True embodiment is that feeling when you’re walking down the street or sitting on a plane and you’re completely in touch with your whole entire self. Today, we dig into healing through embodiment with Erica Wiederlight, an embodiment specialist in training with The School of Sacred Embodiment and a confidence coach for self-love, sexual empowerment, pleasure, and dating.
In this beautiful chat, we discuss the depth of embodiment and the importance of being in tune with your body at all times – not just during yoga or pole dancing classes. Erica also shares her growth journey and how she realized full embodiment releases any and all performative aspects of movement work. We touch on Erica’s gift for teaching, the cyclical nature of holding, and how her neurodivergence impacted her relationship to self-discovery, worthiness, and inclusive coaching.
In episode 446 of the Embodied Podcast we discuss:
(1:12) The revelations in self-love and soul liberation Erica experienced this year
(4:59) Overcoming a tendency to manage others’ comfort
(11:35) How Erica applies her complete understanding of embodiment to her coaching
(14:00) Mending your relationship to worthiness
(23:21) Performative movement work
(32:25) The ways Erica cultivates community in relation to her neurodivergence
(45:40) Why you have to feel transformative embodiment for yourself
Resources mentioned in the episode:
Connect with Erica:
- Access her Podcast, blog etc. on wethelight.org
- Erica’s free ebook, From Perfectionist to Pleasure Expert
Work with me:
- NEW! The Body Love + Reverence Course is available
Stay in touch:
- NEW! Join our Free Wild Soul Community on Mighty Networks
- Subscribe to my Substack
- Catch the full show notes for episode 444 here
- Email us with questions or feedback
- Don’t miss an episode of The Embodied Podcast
Quotes from this Week’s Episode of the Embodied Podcast:
- I love humor. When it’s pure – it’s so delicious. When I used it in a crunchy way, I leaned in as a way to make people feel comfortable. – Erica
- When life is just life-ing and doing its thing, I also need this embodiment work to just keep the pipes clean. – Erica
- I’ve never felt this safe to be held and to learn about how I can support myself. – Erica
How was this episode for you?
Was this episode helpful for you today? I’d love to know what quote or lesson touched your soul. Let me know in the comments below OR share the episode on Instagram, tag me your stories @elizabethdialto, or send me a DM!
About the Embodied Podcast with Elizabeth DiAlto
Since 2013 I’ve been developing a body of work that helps women embody self-love, healing, and wholeness. We do this by focusing on the four levels of consciousness – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
In practical terms, this looks like exploring tools and practices to help you tune into the deep wisdom of the body and the knowing of the heart, which I believe are gateways to our souls. Then we cultivate a new relationship with our minds that allows the mind to serve this wisdom and knowledge and soul connection, rather than override it, which is what many of us were taught.
If you’ve been doing self-help or spiritual development work for a while, these are the types of foundational things that often people overlook in pursuit of fancier concepts that often aren’t practical or sustainable. Here, we will focus on building these strong foundations so you can honestly and thoroughly embody self-love. If you’re feeling it, subscribe to the show, and leave us a review wherever you listen from. You can also keep up with show updates and community discussions on Instagram here.
Transcript for Episode 446 “Healing Conversation with Erica Wiederlight“:
Erica Wiederlight 0:00
The years of that type of embodiment that I had genuinely changed my life, like change the trajectory of my life, and why I’m obsessed with this work, I could feel alive and in my magic and my radiance, and then you take it, wherever you go. Exactly. That’s what it is. That’s it. Yes.
Elizabeth DiAlto 0:22
Erica welcome. Thank you. So the question of opening these super fun healing conversations with is, what are you most proud of yourself for healing,
Erica Wiederlight 0:32
I’m just gonna like take it where I am, like, literally today, it was interesting how I showed up for this recording, like, usually my work in the past would be like very performative. And I would try to make things like a crunch. Try to place where I was in authentically. And even today, I was like, so proud of myself that like, that’s not my truth. And I’m, like, willing to be seen in different facets of myself, that in the past, I could already probably, like, were two seconds, and I’m like, here I go. But but like in the past, I never would allow it, I always have to show up in a certain way. And for me, it’s been a real ride, of allowing myself to be seen. So I
Elizabeth DiAlto 1:12
love this because I don’t prepare a lot of questions. It’s usually a free flowing conversation. But one of the things I wrote down, one of the literal highlights of my year, has been watching your journey in the sacred embodiment, specialist training. And this is something What’s performative and what’s really me has been something that I know, you’ve really been working throughout the course of the year. And I know you’ve done a lot of work before. And I’m not asking this 90, you don’t have to like name things, because it’s not about comparison. But I’m curious, especially through our frameworks, self love and soul liberation. How did you get to this place? Because I know you laid the groundwork, but I’ve watched you have like, big revelations this year. Yeah,
Erica Wiederlight 2:00
thank you. It’s so funny. It’s like, I must, was how I got here. Like, I was like Erica, no more, no more work. No more work. And I was like, I must, you know, I was talking to a few people. It’s really been such a ride of truth. For me, like, I know, I that’s what I just said, but I’m like, truth has been such a potent lesson for me, that I was like, I have to follow this. I have to follow this. And in the past, for me, like, I would follow the kernels of like, Ooh, this is sexy. Was you Right? Like, this is like this is, which is all good. Like, there’s a place for like the bolas. And the sexiness of this work. I was like, Yes. Like I would joke like I initially, to be honest, like, I was like, Ooh, Tom drove because I love the outfits. It’s like, I want to leotard. There is what I mean. Like, there’s a part of me that like, like I was, I was always and this I was like, oh, like, Ooh, this is me stripped of how am I really showing up? Or like, how do I really navigate this world? And wow, that has been super poen. And
Elizabeth DiAlto 3:16
when you say this world, you’re talking about Feminine Empowerment, like what were like, Well, how would you describe the world that you’re talking about?
