We, the practitioners of “Embodied practice”, talk about what is important to us - about us humans, our bodies and our relation with the body, about listening and hearing ourselves and what to do when we don’t feel well. We are talking about keys that open doors into friendship with the body and our own truth. We will talk about it in the future as well.
We often hear the word “authenticity”. What does it mean for us to be authentic, to live authentically, and what does authenticity mean to body therapists? This is the topic of our fourth talk on the podcast "The Body speaks".
* The opinions shared in this video are not medical advice and cannot replace a doctor’s consultation.
Ieva: Hello everyone. Here is the "Embodied Practice". Today you see Ernesta, Ingrida, Gediminas and me, Ieva, and today is our fourth conversation on the podcast "The Body Speaks". The topic that waited its turn and finally got here is Authenticity. We know that authenticity - this word - is used and widespread when we talk about some documents, some old things, like even the Turin Shroud, is it authentic or not authentic, there have been a lot of discussions. When we talk about so many, many things that are associated with something real. With what is the truth, with what is original. But, of course, we, as Integrative Bodywork and Movement Therapy practitioners, keep looking: so how is it, how is it with the body? How is it with movement and how is it with ourselves? The topic of authenticity, maybe Ingrida would like to start it?
Ingrida: Yes, of course. Hmm. When I meet authenticity, firstly the tension arises in that we are trying to adapt. Our tendency to adapt and be liked, and to be like everyone else, the desire to be accepted - that is simply very important to us. To be a part of something. And it is also very important for us to be authentic, to be and do as we think, it is important to be unique. And these two sides, they are both important to us. Authenticity, a sense of body authenticity, human authenticity - I try to come close to this word by realizing this dilemma in us: to be accepted, not to be who we want to be. At the same time, I understand that we are probably facing this dilemma (I don’t know if it is actually a dilemma) but then probably we face it in adolescence. We have a very important desire to be in a community, to be in society, to be recognized by our friends. And also at the same time we are looking for our individuality and sort of our own unique presence, unique desires, unique dreams, some way of life. It is at this point that I mostly meet authenticity in the general sense. Maybe at this point I will pass the word on to Gediminas, maybe you, Gediminas, know? I mean, what place do you meet with this word, what comes to you when you hear “authenticity”?
Gediminas: Yes. Authenticity is probably most vivid for me when we speak. In general, for me it’s as important a word as ... Ah, my headphones turned off ... As important a word as love, like the love for ourselves that we talked about last time. And these themes seem related to me, because for me, authenticity is about who you are. Love is the road to it. Authenticity is a quality. As I understand it. And in this case, I don’t even know if I could name, for example, who I am. For me, it’s a journey I discover every day, perhaps - anew. Because I am changing. Because there is that feeling when I touch it - that realness, the quality of realness. It reveals itself to me when I feel that I am connected to life, that I am what life wants from me. Maybe you can say it like that. In any case, one can only talk about it poetically. At least that’s just the way it goes for me. And this, basically the opposition that you Ingrida talked about, that tension between what our environment in which we grew up expects from us and what life itself wants from us, what manifests itself through us, through our nature. So, this is the place where that authenticity is alive. And here you can move on to the body. Because for me, my body eventually became a window or door to exactly that authentic connection with myself. Because the body, unlike our thoughts - we live often in our thoughts, or even emotions often - the body is the only place where we truly are always authentic. The body is always alive and always connected to life and expresses it. So that much about the body. And I pass the word on to Ernesta. How do you meet authenticity?
