How to Cultivate Embodied Consciousness with Dr. Lynda Klau
Insights about embodied consciousness and why cultivating a conscious relationship with the body matters at all times, especially when experiencing times of uncertainty. We touched on these topics, as well as the integration of neuroscience and spirit. We offer three practical activities to develop an embodied consciousness.
Table of Contents
- Episode Introduction: Who Is Dr. Lynda Klau?
- What Influenced Lynda To Pursue Embodied Consciousness
- Why Does Cultivating an Embodied Consciousness Matter?
- Three Practices to Integrate the Mind, Body, Spirit
- Breathing Teaches us to Be in Our Bodies
- Body Scan To Understand Our Senses
- Bringing In Spirit
- Learn More About Embodied Consciousness
- Connect to Lynda
- Resources Mentioned in this Show
- Become a Sponsor of Positivity Strategist Podcast
Episode Introduction: Who Is Dr. Lynda Klau?
This conversation is on the topic of embodied consciousness and why cultivating a conscious relationship with the body matters at all times, especially, when we're experiencing times of uncertainty.
Dr. Lynda Klau, is a psychologist, coach and speaker who focuses on the integration of body, mind, and spirit. She serves people by helping them move from fear to freedom, enabling us all to live and work from our fullest potential for ourselves, our relationships, our world, and our planet. The name of Linda's company truly reflects who she is and what she offers – Life Unlimited: The Center for Human Possibility.
In the course of her work, Lynda has increasingly focused on the topic of being and becoming. She practices and teaches the development of embodied consciousness, mindful awareness, the neuroscience of the possible, and the healing of trauma for what is and what has been.
During our talk, Lynda offers some tools and tips on how to be increasingly in one's body and what mindful awareness of embodied consciousness offers us.
What Influenced Lynda To Pursue Embodied Consciousness
Lynda’s work on embodied consciousness is influenced by her personal experience in the past. She shares a story of being in a Tai Chi class where she learned how to be totally aware of her body and noticing how it felt to put her awareness to her ankles, for example. She became increasingly aware her body in day-to-day activities and in her surroundings.
Another factor that influenced her current passion is an experience of knowing how a specific body part is doing a great job performing its normal function until it fails to do what it was designed to do. It is at that instance that a person may begin to develop a heightened body consciousness.
Why Does Cultivating an Embodied Consciousness Matter?
People tend to treat the mind, body, and spirit as separate entities. Lynda's research and her work on embodied consciousness shows otherwise. They are an integrated whole. She talks of the integration of mind, body and spirit. This addresses our human wholeness, of who we are in totality, and in the fullness of being alive.
Lynda uses the term the embodied brain to remind us that the body also manifests neuronal connections – except they are connecting not in the brain – but in the body. The body is instrumental in helping us connect to our wholeness. The term embodied consciousness captures that development process.
Her teachings inspire us to develop consciousness of the body which is an essential process to grow the positive core of each and every person. This positive core, a term from Appreciative Inquiry is what helps us to connect to our strengths and the best of our past experiences so we can transcend and include the totality of all who we are – wounds and all. The connection to our positive core enables us to begin to dream more prophetically, act on those dreams and intuitions.
As in my previous episode, What Does It Mean To Embody, Lynda also talks of the book, The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk. Lynda offers us an interpretation:
The Body Keeps the Score. What does that mean? That means that the body, both our feelings, even if we think it (and we don't even do anything), the body is where the feelings live. The body holds our beliefs, our opinions. So it's very critical to have an appreciation of the heart and the body and feminine energy. All this has been happening in more than 20 years, but particularly and even now, right at a time in history when there's so much fear and so much hatred and so much chaos. If you're unconscious about what you're carrying, you're going to be run by that unconsciousness much more likely than if you have a non-judging awareness of what's going on in your body. It's critical.
Poetic Principle in Action
She calls us to put more attention to the things we entertain in our heads. To identify what is beneficial and what are impediments to growth. She encourages us to unlearn our old habits and relearn better ways of dealing with the daily operation of our lives. To eliminate the negativities and doubts and to be more open to possibilities and recognize our hidden capabilities.
What you focus on grows.
Why not grow towards the best version of yourself? This continued growth changes us in all ways: neurologically, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Three Practices to Integrate the Mind, Body, Spirit
The first step towards embodied consciousness is to recognize that the body is not a separate entity and that it is one with nature. It is one with everything and everyone that surrounds us. And most importantly:
You don't have a body. You are a body. – Dr. Lynda Klau
1. Breathing Teaches us to Be in Our Bodies
Here is a simple breathing exercise we can practice daily and will not consume a lot of our time.
This practice highlights the relationship between our emotions and breathing. The way we breathe is influenced by the emotions we feel. Likewise, our emotions can be controlled by the way we control our breathing.
It is important to realize how the nervous system is designed for different capabilities and functions. What we allow to dominate decides the course of how we run our lives. The majority of people allows the sympathetic nervous system to dominate. As a result, the PFO or fighting response is triggered. When that happens, the embodied consciousness takes the backseat.
To reverse this, Lynda emphasizes creating a shift using breathing exercises to activate the parasympathetic nervous system which is calming and allows for creativity to help us realize we have choices about our responses.
2. Body Scan To Understand Our Senses
This second practice enables us to become aware of what we're sensing in our body. The body scan allows us to feel the energy around us by activating all our senses. It is in that moment of doing a body scan that we recognize our personal roadblocks and self restrictions. We identify the source of these blocks and become more self-aware. You do this by closing your eyes and just check out what you are feeling from head to toe.
Self-awareness leads to the unity between the external world and our internal world. – Dr. Lynda Klau
Doing a body scan interrupts all the hindering thoughts running through our head. When we stop and breathe, we are taking some time out to compose our thoughts and emotions. This step is essential to ensure our reactions and actions are within our control especially when we are in the business world where we are expected to be professionally in control.
3. Bringing In Spirit
Lynda offered a third exercise of integrating the body, mind and spirit. She invites us to summon the energy of the earth and feeling it all, allowing that energy to flow freely to transform ourselves. The practice is to stand straight and let our feet feel the ground, go up above our head into the sky and feel the energy that's present there. Stay still and be consumed by the energy around. As we finish the exercise, we will feel renewed wisdom and uplifted spirit and touched to our very core.
Learn More About Embodied Consciousness
Lynda is designing a course about embodied consciousness that lives up to the spirit of what Oprah calls living our best selves. This work is nearing completion and if you want to get first-hand information, you can email Lynda directly and to put in the subject line YOUR COURSE. You can also go to her website, drlyndaklau.com and you'll see the course listed there when it's available.
Connect to Lynda
Resources Mentioned in this Show
Ice On Fire, documentary shown at Cannes Film Festival, 2019 and can be seen on HBO.