We all know someone who doesn’t look like a magazine model, but is confident – and as a result, seriously sexy. Or we have a friend who’s open, empathic – and drop-dead gorgeous because of it. Or maybe we know a leader who has presence, gravitas or charisma which makes them attractive in a way that transcends six-packs or make-up.
We’ve been sold a lie about beauty being skin deep, and frankly, this is insulting. The fact that what makes someone really attractive goes beyond media distortions is perhaps obvious. The next part, however, might be new: through embodied practice, you can easily reveal a way of being that really makes a person sexy. The capacities involved are critical for life, anyway, and easily outweigh the physical factors that half the world feels are so important.
This article says screw the media lies, forget the botox and the slickly marketed status symbols; here’s how you unleash ‘inner’ beauty. It’s not really about building something new, but about fully expressing how we’re attractive anyway. Some might have rejected beauty completely, or say it’s completely in the eye of the beholder. But let’s be honest: wide agreement DOES exist, and who doesn’t love great sex or want to be attractive in one way or another?
‘Embodiment’ refers to relating with the body as an integral part of who we are; not to the body as an object of athleticism or surface beautification. I’ve been involved with embodiment for about twenty years, since I started combining psychology and the martial art of aikido at university. I’ve been running an embodiment training company for the last nine years, working with businesses (www.integrationtraining.co.uk), NGOs in war zones (www.resiliencetraining.eu), ‘alternative’ practitioners such as yoga teachers (www.embodiedyogaprinciples.com), and a lot of other coaches and trainers (this site). I’ve applied embodiment to facilitation, leadership, stress management and a host of other areas.
What I quickly saw was that state management techniques, like centring – which was designed to reduce stress – also instantly made people lovelier. Relaxed, confident, open and connected people are attractive. Who would have figured? What’s more, I saw that long-term embodied practice made students more and more gorgeous. On EFC, our year-long train the trainer course, it’s quite obvious that the whole group is getting yummier (despite the fact they aren’t trying to work on this; they’re actually working on their embodiment in order to be better facilitators). Similarly, I’ll often coach an executive to increase confidence; and he’ll mention his wife’s increased sexual interest; or I’ll be supporting someone to develop more emotional intelligence, and all of a sudden, people start asking her out.
Eventually, some clients started asking me help them specifically with this attractiveness. I designed an online course, as it’s a vulnerable area and people are often shy face-to- face. Here are some of the top attractiveness factors, though it’s more complicated than this due to things such as polarity typology, culture, developmental level etc. These basics are all trainable with embodied practice.
- The first step is to get in your body. This alone makes a huge difference to how sexy you’ll feel and seem.
- Exercise: Feel your body now!
- Long term development practice: Commit to any mindful movement practice like yoga, conscious dance or tai chi, and practice embodied meditation.
- VIDEO: Body scan meditation
- Be a good person. Violence is ugly.
- Exercise: Wish yourself and others well. Think of someone who makes you smile inside.
- Long term: Work with a system of ethics as an ongoing awareness practice.
- VIDEO: Metta meditation
- Who doesn’t find confidence attractive? This is a big one.
- Exercise: Stand tall and ‘take space’.
- Long term: Take up a martial art or extreme sport where you can practice embodied courage.
- VIDEO: Taking space
- Panic isn’t attractive. Non-reactivity (balanced with play and expression) is.
- Exercise: Relax your jaw and belly. Breathe.
- Long term: Commit to a practice like yoga or martial arts that involves relaxing under pressure.
- VIDEO: Centring
- Being ‘radiant’ or ‘shiny’ is not magic and does not come from shampoo or make up. It is hot.
- Exercise: Imagine you’re a light bulb shining or a glow worm’s butt radiating light (credit to Paul Linden here).
- Long term: do the exercise daily
- VIDEO: How to look awesome
- In a world that doesn’t listen, someone who does is deeply attractive.
- Exercise: Open and soft your body. Pay full attention to someone else; listening without judgement or interruption.
- Long term: Commit to an embodied relational practice like aikido or partner dance.
- VIDEO: Embodied listening
- People who’ve loved, lost and really experienced life deeply are more attractive than those who’ve lived on the surface.
- Exercise: Ask yourself what you care about right now. What matters?
- Long term: Face your death and find your purpose.
Top tips to find your purpose
Playfulness and emotional expression
- Embodied is expressive and playful. This isn’t all about self-control and becoming centring robots. When we say someone is ‘fully alive’, this is what we mean. And guess what? It’s hot.
- Exercise: Go dancing, shake your arse, let it all hang loose, scream, shout and cry.
- Long term: Take up improv comedy.
- VIDEO: Play
There’s many more I could add here. I’ve identified thirty capacities that only have partial overlap, I haven’t talked about fierceness or gratitude as two extras for example. There’s also much more I could say on developing a steady practice, but hopefully there’s enough here to help kick start you. Beauty, and attraction specifically, is a really big part of life that can bring a lot of benefits or us, our loved ones and the world, so I wish you well unleashing it.
For more on embodied attraction, see: Beauty Black Belt
For a deep take on embodiment for professionals, see the rest of this site. The free e-books are a great place to start.