Each month we will be highlighting a member of our Embody Teaching Team. This month, we are featuring Cara Viana Hollenbeck. Cara is just the best. What can I say? Honest to God one of my favorite humans. She’s been teaching movement for a gajillion years and has the gift of making it accessible and grounded and fun for everyone. She’s teaching Embody at retreats and in the Fort Collins, CO area.
Cara is a teacher, healer, gifted intuitive, and coach. She practices playful spirituality and helps bring you back into connection with the broader essence of who you are. In her loving, humorous, and often irreverent way, she welcomes you home to the newest version of you. Cara speaks your deepest truth while laughing in delight at your inner brilliance. She is a master at making you feel loved and seen so finding the place of transformation and breakthrough feels gentle and easy. Cara believes in owning our superpowers.
Cara is a teacher to her core. Her meditation courses, women’s retreats, readings, masterminds, and private coaching provide you with a life-long toolbox of energy techniques that will diminish your hurdles and empower you to navigate daily life like a ninja of joy. Check out her work at caraviana.com
Shutdown. Denial. Dissociation.
These are our biggest enemies.
Numbing out. Repressing. Disconnecting.
These will close our hearts.
And if we are warriors of divine love, this contraction is how we lose our superpowers.
Let’s not give them that power.
Short periods of shut down can happen to all of us. That’s ok. Sometimes, we need a moment to sink into the shit so it can fuel something deeper. Most of the weekend, I laid in a haze of trauma fog and a puddle of heartache feeling all my chronic pain… from the place in my body that still holds the unwanted touch of a stranger to the cells in my body that still hold onto the shame, guilt, and anger of countless violations.
But the key is not to stay there. Because that’s when you solidify the shutdown and it turns into depression, chronic pain, isolation, life-threatening disease.
Our bodies are a map of all our experiences, the magical openings and the deadening offenses, the experiences of our lives and the experiences of our maternal ancestors who live in our DNA.
No matter how or where you find your unique expression, moving your body is the key to your liberation. Embodying your truth is the revolution.
Yesterday, after I completed my Kundalini practice, my body commanded me to dance. She asked me not to keep her shackled in the prison she’s been in for years. She asked me to trust her movements, her leadership, her sensations. My mind didn’t want to. I wanted to stay slumped over and sad. I wanted to stay in a depressed heap of angry, victimized thoughts.
But I’ve worked with my body enough years to trust her and her impulses. And I’ve worked long enough with my mind to know when my thoughts aren’t serving me.
And so I slowed down. I connected to my breath. My heart. My curves. The anger in my fingers and toes. And I allowed myself to embrace the messy, unchoreographed journey of my body’s truth. I allowed myself to follow every single honest impulse.
And this video is what came out.
My invitation to you sisters, today, and always, is to allow your body a dance of reclamation. At a time when our bodies continue to be pawns in the political patriarchal power play, the claiming of your own embodiment is your biggest superpower.
Many years ago, Viktor Frankl wrote: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
Today, I say: “Everything can be taken from a woman but one last thing: her embodied truth.” They can put us in cages but they can’t stop us from dancing within them. Don’t let them convince you that they have that power. Your relationship with your body’s sensations, her pleasures, her pain, her passion is yours and only yours. No one can take that away from you.
Gaslighting, especially the collective kind that often happens in dystopian scenarios can really mess with your mind. It can have you question your truth to the point of insanity. However, if your relationship to your sensations, your intuition, your body as a compass of truth is strong enough, nothing around you will have you doubt your truth. THAT IS YOUR SUPERPOWER.
If you shut down, if you allow the bitterness to penetrate into your muscles and your fascia, you are recreating their external cage in your physiology. If you let yourself disconnect, you are surrendering your divine weapon. If you let yourself numb out for too long, you are resigning your innate power.
So today, get up and join me. Join me in reclaiming your embodiment. Let’s dance and move through the rage, through the disappointment, through the fear, through the disgust. Alchemize the emotion into fire, into sovereignty, into freedom. Let’s continuously tap back into the feeling of our embodied truth.
I love you.
P.S. Spots for coaching with me in the new year are filling up! If you are feeling the call to free yourself of all this BS and get back to a place of remembering your essence and embodying your truth, reach out.
