Embodied Leadership


These days we are bombarded with an array of communication, media and technology demanding we always be “on.” At some point, this distraction and stress can catch up to our natural system, leaving us depleted, unfocused and disconnected from ourselves.

To be embodied means you “turn-off” the external distractions and “tune-in” to your inner wisdom and natural rhythm. This results in clarity of mind and renewed enthusiasm that extends to your actions and connections with others. You move as one. Through this practice, you are more effective in leading and creating what you desire.

As a consultant, I work with individuals and organizations offering different techniques and tools to practice embodiment. I encourage people to use the following five principles:

  1. Presence — Be present, connect with your body, listen, receive information and integrate this wisdom.
  2. Passion — Take time to renew and check-in with your heart to remember your passion and mission.
  3. Purpose — Clarify your direction, align your goals with your purpose, and take inspired actions.
  4. Partnership — Engage others through clear communication and connected movements.
  5. Practice — Practice and sustain these principles through daily habits.

We begin with Presence because this is the basic canvas of your consciousness. As you learn to be fully present, you set a foundation for success.

One of the easiest and most effective ways to release thoughts and become present is to engage your breath. When you breathe, you bring awareness to your body through an inner movement. You then experience the world around you from the center of your being. This consciousness promotes a sense of peace, clarity, and grace.

As a competitive ballroom dancer, I have found my breath to be an invaluable tool to my success. Using this inner focus, I can tune out the judges, competitors and spectators and really feel my body, my partner, and our movements together. This experience allows me to be fully present and intuitively available to our actions in each moment.

I use another technique when working with organizations that helps to encourage observation and being more present. Using the concept of Presencing, a group creates a body sculpt to express an issue and then shapes it into potential solutions.

Presencing was introduced by Otto Scharmer from MIT. It means to be present and sensing by practicing “open mind, open heart, and open will.” The body sculpting technique was designed and demonstrated by Wendy Morris. It offers the ability to: embody the problem as a group, create a visual to observe the issue, and allow for a small group to arrive at a new solution as expressed from their bodies in-formation, rather than from their heads.

In a ballroom dance experience, it is most often co-creative. The body sculpting technique brings the wisdom of the body to an issue held within an organization. Ideas are stimulated as they allow themselves to form together in a more cohesive nature. Each new movement is initiated and reacted upon by the presence and sensing of each player.

For example, I put this process into practice within an organization. A particular issue was sculpted as follows:

Issue: Role in the community — reaching out to the community and seeking to build connection, even while holding different opinions and convictions:

  1. First movement demonstrated some resistance; a need to pull people into the community
  2. Second movement showed more alignment and community
  3. Third movement was fully engaged hand-in-hand

Issue: Priorities can pull in different directions:

  1. First movement showed a fight by each priority pulling the others
  2. Second movement showed more cooperation, hands coming together
  3. Third movement was a closer connection, an engaged community

Applying this technique provides another way to address issues and improve communication with others.

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