Practices for Embodied Living

Experiencing the Wisdom of Your Body

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Pub Date 16 Jan 2024 | Archive Date 02 Feb 2024

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In The Wisdom of Your Body, clinical psychologist and award-winning researcher Hillary McBride explored the ways many of us inherit a broken understanding of the body and offered a more compassionate, healthy, and holistic perspective on embodied life. In this follow-up book, McBride takes the principles of The Wisdom of Your Body and puts them into action in practical, tangible ways.

Practices for Embodied Living offers an experiential guide--centered on prompts, activities, and opportunities for reflection--to support readers who want to practice embodiment. This approachable, visually stimulating book helps individuals and groups resist cultural myths about ideal bodies, get in touch with the goodness of their bodies, and more fully inhabit themselves.

Topics include disembodiment, stress and trauma, sexuality, body image, pain and illness, oppression, and more. Each topic includes various exercises to help readers restore the mind-body connection.

In The Wisdom of Your Body, clinical psychologist and award-winning researcher Hillary McBride explored the ways many of us inherit a broken understanding of the body and offered a more...

Advance Praise

Praise for Hillary McBride

“No single leader has impacted my concept of healthy embodiment more than Hillary McBride. Her work fundamentally changed the way I talk about, think about, treat, and cherish my own body. We will be talking about McBride’s work for decades.”—Jen Hatmaker, New York Times bestselling author of Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire and Of Mess and Moxie; host of the For the Love podcast

“Hillary McBride is the gentle and powerful voice that calls us back home to ourselves.”—Kate Bowler, Duke Divinity School; author of No Cure for Being Human

“I am grateful for Dr. Hillary McBride, who has the ability to bring together both the spirit and the body through research and her personal experience to show us how our body can also be our teacher.”—Richard Rohr, OFM, Center for Action and Contemplation

“McBride is not only informative but encouraging and vulnerable.”—Arielle Estoria, poet, author, and artist

“McBride’s insights are a gift.”—Kaitlin Curtice, author of Living Resistance

“Hillary is such a worthy guide, the kind you can trust in the most dangerous wildernesses of your body and soul and mind.”—Sarah Bessey, author of Jesus Feminist, editor of the New York Times bestseller A Rhythm of Prayer

“Hillary McBride has this magic in her personal life and clinical work that disarms you. She gives you insights, keys, and practices to fall in love with yourself.”—Lisa Gungor, musician, author, and co-conspirator of Sacred Feminine

“Hillary McBride has changed my life through her combination of powerful intelligence and extraordinary tenderness.”—Mari Andrew, author of My Inner Sky

“McBride’s words are a gift to the world.”—Ruthie Lindsey, speaker and author of There I Am

Praise for Hillary McBride

“No single leader has impacted my concept of healthy embodiment more than Hillary McBride. Her work fundamentally changed the way I talk about, think about, treat, and...

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ISBN 9781587436246
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Featured Reviews

Thank you Brazos Press + Baker Publishing Group for the advanced copy!!!!!!! This book is a BEAUTIFUL companion to The Wisdom of Your Body, providing practical exercises that coincide with the personal experience, research, and knowledge Hillary previously shared. I look forward to continually coming back to this and incorporating these activities both into my personal life and therapeutic work with my clients.

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A great book that could be used as a companion guide to McBride's The Wisdom of Your Body. It's filled with questions that can be used alone or within a group setting.

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Practices for Embodied Living is an "experiential guide" to help readers who want to practice embodiment. The book is written to be used by individuals, therapists or leaders of groups. Dr. McBride's revolutionary book, The Wisdom of Your Body, is useful as complementary material to Practices for Embodied Living.

I found the exercises that Dr. McBride describes to be simple and well explained. An individual could incorporate these practices on their own or as part of a group. These practices are presented in a way that will empower readers to heal their relationship with their body. This book is designed as a manual of practices. Thus the true power of this book will not come from reading through the book; the true power will be realized by incorporating the practices into an individual's life.

Thank you to Baker Academic & Brazos Press and NetGalley for an advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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This book is a guide to embodiment. It is filled with practices exercices, as well as explanations on the different aspects of embodiment such as emotions, sexuality, power, etc. In my opinion, there’s something helpful for everybody in this book.
As someone who has great difficulty being present in my body, this book really intimidated me at first. I was scared of how it would criticize me. However, the warm introduction alone quickly made me feel welcome and safe. One of the goals the author mentions is for the book to be practical and accessible and I really feel like it does this brilliantly by using accessible vocabulary and through it’s different practices that are often short and can be done whenever or wherever you feel like doing them. It’s form allows this book to create ongoing practices in your life to help you be as connected to your body as you can and want to be every day. While doing the different practices, I had many Eureka moments where things clicked. Some of the practices felt silly, others made me cry. It has truly changed my relationship with my body. Overall, some of these practices will definitely stick with me and I would recommend this to anyone who also struggles with embodiment.
My only negative comment would be that the images did no show up properly on my kobo but that is most probably linked to the fact that this is not fully edited yet.

