be familiar with the term if you do Yoga, or if you take part in anything within the health and wellness field. Embodiment, however, is for everyone. Embodiment is you.
It’s the whole of you, and it’s the quiet space that gives you the opportunity to choose how you respond to your day-to-day responsibilities and the things that you do for yourself. I believe that by practising embodiment we can have a better relationship with our clothes, from the purchase choices we make to the longevity of our connection to them. Here I will explore the main tools of embodiment (which you have access to right now) plus how to harness the benefits for your wardrobe.
Mark Walsh is the Co-founder of EFC (Embodied Facilitator Course) and he says that embodiment is “how we are…our manner of being…the context for which we feel, we relate, we think, for which we perceive the world and for which we take action.”
So with that in mind, how can we put embodiment into practice? Some tools to consider are:
What we focus on could be considered as what we find important or interesting. In some ways, it could align with your personal values. For example, if you value quality time with friends, you might stop what you are doing and focus your attention on them if they call you. When I consider for myself where I might feel attention in the body, I am drawn to my face and my shoulders.
Something that we want and plan to do. Being clear about our intentions and following through with them is good self-care. I notice a warm sensation in my chest when I think about the word intention.
The way someone holds their head, shoulders and back, or how one holds themselves when sitting, standing, etc. Remembering to stand up tall, with your shoulders rolled up, back, and down plus holding your head high is a quick and easy tool to become mindful of your posture. For me, going inward to feel where my tailbone is helped me to readjust my posture.
The inhale and exhale of air. Even just one big, mindful breath a day can create positive ripple effects. Try focusing your attention on the space between your upper lip, and the place where air is inhaled through your nose. Notice the air-breathing in and falling out. At the time of writing this, I am noticing my forearms, feeling the rise and fall of my breath through them.
To change position, whether it’s fast or slow, free in its style or learnt actions, moving with intention or attention can refresh the mind and get you out of any sluggish or stuck states. When I think of the word movement, I notice my hips, my knees and my shins wake up.
Did you notice any parts of your body while reading this? The act of noticing is simple and it’s also enough. We are so used to tools and strategies being very much based in the mind, quick in pace with an expectation of some sort of productive result. What I’m discussing here is a softer, quieter approach to life. One that will give you the value of its meaning and encourage you to stick with it.
So what does this have to do with fashion?
Well, by engaging with any or all of these tools, you might start to notice little shifts. You might look out of your window and notice something that you’ve seen a million times before, but now see in a different light. Or, you might look in your wardrobe and notice an item of clothing that you haven’t worn for a while. You might pull it out, and recall a bracelet or a scarf that you think would go well with it. The beauty really is in not knowing what could come up for you by creating this headspace, and just being open and receptive to whatever does.
Most importantly, this headspace allows for a calmer sense of being, and when we feel this way we have better access to really choose our choices.
Other benefits of embodied practices:
- Helps us get into the here and now.
- Allows us to be more flexible and adaptable to the ever-changing moments of our days.
- Improves relationships.
So before you make plans to check out the new Spring 2021 arrivals, try out some of these tools or grab that old bag of clothes from underneath your bed and see if you can see anything old in a new light. #slowfashion