Embodied Living: Mindfulness & Yoga for Life’s Everyday Challenges
Our intuition can guide us, but requires a leap of faith and some uncomfortable truths before connecting with it. By Lauren Bloxham
Embodying intuition is a radical break from conformity and a return to our soul’s purpose, our innate way of being; it is a measure of success that focuses on what is joyful, connected, loving and creative.
When conformity shows us just how little it cares about our creativity, or our presence, then the stifling lack of space or exhaustion we feel in going unheard, slowly unravels us from all the ways in which we feel we need to be extra, or less than ourselves in order to be recognised or valued. When playing the roles we play becomes lonely, or the layering of obligations becomes isolating to our inner most experience, then a new way is necessary. When we realise that the external validation feels shallow, or that its pace is too frantic to keep up with, then the moment comes where we can choose to let go and embrace something deeper within us.
The straitjacket of conformity has absolutely nothing to do with our inner world; we are simply attempting continuously to contort ourselves into shapes which look as though they fit, regardless of how they feel. Regardless of whether they create pressure, debt, or unhappiness. Regardless of whether they are truly fulfilling.
Letting go can feel terrifying, especially when we’ve learned to keep going, or we’ve had to hold it all together. It can feel like giving up, or even failure. It can take a while for us to wake up to all the ways in which we conform, we can spend years denying our deep authenticity in order to satisfy the status quo. It can feel like a threat to our very existence to step away from the world we’ve created and towards the unknown.
Sometimes a universal shove is what’s required in order to get our lives on track in a way which truly nourishes us and serves our souls. Navigating this change can feel like a huge leap of faith at best, and at worst a failure. Either way, not an easy step to have to make.
Constructs within the yoga world
Think for a moment about the ideals we’ve constructed within the yoga world. Ideal such as strong, flexible bodies, or perhaps a calm and zen-like nature.
In conforming to these ideals, we suppress anything which doesn’t fit. But anything that doesn’t fit is what makes us unique and human. And the moment we recognise what’s triggering us, we recognise all that is raging and imbalanced, stiff, and painful...this is the very moment we connect with ourselves more deeply, because we connect with what is true for us.
Constructs in the wider world
The same is true of constructs in all areas of our lives and in shattering these constructs, we free ourselves to be more self aware and more self-accepting. It is a kinder, more forgiving space to occupy. Relieving ourselves of the pressure of conformity is in service to our souls, our innate life force and what is a powerful inner guide.
Giving ourselves time
It takes time, space and awareness to start hearing the inner voice that is our true guide, and when we do finally tune in, it can be deeply uncomfortable to recognise the ways in which we reason with it, bargain with it, suppress it, deny it or shout it down in order to conform or to hold up an ideal of ourselves which is inauthentic.
When we wake up to the choices we’re making, to step away from conformity for the sake of our inner peace, our inner truth and authenticity we must find exceptiona bravery. This kind of significant change is gutsy, and deeply vulnerable. It requires us to be our own best friend and biggest supporter in order to reveal our inner experience to the world outside of us, through self-expression.
So here we are, at the point in our lives that presents us with an opportunity to live intuitively. Putting words to feelings, finding ways to express ourselves, this is the point at which we begin to craft a life which is more deeply connected to what feels true and right for us. Feeling the feelings that guide us towards joy, freedom and connection and stepping towards them means things change.
We change the way in which we relate to those around us, the way in which we approach our work, the ways in which we value our skills, our passions, and our interests. In sharing our souls with the world, with the support and acceptance of ourselves, the conscious choice to no longer suppress or deny our intuition but to say yes to it and allow it to be our guide, we teach the world how to love and value us back. We show the world outside of us how we need to be supported and in return we feel loved, supported, connected, spacious and free. These are the gifts of embodying our intuition.
Practice yoga with Lauren Bloxham online (blackdogliving.com), in person in West Cornwall, or on retreat: ‘Embodying the Elements’ at Bala Brook retreat centre, Dartmoor National Park, April 20-23, 2023. Connect on Instagram @blackdogliving
First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.