Erica Wiederlight 3:24
Living? You know what I mean? Live, being able, honestly being alive and like how I, how I show up, like, as a human as all of the hats that I wear, but like literally how I walk through life. What
Elizabeth DiAlto 3:38
has shifted in the different categories, right? So personal professional, your relationships with different, you know, Friends, Family Partner.
Erica Wiederlight 3:50
Oh, it’s all shifted. And you know, what’s so funny? Is that, like, I have never been more myself. I’ve never been more myself. And in the past, I would try to like crunch out. Like, this is me. This is me being authentic, you know, like, this is Martin than so authentically myself. And it was like, I was squishing so hard. And I had a big life event a few weeks ago. And I just was like, there she is. Like, I’m back like to six year old knee it’s Wow, what a gift. So partnership completely different relationship to family friends. And it’s you know the deal. It’s like people had to i to like reintroduce myself, you know, are reacquaint myself to all of these situations and people but wow, it’s freeing, I think, like limits it but freeing is what’s coming up.
Elizabeth DiAlto 4:43
So what are some things that you used to do that you are not doing anymore? So
Erica Wiederlight 4:48
many things. Like go got such a good one. contorting. Just a master was a master control order. I live to make people feel comfortable.
Elizabeth DiAlto 4:59
What we is where you managing what you thought made people comfortable and what didn’t. I think I live
Erica Wiederlight 5:04
my life as an apology. Like always, I just was a genuinely apologizing for me existing. And I caught myself over the years being like, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Like quite literally saying, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. But also, you know, me the I love humor like that. I just I love it. And when it’s pure Oh, it’s so delicious. Um, when it was used in a crunchy way, I leaned in as a way to make people feel comfortable. Like
Elizabeth DiAlto 5:35
a humor is a bypass or glossing over Yeah. Oh,
Erica Wiederlight 5:40
100%. Yeah, but as a bypass or to make people feel comfortable. Like, oh, sorry, was that weird? Like, like, it’s very self deprecating?
Elizabeth DiAlto 5:49
Yeah, and, you know, because sometimes humor is useful. Totally. It could be like lube, or, you know, it’s like the WD 40. When there’s a tough conversation or whatever it actually can. It’s not always a barrier. It can be an invitation for people to open up or whatever. What else is easier? Now? I guess what I’m really curious about that takes a lot of energy to do all that performing, contorting. As you’ve used the word crunch, like, and when you say crunch, it’s correct me if I’m wrong, that feels like squeezing myself into what I think people need me to be like, kind of crunching myself into this tiny version.
Erica Wiederlight 6:35
Is that accurate? 100%. Totally. So it
Elizabeth DiAlto 6:39
takes a lot of energy to do that. Like did you realize how much energy that was taking before? Like, how has that been now that you’re just being more of who you actually are? You
Erica Wiederlight 6:51
know, I wrote and I know until this before we started recording that I’m like, Oh, I’m exhausted. Like God, I noticed right away like, Oh, I’m exhausted. That opened up a lot. And then what was the other thing I had something come into my brain and it left. Oh, I can notice my body. Like as I was big, which is like cool, like it no shade to me, but like I was like embodiment, embodiment, embodiment, embodiment, embodiment. And I don’t think I really knew what that meant.
Elizabeth DiAlto 7:16
Like half the internet, okay. I had to get off Instagram. I’m like, your person is out here performing embodiment, that I could just look at, and they are not even remotely in their body. I am just going to explode. Like
Erica Wiederlight 7:35
I’ve had enough like, that is enough of that. Yeah, I was like, I have such a great, you know, all good. But like, I have such a great relationship to embodiment. And it’s like, with so much love, like, No, you don’t like, like, I didn’t even like I knew how to move my body, which that God bless what a blessing. I knew how to move my body in a central way, in a container. That’s really cool. That’s awesome. grateful. But I didn’t know what the hell was happening in my body. Like, I didn’t know, oh, this means I’m hungry. I’m feeling grief in my chest. Like, I don’t know, I wasn’t I didn’t know what that meant. And so that I’m like, ooh, like that gave me spaciousness to actually be embodied. And it
Elizabeth DiAlto 8:18
makes sense to me that you would be exhausted. Because once we do start really connecting, we’re like, damn, this thing’s talking to me all the time. And there’s a lot to know.
Erica Wiederlight 8:29
Right? I was like, we I’m so sorry. Like, because I dipped my toe when I was like, I thought embodiment like, Oh, I’m hungry. I’m tired. I’m feeling turned out whatever these motions and I pop out. So it was like, Oh, okay. Hi. We’re in a consistent. Oh, that’s interesting. We’re in a all the time conversation. I didn’t experience that before. That’s been Wow. Different.
Elizabeth DiAlto 8:52
And this is a great point you bring up right, tending to the body and tending to like the self holistically, when you’re tuned into your body, versus like, noticing some sensations here and there. And then it’s like, popping out. Yeah. On a team with
Erica Wiederlight 9:14
yourself. Exactly. Which is cool. Like, that’s how I needed to progress. But I really thought embodiment was like, Oh, I’m feeling the sensation. Great. And out. I go, like and now written, like, you know what I mean? Like, I’m feeling tingling, tingling in my left shoulder. Great, man. Well, I’m gonna pop out of my body now, until I’m like, Oh, this is a consistent thing, which takes a lot beautiful, but takes, I need that energy. I need that energy to be present to what’s kind of going on. That
Elizabeth DiAlto 9:47
is a big adjustment. And so I’m glad you brought that up. Because this is also this is one of my big pet peeves with people who present embodiment, like it’s just this sexy thing and it’s like, it gets a little dicey See,
Erica Wiederlight 10:02
I was pretty pissed when I first started doing the embodiment work. So I’m like, not griefing here. You don’t I mean, like, not grief, not rage, no fat, like, what was like no law, like, I really wanted to believe, like that I was just, you know, I was gonna be in a chaise lounge, I was gonna be feathered eating grapes. Like, I was like, no, not these emotions, not these sensations of pain, like, oh, no, you know, the deal just wanted to
Elizabeth DiAlto 10:31
be turned on. And it was the power.
