Let me start by saying that writing about Embodied Intimacy has been challenging for me because I run the fear of not giving justice to the profound impact that this work has had on my life, or misrepresenting it. So often in actual relationships I am so scared to say the wrong thing, that I end up saying nothing at all, and I do not want this to be the case here. So with some shakiness in my belly, I'm going to give it a go.
Like many others, I was initially drawn to the authenticity and vulnerability with which Rachel Rickards and Buster Radvik share their work, relationship and life with the world. They teach by example, they walk their talk, and they let us witness them in all their glorious messy humanness. This is a type of new leadership that I am fascinated with and long to learn more about. When I tasted the magic of Embodied Intimacy for the first time, I thought they've done a really amazing job with the name which fully encapsulates their offering. Having spent the majority of my life living in my head and in disconnection, these two things, embodiment and intimacy, were what I was deeply hungry for. And diving deep into these two areas is what I did, and still am doing under Rachel and Buster's excellent guidance.
In 2017 I became a mother and in 2018 I went through a massive breakdown of the life I had been leading until that point. These two events quite violently threw me into an intense period of healing, learning and growing. Ultimately, it has been a journey of coming home to my own authentic self. I didn't know that this "coming home" and "self-love" that everyone was raving about, is what I've since come to understand as "inner safety". And I sure as hell didn't know that it can be accessed through my own body. Until that point I was completely convinced that if I say enough mantras and affirmations, somehow the grace of self-love and inner safety will be magically bestowed upon me. This is understandable considering the deeply distorted relationship I used to have with my own body, steeped in self-hatred and harsh judgment (thank you western patriarchal civilization!).
Embodied Intimacy provided me with theory and practices that launched me on a journey of becoming intimate with my animal body and of deepening my understanding of how it operates in the world. I became a careful student of my nervous system, trauma and my attachment patterns. This increased my awareness and comprehension of what was happening to me in moments of overwhelm or stress. My perception and vocabulary expanded and one of the things you will hear me say often these days is something along the lines of: "oh, hang on… pause.. I'm sensing a trauma response/activation". And then use the practices I have learned and the resources I was given: slowing down, taking a deep breath, turning inwards, calling a pause... OH THE HOLY PAUSE! I cannot emphasise enough how big of a gift this one has been. Being able to insert that split second space between action and reaction has been somewhat of a holy grail in my life and it has been the source of truly profound shifts in my relationships. Learning about emotional self- and co-regulation has been massive. No one spoke about these things when I was a kid, nor anyone in my immediate environment had the knowledge or emotional awareness to do so. And so Embodied Intimacy has been such a game changer also for my parenting journey.
As for love... Recently, I have left an EI training with an actual embodied imprint of relational abundance. Coming from a place of desperation and scarcity, settling for relationships and situations in my life for fear of it being my only chance for love and acceptance… to a visceral knowing that there is depth and connection to be found with pretty much anyone in the room, as long as I stay connected to myself and communicate openly my own experience.. Now... that feels liberating and revolutionary!
I am beyond excited to continue my journey with the Embodied Intimacy tribe, one where I feel free and safe to keep saying "yes" to myself and all the parts that live inside of me. Where I feel free and safe to open and share these parts with others. Where I can, as Rachel once put it, keep saying "yes" to Love.
[If you'd like to learn more about Embodied Intimacy visit: www.embodiedintimacy.com]