Thank you to Baker Academic & Brazos Press for providing me with an advanced reader copy!

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Embodiment is such a big subject right now in chaplaincy work so I was excited to see this title and its strong recommendations. The way it is written makes it easy to read with some passages in bold and key phrases and I am eager to try the practices. Recommended for those interested in learning more about this subject and for fans of Hillary L. McBride. I now look forward to reading her other books. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.

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A welcome companion to The Wisdom of Your Body. Full of gems like The Stress-Response Staircase, Boundary-creating skills, and suggestions for embodied prayers. A brief appendix contains a guide for group leaders. The ARC was mostly text and formatting and images were lost, but even so the content was amazing. I will definitely be getting the finished version which, as a PDF preview shows, will be even more powerful with its graphic presentation. Another wonderful and much-needed resource from McBride.

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"Practices for Embodied Living" by Hillary L. McBride is a groundbreaking companion to her acclaimed work, "The Wisdom of Your Body." In this insightful follow-up, McBride seamlessly translates her profound insights into actionable, hands-on experiences. This engaging guide empowers readers with prompts, activities, and contemplative moments, facilitating a deeper connection with their physical selves. As a visually captivating resource, it dismantles societal misconceptions about the 'perfect' body and encourages a rediscovery of the inherent goodness within. Covering a wide array of themes, from trauma to body image, it equips individuals and groups alike with transformative exercises to rebuild the vital bridge between mind and body.

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I was able to read a short preview of this book and was very intrigued! The concept of embodiment is somewhat new to me and I’m looking forward to understanding it more deeply.

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Such a beautiful little book, packed so full of help. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read it early.

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This is a thought-provoking collection of reflections and exercises to strengthen the mind-body connection and help build a healthier sense of self.

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Dr. Hillary L. McBride has done it again. This book is the perfect next step for anyone looking for practical ways of living and feeling embodied. I devoured this book in one sitting and can NOT wait to go through slower to write out my answers to the questions in this book.

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This workbook connects with "The Wisdom of Your Body" by the same author. As Hillary McBride explains in the introduction, although she designed this as a practical supplement to her previous book, it also works as a standalone, especially for people who found her other book too academic and dense to process. She shares much of the same core information in simpler, more basic terms here, and this workbook covers all of the same themes. McBride wants to help people love and experience their bodies, instead of experiencing body shame or feeling disconnected from their physical selves, and she shares insights and teaching content throughout the book, explaining some of the issues that prevent people from engaging more fully with their bodies.

Each chapter involves multiple reflection questions and physical practices that people can explore. The practices are many and varied, with some things that sound more woo-woo, and others that are very straightforward and less weird. People who would anticipate balking at some of the activity ideas can still give this a chance, since there's a wide range of things to chose from that will be more suited to their personality and self-expression. Overall, there's a lot of helpful ideas here for how people can reconnect with their physical selves if they feel disengaged.

Although the information throughout this book is good, I don't like the illustration style. I find the giant, disproportionate bodies and tiny heads unnerving, and I feel like the illustrations miss the point. Sure, we need to connect with our bodies and not think that we're just minds walking around, but dramatically minimizing the head doesn't seem wise or healing to me. Also, I didn't care for the wild changes in font size in parts of the book. I found that distracting, but since I read a digital advance review copy, this might change before the book goes to print.

I also have some philosophical disagreements with the author, such as her insistence that there is never anything wrong with your body, just with a society that shames it or doesn't accommodate it. That's valid at some levels, but my body does have problems, and they're not all society's fault! I can love myself, love my body, and care for my body in the midst of my chronic pain and other health struggles while also accepting that my body has problems that other bodies don't.

For sure, it's a complicated issue, and I hold the good old FDA responsible for having approved all kinds of neurotoxins in food that made my life a torment for years until my family figured out what was wrong. Society has a role in my health problems, even when other people are unaffected. Still, I wish that the author made space for acknowledging individual frailties and physical problems, instead of putting the blame on society for any pain or issue you experience. This is also important for people who are experiencing pain due to reckless and dysfunctional choices they've made in the past. Inviting them to blame society does not bring emotional healing.