Erica Wiederlight 10:35
Literally, literally, I was like, I did not expect this. But how beautiful it’s been
Elizabeth DiAlto 10:41
totally. And you know, what this is reminding me of, when I was a personal trainer, something I’ve talked about is that I was always very present to my body, I used to pay a lot of attention to my body. Like when I was into fitness, what I was eating, how I was moving, like I was very regimented. And it was never like obsessive or very compulsive for me. But it was, I was very preoccupied. But I wasn’t embodied. Totally, because it was more about managing my body, or controlling my body, or bending my body to my will. Yeah,
Erica Wiederlight 11:16
I resonate with that deeply different path. But like, with my years of obsession with like, an eating disorder and some food stuff, I thought, that’s what that meant. Because like, I work out, I work out, I go to yoga. But I didn’t realize that those were two different worlds. One
Elizabeth DiAlto 11:35
of our training, this has also been fun in the journey. You know, we spend like, basically the first half of the year, doing your own personal work. But then we get in and we start teaching, and it’s always so incredible, to see people teach. And it’s so you are such a fun, teacher, like I can’t wait till we’re done. And I can like take your classes. What was the transition like for you? So you came into this deeper and more kind of whole complete understanding of embodiment, application experience of embodiment? And now you’re getting to teach this. And you taught
Erica Wiederlight 12:11
movement before, right? Totally. Yep. So tell me
Elizabeth DiAlto 12:15
about that. Because it’s one thing to embody a thing, but then when you dare to share it with others, that’s also an initiation. How has that been for you? You
Erica Wiederlight 12:25
know, in the beginning, I was so triggered, because I was like, Oh, the performative stuff was up. Because I noticed I wanted to jam every practice and jam every everything in when it didn’t need it was so the practice was so holy, and sacred, as is. And it was just such an initiation for me to just take the class, but then to give that, and I noticed, a lot of stories came up with like, am I enough? Am I good enough? Like, I really hit a lot of those like, worthiness tails, so that for like, in the beginning was such a great ride and initiation for me of like, Ooh, I thought I feel some this worthiness that like I thought I, I had some of this on lockdown, but it hit some of those. Wow, what a gift for me. One of the 105 reasons why I’m obsessed is it’s so accessible. And again, this goes to the performative thing in the past, I’d have to contort to feel like I belonged. And this is just I feel like, this is so corny. Oh, no. But like, I feel like I’m genuinely coming home. I felt come out of my mouth. I’m like, no, no, no. Like, but I, I really feel that is genuinely how I feel. And it’s made me feel like a safe space for myself. It’s really I can’t even put into words. I’m not articulating, as you could tell, but like, wow, has this rocked me? Has this rocked me?
Elizabeth DiAlto 14:00
Can you if you don’t mind, feel free to be like TAS worthiness stuff is fascinating to me. That’s not really something that has deeply been on my life curriculum. Yeah. So when that comes up for people, I’m always just like, very curious about like, the mechanics of it. Totally. So when you say, I thought I had this on lockdown. What had you done before? I guess I’m curious about like the before, during and now have that before you had done any worthiness work? What were the types of things that you do? Whether interpersonally or in your work or people pleasee type stuff, because I think you mentioned that earlier. What was it like before? Yeah,
Erica Wiederlight 14:47
so you know, that was a kid. I feel like this, like I said before, I’m like, oh, like I feel like my child essence. And then you know, experiences shape you and all the things and it’s so shocking. I’m like, Oh, that’s so sad. I was so self loathing, like had such genuine self hatred. Like it’s like, Oh no, it’s like it’s I went, like thinking back to it. So, so much self hatred. So low self confidence value, were and my worth was always wrapped into something. So whether it be productivity or making people laugh, or there’s always a, you can have this, but you have to do A, B and C to receive it. I had to do a ton of work to just even get to neutral. Yeah, years of therapy and programs. And it’s not just to be at a neutral place. And for me, this kicked up that I really am, I really am worthy. And it wasn’t me just saying affirmations. I am worthy. I am worthy, though. We love that like this really put a mirror to my face. I was like, I got you. You’re worthy. I never had that in that way before, which was super powerful.
Elizabeth DiAlto 16:02
I love that. So when things that used to push on your worthiness buttons hit now. Yeah, but do you even notice it? Is it just so integrated? Now? You’re like, it’s not a thing? Yeah,
Erica Wiederlight 16:14
like, Oh, that’s cute. Yeah, yeah. Like, I get that. Like, that’s, that’s an old guy coming up. Thank you knows. It’s all guy. And sometimes if it is real crunch city, where I’m like, ooh, that landed, I have the tools to move through it. Like quite literally, to move through it. Yeah, like the other day, I was so frickin triggered. Like when I was like, why this, like this, this thing like, this is what triggered me. And I’m like, Alright, hit your map. If you don’t, you’re rolling out the yoga mat. And we’re moving through this. So now I have the tools to hold it like I never did before.
