Updated: Sep 24, 2021
Discovering authenticity and so much more through the Non-Linear Movement Method®
The Body and connecting to its Wisdom
All my life I have been very active in sport and exercise as a source of play, competition, release, well-being, and community. Although I would consider the relationship I had with my body as ‘decent’, it was really about me using my body as a tool for performance and a vehicle for living my life. Which is fine...mostly. Mostly because there is so much more to the body than simply obeying commands.
“....remembering that the body is not just a vehicle that needs to be maintained (or disciplined) so that we can function; rather, it is a potent source of power, intuition, feeling and abundant pleasure.” - Micheala Boehm
The idea of the body being an ally and a source of intuition and wisdom were not new concepts but before committing to this practice, I knew that wasn’t in relationship with my body in a way that I could readily access these invaluable resources. In my life, I had periodically experienced “knowing” but not in a way that would provide regular guidance. Communication often flowed only one way. I didn't know how to listen to my body unless it was trying to communicate through pain or upset. I would respond to something being wrong or something I thought I should fix - all instances where I believed my body was letting me down. And emotions?!.. Most often when I had intense or confusing emotions, I felt betrayed by my body for the confusion, inconvenience, or disruption, instead of seeing it as valuable intel about whatever was going on in that moment. There was little trust between my body and me, but I actually didn’t even recognize any of this until I started to explore this practice of embodiment.
Embodiment can be defined as 'feeling the sensations that reveal the presence of the body, or a practice of bringing conscious awareness to the sensations that the body is producing'. It feels like a big term for such a simple act. But I think it is a big term because of its importance on the path of deeper self-discovery, and the unique wisdom held within.
The Non-Linear Movement Method® as a tool for Embodiment
When it comes to moving the body, so much of the way we move every day is structured and linear. The way we walk or run is linear, the way we move for sport is structured and often linear, and even in yoga, there is a specific way you are supposed to move into each pose. So, when does the body get a chance to move exactly as it wants to?
The Non-Linear Movement Method® (NLM) is a modality where movement is unstructured. It is a very simple practice that is self-guided, non-imposing, allowing you to become sensitized to what is happening within your body. Because NLM is self-generated, for me it feels like I am giving my body the space, and freedom to move exactly as it wants to. I don't have to understand it or question it, I can just tune in and move as the sensations or emotions that are showing up. This practice allows for authenticity because true authenticity shows up in the moment - it is not planned or strategic. As I move I follow my impulses, following the information that my body is providing. Here are just a few of the things I discovered in my first few months of daily practice;
A New Relationship with my Nervous System
I was surprised by how much NLM impacted my nervous system. I began to feel my nervous system in a way I never had - in the way it would react, respond, or try to regulate ongoing throughout each day. I could feel how my nervous system was dictated my emotional and relational habits. My NLM practice supported the processing and washing away of the regular energetic debris that I absorb daily. And very subtly, it also began clearing out a lot of old emotional debris that was stuck.
Feeling it All
NLM gave me a place to actually feel my feelings. I would move my body anytime I began to sense feelings arise, which allowed me to identify them more precisely. At first, I gave more attention to 'negative' feelings - to move them through and get rid of them. I was building my capacity to be with emotions like sorrow or frustration. But then I noticed a lack of sensing to, or allowing, for 'good' feelings like pleasure, well-being, or joy. Working into deeper and deeper layers of myself, I began to allow my body to explore a fuller range of my feelings. And slowly, at my own pace, it began to increase my ability to feel and my capacity to be with everything that was showing up.
A daily practice allowed me to observe how quickly things come and go through my body. And this gave me new insight in relating to change. Observing how much change happens in my body on a daily basis gave me a better ability to accept change as a whole. It has helped me to metabolize and integrate change - allowing the manifestation of flow.
There is so much more self-discovery, integration, and healing that can be facilitated in moving regularly in this way. NLM is a turning towards the truth of the body and having the capacity to meet it at any given moment. It is a way to tune in and explore the bodily system and its innate intelligence. It is a place for me to witness and respond, to hear and be guided, by the most important ally I will ever have...myself.