Ernesta: When I hear the word authenticity and I hear the word uniqueness, somehow just while hearing Ingrida speaking, it seems that these two words stand in opposition for me. That for me, authenticity, even when I remember studying the Discipline of Authentic Movement, is when I come into space with all that is in me right now, and I travel into the body with my eyes closed. And at that point, sometimes I remember myself running a lot, sometimes I remember myself rolling on the floor, sometimes I remember myself cowered and sitting, sometimes I remember myself releasing a sound. And I ... I experience authenticity and I also hear Gediminas' words “how life manifests through me”. And authenticity, while speaking now, is here for me and I can say that it’s not about my uniqueness, not about my exclusiveness. Authenticity is what is happening to me in the present moment. And I feel the excitement now. And for me, it’s authenticity. I’m talking and I hear my thought: “Ernesta, you don’t know what you will say next.” And that’s authentic to me too. Authentic is what is here, right now, now with me. And while speaking I make a discovery, that it’s authentic - what is now, in the present, and what manifests through me: my sound, the movements of my hands, my excitement. Yes, and at the same time maybe I am unique because I don’t see you doing the same. So at some point, uniqueness and authenticity may go hand in hand. Ieva, you asked us the question, do you have an answer now?
Ieva: I’ve been looking for an answer for a couple of days, I’ve been with this topic for a couple of days. Paid more conscious attention to this topic. And just one very wonderful realization has happened that not only our presence in general can be authentic, not just some of our qualities and we as human beings, but simply our authentic existence in every moment, even from a bodily perspective. Because the body is an infinitely complex system with so many things going on, every second that nervous system arduously works. The cardiovascular system too, the lymphatic system as well, same with the digestive tract - many many billions of those cells. They work every moment. And when I look more closely, I realize that the way I sense every second is different. The authenticity of a second seems to me a very, very big gift when you try to catch it and look. And also the theme of my authenticity in the body. It has a lot to do with those real deep needs of the body and hearing them. The ones that need space. And when Ernesta talks about the fact that she is talking now and she feels certain feelings even from the thought that she will have nothing to say, I see that we now have some space in which that manifestation of authenticity can arise and be born. So in search for authenticity in myself, I found that safe space, my own safe space, is very important to me. And I discovered a recipe, a very simple recipe, to put away all the computers, all the work, all the phones, all the calls, have nothing for a while, no distractions around. To be with myself just for a set amount of time, let it be an hour, let it be (it’s already luxurious) 3 hours when I will go, walk, lie, do, dance - I will do whatever my body wants to do at that time. It is such an authentic presence that it recharges a lot. Such is my experience. Would anyone like to add anything?
Ingrida: I’m thinking, to just continue your topic, sometimes a safe space, an empty space, seems very important to me as well. An empty space in the sense of a space that would not be distracting. Sometimes I really like to observe an empty space and then one sees very clearly, sees that authenticity. What I mean by that - when I go, for example, into a space that is safe, it’s very important for me not to just be and somehow reflect myself and to not only see what is rising within but also to allow the body to move. And at the same time it is important to see. And this is such a delicate moment. Because that uniqueness, authenticity, it manifests itself in every moment through us. But sometimes it’s very hard to spot it, sometimes then we don’t even know where is our authenticity, where is our uniqueness, even though it manifests itself in every moment through the body, through us, all our processes. Another recipe that helps me is in those moments when I move, when I lie down, when I do what I want without any distractions, computer, phone and the like, to then try to remember. And to try to remember not very specifically what I did and what I didn’t do but rather to allow those memories to come to me, not to put an effort to remembering something but rather take time after some movement: that here is the moment when I allow those memories to come back, the experience to come back to me. To meet that experience once more. The nuances of the movement that come back may be very simple, like some way of raising your arm or lying down in a very natural or unnatural position - maybe the legs were raised somehow - and try to remember very specific details about how my uniqueness, my authenticity manifested in that moment. It helps me a lot to do that through the body. Not only remember what images I saw, or what I did, it helps to remember how the body was at that moment. And then add all that experience of that moment to that body position. It’s another thing that helps me meet authenticity and to see it. Maybe some of you have something else, Ernesta, Gediminas? Some practical experience related to authenticity.
