The Embodied Life: An Art Form of Messiness and Freedom

Hi.  Welcome to Bird & Babe--a website where I previously showcased design / illustration / website projects that I created with my husband and now where I share about a new type of art project: living an embodied life.  I am experiencing on a deep heart level (for me, the place where my mind, body, and spirit integrate) that there are two ways for me to engage with life:  one with judgment (where I am never filled and always expecting, and actually dependent on others) or one with compassion (where I am always finding my fulfillment in I Am, letting go, and finding my identity There).  While on paper this may sound obvious, I actually find in my heart that it is quite the challenge, since I am forced to look at how I engage with myself and others via my tone, word choice, facial expressions, and motivations.  Through the past almost ten years, I have embarked on a journey of examining and healing deep areas of woundedness in me, and I continue on in that journey today.  Sometimes living out of a place of health and other times acting out from a place of compulsion.  In other words, how I act is a direct correlation to my inner life.  For me, my understanding of spirituality is directly linked to this inner life and its out-workings.  A person recently told me, "Spirituality can only take place in relationship."  How true.  In relationship, I am confronted to apply my theological and spiritual understandings, principles, and personal learnings. So, what is 'an embodied life'?  For starters, I don't think there is a clean, decisive (rather cognitive) answer, but rather I think the question lies in experience and awareness.  I believe it also points to a larger one:  am I living solely out of my mind, or body, or 'spirit'?  Or am I able to live out from a place of integration (even though that 'place of integration' is also its own journey)?  In my personal perspective and experience in life and with God of my understanding, I believe an embodied life is a life that finds its most beautiful, deepest uniqueness in Christ, allowing the chance to heal from the decrepit contours of century-old ideas, familial generational wounds (that manifest themselves differently in each of us), and personal compulsions that secretly navigate one's choices, motivations, and desires.  A continuation of these patterns, in my view, is a host of reactionary behavior that actually disembodies, dismantles, and disintegrates one into a fragmented self rather than into a flourishing person.  It is through the courage to face ourselves holding hands with beautiful Love that I believe we each have the incredible opportunity to become aware of ourselves on much deeper levels than previously known.  We do not do this simply to present ourselves to a god of religion that inspects us or tells us whether we are right or wrong, but to integrate ourselves with Love itself--which then inherently touches and influences everything we do in life and why.  Love is internalized, not something to be pitted against.  My posts then may be about all aspects of my life--from a snapshot of what I'm cooking for dinner to sharing a deep experience I had in a dance class to a reflection on an experience or reading I had that day.  I engage with this posture of Love because my God is Love, and the God of my understanding is a big God.  Love not religion.  Love not manipulation.  Love not luck or chance.  He is a God that cares for the marginalized and the wounded.  He was marginalized and wounded.  He gives me--a woman--equality and dignity and heals my heart where my culture, 'faith', family, and self have not been readily able to do that.  He provides meaning to my vocation.  In essence, my experience over the past ten years has been a journey moving away from individualism and towards personhood.  For me, this happens at the deepest level when I'm dwelling in Christ, God incarnate.  When I have the courage to be vulnerable and intimate with the God of my understanding, I heal.  For me, I don't have a radical story of 'healing', but a slow and messy journey that is marked with openness, bravery, and continually remembering to dwell in Him rather than myself.  That is what I call living the 'embodied life'.

Thus, Bird and Babe's journal is about sharing my life lived out of this embodiment.  The saying when I lose my life I find it, summarizes for me the daily hospice I am as a dear friend and mentor once shared with me.  In taking things one day at a time, I find deep meaning and embodiment in Christ and as this friend of mine shared with me, I am clearing out the underbrush that prohibits joy to be received.  It means dwelling and swimming in a pool of Christ--where I am swimming in Compassion, Gentleness and Grace--and allowing myself to heal and be fed messages like, I am Unique.  A dear friend of mine recently challenged me to view myself as a Gift.  All this to say, when I am able to dwell in Love and sublimate myself in that, my hunch from what I have experienced so far, is that I will have less a posture of judgment (which is never mine to have anyways) and more a sense of real acceptance and compassion, starting with myself and moving out towards others.

So, welcome.  I invite you into my experience and process of living an art form of messiness and freedom.

With love, Jessica