Also, even though one of the chapters addresses the spirit and body divide, the author wrote this in a very mainstream, secular way. It's like any random book I might pick up at the library, and that's not what I expected while reviewing a book from a Christian publisher. The author invites people to engage with whatever sense of divinity they experience outside of or within them, and although I'm sure she wants to help as many people as possible by making her work accessible to a pluralistic society, I found the lack of distinct Christian content disappointing.

"Practices for Embodied Living" shares teaching and insight from the author, and gives a range of different reflection prompt and activity ideas for people to explore at their comfort level. This book will appeal to people who are trying to reconnect with their physical selves after trauma or just the everyday disconnect of Western society, and the author covers a variety of different topics and issues that many people will find helpful. I enjoyed aspects of this, but some of the author's value judgments and preachy statements about society clashed with my different beliefs and perspectives. Also, Christian audiences need to know that this book does not provide a Christian viewpoint on embodiment, and is written in vague spiritual language for people of any belief or any practice.

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Hillary McBride has been one of my favorite psychologists and inspirations for a while, which is why I was even more excited to see her release another book. "Practices for Embodied Living" is meant to accompany her previous work "The Wisdom of Your Body" but can also be read seperately if one only seeks more practical approaches to embodiment. Nevertheless, I would really recommend to dive into both.

The pre-release copy I got to access via NetGalley featured a shorter version of the full book, so I can only speak to that and have not seen this work in its entirety. However, it is evident how much careful thought, exploration, practice, research and experience Dr. McBride has put into this delicate piece. Her approach is extremely refreshing and aims to counter the traditional mind-body devide that has been taught for a long time in both conventional and psychological thought. I believe that to be very relevant for our society and can only recommend books like this to accompany one's journey to wholeness. Hillary shows a lot of comfort, care and knowledge in her words which I always appreciate - she never fails to make you feel held and seen.

For this work specifically, I really enjoyed the practical approach its taking. Doing one exercise per day/week/month or whatever pace works for each reader can be extremely helpful and easily digestable. Beautiful! I will definitely purchase the full version in January.

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Practices for Embodied Living: Experiencing the Wisdom of Your Body by Hillary L. McBride PhD is an important book. I’m so glad this author wrote it! I love this author’s previous work and was excited to see what this new book would add. This new book adds so much. Here, you’ll find practical strategies for experiencing embodiment. This is a book to revisit again and again. I highly recommend it. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.

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As someone who has been doing a lot of work in therapy the last few years to connect to my body, and as someone who is in the beginning stages of schooling to become a therapist, this book hit home. I'm definitely going to go back to some of the practices and try them over and over, and I'm already thinking about incorporating them into the care I offer to others in the future.
I found the book insightful, but easy to read, and that the questions McBride posed throughout were challenging to consider. Because I'm still working towards being comfortable with embodiment, I felt stretched in a good way by the practices McBride offers and can't wait to sit with them more fully in the future.

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Dr. Hillary McBride's “Practices for Embodied Living” is a practical guide to exploring the wisdom held within our bodies. With her expertise in psychology, McBride offers the reader a multitude of gentle practices to explore mind-body connections. While much of the language feels unfamiliar to me, I appreciate the author’s holistic approach to the complexities of embodied living. Thank you NetGalley and Baker Academic & Brazos Press for sending this book for review consideration. All opinions are my own.

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I found this book to be a wonderful resource for connection the mind and body. Full of so much helpful information. I found it easy to read, and finished the book with a better sense of myself.

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If you're familiar with Hillary L. McBride's "The Wisdom of Your Body," "Practices for Embodied Living: Experiencing the Wisdom of Your Body" allows you to take McBride's insights, knowledge, and experience and to apply it toward more embodied living.

As a disclaimer of sorts, I will acknowledge that I began my journey with "Practices for Embodied Living" only a few weeks after cancer resulted in the loss of my bladder and prostate along with resulting in placement of a urostomy. While the extensive procedures appear to have successfully removed the cancer, the accompanying results have significantly altered my physical being, significantly impacted my sexuality, and immersed me back into a healing journey for a body that was born with spina bifida and in which I've already been living as a wheelchair user, paraplegic, and double amputee.

Man, that's a lot.

Along with being a survivor of childhood and adulthood sexual violence, I've long had complex relationship with my body and, if I'm being honest, a great resistance to the idea of embodied living.

Yet, I was sitting down recently with one of my church's ministers during a home visit as I continue my recover when she rather insightfully asked "How's your relationship with your body?"

