Transforming Caregiver Stress into Compassion Resilience

Are You An Embodied Performer?

Embodiment is the process of giving a physical, concrete form to an abstract concept like a principle, or quality.

It is the ability to allow ideas and insights to root and take shape in our bodies, so they can find outward expression in effective, tangible actions.

 What does this mean for you as a performer?

Embodied performers don’t just live in an abstract trance of how they would like things to be, they take the bold action necessary to advocate for themselves as artists, and for their artform.

They commit to practices that cultivate the qualities of presence, confidence and ease under pressure. They have the capacity to access a powerful source for physical and emotional creative expression.

An embodied performer brings focus and meaning to their practice, and they have the resilience to thrive in the face of set-backs, mistakes, judgement and criticism.

Embodied performers align body, breath and movement with intention, purpose and inspiration, supporting a life that is centered in integrity and authenticity.

They are courageous enough to confront what is getting in their way, and to risk leaving parts of themselves behind, in order to pursue new habits and behaviours; an embodied approach to life holds that it is possible to release  ourselves from a chain of reactivity, and stay in closer touch with intuition and wisdom.

The experience of being embodied arises through somatic and mindful practices – ways of bringing awareness to, and working with, the physical body and its sensations, feelings and moods.

Because no matter how much we know something in theory, when we experience stress, it’s our BODY that returns to what it knows best. Because our deepest learning is rooted at a below-conscious level, we repeat behaviours and habits that are now dysfunctional for the job at hand.

New research reveals what many enlightened souls have known intuitively all along… that working with the domain of the body is a powerful way to learn, change and transform ourselves. When we re-organize ourselves physically, we also change our state of mind, and ultimately the action we are capable of taking. That’s not surprising, since our physical experience of the world provides the pattern for how we reason about the world; our mind is constantly being shaped by the things we encounter in the physical world.

And that’s why it is important that we don’t just understand what we need to do, but we also train our nervous system to support the learning and development of new actions and behaviours (for example, how to remain centered and at ease when facing an audience). And its best that we learn that whilst in the presence of others, because it is when we are in relational contact with others, under their critical gaze, that our systems are most triggered.

And we need to learn how we can be bigger containers to tolerate the abundance of sensations and emotions – both positive and disruptive, that we experience moment to moment, so we can work more resourcefully with them.

If we leave the body as a resource out of coaching and learning, we only have half the tools to get the job done.

Becoming an embodied performer can be developed and trained for, in the same way as we prepare, rehearse and practice for a performance or concert (though mastery will take longer than our lifetime).

Kirstie’s workshops offer simple yet effective somatic exercises and practices that help you identify how your mind and body respond to pressure, and help you learn how to access alternative choices, so you can be more powerful, resourceful and expressive when it matters most.

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