Why Embodiment is Hard for Smart People
Casey Berglund: [00:00:00] Hi there and welcome back to The Purpose Map podcast. I'm Casey Burg, your host, and the founder of Worthy and Well. This episode is about why embodiment is hard for smart people. and what we can do about it so that we can receive the benefits of embodiment, including greater resilience, deeper connection, more authenticity, more flow, more connection with purpose.
Gosh, there's so many benefits to embodiment. If we only could experience it, if we only could maybe get dropped into our bodies rather than spending all of our time up into our heads. Funny story. Yesterday I connected with someone who I met in an online program and I had a resonance with in the group and reach out to her via DM and just asked if she wanted to connect.
[00:01:00] So I knew very little about this woman and she knew very little about me, but we both just trusted our instincts and hopped on a call yesterday and we had a little bit of connection and. And then I started talking about something, I don't even remember what it was at this point, and she paused me and she was like, Gosh, you're like 90% in your head right now.
And it kind of triggered me a little bit cuz I was like, do you know who I am? Like I teach embodiment. I did a TED Talk called Let Your Body Lead. Are you really calling me out for being so in my head? And although that was an initial sort of instinct, there was a part of me that knew that it might be wise to just kind of like.
Lean back and actually listen to what she was witnessing about me. we met in the context of a program that was really about like authenticity and being yourself. And there's a level of intimacy that I find comes up in those types of settings where it, it feels like there's a safety around [00:02:00] like being real and calling truth.
And this woman did this in a way that. I definitely had resistance to, but, and also was able to receive. She reflected back to me. She's like, I just feel all this energy coming from your head right now, and I wonder what it would be like or how much clearer you might be around this topic if you were to just like drop into your body, like drop into your heart, drop into your belly.
And as she was sharing this with me, I started to take a few deep breaths and had a little smirk on my face because I was like, oh my God. It's like my words are coming out of her mouth in my direction. And I had this moment of like empathy for some of my clients when I am like, Truth telling and it's vulnerable.
Like it's vulnerable to be seen or to be known or to be like, called out or called in, or [00:03:00] however you wanna put it. Anyway, it was this interesting experience of me being called out, me being seen, me being, spoken to in a way that was maybe like a truth I didn't wanna hear. You know, I don't wanna hear that I'm all up in my head and not in my body as an embodiment guide.
Anyway, I leaned back, I took a few breaths. I invited her to tell me more about what she was witnessing. And I even noticed the part of me that wanted to hop right back up in my head and talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, rather than just sit back, drop in, feel the vulnerable sensation in my body. Anyway, that moment created some reflection afterward and today as well.
just extra awareness around. Being in my body and it made me think about how I've always been a smart person [00:04:00] and how. Pretty much every one of my clients is totally an intellectual, you know, like a brilliant, high achieving intellectual, whether they're an academic or a business owner or a corporate leader, they're smart cookies that have like made it as far as they have in their lives and in their work from using their brains to like, What they want and what they need from pushing forward, you know?
Casey Berglund: And so I just had this awareness. That like, oh yeah, like energy attracts like energy. And also you teach what you most need to learn. This is true for me as an intellect. So today I just wanna speak specifically around why embodiment is extra hard for smart people and maybe what we can do about it together.
Together. Because I'm on this path with you. It is a constant, consistent practice. I don't know about you, but if you're [00:05:00] listening to this, you two are probably a smart person, an intellect, someone who thinks a lot, maybe a lot, a lot. And you know, when I was reflecting on this, I was like, yeah, you know what?
Ever since I was a kid, I was praised for my intellect. You know, I was celebrated when I got a high score on a test or was able to communicate an idea or a thought clearly. I basically was rewarded for being in my head. You know, nobody said to me when I was a child like, oh, Casey, you're so emotionally attuned and grounded in your body.
No, it wasn't that. It was like, what's wrong? Stop crying. logic your way out of this. So it makes perfect sense. Then why? There's this value system placed on the thinking mind, this logical way of being. [00:06:00] And still, as much as I think our world is changing, we forget about the power of feeling and actually being in our bodies and successful, high achieving, brilliant humans.
we forget that there's. A whole other way of being wise in this conversation yesterday with this woman, she said to me at some point, like, I know that you'll get to the truth through your soundboarding, through your talking, and I know that you know what truth feels like in your body. You tell me about the, like the truth tingles and the truth tears.
