Embodied with a brain

One of the things I’ve struggled with around ideas of embodiment is the degree to which I am head-led. I’ve come to some conclusions about this recently and am sharing them because I expect I’m not the only person on the Druid path who struggles with these issues. Druidry does tend to attract people who like to think.

I don’t do well when I try to lead with my body. Frankly, my body has no idea what it’s doing, doesn’t reliably know where the ground is and disassociates hard when panicked. I’ve gone rounds with feeling that I’m not good at being an embodied Druid because I’m very much in my own head.

When it comes to the chemistry that impacts on my whole body, that also starts most usually in my head. The things I feel normally begin with the things I think. How I respond to something conceptually informs my emotions, and that in turn defines what my embodied experience is.

I also find that if I’m trying to silence my inner voices, the main effect of that is to totally focus me inside my own head. There’s usually a lot going on in my brain such that shutting it down takes a lot of my concentration and tends to focus me inside myself. If I let my brain do what it does, while being open to the world, I end up being more present and embodied than I do for trying to shut my brain down.

While the relationship between our inner lives and outer realities can vary a lot, it’s worth remembering that the mind is as much a squishy bit of biology as any other part of us. The idea that mind and body are separate comes from a time and culture that also imagined we were made ‘in God’s image’ and separate from the rest of nature. It’s mind/body dualism that’s the issue, I think, not being brain-based.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, polyamourous animist, ant-fash, anti-capitalist, bisexual steampunk. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

2 responses to “Embodied with a brain

  • alainafae

    I’ve struggled with the concept & practice of simply telling the mind to “be quiet” as a way to focus on embodiment. What worked better for me is to give it a focused job. Two examples – 1) I will go outside and try to hear all sounds at once, together, without examining any particulars, for a short period of time. It’s much more difficult to do than describe (for most people) since we filter most sounds very quickly as non-essential & non-threatening. 2) I’ll “watch” the physical, chemical, electrical movements of the brain as a visualization e.g. oxygen- & glucose-carrying blood flowing in through the carotid artery and fed into the pia mater, pulses traveling the axons of neurons, neurotransmitters releasing into the synapse space.

  • MariaTeresa

    I agree with you. The wholeness of mind, boy and spirit is the perspective which I view the world. For me, my path so led me to the lense of soul. The mind is chatter and stories until one can begin to unravel and feed it the truths of soul. I do this through many different practices like yoga, meditation, sound frequency and communing in nature. Feeling the interconnectedness of everything. The duality perception short changes our multidimensional experience.

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