define embodiment

What we call our coffee drinks says a lot about us. Cappuccino. Espresso. Caffè Cortado. Is your coffee order still beholden to the Italian craftspeople who invented espresso technology? Or do you prefer your cup of Java in a more historical built, for example in form of a true Arabian Mocha, which has its roots in Yemen? Or is it a Short Black, a Flat White, or a Skinny you pick up on your way to work?

„Nothing is neutral; there is no room for free or idiosyncratic variation. With language every difference makes a difference. And it all has to be learned. There is only one way to say anything, both verbally and nonverbally, in writing as well as in speech, and to say anything differently is, in effect, to say a different thing. Synonyms and paraphrases are not substitutable for each other. Choice of a particular synonym always says something about the speaker (or the speaker’s perception of the listener). Petrol and gasoline may refer to the same thing, but I reveal something of myself if I use one term rather than the other. Dogs chase cats cannot replace cats are chased by dogs in any meaningful context. The first is a statement about dogs and the second about cats.” – Frank Smith, Landmarks in Literacy

The same extends to movement. Not just to the obvious cultural dances, gestures and postures, but to all movement. Moving your face in your very particular, iconic way – which each and every of your close friends and relatives could identify as being „you” – is movement. Yes. Also how you hold your shoulders, when and how you rotate your arm through which trajectory, through space, in response to or as requirement to which situation. How you guide your leg in taking a step, and so forth… all is movement. Movement is not just how you are used to do these things. How you learned them once, by chance, or culture and deeply invested into a certain way of doing them. Movement is much more. It is a play of options and understanding.

From my perspective this needs to be addressed when people look for Mindfulness, Self Initiation, or „The embodiment of the full blueprint of being.” And such things. It needs to be addressed through movement. Not merely in form of non-judgmental observation, not merely in form of conscious breath-work, and not merely in form of Mindfulness Meditation. The brain is made for movement and learning. Move and learn we must.

50 years ago chasing the The Embodied Self was as simple as getting a few people together in a safe setting and to scream all fears off the hearts, or to follow breathing techniques for long enough periods of time until the divine came knocking. Some people still invest in and also market such settings nowadays. I guess because they have not found anything better just yet (or it makes them sooo much money that there’s simply no incentive to look any further). To me it looks like as if some of them are teaching to rewind a Swiss wrist watch with the help of a pneumatic jackhammer.

In January I was convinced that 2021 will be the year in which I will build an innovative online training course. A ground setting new way of movement learning, movement quality acquisition, and community building. I was highly motivated to make my ideas available to a larger public. I wanted to provide options, insight, upwards drift, progress, content generation, and set new landmarks in movement literacy. But it’s too big of a task for me alone. No funding, no team, no marketing department, too much work to produce the required content. Therefore: probably no online training course this year.

Now, by the end of March, it became apparent that my main focus in 2021 is on something very different. This is the year of extensive – and intensive – reading, listening, and writing for me.