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Alchemical Inquiry: Embodiment and Growing our Capacity to Feel

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There is an alchemical process of embodying or gradually incarnating all of who we are. This process involves learning how to embrace all that is felt through the heart, the bones, the blood, the brain, the hands, the belly, the genitals and the soul. It calls our “essence” down into the holy flesh and mystery of being human.

Every cell is awake and alive, quivering with the sentient majesty of its capacity to FEEL.

Every moment is an opportunity to listen, to breathe into our felt experience and discover what is truly alive within us that innocently desires to express itself. This pure expression allows for our greatest fulfillment and joy in being alive.

A parable from Jesus says, “But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty. If you do not bring forth what is alive within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”

How do we recognize what is most alive within us, and how do we allow that to come forth? How do we cross that tenuous bridge between mental concepts and our fantasy world into a fully lived and embodied reality? How do we tend to the precious shadow parts that appear around every corner as we turn towards embodying the light and power of our soul essence?

I’ve developed the Alchemical Inquiry process in order to live and embody the answer to these questions. My life’s research has showed me that we can come into direct feeling relationship with that which is awake, aware, and trustworthy at the very core of our beings, and allow this presence to permeate all of our actions, choices and relationships.

Our primary place of discovery is through the Heart itself. Once we have come all the way home to the Heart, and the Love current has become conscious and activated, we can take residence within the entire Midline.

The Midline is the tangible and fundamental place of awareness in the subtle, core, central channel of the body that was the initial fulcrum from which we are each formed in the womb. When we learn how to center our awareness here, we can discover how to alchemize (love up, transmute and transform) the base metals (whatever we experience as heavy and unmet.)

All of our fears, doubts, insecurities, discomfort and painful perceptions that we tend to avoid directly feeling, otherwise known as “our unconscious shadow,” can be alchemized. This intimate process occurs by asking “the right” questions, the ones that pattern interrupt our habitual ways of separating out from our inner direct experience or body-felt sense.

When I say direct experience or body-felt sense, I am pointing to our capacity as human organisms to directly sense into our felt experience— viscerally, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and sensually, all as one whole, seamless experience that we are inside of.

If we let go of labeling our experience in a way that puts us outside— or separate from– and instead allow our awareness to directly be with what is present in a holistic way, we have an opportunity for transmutation rather than fixation to take place.

Transmutation, as defined by Webster’s, is: change into another nature, substance, form, or condition.

Biology: the transformation of one species into another.
Alchemy: the conversion of base metals into metals of greater value, especially into gold or silver.

Fixation, on the other hand, is defined as:

Psychoanalysis: a partial arrest of emotional and instinctual development at an early point in life, due to a severe traumatic experience or an overwhelming gratification.

Or a preoccupation with one subject, issue, etc.; obsession.

For example, you could say, “I’m sad and depressed today”, and not really investigate the direct body-felt sense of that. Then, that which you call “sad and depressed” can easily concretize into a solid sense of reality, or fixated sense of self. You are then stuck in a limited view through your perceptual state.

Whereas, if you bring your conscious intent to inquire: “what am I feeling?” and directly come into contact with the sensations, textures, qualities and tones of your experience, then there is an opportunity for a deep intimacy and transmutative impact upon what you were calling, “sadness or depression”. What was experienced as so heavy and fixed begins to loosen its grip and become more permeable to the light of your larger field of awareness.

You (the REAL you) may recognize, then, that all of these psycho/emotional tones come, and they go… held by an ever-present larger field of awareness or true health. The process of embodiment is this very process in which the differing parts of oneself come into an experience of wholeness or “re-association” with the health that is always present within and without.

In this way, embodiment is a journey of coming into direct relationship with every nuance or feeling of what it is to be fully alive –fully human. The more that this is practiced, the more that this becomes spontaneous and natural.

Take a moment right now, and let’s explore a simple practice of coming into a body- centered relationship with the moment.

Look around you.
Become acutely aware of where you are.
Allow yourself to feel the air on your skin, the temperature of it.
Feel the breath move through your body, and allow your feet to settle into the support of the ground beneath you.
Sense into the quality of the space that you occupy in your feet.

Now, allow your hands to soften. Go ahead, massage each hand and allow yourself to come into relationship with the sensations of your own hand contact.
Breathe into and allow yourself to engage with any sensations of pleasure in this contact.

Take a few moments and let your vision shift from being frontally focused on these words, and let it expand more peripherally out to the horizon.
Look out a window and let your eyes entrain with the natural world.

Allow yourself… to pause.

Notice the space around you, and let in the sounds that are present in this moment…

See if you can let in the sounds and textures of this moment with your whole body/mind, so there is a more global sense of the space around you, behind you, below you and within you.

Allow your breath to deepen into your belly,
softening any gripping in your belly and settling into your back body and into your seat.

Allow whatever is present within you to emerge in this spacious field of your awareness.

See if you can give yourself full permission to be here as you are, without some mental overlay of what should be.

What do you notice, when you shift into a more body-felt sense of this moment?
Allow yourself to mark what you notice to yourself in some way, speak it, sound it, breathe it in and out.

This is a simple practice you can return to anytime you feel stuck, fixated, or suffering in any way – a practice of realigning yourself and allowing yourself to be held by your direct experience of Life in any moment.

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