Elizabeth DiAlto 16:51
I love this, because this is something at the time your interview is gonna go live. We haven’t released this out into the world yet. But in January of 2024, we’re releasing a new tier of our membership. We’ve had wild soul sacred body, which is like the full sacred environment, spiritual development community practice everything space. But what we’ve realized over the years is there really are some people who aren’t ready for all that. And that’s not a judgment, that’s not like, you’re not ready. It’s literally just like, they’re not there yet. They’re not actually ready to go into the body, because like you were saying we were talking about earlier, that’s a really intense experience. Yeah. And when we talk about like trauma, healing or stuff like that, that term titration, which I love, so much is about, you can only add so much into a system that has a limited capacity, right? And the movement practices and like you’re saying these things, prepare you to hold yourself to expand your capacity to expand what trauma folks call the window of tolerance. But for the people who aren’t there yet, or just aren’t interested in doing that with us, we’re going to have a layer of membership called the insight and illumination membership. That’s just our workshops, right? Because it’s just the teachings because we have so many people, you know, over the years that we’ve been offering all these workshops, we have people who will like sign up for every single one as one offs. So I just wanted to give people a place to be like, here’s the archives, recordings, like pay monthly stay as long as you want, leave, when you want to leave, leave and come back, like it doesn’t matter. So I’m curious for you. And the reason I was bringing that up, is because you said something about I can hold myself now. Yeah. And you know, we go that’s also cyclical, seasonal, right, depending on what’s going on, sometimes we need to be held, sometimes we can hold ourselves, but I’m so happy you mentioned that, because we’ve watched a lot of people, especially in the last year, not be ready to hold themselves. And it’s not something for people to feel like ashamed of or bad about or whatever. Like, this is why we call everything a damn journey. Right? Oh, and I know like earlier when you’re like, I’m, I feel like it’s corny. I’m just gonna say I feel like I really came home to myself. That’s how I feel about using the word journey. Because it’s so overused, but it’s the only accurate descriptor of what the hell this is, you know, it’s
Erica Wiederlight 19:17
true, you nailed it, because it’s funny, I was gonna say, the seasons and cycles for me. Like sometimes I was like, I have absolutely no space and capacity to go to the depths of my soul. Like, no, not that by them. That’s that, like, we are not going there. And now I think because of all of this work and facilitating the titration of it all, at least in this season. I’m like, alrighty. We know what to do. And so I thank you for mentioning that because yeah, that’s for me see, seasons and cycles of it all.
Elizabeth DiAlto 19:49
Yeah, but in the Senate, I know. And again, you don’t have to share anything personal but I know you’ve also been in a season of like many things going on it. Like, if you could do it in this season. I’m pretty sure you could do it in just about any season. Truly,
Erica Wiederlight 20:03
I’d have in currently every life event and you know all the things, and it’s everything is high emotion, like in high intensity, I should say. So there I was like, what is it? Like? What was it like to not have high density things happening? And so that I think you asked this before, I’m like, I am so proud of myself, that I’m holding myself through this. Wow. Because again, that’s cool. But in the past, I was extremely avoidant. And I’d be like, I am not dealing that, like, I can’t even handle this. And that’s okay. But I am so proud of myself that I’m holding myself. Yeah. Through this. I’m like, why I’m blown away. Yeah.
Elizabeth DiAlto 20:44
What did it used to be like when you couldn’t hold yourself? So when you were avoidant? What would you do instead?
Erica Wiederlight 20:49
Of what anything but any give me anything? I’ll take it transparently. I’m still working through this, but run to food, social media. Anything
Elizabeth DiAlto 20:57
today. attention elsewhere. Yes,
Erica Wiederlight 21:00
overworking, loved overwork over exercising over traveling, putting up the time, you know, the calendar, had every minute booked. I’m like, give me anything. But have me deal, please. And now I’m like, I’m, I’m dealing. I’m so proud of myself. And I’m, that I’m dealing.
Elizabeth DiAlto 21:19
Yeah. You know, one of the ways that I frame this often is, you could deal with it now. Or you can deal with it later. Right? And often later, when we put it off, put it off, put it off. By the time we get to it later. It’s so big. Yeah. It’s like when I don’t do my dishes for several days.
Erica Wiederlight 21:38
Yeah. And then I have to do
Elizabeth DiAlto 21:39
the mountain of dishes instead of just like chipping away at it every day. Like you’re not letting it build up. And I’m just like, there are some mornings where I go over this thing. And I’m like overjoyed that it’s empty. And I’m like, Ah, like, our emotions are stuff. Like, our thoughts are like that, too. It’s like, I could have the mountain or I could deal with the little bit. That’s only built up since yesterday when I addressed it last
Erica Wiederlight 22:07
night. And I think that’s why this work is so potent to like, wow, I’m in a portal of portals right now. And when life is just like laughing and doing its thing, I also need this work to just like keep the pipes clean. You know what I mean? Just to be like, I’m regulated or Reuven, remove it like to that’s been so potent for me to like, wow, I’m in a portal, and this is helping me. But also me just like, living and yeah, and the things and being out there. Yep, exactly.
Elizabeth DiAlto 22:34
You know, one of the ways that we describe, especially our flow classes, which I know are your favorite, it’s like if yoga and pole dancing had a baby. And I know you’ve done a lot of yoga and a lot of pole dancing. So what is it like to be in the merging, again, as someone who was like very attached to movement before, or would like overdo it in either place. And again, I don’t want to describe it as like a middle ground because it’s not what it is. But this blend this place where, you know, yoga is very regimented. And there’s nothing wrong with that, right, like asana practice can be a beautiful thing. And I know, it’s really, for a lot of people. And then pole dancing can be, as you described, like super performative. So on the spectrum of like, so structured, to so performative. We do land somewhere in the middle with wild soul movement. What has that been like for you?