Gediminas: When Ievutė spoke, I remembered one more thing that’s important to me. It’s the fact that authenticity is not static. It’s not something that is constant. It is the way it is. And the way I am, that’s who I am. Just like life itself, we are ever changing. And at every moment we are different. So I perceive authenticity not as some kind of frame in which I live, but as a flow. I flow, and my body, in fact, the body is also like a river. When I listen to my body and all those small sensations: it hurts somewhere, there’s tension there, relaxation somewhere, some place there is a contraction or the opposite - an expansion… The way the body manifests itself at that time is exactly the way the body is. And that is where life is, capturing the moment that follows another moment - catching where it is most alive now. Where I sense most now. Perhaps I feel something happening in the abdominal area, perhaps something in the shoulders, maybe something got relaxed in the shoulders after breathing in there a little. Or maybe I now suddenly feel like I’m no longer sensing my feet and what does this mean? And for me, I feel the biggest trust in those feelings and that journey happens when I feel like I’m somewhere, where I no longer understand, I can no longer name what’s going on with me. Because, for example I feel in the body, that the body wants to raise the arm and I don’t know what that movement means, but I feel like I’m feeling better when doing it. I feel fuller, I feel like I am expressing something that wants to be expressed. Those are the moments where I search in life, in general, and they are very, very close to what we call authentic, the way I understand authenticity.
Ernesta: I somehow hear clearly, I hear talking about the fact that authenticity isn’t a fixed thing after all, authenticity doesn’t have a list and a description as I’ve imagined even all the way up to this conversation. That authenticity, I can describe it, write it down, put it into drawers and say - here is authenticity, my authenticity. Guys, look, read, here, here - Ernesta is authentic here. And the more I hear you, the more I listen to myself speak, I see that authenticity is in the now, in this moment. Authenticity in my experience has no list, it has no description and no fixation. This. Somehow I feel like it’s relaxing for me, very relaxing. Well, damn, maybe I am great, very cool, very smart but even that has no fixation, basically nothing has fixation and I don’t have to have some sort of list, which, if shown to others, would count and I would be accepted. The conversation about authenticity relaxes me. And I experience change and I accept the fact that today I speak like this, another day I can perhaps speak differently. And, as Gediminas says, I want to extend my arm for some reason and I allow it to be stretched out. That’s fun. But not because while talking and allowing myself to reach out, I feel in some way unique or there is something exceptional out there. It's not this. For me, there is a distinction between words unique, exclusive, and that authenticity, it has no fixation. Thanks a lot, it’s a huge discovery for me, really.
Ieva: I see smiles on the faces. Probably with that beautiful smile we can allow ourselves to flow further into the day and to wish for those, who were watching and listening to us, to have a beautiful day, unless there is something you would like to add?
Gediminas: Everything went very beautifully for me, we made a few rounds. I also feel differently after our sharing.
Ernesta: My body feels some shivers and my fur is standing upright.
Ieva: Indeed very nice and fun. In a word, what can we wish for people: flow, raise your arms, your legs, fall and make somersaults if you need it, if such impulses occur in the body. And listen, listen to the body, it will tell a lot. So, my dears, thank you lots and lots and we will see each other in next conversations. Maybe someday when they let us see each other in person, we will make some kind of Authentic Movement workshop or activity, we’ll do something like that for sure. And if you want to see more of what we do and to connect with us online, or in any other way, there are all sorts of meditations and other things, follow the podcast the BODY SPEAKS, our Facebook group and our page “Embodied practice” (embodiedpractice.lt ). Also the page on Facebook Ikunyta_Praktika and Instagram account Ikunyta_Praktika. See you! BYE!
Ingrida, Gediminas, Ieva ir Ernesta - practitioners of Integrative Bodywork and Movement practice in EMBODIED PRACTICE. Their work is aimed at people who are looking for ways to discover and experience themselves anew and to deepen an authentic relation with self and the world. It also benefits those willing to find grounding, exploring possibilities for self-care, listening to their true needs and remember what it means to be comfortable in one‘s own skin.