Impulsively, I blurted out "I hate it."

Over the next hour of the visit, I would return to my usual state of being (I don't hate my body, but I sure do have unresolved issues) and realize that my recent experiences had left me feeling like an "other," powerless and uncertain in my new physical being while also realizing, or at least believing, that I was destined to live a physical life more defined by violence than intimacy.

As someone who started an event called "The Tenderness Tour," this is profoundly unsettling.

Yet, after this minister left I began to realize that whatever my future holds I had work to do for myself. This brings me back to "Practices for Embodied Living." (I bet you thought I'd never get back to it).

In "The Wisdom of Your Body," Dr. McBride explored the ways that many of us inherit a broken understanding of the body and created a more compassionate approach to embodied life. "Practices for Embodied Living" allows us to take those principles learned and apply them in easy to understand but not always easy to do practical and tangible ways.

I hesitate to call this a workbook - it's certainly an experiential guide and it can be experienced alone, with a therapist, or with a group of safe individuals. Dr. McBride centers the work on prompts, activities, and opportunities for reflection that allow the practice of embodiment in a way that resists cultural myths and definitions about the "ideal" body. Instead, Dr. McBride gently nudges us toward getting in touch with the goodness of our bodies wherever our bodies are at and however they are expressed to the universe.

As someone who has long believed in Imago Dei - simplified essentially meaning that we are all made in the image of God, I found time and again throughout "Practices for Embodied Living" that Dr. McBride was guiding us toward realizing the sacredness of this body we live in however it changes over the course of our lives.

While there were, admittedly, times I longed for more disability friendly language and found that some of these experiences would require adapting based upon disability, I equally found them profound in challenging my own internalized ableism and current state of being.

Dr. McBride includes topics like disembodiment, stress/trauma, sexuality, body image, pain/illness, oppression, and others. With each topic, Dr. McBride includes various experiences to help us restore or establish a healthy mind-body connection and to build a better relationship, a loving and tender relationship, with our bodies.

Having taken my journey with "Practices for Embodied Living" via an electronic ARC (Advanced Review Copy), I'll also acknowledge that my hope is the final electronic version will include some design changes, however, this is undeniably a book I intend to obtain in print form as I believe that will enhance my journey with these practices.

While "Practices for Embodied Living" can very likely be a stand-alone experience, for a full appreciation I recommend beginning with "The Wisdom of Your Body" if at all possible.

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Practices for Embodied Living is a short and accessible guide of exercises to help the reader reclaim their body and sense of self. It's a wonderful companion to The Wisdom of Your Body that can be practiced independently or in community with others. It can also be read and used on its own, and provides a simple yet essential understanding of embodiment work.

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"Practices for Embodied Living" is a concise yet content-rich guide, offering a plethora of practical exercises and insights that make it feel much more expansive than its length suggests. The author provides an accessible and engaging resource for fostering a deeper connection between mind and body. A short read with lasting impact. Thank you to Netgalley, the author, and the publisher for allowing me to read and review.

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Thank you Brazos Press and Baker Publishing Group for the advance copy. This book is an experiential guide to help readers practice embodiment, and it acts as a very approachable companion to Dr. McBride's other work. It contains simple and well-explained exercises that I'll definitely be referring back to.

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"Practices for Embodied Living" by Hillary L. McBride, PhD, is a transformative guide that gracefully merges psychology, mindfulness, and self-discovery. McBride, a skilled therapist, introduces readers to practical exercises designed to foster a deeper connection between mind and body. With compassion and expertise, she navigates the complexities of the human experience, offering tools for healing and personal growth. The book's strength lies in its accessible approach to embodiment, emphasizing the importance of mindfulness in cultivating a more fulfilling life. McBride's insightful guidance makes "Practices for Embodied Living" an invaluable resource for those seeking a holistic path to well-being and self-awareness.

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What a great follow up to Embodied Living. What my clients want are the tools, the how to of feeling better and this is what they would be looking for. This gives and overview of embodied living, and practices and tools to feel more connected to the body.
I would definitely recommend this to my clients and anyone who is working on feeling safer in their body. Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC!

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This was super informative. I loved the self-reflection questions throughout the book that made thinking about the techniques manageable and easy to understand. Adding this to my resources as a social worker!

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This little book is so precious and I'm very happy I got the chance to read it.

I understand this book follows the previous one from the same author, I haven't read that one and I feel this can be perfectly read as a standalone.

It features a very small kind of introduction to certain aspects of our bodies, like how they relate to sexuality, safety, spirituality, pain and then a lot of inquiries and exercises follow. It is a wonderful tool to connect with our emotions and our bodies. It's like our bodies' first exercise book.

