Self care of our bodies and souls is an act of resistance. Radical embodiment is a process of changing our understanding of our physical selves for our health and liberation. Embodiment refers to the awareness or sensing of the body. By gaining knowledge of the structures of our bodies we gain power and autonomy. We can learn to heal ourselves and learn how and when to seek help in healing.
This bodily knowledge should be readily available, but is intentionally obscured. Healthcare is a massive industry that centralizes this knowledge. We are taught that our bodily needs can only be discerned through an interpreter; a doctor or another health professional. Of course, doctors and those professionals are necessary and extremely valuable, but they should not be the only source of information and care of our bodies.
There is a lot at stake for the white hetero patriarchy to keep knowledge of health and the body to themselves. Giving the poor brown masses this knowledge gives them the power to speak up and confront injustices like environmental racism, food deserts, or unsafe neighborhoods full of no-play for kids. We need this knowledge to demand healthful work environments, to demand adequate healthcare, to demand safe spaces and schools. We need this knowledge to ask our loved ones for support and to support our loved ones.
We all deserve wellness, yet caring for your body is associated with whiteness and class privilege. In this country’s big cities you can barely walk a block without running into a thin white women in yoga pants talking about her alignment or her energy. Taking care of the body can seem like a bougie luxury because mainstream spaces for wellness are so dominated by whiteness and almost always require money to access.
Wellness for brown and black folks is a necessity and a right. Wellness for the poor is essential. Wellness for activists, artists, and anyone fighting for social justice should be central.
With just a few minutes of attention at a time, people can gain knowledge and awareness that can save them ages of pain and gift them with the vitality to act to define their own realities. By increasing our understanding of our anatomy and changing our perspectives of our bodies we can learn to name our pain and imbalances, we can learn to make small shifts in mechanics and thinking that increase our sense of control, ability, and connection. For these reasons, disseminating anatomical knowledge is necessary.
The marginalized often underreport their pain and rarely seek help due to lack of resources or fear of repercussions. Living in pain, living in separation from your body, will only cause distorted and limited thinking. Our minds struggle to run when our body is forgotten. Our bodies and minds are valuable. Our history and our futures are valuable. Our ancestors and our elders have a vast knowledge of body and spirit care. When one is excluded from the system one creates their own systems. To decentralize healthcare and wellness we need to honor these alternatives.
We all deserve to have the tools to make educated decisions about our healthcare and about our physical needs. Radical Embodiment can provide some of these tools by providing anatomical information and physical research prompts. This free information, combined with an open mind, can guide our readers to a more holistic sense of self and a deeper connection to those around them. Through seeking embodiment for liberation we can gain power to care for ourselves and others and, through increased health and vitality, we can act toward a more just world.
Be honest to yourself about what you want: out of life, to eat, to feel, to do in this world. Honor whatever it is, without judgment. Give yourself whatever it is you need. This is a process that takes time. It is the process of getting to know yourself, getting to know your body – without judgments or assumptions – learning to let all the parts of you be what they are.
Face them, hear them, know them, and find peace in letting them be.
Many of us work against ourselves – denying us pleasure, fulfillment, and fullness. This is no way to find peace. We are working for peace within our bodies and ourselves to reconnect us to our power center. We are learning how to listen to ourselves and honor our needs and desires.
Be kind, be gentle, be love, be open.
Enjoy your body.