Erica Wiederlight 23:27
The best, because it’s because it’s like the best of the things I love about yoga, the best things I love about pole, and I can live my life and my friend says this in a beautiful way. I’m like, Oh my God, this this hit. But this work, especially for like my neurodivergent ADHD brain has given me such permission to not do the things in your classes and other people’s classes when we get cheered on for follow your body. Wow. You know, like, I am like, I’ve never been cheered on for that in the past. It was like, go sit in your chair. Why you all over the place? Why are you like it that in itself has been so healing to follow my body. And honestly, being a teacher, or doing this teacher training, and having people being like, Thank you, like, what is following my body? Like, that has been some of my favorite moments when they’re like, You give me permission to follow my body, and I never have before. And I’m so excited to start to ask myself, What the hell does that even mean? You know, I’m like, Ah, that is the best. So, for me, it’s been like the juiciest of both of those modalities. And I’m like, Ah, it’s like a warm home. Oh,
Elizabeth DiAlto 24:35
I love that description. And I appreciate that part that just like the reflection about how big of a deal it is for people to follow your body so anyone listening, if you’ve never taken a wild soul movement class with us, first of all, I teach a free class on Sundays now wild Soul Sunday Service We do a little sermon we say a little prayer and then we move together so if you want to come try it out for free. Come try it out for free. If you go to untamed yourself dot Komm forward slash links, you’ll find the link there to get yourself into a wild Soul Sunday service. But you know, one of the things that I always say in the beginning of class is I’m like, Listen, if we were in a room together, and I looked around, and I saw you doing something that wasn’t what I asked you to do, I would be so glad to see you. Listening to your own body, rather than trying to do what I asked you to do. I think people know this, I don’t love yoga, I’ve been on and off with yoga for many years. And the last time I was on was right around two years ago, now, Thanksgiving 2021, right around that time, and I was in a class, I was having a lot of grief happening. And you know how it happens. Sometimes I’m in like a hip opener, I start crying. So I’m just like, on my mat, melted into child’s pose, literally weeping, right? Not making noise, but like, I’m crying. And the instructor of that class was really the type that likes everyone in the room, not only to be doing the same thing, but to be moving as close to in unison as possible. And listen energetically, I can understand how that would be potent in a group in a room. But when a person is having a moment, and like an emotional experience, so she like called my name out, and she was like, Elizabeth, like, you know, we’re doing this now. And I just like, I looked up, and I shook my head, to just let her know, like, I’m not okay. And she didn’t come over to check on me. She didn’t like, see what was up like, another minute later, like, she called my name out again. And so I just got up and walked out of the class. Yeah, it’s like, that’s just not. I don’t know how to tell you. That’s not how we do things. Or you know why I come here? Like, it’s so because that’s not even about discipline. Because what is that teaching people? What is that modeling for people? To be like, well, you need to feel whatever you’re feeling
Erica Wiederlight 26:52
but keep it moving. Right? Right, that you giving that permission to us, every class has literally altered something in my soul. Like in his, that permission is altering in itself. Yeah. When you were saying that I’m like, oh, yeah, like, I have so many snapshots of like a yoga class, or this class, where my body wanted to move in this way. But I didn’t feel like I was allowed. I didn’t feel like I was safe. It was like, actually felt like threatening, like, if I do this, like, it’s out of line, it’s inappropriate. And so this is like, Thank God, I can breathe, you know, I could have this space. And I’m sure you see this, obviously. But like, I know, for the students that I’m teaching now that they’re like, this is an adjustment. You know, like, I’m used to, like, put me in some salutation, like, I’ll do the downward foot like, and it’s like, wow, like this is so permission giving. And it takes a moment of like, what is my truth? Like? How does my body want to move? And that has been Wow, so healing for me. So
Elizabeth DiAlto 27:55
I’m thinking of something related to this. In the cueing of classes, I remember something you had asked me during our immersion in the summer, because I know one of the modalities you teach, there’s a lot of like, encouragement and recognition, by telling people like, how good they look, right? This is beautiful or gorgeous, or I love that a great job, so and so. And you asked me about that. And I remember being like, Yeah, we don’t do that here. Right? Because it’s not nothing here is about how it looks. It’s all about how it feels. Yes. And we don’t want anyone to feel self conscious that like a I’m watching you for how it looks. be calling you out in the middle of class to like, draw attention to you or whatever. How’s that transition been for you? Both as a teacher and a student? So you did and cannot give it?
Erica Wiederlight 28:55
No, I’m actually so glad that because I always think about that I laugh. I’m like, Oh, my God, da. And now I’m like, Whoa, I’m thinking of the multilayers. Because again, I came at it from a place of I’m embodied, I’m embodied. But then when I go into how do I say this, in that space, when I was in those classes, which is great in those classes, I didn’t realize how much of in my head I was, because I was seeking validation from the teacher. And I didn’t have a conscious effort, like I are conscious, knowing when you point it out, you’re like, hey, like that actually might rip you out of your body. And I was like, oh my god, am I really out of my body like I never quite but I was quote unquote, embodied before. And so I didn’t realize that even when I was in my sensual movement, I still wanted that validation and I was mostly in my head. And so for this, for me, true embodiment where I’m not also a Thank God, I don’t want to comment on anyone’s movement. Like I’m like, Thank God like that’s not my place. Like that’s inappropriate, first of all, in
Elizabeth DiAlto 29:57
our container, right and other is like, yeah, Good friend, but yeah, right. I’m
Erica Wiederlight 30:01
like, that’s, that’s awesome. But I’m like, Oh, thank god like I feel so free. That that’s not my responsibility because that feels ik anyway. Yeah, but also just like, what a soft place to land that someone could genuinely move, or be held and not be like beautiful, gorgeous, and they’re like, What is gorgeous? It was, Is this going to be gorgeous to get like, Wow, thank God,
Elizabeth DiAlto 30:23
am I gonna be gorgeous? Now what about now? It’s so true.
