Feeling at Home In Your Body: Prentis Hemphill on Healing Through Embodiment - Jen Hatmaker

Feeling at Home In Your Body: Prentis Hemphill on Healing Through Embodiment

“Somatics is the study of how our experiences and traumas live in the body. It’s also a story of how our bodies can be resilient.” – Prentis Hemphill

Episode 01

Do you struggle to feel truly at home in your body? We’re here to tell you; that it is possible. Our episode this week is a topic we return to often because we just can’t hear it enough; how we can heal our connections to our bodies. We have author and embodiment expert, Prentis Hemphill on the show, and she and Jen explore the idea of healing through embodied practices. 

Prentis shares poignant insights from their work in the Black community processing racial trauma through reconnecting to embodied cultural practices. Here’s another piece of good news–when you heal your connection to your body, you present a vision of embodied healing that radiates outward – from ourselves to our communities. That in turn can transform oppressive cultures through grounded love. The possibilities are endless when we take agency over our bodies!

Jen and Prentis discuss:

  • the definitions of somatic practices and embodied healing
  • the role of embodiment in individual healing, processing trauma, and developing resilience
  • the connection between individual embodied healing work and the potential for broader cultural/societal healing and transformation
  • the lack of short-term optimism for societal change, but how unshakable faith rooted in human connection and community will eventually turn the tide
Episode Transcript

Hey, everybody. Jen Hatmaker here, your host of the For the Love podcast. Welcome to the show.

Today we’re getting into a concept that I keep revisiting on the podcast because I’m passionate about it and because it’s changed my relationship with my own body. It’s this idea of embodiment. You’ve heard me talk about it quite a bit on here. It’s just not anything I’ve ever known. This is nothing I was ever taught. As an adult, it’s been a struggle to inhabit my body in joy, in love, in gratitude and I had the opposite message of that my whole life. Feeling truly at home inside our bodies is a process but it is possible. Today we’re talking with someone who has been working as a therapist and as an embodiment expert for years. From their bio, “Prentis is inviting us on a journey to find what it takes to heal — to heal histories of oppression, to heal our relationships with each other and the land, and to heal our connection to our bodies.” It’s a tall order. This is revolutionary work that could change, not just our individual lives, but it can change our communities and our culture.

Prentis Hemphill is a writer, embodiment facilitator, political organizer, and therapist. They’re the founder and director of The Embodiment Institute and The Black Embodiment Initiative, and we’ll talk about both. They’ve served as the healing justice director of the Black Lives Matter Global Network from 2016 to 2018. Their work and writing have appeared in The New York Times, and Huffington Post. Prentis is a contributor to “You Are Your Best Thing,” which is edited by Tarana Burke and Brené Brown. Also “Holding Change” by Adrienne Maree Brown and the “Politics of Trauma” by Stacey Haynes. Prentis’s debut book, “What It Takes to Heal,” will be published by Penguin Random House this June. This conversation is right in the wheelhouse of what I am working on right now and what I am continuing to learn right now — my craving to live joyfully and presently in my own body, and to operate from that space in strength, leadership, and integrity. What I love about this conversation is the way Prentis weaves this idea of sort of individual embodiment with community healing and cultural healing. Yes, some of this is personal work, but it’s truly realized in the community. It is truly demonstrated in cultural healing. We’re all in this together. I believe that and I’ve experienced that. Please, enjoy this amazing discussion. I am delighted to welcome Prentis to the For the Love podcast. 

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