I don’t care about having a perfectly curated instagram profile.
I don’t care about the consistency in which I post about my epiphanies.
I don’t care about sharing my clients’ results with you to prove to you I’m good at what I do.
I don’t care about the likes, the shares, the followers, the retweets.
I don’t care about your formulas, your pressure to have me constantly strategize every fucking step.
In fact, I feel violated by it.
The truth is everything in the world feels like a violation right now.
And I’m suddenly hyperconscious to all of it.
How every single piece of our modern life is constructed to revere the toxic masculine.
How every single system perpetuates suffering.
How every single paradigm asks us to walk away from our truth.
We are pressured to sell or consume.
We are pressured to prove or show up prim, proper and polite.
We are pressured to pretend.
And I’m on my knees because I just can’t do it anymore.
In my body it feels like a gun is constantly being pointed at my head. Like there is simply no way to survive if you don’t succumb to some (or all) of these pressures. Like I’m in an abusive relationship with my business.
But when I really sit with it, I KNOW my business is NOT what’s abusive. It is the system she has to survive in. Similar to an abusive partner, the root of the problem is not them, it’s the world they grew up in.
The reality is my business is my partner these days. I feel nurtured and supported by her as much as I feel completely imprisoned. We fight a lot. We negotiate a lot. And there have been times where I have threatened to walk away. And yet, each time she pulls me back in.
It feels abusive. But when I look at what Embody is doing for the world, I know this isn’t true. We are bound for life. She has been changing the lives of hundreds of womxn and soon that will be thousands. She’s trying to survive, to bloom, to flourish but keeps getting trampled. Her essence is feminine and yet she is trying to show up in the world as a masculine entity. And we are both suffering as a result. Every few months, something new shifts little by little as we deepen into our true identity as a partnership, as a movement and as a philosophy. And my devotion remains. Because devoting myself to Embody is devoting myself to a world that allows the feminine to coexist with the masculine in embodied union.
Here’s what I know:
I stand for alignment to your truth.
I stand for sensual nourishment and embodied power.
I stand for permission to show up in your full range.
I stand for feminine flow and cyclical living.
I stand for a remembering of our primal bodies and instincts.
I stand for connection and community, not competition.
I stand for pleasure not painfully controlled strategies.
I stand for loving our messy and dark as much as our playful and shiny.
I stand for cultivating my own capacity to hold pleasure, pain, power and play in my body so that I can be a container for you to cultivate your own capacity.
I stand for investing in my own coaches, not a new fancy website.
I stand for working the soil of my emotional body not what outfit I’m going to wear in my branding shoot.
I stand for deep connection to your soul and your purpose, not promises of a 6 figure business.
I want you to feel free to show up in your wholeness.
I want you to grant yourself permission to spend time and money in seeing yourself, discovering who you truly are.
I want you to deepen into a feeling of peace and faith that surpasses likes and shares and all the other noise out there.
I want you to hear the music that lives inside you.
I want you to taste the joy of your own song.
I want you to smell the scent of your own poetry.
I want you to touch the impossible
And see the beauty that is your heart.
It starts with you and me working together but it’s bigger than just our realities. This is about a revolution, a ripple effect in the world. By showing up in your sovereignty, your pleasure and your unapologetic truth, you are granting permission to others to do the same. This is what keeps me going even in the moments when I feel I have a gun pointed at me. In fact, even more so. It lights a goddamn fire under my ass to make the changes I want to see in the world THIS LIFETIME. It’s time.
In the first half of 2019, I’m taking on only FIVE 1:1 coaching clients in order to focus on the bigger vision of Embody as a feminine business and feisty change-maker that plans to help topple the patriarchy. I’m booking these clients starting now.
If you identify as a womxn leader and rebelle and are feeling a deep pull to work with a guide like myself, and you are ready for a no-BS mirror that expands your presence, your power and your pleasure in this world, I’m ready for you. Let’s chat.
(Please know that my style of coaching has a much range as I do. In devotion of your growth, I am equal parts super nurturing as well as a tough mirror to your blind spots. I do not coddle, do any accountability coaching or excuse misalignment. I only work with leaders & change-makers who believe that investing in themselves is the way to change the world.)