Erica Wiederlight 30:29
And I was like I’m in body but I remember they like gorgeous Erica and then I’m like, I need to be gorgeous. And five more like, Am I beautiful now? How’s it like, wasn’t genuine, it was involved performative. It was performative, and you know,
Elizabeth DiAlto 30:41
different people, depending on where they are, they might have that response or not like it might, they might not care, they might. That is a great point of how it pulls you up into your head, because now you’re thinking about how you look. And if like you mentioned the worthiness stuff earlier, if you’re functioning as getting your value and your worth from external validation. Yeah, yeah. How could you be in your body in that class? When you’re constantly like, working out? What can I do to hear that compliment again? And
Erica Wiederlight 31:11
it’s funny, I’m like, tracking my timeline. Like, that makes sense at that time, because I was still getting from hatred to neutral. Yeah. So yes, I was being ripped into my head. And I didn’t even consciously have awareness. But I also was like, thank God. Someone said, I was gorgeous. You know what I mean? So like, at the time, that’s all good, wasn’t embodiment, but I was chasing that like, yeah.
Elizabeth DiAlto 31:34
But this is a really important point that you’re making, that at that time, you didn’t need that. i One need that, and there’s nothing like, again, let’s use the journey where it again, that’s where you were, and that’s what you needed. And what’s beautiful now is that you don’t need that. And
Erica Wiederlight 31:53
well, I’m so grateful. I could look back and be like, Wow, that was such healing medicine. Because I’ve seen I was celebrating my body, which I never was before. Yeah, someone saying gorgeous. I was like, Oh, like that was so right. Feeling like, wow, polling. And I’m so glad I got to do that journey. And now I’m like, this is a whole. So Greg warms. And this is
Elizabeth DiAlto 32:15
why I when I asked you earlier, I didn’t want to it’s not about like comparing, it’s not that this is better. It’s that at different points in your journey, you need different medicine 100% 100%.
Elizabeth DiAlto 32:25
That’s great. You have really made some beautiful connections in the community. And so we talk about the value and the importance of community a lot. And again, I’m curious, I know you’ve been in different types of community. How do you experience community now in our space, and has an impact how you experience or do or cultivate community outside of it in other areas of your life? Ooh,
Erica Wiederlight 32:52
that’s a good one. I think what I love about this community is more accountability. Meaning the people that love me, love me, and they also support my rising, but also check me lovingly, you know, being like, yeah. Like, this is this might be a spot for you, like, you know, and that’s okay. In other communities in the past, there was more of a cell. And again, that was the medicine at the time, there was more of a self serving agenda. Mm hmm. Great. That was that vibe that was that season, but like now, I’m like, Oh, this is what it means to be an actual community. This is something very different and so potent and so transformative. Like I feel the ripples. And
Elizabeth DiAlto 33:42
you know, we have a couple of people in your training class that are neurodivergent. And me having only discovered my own neuro divergence, not like within the year, and really like tending to it, it’s actually been so illuminating and helpful for me to create things and make sure that we are like, giving you what you need in the way you need it and being like, damn, I need that shit. Yes, I’ve actually learned so much from you all and been like, Oh, damn, like this is I needed that. Now I understand, like my own brain and Eleni, you know, we our brains functional differently. But I’m curious about that as well. Because you mentioned it earlier. I wonder, have you always known you were neurodivergent? Like, when did you discover that? Was there any worthiness stuff tied into that either before or after? You knew like, what was that journey? Like for you?
Erica Wiederlight 34:39
about it? Totally. I’m obsessed with this. I’ve never actually like told you point blank, which is really cool. I knew my whole life like I had a diagnosis, you know, of auditory processing, all these different things. But I’m a brilliant nose rise of performative brilliant masker and I was like, okay, all good. All good, all good. And you’re gonna be like, Oh, of course, it wasn’t until I got into this work. And until, with this training that I’ve discovered this, to a degree I’ve never discovered for or felt safe enough. I’ve never felt this safe to be held in this and to learn about how I could support myself. It didn’t feel safe. I was like, It’s fine. I’ll push through all muster through all the suffering silence, you know what, and that has been actually, it’s funny, I don’t talk about a lot. But that’s been a huge part of my year with you, like a huge part of learning who I am as a human. And talk about like, self acceptance, self love, like self trust, like, wow, will like all that blue wide open. When I felt safe to go into that work.
