What Is Conscious Embodiment?

Conscious Embodiment Logo

Wendy Palmer has taught Conscious Embodiment (CE) for 28 years. The workshop, which has an international following (it’s taught in the US, Europe, Canada, and South Africa), teaches us that everything about our bodies, the way we sit, the way we stand, the way we speak, even our energetics, affect the way we present ourselves to the world, the way we see ourselves, the way others see us–our habits.

In order to move past our habits we have to unravel them, which can take time.  But in the course of the unravelling and through the CE workshop you can learn to:

  • uncover the wisdom of your intuition
  • hold the big picture while attending to detail
  • experience stability and openness under pressure
  • deepen your capacity to listen and speak your truth
  • become an insightful leader
  • develop greater strength and gentleness
  • increase your capacity for dignity and generosity
  • have access to more energy*

CE draws from the practice of aikido to teach people how to be more aligned within themselves. The practices are very simple, anyone can do them, and yet they reveal profound bodily responses about how we are in the world. The CE Web site says it best:

“We inhabit a body that communicates and processes information on a sensory level far more encompassing than our cultural view leads us to believe. We have access to an immense intelligence that informs us through all of our multi-dimensional ways of being. Research has shown that 70% of communication is non-verbal. We are exchanging information all the time even when we are not speaking. Conscious Embodiment offers tools and practices for discovering how we communicate non-verbally and a way of accessing intuition – information that comes from intelligence beyond what is already known.”

Last month staff and board members of CXC/YES! had an opportunity to take a 2-day workshop with Wendy Palmer. We learned quite a bit. At the start of the workshop we all sat in a circle and were asked to introduce ourselves–think about the last time you did this, sat in a large group of people (probably at work) and introduced yourself. Were you a little nervous? What did you say? Do you remember how your voice sounded? I know I seldom listen closely to what other people are saying. My mind takes over, my body is gone.

As a way of introduction, Wendy asked us to take three deep breaths, to use that to settle into our bodies before we spoke, and then to just state our names. By the time we’d gone around the room I felt like everyone was THERE and that we were all open, ready to share whatever came up in the workshop. It made a profound difference in how we made our first connections to the work. We received it. We received each other.

One of the themes in the CE workshops is the idea of balancing power and love. In our online conversation Wendy mentioned a quote by Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic,” something she also mentioned in the workshop itself.

Explaining the King quote in terms of CE, she says, “An example of weak and anemic would be when we focus so much on consensus and making everyone feel comfortable that the individual–or the group–is incapable of taking action and so becomes stuck in the process of dialogue and agreement and misses the initiate effective change. An example of “reckless and abusive” would be when we get so focused in our own agenda that we lose the ability to suspend our position and look at another point of view. When a person or group is committed to dominating/controlling the outcome at the expense of hurting others.”  Power and love lets us include others while taking care of ourselves, something that as advocates for other people we all need to recognize and improve upon within ourselves.

CE gives the body a chance to speak, letting us align mind with body and spirit as a way carry our message out into the world.

Learn more about Conscious Embodiment here.

*from the CE Web site.


  1. Check out Conscious Embodiment’s new home at http://embodimentinternational.com and it’s new name:
    Leadership Embodiment

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