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UP #43: Embodiment Is Enlightenment With Toni Bergins

UP #43: Embodiment is Enlightenment with Toni Bergins

If you were to think of one powerful method to release old hurts, emotional baggage, future worries and outdated memories that keep you trapped in feelings of lack, limitation, and low self worth, what would it be?

For many people, the go-to answer is therapy or counseling – a typical response from the status quo bag of conditioned tricks. Traditional therapy evokes images of an ambient office, a cozy chair, and endless appointments with a kind stranger who profits from your pain. A stereotypical generalization but as “they” say, stereotypes exist for a reason.

I’m sure that therapy has its place, but I’ve always been someone who looks outside of the box for solid solutions far removed from the cultural norm. Therapy keeps us trapped within the limited realm of the mind which is why it is painfully slow and often offers few tangible benefits.

If there are any traditional therapists seething from my words, please hear me out – I’m not completely knocking what you do. What I am saying is that there are better methods, faster methods and more effective methods to expedite the healing journey in ways that completely bypass the cumbersome analysis of the intellect. When we get out of our heads, connect with our bodies, breathe and move, magic happens.

So what if I told you that there was a more effective way to turbo charge your healing journey and it has nothing to do with talking, nothing to do with thinking, and nothing to do with resurrecting old wounds into your conscious awareness. What if I told you that by losing your mind, getting your groove on, and fully connecting with your body, you can heal yourself in lightning speed revealing a more powerful, authentic, and loving you in the process.

**spoiler alert…dance. Read on…**

Here’s an interesting nugget of information; the body processes information at an unfathomable 3 trillion cellular interactions per second whereas the mind can only process 7 +/- 2 bits of information at any given time. That’s not even per second. This is why we need to make lists. For most people, lucky number seven of anything is all we can manage before the intellect craps out. The intellect makes a terrific servant but a lousy leader. Imagine if we had to think about every heartbeat and every breath; if we had to think about digesting our food, blinking our eyes, or growing our hair. The body is the magnificent gift that helps us move through the world without thought. It’s also a powerful energy processor (read emotions) when we mentally get out of the way and allow it to work its magic. The body is an amazing creation that is constantly processing the information and physical processes that bring us to life.

If we had to intellectually manage everything that the body does intuitively, we wouldn’t be long in this world. The intellect is often a serious deterrent to our personal growth with its sloth-like processing speed. This is why traditional talk therapy can drag on for years. It’s about remaining within the confines of the mind while talking circles around lifelong issues and long suppressed emotions which were never properly expressed.

Talk-based therapy models are all about what happened, how it happened, and why it happened – never really allowing what once was to just move through. When we lose the need to know and simply accept that sh*t happens, we expand our consciousness. With this expansion comes an openness for new possibilities to emerge.

When we have specific thoughts, an emotional circuit is triggered and numerous chemicals are released throughout our body in response. Here’s the deal, the body takes a mere 90 seconds to flush these chemicals until the emotional feeling passes. This is called the 90-second rule. So why then is it that some emotions continue to plague us? Well, at this point it’s no longer the original emotion, rather, it’s an emotional response triggered by a thought. In other words, we can feel stuck in an emotional response each time we choose to replay a particular moment or event in our minds. Every time we mentally replay that moment, we charge up the circuitry in our brains and release a fresh physiological response. This is how we trap ourselves in an infinite emotional loop. We can choose the story and stay hooked by the event or we can choose to release the emotion just as easily as it rose into our consciousness. As NLP co-founder Richard Bandler says, “who’s driving your bus?”.

Two of the most powerful methods for regaining control are breath and movement.

So I ask you again, what if there is an alternative way to turbo charge your spiritual journey towards the greater version of who you are meant to be and it has nothing to do with anything you could ever think of?

Well guess what? There is an alternative way to turbo charge your spiritual/healing journey that is overwhelmingly effective. I’ve experienced it to boot so I can vouch for its efficacy.

What I’m speaking of is free flow cathartic movement through dance – the language of the soul.

Through the judgement-free, unrestricted movement of dance, we become fully embodied and present – meaning we are no longer shackled by the confining thoughts in our minds. Through free flow dance, we allow what’s trapped emotionally to move through our bodies at lightning speed in a way that can never be replicated in mind based talk therapy.

Last summer I attended a transformative workshop at the Omega institute in upstate New York led by the Sierra Bender (episode #5, #41, and #42). Midway through the workshop, Sierra introduced a special guest to lead us through 3 amazing hours of laughter, sweat, cathartic movement and dance. This special guest happens to be this week’s Unplug podcast guest. Toni Bergins, is the the founder of the powerful movement modality called JourneyDance™. Through JourneyDance™, Toni has helped thousands of people find a new sense of self-esteem, inner wisdom, emotional health, a spiritual practice, and well-being. She leads an international team of hundreds of JourneyDance™ Teachers, spreading joy and passion for life. How awesome is that!

This week’s interview is energy charged, raw, honest, passionate, funny, and highly activated.

Toni and I dig into topics such as:

• How status quo places pressure on what we “should” become rather than who we already are.
• How the educational system teaches us to integrate into a fast moving system of conformity.
• How our wounds often become our healing.
• When we listen to what the body needs to do, that’s when we’re on the right path.
• What is it that really brings you joy?
• How emotional expression is essential to life.
• What is it that prevents you from unplugging from status quo?
• You cannot live from the neck up and the power of mind busting.
• Making peace with our mind by asking “how does this thought make me feel?”
• What is true self care?
• How self care = self preservation.
• How becoming more empty than full is the path towards our higher self.
• Emotion (all emotion) leads to inspiration.
• Awakening your intuitive body.
• How intuition and the body are intricately intertwined.

The JourneyDance™ experience with Toni was cathartic. It was healing. It was primal. It was energizing and it was fun. By the end of it I felt deeply connected to myself as well as to everyone who was part of this incredible journey. There was a unity of oneness created through the powerful simplicity of music and dance.

The entire experience was unlike anything I’d ever experienced and it reminded me of how dance has always connected me to my soul.

Toni herself is a fireball. Leading these powerful journeys is witnessing a woman in her element. It’s obvious that Toni has fully embodied her purpose.

This week I dare you to let go and open your mind and heart to the profoundly simple, yet powerful wisdom of Toni Bergins.

The JourneyDance™ Story

C2C Happy (aka, time to DANCE!)


This week’s inspired invitation is to pay close attention to your repetitive thought patterns and notice how these thoughts make you feel in your body. Remember, you can deflate them as easily as you inflated them.


• JourneyDance™ website.
• JourneyDance™ on Facebook.
• Toni Bergins on Facebook.
• Toni Bergins on Twitter.

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