Elizabeth DiAlto 35:51
I love that. And we have to really shout out our girl Kate Bailey, because yes, educated, some of you listening to the podcast might have done the real uplevel with us, Kate Bailey, did I interviewed her i She gave the talk on neuro divergence and how to be inclusive with neurodivergent people. And she’s in our training and she I feel like she’s been schooling all of us all year. Thank God. Yeah. So happy to hear that. But again, also just so appreciative from my own place of, you know, facing that realize it dealing with and being like, Oh, how can I maybe alter my own life to accommodate this? Rather than because I didn’t know before? My goodness, some of the spiritual bypassing some of the like, if I just it’s in the energy field, it’s this is that it’s like, no, but your brain functions different. needs different things. I’m like, body doubling is like, the best thing in the world. And I always say, you know, like, you know what’s funny? Because I’ve moved so many times. You know, when you’re moving, you will be like, let me know if you need help with anything. And you know, some people mean it, some people don’t. But I would say to people, I’m like, you just sit with me while I pack like, I don’t do anything. We just come sit with me. I didn’t know that. That was a thing. I didn’t know that. That is literally what body doubling is. But what I knew was that if someone was sitting with me while I was packing, I could pack. So yes, I was just like, on my own, like grinding it out. It would be torture, just the same. Even in my apartment. If I need to fold my laundry I call someone. Yeah, like I was doing this intuitively. For years. I just like observed if I’m like, on the phone, and it’s different. I can watch TV. It’s not the same. But there’s something about having another human beings presence. Like I will organize my closet and an hour long conversation with my best friend. I’ll be like, well, that’s done. Meanwhile, I procrastinated for three weeks until I got on the phone. You know,
Erica Wiederlight 37:51
it’s true that like Kate says, I will forever remember it will go to Whole Foods. And she taught me how to advocate for this. Were before I was like, oh my god, this is so embarrassing. Talk about self hate. You know, like, it’s so embarrassing, like, put underneath the rug. And now I know how to advocate. I’m learning. But advocate for myself more like today. I was like, Oh, I’m having a panic attack, the cleaning. And I lovingly said to my partner, I’m like, I’m freaking out. I’m like, you want a body double with me? He’s like, okay, but like, I was like, and he’s like, we could watch TV. And I’m like, No, it doesn’t work for me. And so I’ve learned what worked like, can you like literally sit with me? I will bang it out so quick. But I just need to like, have you sit there with me, and let’s talk for a few minutes. And but I never knew these things before. And that, that meeting Kate? With that now with her knowledge, plus all your frameworks with all the different liberal, like the liberation boot, like I was like, wow, I don’t even think I still processed Holy crap. I don’t know how to process the magnitude of that growth.
Elizabeth DiAlto 38:52
I love that. I’m just so happy to hear like all the different things that you accept about yourself now. And you like ask for and you like, let yourself be who and how you are. I’ve done that a lot this year, too. You know, like, I’ll tell people in all kinds of contexts, I’ll be like, I have ADHD. This is really hard for me, like even my TEDx talk that’s coming up. I emailed them because you know, every TEDx talk that you see on the internet, I’ve only seen one or two people ever, with like, a paper or like cards, and they don’t have it memorized. Memorizing shit. So it’s always been so hard for me. And I emailed them and I was like, Hey, I’m not really a memorizer. Like, is Ted gonna, like kick me out? If I don’t memorize this talk? And they were like, no, like, you could do this, this or this. And I was like, Alright, cool, but even bring it up asking about it. Like you’re saying I feeling self conscious, not feeling like whatever. I’ll just like muscle through it like now I will be 1000 times more comfortable on the stage, because I’m just gonna have my one sheet of paper with me, which is what I did stand up nominee, that’s what I would do, I would just one little legal pad piece of paper that I would like, fold in for and just have like my bullet points. So I could just look down and like remember what comes next? And then I’m good to go.
Erica Wiederlight 40:13
Exactly. I’m sure for you to like, it’s that knowing what I need an asking for it. I don’t know, for years this work of like, no, your needs, know your desire, ask for it. And I’m like, okay, yeah, no, I want a cam Bucha I could ask for but like, this is like, this is a new level of like, Whoa, I didn’t know this was a need. Like, I didn’t know this was a need. And I didn’t know that loved ones could support me in that. And vice versa. I learned also through this journey. How I could be. Kate really has been a great teacher in this to like, how I could support others. Yeah. Like I learned a lot through this journey with you, Kate. Like, how to hold people differently, too, are really busy. Yeah, powerful stuff. And
Elizabeth DiAlto 40:57
just the inclusivity of it, right? Like making it not a big deal. Like total total? Like, do you need something like we want to make sure we even if we don’t know, like, let us know. So we could figure it out. And we could like adjust or we could do something for you. How are you? Exactly. Exactly. And that goes such a long way for people? It does. Yeah, I’m curious. You said something earlier about just even how the movements are accessible. Because again, I know that is something that people do complain about with yoga, or with pole dancing at the extremes of the spectrum, like we were talking earlier. I guess the way I want to ask it as someone who I know has been hard on your body. And you kind of referenced this earlier, but never needing to push not perform, because you mentioned that. But what has it been like? Because I don’t know how attached you were to the push. Has it been disorienting, like the state like actually letting yourself be like, Oh snap, I really don’t have to push unless I want to.
Erica Wiederlight 42:00
I’m laughing because I’m like, Oh my gosh, when you said poll, I was like oh my tea I have memories. Because I’ve I’ve been so many different weights, my whole and I talked about this when I teach my class, like I’ve been genuinely every size, every pant size ever dress size. And as I was every size, I navigate every size I was showed up that way and pull class. And I remember I was I have memories of I always love floor work. Like I always love like, let me you know, follow my body follow the impulses. But when we got to the pole, I all of a sudden had to go to the gift shop, you know, all of a sudden, like, like, where’s Erica? There she is buying a t shirt at the gift shop or Oh, where’s Erica? She’s in the bathroom? Because I was like, Ooh, my body stuff would at any size would come up. And also sometimes body side stuff. And also like a bit like, sometimes I’m like, This is not right today. Like I don’t I actually don’t feel safe to climb the pole. I was like, how could I say no? Like, how can I say no. So there wasn’t the gift shop or there wasn’t in the bathroom or running the class. This has been such a gift that it’s like, you want to be in child’s pose now, or like that’s not accessible, or making modifications. That has been so. So freeing. And also it’s been so freeing, because how do I say this? Being in a community being in a class where everyone’s making their own modifications is so delightful. Like, It’s so delightful, because in the past, I’d be in classes, which was nicer, like, do what you’re, you know, follow your body. But it’s like, it’s hard for like we talked about that everyone knows what that means. So we sometimes just happen to go and do what everyone else is doing. But when you like look on a sea of zoom, or in person and everyone’s genuinely following your body. It’s like, I could breathe. Yeah, like I could breathe. And so I leaned in to the modification life like I lead I lead. I dived into that, because I was craving that for so long. And
Elizabeth DiAlto 44:14
I’m curious, are you still like doing any yoga or pull at all? I’d be curious how you are in those spaces. Now that you have done this.
