Occupy Your Body

How much of your time do you spend in your body, and how much in your head? In our current cultural climate, it’s easy to live a life of the mind and leave your body behind. Losing your body, however, is just as bad as losing your mind, negatively impacting your health and well-being, your relationships, and your overall aliveness.

We have all learned to think about our bodies. We’ve been fed a diet of ideas about how our bodies should be. Many of these ideas come from industries that profit off of us feeling bad about our bodies and wishing them to be different. As a result, learning to occupy our bodies, is a kind of political act. We need to reclaim our bodies so that we sense and feel them from the inside, rather than imposing a bunch of ideas upon them from the outside about how they ought to be.

Getting from being in your head to occupying your body isn’t always easy. There are a few steps required:

  • You have to experiment and explore to find out what your body wants.
  • You often have to endure a period of discomfort while you become more attuned to your neglected body, as it comes back to life
  • Finally, you start to give your body more of what IT wants, and start to feel better and more alive as a result!

Check out the video for some examples of how the process works!

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About the Author

Steve Bearman, Ph.D., earned his doctorate in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He founded Interchange Counseling Institute in 2002 and is the lead teacher of Interchange's San Francisco-based year-long counseling and coaching training. When he's not counseling people, leading workshops, and advocating for social justice, Steve climbs mountains, adventures in the urban wilderness, explores the edges and limits of what's possible, deconstructs everything, and finds new ways to put it all back together.