It is all written in a compassionate, kind and very attentive tone, trying to encapsulate special needs yet also remaining pretty general. It's the type of book you keep close, you explore from time to time and take what you need from it.

While I was pretty familiar with the approach, this book took embodiment to a new level and understanding for me and, because of this, I feel it's gonna be one of the books I will gift the most in the following years.

If understanding yourself is something you are interested in, this book could be of great help.

I received a copy of this book in order to share my view on it.

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Much has been said recently about the importance of embodiment, which by definition means moving beyond abstraction to practicality. This books takes an important step toward making embodiment more practical, which also means better understood. At the same time, like always when things get specific, the quality and "fit" of the exercises will depend on the individual who is trying them out. I might have wished for a little more substantive summarizing of the conclusions from the author's previous book.

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In the past five years, I've begun to realize how disconnected I am from my body. So, I appreciate books and other resources that help me reconnect with myself. This book helps me achieve this goal. From page one, clinical psychologist and researcher Dr. Hillary McBride offers practical questions I can use to explore my body.
With compassion and a holistic perspective, she invites me to explore various ways my understanding of my body is broken, such as stress, trauma, pain, sexuality, oppression, and spirituality. And she offers prompts, activities, questions, and reflections that help me get in touch with and more fully inhabit my body.
This book is one I would reference regularly as I heal. The resources at the end include a guide for group study facilitators. It's not heavy and includes little research, but readers can find this information in her other book, "The Wisdom of Your Body." I'm grateful this book is a stand-alone because I prefer its practical advice to a textbook-like resource.

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This book of reflections and exercises serves as a great follow-up and companion to McBride's, The Wisdom of Your Body. Her clear prose sparkles with warmth and gentleness because she recognizes that some of the questions and prompts she offers can be challenging.

I found it easy to discern which prompts felt most helpful to my current circumstances, and I would love to go through the book with a small group of learners who want to grow.

Many thanks to Baker Academic, NetGalley, and the author for a free e-copy for review.

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Thank you to Netgalley and Brazos Press for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

This book is a wonderful resource for anyone who is feeling disconnected from the body. The exercises that Dr. McBride outlines in Practices for Embodied Living are thoughtful, accessible, and extremely helpful. I highly recommend this for practitioners who work with individuals who have experienced trauma or body dysmorphia, or those who want to connect deeper with themselves.

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This was such an excellent short resource to follow The Wisdom of Your Body (although it stands well on its own too)! I am such a fan of Hillary McBride's work and research and am so glad to have this incredibly accessible book of practices for myself and to share with others.

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In "Practices for Embodied Living," clinical psychologist Hillary McBride builds upon the principles explored in "The Wisdom of Your Body." This experiential guide, enriched with prompts and activities, empowers readers to embody a healthier perspective. Addressing topics like stress, trauma, body image, and more, the book provides practical exercises to restore the mind-body connection and encourages a compassionate understanding of one's own body.

This guide is no ordinary one; it's hands-on with activities and reflection questions woven into the reading experience. There's minimal explanation – just what's essential to aid your understanding of each prompt. While I haven't delved into "The Wisdom of Your Body" yet, it's high on my list now. Considering "Practices for Embodied Living" builds on it, reading them together seems beneficial. I went cover to cover, but the segments allow for a flexible, interchangeable approach.

Thank you @brazospress for the gifted copy of this book 🥰 I’m looking forward to utilizing these practices regularly. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Perfect for you if you like:
Exploring holistic activities on embodied life
Resisting ultra myths about ideal bodies
Integrating psychological principles into daily practices

Similar to:
The Body Revelation by Alisa Keeton
Breaking Free From Body Shame by Jess Connolly
Sacred Self-Care by Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes

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Throughout the excellent PRACTICES FOR EMBODIED LIVING, Hillary McBride encourages readers to live from their most grounded, centered, and whole self. Transferring emphasis from only thinking to whole-bodied knowing, the reader is supported in seeing themselves as larger than their brain, words, and culturally imposed ideas of what it is to live a good life. While parts of the book felt repetitive to me, I did enjoy the beautiful visuals and the experience of having my fundamental beliefs about living well challenged. I see this book as being essential reading for counselors, teachers, those who are educators and coaches in all walks of life. I received a copy of this book and these opinions are my own, unbiased thoughts.

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First I have to say that the formatting on this ARC did not work out properly so I didn't get the fully experience of this book as it was intended as the drawings came over the words and didn't look the same as I am sure it will in the final version.

