Looking at Love through the Body's Lens

By Mark Metz - featured in The Body Intelligence Summit
Have you ever been stuck in a moment of indecision? Or worse yet, completely paralyzed in the face of an emotional or metaphysical quandary? Often the default behavior in these situations is to search for the answer, hunt for information, or look for a clue outside ourselves that will point the proper way. Some people think that even the big questions like "What is love?" or "How can I find happiness?" can be answered externally, as if life came with a Google search box.
But really, it's not the questions or even the answers that matter the most, it's the way we frame the inquiry that makes all the difference. We are all thinking creatures, human beings with incredible information processing machinery inside our skulls, so it's only natural, and especially in today's information age, to expect that logic and intellect are the proper starting points to tackle any problem. In fact, the more that we are stuck in our heads, the less likely we are to frame the big questions correctly. It's the mistaken assumption that our intelligence lives in one place that leads to so many wrong moves, and in our culture, intellect trumps intuition every time in the big game of life.
So if you just open up your awareness to your body, and learn how to practice some simple embodiment techniques, (like the ones our presenters on The Body Intelligence Summit will be offering), then you'll become more multi-dimensionally resourceful, and discover a wellspring of wisdom that lies within. Your body contains a source of knowledge that's ready to help you - on demand - in those crucial life-changing moments. By learning how to be fluent with not just our brain power, but with our emotional and body intelligence as well, we gain the ability to frame our inquiries in a more useful and effective way. When we activate our body intelligence to uncover the answers that feel right for us inside, we find balance between external information and internal intuition.
The beauty of body intelligence is that it comes in all shapes and sizes, and the ways to uncover it are as varied and individual as we are. It doesn't matter whether you are big or small, skinny or full-figured, or book-smart with multiple degrees under your belt, there's an embodiment practice out there somewhere that's just right for you. It doesn't have to look like fitness, you don't have to learn to dance, and if groups intimidate you there are plenty of ways to find it by yourself. The main thing is to simply open yourself to the inquiry, until you discover something that resonates in your heart. You'll know when you find it because answers will start to bubble up for questions that were long forgotten.
There's one question that's so uncomfortable that it's easy to spend a lifetime avoiding it. "Where am I not loving myself right now?" To open yourself up to embodiment means that you are summoning the courage to face the answer, whatever it may bring to the surface. Facing the answers to that question is to welcome transformation on every level of your being. When it comes to love, be it for ourselves or others, it's crucial to change the frame so that we can appreciate the external questions, while using embodied intuition to find the most authentic answers inside. Avoid embodiment and stay in the dark, access embodiment and be true to your heart.

Mark Metz is the founder and director of the Dance First Association, publishers of Conscious Dancer Magazine. A DJ and a dancer at heart, he has been writing, speaking, and teaching at the intersection of movement and consciousness since the early 90’s.  Join him with co-hosts Lamara Heartwell and Gay and Katie Hendricks on the Shift Network’s upcoming Body Intelligence Summit.
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This article appears in: 2014 Catalyst, Issue 3: Becoming truly embodied