Casey Berglund: But she says to me like, what if you could just get there faster? Dropping in and like speaking from your gut, speaking from your body, rather than having to spin from your mind in order to get to the truth. And she was right. She was right. It's much more [00:07:00] efficient and much wiser, and there's a whole other knowledge system that can come through, a whole other type of wisdom that comes through when grounded in the body.
Why does this feel so hard and elusive? I asked on Instagram recently if the term embodiment or what embodiment means if that felt elusive for folks and it, it didn't for some, and definitely did for others, and I can understand why. So let's back it up and come back to basics, like what is embodiment?
What is letting your body lead. I mean, you might have your own definition. To me, embodiment is bringing awareness back into the body. That's a simple way of saying it. It's feeling into the sensations of the body rather than thinking about the sensations in the body. Letting your body [00:08:00] lead is taking it a step further.
It's attuning to the inner experience down in the body. And it's also trusting the wisdom that comes from that place. Basically owning that the body has its own authority that can help to lead or guide next steps, next actions in a meaningful, purposeful way. In this call yesterday, my new friend said to me, it's like there's a queen down in there who wants to be fed grapes and is just waiting for you to stop talking so that she can have a word
And I giggled because that's something I would say to a client. I giggled and knew that she was right. Again, it's like in the body, there's a deeper voice, like an intuition. Has standards, it [00:09:00] requires space and quiet time and stillness. Or for some people it might not be space and quiet and stillness. It might be movement and exercise and some sort of active flow that creates the environment for that queen or king to talk.
It's a pretty powerful experience to not just practice embodiment, bringing awareness down into the body, but also to take it a step further and to let the body lead, let the body lead the mind. Now, of course, they're not separate. Of course, it's a mind body. It's one whole system, but, and also, Dropping into the body and kind of waiting for that intuitive voice to speak up and then bringing the head on board to like act in alignment with that intuitive voice.
It's a powerful way of living, but it's not [00:10:00] necessarily the norm and it's definitely not the norm for us intellects. It just may take some extra practice for us. So where do we begin? Well, for me, when I was being called out yesterday for being so in my head, where I began was by taking a deep breath. I put my right hand on my belly and my left hand on my chest, and I inhaled and felt my belly expand and my chest lift, and I side out the mouth as if to let the headiness go, and I just continued to do that a few round.
To be honest, I needed a few rounds. I really wasn't in my body. So connecting with the breath is so powerful because there is a physical sensation associated with breathing, but there's also a sound if you're attuned enough to listen, you can hear the sound of the breath, you can feel [00:11:00] from the inside, the sensation of air entering in through your nostrils and maybe exiting through your.
Sometimes when I breathe, I even visualize my breath as a color. You know, like a blue ribbon coming in and expanding and filling and then exiting. So with breathing, there's an opportunity to connect with the senses or sensations in a way that is easy for you. Whatever way you can access first. If you're more of a sensing or tactile person, you can notice the feeling or sensation.
If you're a visual person, you can imagine the breath as a color, and so, So just pausing and breathing for me was the first step. Often when I'm way up in my head, it's like my awareness is high in my body, above my body. So when I counter that by bringing awareness low down. For example, feeling my feet on the [00:12:00] floor or feeling the parts along my body that are touching matter beneath me, like the chair beneath my seat, my feet on the floor.
That's step two for me. After breathing, it's actually like dropping my awareness down as far as it can go down to my feet. Sometimes I ask myself, can I feel my pinky toe? Sometimes wiggling my toes brings awareness into my body, and automatically with just breathing and bringing my awareness down into my body, I start to feel more calm and more relaxed, and also sometimes more vulnerable.
In the case of yesterday with this new friend who just called me out for being in my head, there was a vulnerability in dropping back into my body. In not re-arming myself with my words or my thinking as a reaction to her, but actually to like sit [00:13:00] and receive and feel. That in that moment my heart was beating a little faster and that I actually had an uncomfortable sensation in my body in her presence.
In that moment, it felt vulnerable. This is sometimes why we don't practice embodiment or why we avoid ourselves. It's completely, natural for humans to avoid discomfort and embodiment like can open up the can of worms of feeling dis. , and yet it's worth it, of course. So breathing, bringing my awareness down into the soles of my feet, and then noticing sensation in my body that's, Part of my practice being with that sensation, not needing to change it, like increasing my capacity to like be with discomfort.