All that aside this was a very practical book about leaning into yourself, learning more about your body and living your whole self. It would be best experienced when doing all of the activities as it is a book that you really need to *do* to get the full benefits of.

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This book contains hundreds of great activities, journaling prompts and reflection questions for practicing greater embodiment. It is organized by topic for easy reference, and has a helpful leaders' guide for those practicing in a group. This serves as a perfect accompaniment to McBride's book "The Wisdom of Your Body: Finding Healing, Wholeness, and Connection through Embodied Living" or a standalone resource.

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Well now I can't wait to read the companion piece, The Wisdom of Your Body! I've long believed that we hold trauma and other feelings in our bodies, but didn't know where to start when it came to accessing and healing those emotions -- until this gem of a book came along! McBride offers practical exercises that allow you to fully experience your body. This is a book I'll keep coming back to, and has helped improved my relationship with my mind, body, and self.

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I have loved "The Wisdom of Your Body" by Hillary and use it as a resource for myself and my clients. Having the Practices of Embodied Living as a companion has been and will continue to be impactful. This book allows you to use the embodiment skills as you need and want. You can use it daily, weekly, or pick it up whenever. As a clinician in the mental health field, there aren't a lot of these books available that are also written by a person who has researched them and put them in a digestible form.
There appears to be a typo on pg 55 under "Shutting down". I believe the sentence should be "What does the world around me..."instead of "what does the work around me...". I feel it is "world" as I believe the author is asking to externalize our emotional awareness by observing the world around us. Work vs world changes the meaning of the sentence.

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Practices for Embodied Living builds on McBride’s previous work in Wisdom of Your Body. It doesn’t require the prior book having been read or its knowledge to apply the practices to life. This is a down to earth guide for getting the mind back in touch with the body.

Thanks to NetGalley and Brazos Press for an ARC of this book.

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“Your body is a voice worth listening to.”

After learning from the absolute brilliance of Hillary McBride’s The Wisdom of Your Body, I am excited this companion is out in the world!

This serves as a practical guide to help us move through exercises to become more attuned to the wisdom of our bodies. What I love most about it is how clear, direct, & simple it is to read, while offering needed insights about how to come back home to ourselves. McBride concisely explains how we become disembodied, how to heal from stress and trauma, appearance and image, getting to know the emotional body, relating differently to pain, illness, and injury, the body and oppression, pleasure & enjoyment, and reconciling the spirit and body divide. It is visually simple and beautiful, with eye-catching graphics that illustrate the concepts she addresses, and has exercises to put into practice.

I especially appreciated the section about feelings. It seems like we ought to know the simple building blocks that make up our emotional selves, but I found it helpful to read about the 7 core emotions & the purpose of each, as well as how we use defenses and inhibitory emotions (shame, guilt, and anxiety) to avoid being with our feelings. This helped me process my emotional response to a difficult situation in real time! I also appreciated the section in which she discusses the connection between body and spirit, which has been (artificially) in western culture.

In my own work with therapists and my spiritual director, as well as in my work with spiritual direction clients, it has become glaringly obvious that many of us suffer from disembodiment, which comes at a price. In spiritual direction, I often discuss with clients the need to practice turning inward& being with our bodies in a compassionate way. The question that always comes up is, “How??” This book is the perfect guide to help us do just that, whether we are just beginning our journey of embodiment or are experienced travelers who need fresh ideas.

I love this book and Dr. McBride’s work with my whole heart! Thank you Brazos Press for my review copy of this lovely book!

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As a therapist who’s been working with clients with eating disorders for 20+ years, I’m always looking for resources that truly help people. This one needs to go on every therapist’s shelf. There is so much packed into this book- wisdom about how to see our bodies and ourselves that will transform you, and practices that invite you immediately into a different, gentle, loving relationship with yourself through your body’s wisdom. The author brilliantly weaves together solid research, personal insight, clinical experience, practicality, and immense depth. My own life has been transformed by her work.

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Hillary McBride’s work is a must-read for anyone doing embodiment work, and this companion to Wisdom of Your Body is a great book for people looking for practical steps to take. Highly recommend.

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McBride writes that we learn to experience ourselves as a body through three pathways:

MENTAL: the stories we think and perpetuate about bodies
SOCIAL: the social landscape around us
PHYSICAL: the physical experiences we have

In Practices for Embodied Living, McBride gives us activities to try with our bodies, stories to open us up to embodiment, ways to help our bodies and minds become better friends.