Erica Wiederlight 44:21
So different. I want to I still go to yoga. Sometimes it’s like once a week, but I remember especially after immersion, I went to a yoga class I’m like, What is this? Because it was I was like what is it? Did I always do this? Like I was like wait, hold on, like I was so annoyed because like I the film appealed for my eyes. I’m like, no, no, no, not this. And it was so like it was so great, great, great but like so sterile and I was like great that does something for someone but I’m like where’s the aliveness? Like where’s the juice? Where’s the permission you know, I’m live for good central key like I live for The imagine which I’m like, oh, take me on a journey. I’m like, I’m on no journey. I’m so bored. Like, I am so bored. And so like, it was going to classes now I’m like, Ah, that’s what they’re doing, you know, or I can experience it in a new way. And how do I say this? Unless attached? If I do something weird or wacky, like, do different pose, and the teacher is mad, I’m like, okay, you know, like, I have a little bit more, you know, like, I think, because before I was like, I can’t, that doesn’t feel safe. So it’s really prepped me for navigating that too. In the world. Of
Elizabeth DiAlto 45:34
that. Anything, I haven’t asked you that you were hoping I would or that we haven’t talked about or that you want to share? Yeah, I’ll
Erica Wiederlight 45:40
say this. Something that I’ve been processing, like how profound this work has been. And it really is like an initiation genuinely. And again, I love the glam. You know, like, I love the jumpsuit, Laura with a body suit, like and I was talking to some of my fellow my fellow classmates, and I was like, I’m not gonna lie, there was a little ego part of me, it’s like, then I’m gonna roll up my yoga mat, and I’m gonna be so hot. Like, there’s a part of me. Still, like, I’m gonna be really real, like that was like, is still a little bit attached to like the hotness of it. If that makes it like a little bit like, you’re like, like, it’s hot end. Wow, we’re, I’m lovingly laughing at what I felt like what I’ve gotten out of this is so profound. And I find it not from I don’t know, I just look back and I’m like, Oh, that’s so cute, that I thought I was just like, wearing my Lululemon. You know, like, I’m rolling up my yoga bag, or whatever the like Port performative thing is, like, I’m gonna be so embodied, like, I’m gonna be so embodied and I’m like, or I’m gonna be so embodied in it. Wow, I’m gonna be the most embodied you’re gonna be like, I’m gonna be like a my Lululemon bra like I’m be so embodied. It’d be so central. And Alma, wow. Wow, I did not know this was this was a journey. And you know what’s so funny? Coma coma, what I’m trying to get at is, I didn’t know that this was even possible. Right? That’s what I guess I’m most shook at like, Oh, I didn’t know that. Whoa. Like, we’re in uncharted territories that are so beautiful. I didn’t even know this was a thing. If that makes sense.
Elizabeth DiAlto 47:28
It makes sense. Because one of my biggest challenges of my life is how to describe that for people. Yeah, because you can’t describe something for someone that they don’t know is possible. Right? Until someone has experienced it, which is why anyone listening, just come to a Sunday service just like do a movement class with us, you could feel it. Because we could even listening to Eric and I, if you’ve never done this, if you’ve never felt this way in your body. You might be sitting here like sounds great. But like, you really don’t know. Until you know, and I will forever be grateful to pole dancing because my first experience was in like, a warm up in an S Factor class in New York City in 2010. Like, I was a personal trainer, I was used to like warming up my group exercise classes for like, three minutes, maybe that and it was like, active warm up. And then like, let’s get into this intense workout. So like the slow movement for 30 minutes. First of all, I remember being so agitated, being like, when are we gonna get to the pole tricks, like, I didn’t come here for like, rolling around on the ground. But then I’m like circling my hips and like, moving my ribs in way I didn’t even know they could move it. I’m like, actually, like, I remember walking out of that dark ash studio onto 23rd Street in Manhattan. And it was like, literally, from the dark cave of the studio into the bright light of day. And some man was like screaming at somebody just like some profane, aggressive thing. And I’m like, Man, I was like, coming from heaven and stepping into hell, and being like, back to reality now. And so I mean, I took a lot of inspiration with wild soul movement. It’s like, we don’t ever leave that zone. Right? We don’t go into like, the poll tricks or the like the aggressive. There’s just no aggressive. Yes, plenty of aggressive everywhere else in life. Like when you’re with us, let’s just do the nourishing part.
Erica Wiederlight 49:35
Yes, and really quickly, I want to add like the years of that type of embodiment that I had genuinely changed my life, like change the trajectory of my life. And why I’m obsessed with this work is it feel I know I’ve said this before but I’m trying to land in is like, it’s excessive, like I could be walking through New York City, or I could be on a plane and I could feel oh, my hips are tight like I could walk through life from this place where before was amazing, but only on Fridays at 12 to two. Right. I feel this. You know what I mean? Thank God from on Fridays, but like, from 12 to two I could feel alive and in my magic and my radiance and then out I go. And with this work I could feel. You take it wherever you go. Exactly. That’s what it is. That’s what I’m trying to get. Yes, exactly. I
Elizabeth DiAlto 50:25
love that. Oh my god. Well, thank you so much everyone listening on our show notes page, which again, go to untamed yourself.com forward slash links. Click on the podcast, you could always find the show notes over there. For any episode, if you want to learn more about what Erika does in her own work, where you can follow her or anything like that. We are putting links to all those things on the show notes pages. So thank you so much for sharing and thank you for being here.
Erica Wiederlight 50:47
Thank you for you. Thanks for you. That’s it. Thank you. Thank you for having me. We’ll see you later. Bye.