Today I had a client session where we were talking about really uncomfortable experiences in our bodies. I was talking about [00:14:00] experiencing shame in a really profound way, and she was talking about having a panic attack. And, she said that like she once learned, To not try and stop a panic attack, but to let the the feelings move through.
And she said when she tries that, when she does that successfully, there's this like relief at the end where it's kind of like, oh my God, I didn't die. And I said, I know. I felt that too when I was feeling the depths of my shame, like nobody wants to feel shame. And yet when we do, there's like a liberating moment at the bottom of it that's kind of like, oh my God, I didn't die
So like delaying in the discomfort and feeling. It often requires a commitment to the long game, to the long term benefit because it doesn't feel good in the moment most of the time, and yet when. There's a feeling that's felt all the way through. Often there is some sort of wisdom at the [00:15:00] end. You know, the wisdom of like, oh my God, I didn't die.
I just survived a panic attack. Oh my God, I just survived feeling the shame that was underneath this limiting pattern that I've been living out my whole life. That feeling of like, I'm okay, or I still love myself. Huh, that was kind of funny how much I've been avoiding that sensation, and yet it's not so bad after all, that can provide a wisdom that is so freeing and liberating.
But even on a simple level, a tuning into the body and, and feeling sensation and delaying with that sensation, it might offer just like a tiny little nugget of wisdom that's like, yeah, go do this thing. The intuitive voice comes through often. Underneath the sensation that's covering it, the intuitive voice comes through often underneath the sensation that's covering [00:16:00] it.
So feeling a sensation all the way through or delaying with it can sometimes dissolve the sensation that is maybe blocking or veiling the intuition from coming.
Let that land for a moment. What I just realized, I just guided you through using myself as an example from yesterday, is the body acronym exercise, the practice that came. Out of creating my 2019 TEDx Talk. Let your body lead. It's actually quite funny. I didn't realize that I was guiding you through the body acronym exercise until now, but really that's it.
Be as breathe. Always observe. Like I breathed, I observed energy down in my feet, my feet touching the floor, the vulnerable sensation, uncomfortable sensation I felt in my stomach and in [00:17:00] my heart. D is delay. Don't fix it. Feel it. Build your capacity to be with discomfort. Don't react to it. Feel it maybe all the way through.
Why is say yes, say yes to the wisdom that comes out the other. So for me, in yesterday's experience on that call, the wisdom that came through at the end was actually a recognition that when I'm meeting people for the very first time, it's sometimes harder for me to be in my body because I don't necessarily feel safe right off the bat.
Here's how this was relevant to me and could possibly change my life. That's true. More so. When I'm meeting a person for the first time, so this was a professional context, but that's true in a personal context, in a dating context, sometimes in a dating context, my intellect becomes armor. For smart people, [00:18:00] we can use our sharp minds like swords, , my intellect can become armor.
It can be an expression of my ego that keeps me from actually being in the space of embodiment, in the vulnerability that creates true, genuine connection. Like talk about a truth bomb. Talk about wisdom that came through an experience. Embodiment after recognizing disembodiment. So I hope that you can see why sometimes it's even harder for us smart people, us intellects to practice embodiment, but also like how to do it and why it matters.
Embodiment, again, is bringing awareness back into the body. It's activating the whole mind body system. Instead of [00:19:00] just thinking, thinking, thinking our way through things or talking or describing or proving, et cetera. It's engaging the whole system. Letting your body lead is then taking that wisdom that comes from the body.
Maybe practicing the body acronym exercise and saying yes to the intuitive voice that naturally speaks when we calm the mind enough for it to do so, and then aligning the whole system to take action on that intuition, that wisdom that comes through. If you're like me, if you're smart and intellectual and a high achieve.
Be mindful of how you use your brains as a barrier to connection, connection with yourself, connection with your own intuition, and also true, [00:20:00] genuine, authentic connection with others. We're in this together. Let me know what popped for you in this episode and what questions you have. Happy to share more over the coming weeks and months about embodiment, about letting your body lead.
Also about the Let Your Body Lead Method, how the work that we do here at Worthy and Well can help you in coming into your body. I can help you come into your body because I know how hard it is to do. I know how hard it is to do so, especially as a smart intellectual type. I can't wait to connect with you next week.
Always feel welcome to reach out to us at info worthy and well.com or on Instagram. You can send a DM and until I hear from you, take really good care. Have a beautiful day.