They are simple things, such us:

"Imagine that your nondominant hand is your thinking self and that your dominant hand is your sensing, bodily self. Try holding them side by side, noticing how the distance feels. When you’re ready, experiment with bringing them closer together, clasping your hands and interweaving your fingers. What do your thoughts long to hear from your sensing body? What does your bodily self long to hear from your thinking self?"

But they are important things.

"Complete the following sentences:
'It makes me feel loved when a friend . . .' (try doing that for yourself)
'I long to hear from those I love that I . . .' (try saying this to yourself)"

I highly recommend this book if you're looking for practices to become more embodied. You'll find lots of exercises to try that are easy for any body to do.

My thanks to Netgalley and Baker Academic & Brazos Press.

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This book could be a blog post - it's the editing that makes "Practices for Embodied Living" look like a full-sized publication but in reality there's very little to actually read, and the content only scratches the surface of the subject of embodiment anyway.

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Did you love The Wisdom of your Body? This book is almost a companion piece.

Discussing everything from stress and trauma, body image and sexuality, McBride does such a wonderful job of reconnecting our brains with our body.

This is an active book. Read, yes, but there are lots of calls-to-action to help you self-reflect.

I don’t know if I agree with everything she states (can I disagree with a doctor?). For instance, while a lot of what we consider problems and faults with our body come directly from capitalism, and society’s misogyny, sometimes our body DOES malfunction, and I wish there had been more attention paid to those with chronic conditions.

Thanks to NetGalley and Brazos Press for this helpful ARC.

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This is a very thoughtful approach to being mindful and aware of your own body. This title is better suited for an individual to own rather than using a library book.

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I was not familiar with McBride's previous book, but after reading this I will definitely be looking for it. This book may seem small, but it's packed with lots of practices, prompts and questions that dig deep. I highly recommend it if you're looking for ways to build a mind and body connection. I think it'd be a great basis for a group workshop or to work through alone.

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This one was a mixed bag for me, but I think it would appeal to a very specific reader.

First, the concept of "embodied" was new to me. The idea is that we often disassociate our "selves" from our physical bodies, and instead consider our true selves to be more tied to our intellectual or spiritual selves. And this occurs in different ways - maybe trauma, but maybe just societal/media ideas about bodies.

So, these are specific exercises to reconnect to one's body. She mentions that she wrote another book about embodied living, and maybe that would be a better starting point if, like me, this is a new idea for you. Because this book is literally mostly exercises to try.

Many of them involve movement, although some may involve touch, affirmations, and other things. Some are as simple as walking outside barefoot, really... but I think part of it is to see what feelings these exercises bring up.

If you know that reconnecting with your physical body is something you need to do, this might be perfect for you! If you are a regular practitioner of yoga, mindfulness, meditation, or the like... you may feel you connect with your body regularly enough with those (or other physical) practices. And if you're new to the concept, you may just want to read about it a bit more before diving straight into the exercises.

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It's a handy self-care guide, especially for those less familiar with or wanting a reminder of the concept of embodiment.

The tone is gently encouraging and supportive, not judgmental or directive.

The book is a balanced mix of simple, do-able exercises, affirmations, and conceptual explanations that are simple and full. The book also highlights basic and simple fundamental principles, like "my body is me" and "It is never too late to learn how to come back home to myself."

Topics include some basics of embodiment, emotions, trauma and stress, pain and illness, oppression/power, pleasure and enjoyment, and spirit.

The Appendix, a Leader's Guide to using these ideas and exercises with groups, is quite obviously practical. I’ve facilitated many groups and can easily see using these ideas.

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Our experiences do not define us. Our real selves do. Our bodies are not simply what we have but they are who we are. We are more than mere subjective people. We are valued for who we are and not what we do. All that we encounter in this life, the highs and the lows, can all be experienced in the very bodies we have. Unfortunately, many people still have not learned how to appreciate their bodies. In doing so, they fall victim to lies and myths that throw negativity to their physique or biological selves. Lies such as the need to subdue our bodies because they are inherently evil; that some bodies are better than others, or fat bodies are unhealthy, etc. As our bodies get devalued, we become disembodied beings. Disembodiment separates our physical selves from the rest of our mental and emotional faculties. Embodiment brings all of them together. More importantly, we are called not to learn or relearn what our bodies are or represent. We simply need to remember that. These and many more underline the premise of this book, which is to bring back a healthy appreciation of the bodies we have so that we can live well. This also means we need to see personhood in a holistic manner: Emotionally, Mentally, Physically, Socially, and even Spiritually. Besides helping us address lies we tell ourselves, this book also looks at the violence on our bodies, such as stress and trauma; illnesses, injuries, and pain; oppressive forces; self-esteem; etc.

