How we use the body to break down 3 big blocks women experience.
Women habitually underestimate their abilities and miss out on opportunities to take on challenges for growth and self actualisation.
“Women need to feel like they’re 85% certain of things and have 100% capability before they are willing to put themselves out there or offer an opinion.”
Safety, confidence and self-worth sit at the core of belief systems and narratives that run through both personal and professional environments. Social and cultural conditioning has entrained women to stay small.
In Iris Marion Young’s paper, “Throwing Like a Girl”, she explains how even the reduced physical culture of young women compared to young men impacts the psychosomatic connection to not embody their full expansiveness, potential and risk-taking.
However, you can’t just tell someone to be more confident or have more self-worth, it need to felt in the body, at the core.
1. Shame (I am not worthy)
Where there is shame the client has become disconnected from a part of themselves that they wish to forget about. Disassociated, this part can feel unworthy, but while it remains part of the client’s story, the additional weight can easily block growth.
Creating a safe space within coaching and supporting the capacity of the client to sit alongside this exiled part is our first step to work with it.
By slowing down and being-with we allow room for this part currently existing inside the client to communicate its fears and importantly, its needs. Using mindful and loving presence we validate its message as worthy, helping release the frozen feelings of shame.
From this warmer place through movement, from gentle swaying to shaking, the client is able to metabolise and integrate this new information, allowing this part to dissolve with the compassionate and resourced Self having been heard and witnessed.
2. Lack (I am not enough)
It is common for clients to hold narratives around not being enough link to stories of their past. This, according to Iris Marion Young, stems from the difference between the socialisation of girls and boys. Where boys are encouraged to be loud, rambunctious and more often test their physical presence against another — reaching, stretching and striding — girls are relationship builders, so presenting a pleasant and amicable nature supports social inclusion at the expense of rarely exercising their full physical potential but existing in a restricted capacity.
Through a series of exercises reconnecting with the physical body we find the boundaries and fullness of the client. Observing the subtle movements of the unconscious body through the neuromuscular patterning of these narratives we illuminate the physiological and emotional impact of the story.
Through this new awareness of body congruence we design contrasting somatic and embodied exercises. By engaging in new deliberate practices through conscious body shaping and sense-making including stepping into, showing up, taking up space experiences.
Cultivating trust into the physical presence and powerful nature of the body. Leaving new sensations to these old experiences. Clients learn to foster new spacious feelings of confidence, curiosity and self-efficacy.
3. Isolation (I have to do this alone)
In the male orientated business world it can feel an isolated race for individual success. Seeking help is deemed a weakness adding pressure that the client alone must have all the answers. However this retrograde framework severs the very qualities that women bring, of receptivity, openness and community.
Paradoxically, opening up to others starts with opening up to ourselves. Combining grounding exercises with centring practices, clients are able to locate themselves and access their physical bodies through safe inquiry from their in-the-moment experience using sensation.
From this place of safety clients let go of the need to protect themselves which is inherently restrictive through bodily contraction. Replacing this with conscious movement of expanding the felt sense, offering new space to emerge in which trusting feminine quality of listening, empathy and communication can exist.
Developing these tools of awareness open up the field of connection with others and embraces the nourishing goodness of support.
We live most of our day on autopilot, existing within a set of habitual behaviour patterns that are directed by habitual thinking patterns from our past.
Until we become aware of these patterns that are not serving us in our life, they will remain below our level of consciousness causing undefined discomfort and inhibition.
To work with them we must face the discomfort that these old patterns and narratives hold and process them through the body for systemic and transformational change.
By fostering trust and confidence in the physical body, it is possible to step into and strengthen the mental and emotional experience. By encouraging younger generations of women with education about these connections we can cultivate a more secure, braver and expressive female population. Awesome!