As a book on how to remember our whole selves, author Hillary McBride provides us many different practices that we can use. On stress, we learn about the implications of stress, both positive as well as negative parts. What is important is to learn to see the beauty of our created selves, and not let uninformed world opinion shape us into what we are not meant to be. This book thus counters such disembodied philosophies in the hope that we can stop them from tearing us further apart. McBride does this by:

- Guiding us toward healthy narratives about ourselves;
- Helping us to feel at home inside ourselves;
- Feeling positive about ourselves as we navigate the spectrum of emotions;
- Processing our pains constructively;
- Learning to deal with the five circles of sexuality (sensuality, sexual identity, intimacy, sexual health & reproduction; power & sexualization);
- Resisting guilt when embracing pleasure;
- Embodying prayers;
- ...

Gradually, she leads us toward seeing and experiencing our bodies holistically, reconciling both body and spirit together as one.

My Thoughts
This is a unique book about bringing back a semblance of self-respect and appreciation for who we are, what we have, and how we should treat ourselves. McBride addresses some of the underlying issues of flawed self-perceptions. This is made worse by societal expectations that often rub us the wrong way. The list of lies that the author highlights are not the only ones that damage our self-perceptions. With technology use on the rise, it is so easy to spread falsehood and misinformation about people. Just look at how Deep Fake technology is wreaking havoc on star personalities. All it takes is a little tweak or a sinister photoshop and the end result is a dramatic devaluation of a person's body and worth. Like it or not, technology through social media is a potent force for disembodiment. Tempted to look good to others in public, we become sensitized to nasty public comments. One thing is for sure. We can never be able to stop the torrent of public opinion. We need a healthy understanding of self-worth and personal value so that we do not sway or unwittingly accept unhealthy criticisms.

One of the questions I ask is this: In an already hyper-individualistic world we live in, do we still need a book to feel good about ourselves or our bodies? My answer would tilt toward a marginal yes. Why yes? That's because God has created us good. For a sinful world, God has sent Jesus to this world to redeem us from our sins. Our world has been badly corrupted with falsehood and deceptions. The way forward is to redeem what is good while rejecting what is evil. Plus, the world we live in today is seriously broken. Like the saying "hurt people tend to hurt other people," a broken person will tend to break another person. This book brings a good dose of healing for those who have been deceived by lies, hurt by false accusations, discouraged by ugly comments, or simply disillusioned by the dizzy world of changing expectations. The exercises mentioned justify the title of the book. Why "marginal?" That's because the individualism in society still looms large. Just as there is low self-esteem that plagues many people, there are also unhealthy levels of pride and self-deception. What is needed is Truth. The tilt toward a "yes" is because this book works like a reset button to help us see ourselves afresh.

Hillary L. McBride (PhD, University of British Columbia) is a registered psychologist, an award-winning researcher, and the host of the Other People's Problems podcast. She has a private practice in Victoria, British Columbia, and is a sought-after speaker and retreat leader who specializes in embodiment. McBride's work has been recognized by the American Psychological Association and the Canadian Psychological Association. She is the author of The Wisdom of Your Body and Mothers, Daughters, and Body Image, and coeditor of Embodiment and Eating Disorders. Learn more at

Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

This book has been provided courtesy of Brazos Press via NetGalley without requiring a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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Interoception for grownups and a beautiful way to find your way home to embodiment 🥰 @hillaryliannamcbride @brazospress #embodied #embodiedhealing #practicesforembodiedliving #interoception

“None of the work we do to heal occurs in isolation. The work of healing is held in a web of wisdom, the product of wholeness, integration, and interconnection.”

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This book will make you smile, probably cry, and most likely grow as a person.

Take your time reading this book as you reflect and apply its exercises.

It is a book that will guide you in realigning your body and mind, for any adult in almost any place in their lives.

I liked that there are ideas on how to use these exercises in a group and what to take into consideration.

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If you've ever experienced an environment or been taught that your body is bad and your spirit is good, this book may be the healing connection to help you discover re-integration. Combatting the false, dualistic, and Gnostic thinking of so many evangelical and reformed churches, McBride offers gracious, compassionate, practical, and professional exercises to rediscover the wisdom of our bodies. Our bodies are good, and we can only live our lives in and through them.

For those who may have experienced trauma and have heard too often that "the body keeps the score," (thanks, Dr. van der Kolk), this short workbook offers simple practices to tune in to our body and address its needs.

This book (and its playful illustrations) will help anyone wanting or needing a healthier understanding of and connection to their own body.

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