“Living an engaged life, embracing the full rainbow range of your emotional and sensational aliveness where you are in sensuous communion with the world IS living creatively”
– Priscilla Rodgers
My beautiful community, meet Priscilla Rodgers. A visionary and an embodiment coach, Priscilla has built a deeply impactful business guiding womxn from survival mode to sensuous living.
I first connected with Priscilla over Instagram (shocker), and was immediately magnetized by her belief in the vital wisdom of the body, and how we can use our senses both as a tool and an outcome in becoming more fully expressed and sensuous human beings.
Or are she would say, women who deeply feel “the rapture of being alive.”
Life force flowing.
Sexual energy flowing.
Fresh, spontaneous, and alive.
We’re diving deeply into connecting with your own sensuous truth, the body as the vessel for that connection, how we can lean into our underbellies of shame and trauma, and truly live an engaged and sensuous life in our interview below.
I cannot wait to hear what you think ❤
I’d love to learn about your journey and how it brought you to the place of doing your powerful and essential work. Can you share about your “why” and lived experience that led you to this space?
I knew in my bones that I was meant to do something more than what I was doing with my life professionally and creatively. At one point, I put my hands up in desperation and asked, “What am I here for?!” and the answer came shortly after. What brought everything together that I loved was the senses – I am really just passionate about being alive. I started doing research studying the senses and anything sensory or body-related, and I’d find bread crumbs that kept me going and reminded me that I was onto something. One of those major breadcrumbs was a quote by my favorite intellectual, Joseph Cambell:
“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”
It felt like this quote single-handedly validated my theory that the senses are so important because they make us feel that “rapture of being alive.” And that this is what we all are seeking and our culture so often lacks support for and examples of.
I decided to become trained as a femnine embodiment coach and it was in that training that I learned about our inner ‘felt senses,’ which is essentially the vital, deep bodily wisdom and sensational liveliness of our inner world. Our ‘felt senses’ and trauma are closely correlated because the reason most of us can’t feel is due to childhood trauma – we have numbed ourselves to and from the pain. So this led me further down the rabbit hole and I got trained to incorporate breathwork to address developmental and relational trauma.
I had this moment along the way when I was having a facial – it was my first one and it was literally life-changing. It relaxes all of this tension that is more than just physical – it takes you to a deep, emotional and even spiritual place. I thought wow, this is what I do but through coaching – guide my clients to that deep place that’s stored as unconscious energy in the body, the underbellies. After that facial, I wanted to incorporate the power of touch in my work – the senses as a tool AND as an outcome. Helping people to live more sensuously.
So now I use a medley of the senses in sessions with clients – they are all incorporated in the journey we take. This makes for a luscious, exquisite experience. It doesn’t have to be all about pain, in a no pain-no gain type of way. This is important because pleasure and sensory awareness are foundational to the healing journey of becoming more whole and more of you. And in a more practical sense, when we are babies we live in a sensorimotor world. We need to be gazed at with loving eyes, touched with warm arms, fed with nourishing food – to make sure we feel that we are safe, we belong, we are loved and connected – these are our core needs as humans.
Let’s talk about your beautifully phrased concept of the sensuous truth. What does this mean, why is it essential, and how can we get in touch with and fully live out our own sensuous truths?
This phrase speaks to the inherent felt knowing that we have, especially us women. I’ve had pregnant women tell me that they’re more in tune with their body during pregnancy. Pregnancy turns up the volume on our inner senses. In our top-down, patriarchal society, we often operate only from our head space, believing logic is better or even safer. So I like to think that tapping into our sensuous truth is also reclaiming our feminine power that we have been strategically divested of over time.
We feel this truth in our body – perhaps our ‘pelvic brain’ or we have a ‘gut feeling’ or we say we just know it in our ‘hearts of hearts.’ All of these phrases point towards our deepest, undeniable, felt truth. It’s sensational. We feel it. And a lot of times we are in presentation-mode (survival) and so we act and speak in ways that we think will put us in a good light instead of being in presence (sensuous). We can tune into how we want to respond, act, or approach a given situation based on that moment-to-moment sensuous truth that bubbles up. It keeps you really honest and authentic with yourself and others.
The body is the seat of so much wisdom, and I love how you share about how our bodies are made for relating with others (and the more-than-human world as well). Can you speak to the body as the vessel through which we experience healing, experience living fully?
We can refer back to what I mentioned before about women being more in tune with their bodies before giving birth – not only is your body paying more attention to the new life you are connected to, but also your baby, once born, will require more of you to be turned on and tuned in. I have this picture that I’m obsessed with and it is of me holding my baby niece and she is just gazing into my eyes as I feed her her bottle. It’s this beautiful moment where she connects to me through feeding. Although I’m not breastfeeding, the impulse to connect through the body is still there. Touch is so important not just emotionally, but for the survival of infants and it never stops being so important. Touch is my love language, because I was neglected as a baby and touch feels so electric to me now.
And beyond our external senses, I believe our whole sensate body is primed for love and connection. You might often hear about “heart-to-heart connection,” the “heart-up” or “heart-centric” approach. With full-bodied living and loving, we need to connect our throat and heart and hara (power center) to hold firm boundaries, to protect a loved one from harm; we need to connect to our pelvis to love creatively and have wonderful sex. Our feet always run into someone’s arms, to dance with them. And just think of how magical it is to fall in love, and we often feel that magic with new experiences like travel, art or in nature – we are most open in these moments, most present, embodied and sensuously alive.
You work with trauma in your practice, and how we can lean into our shadows, or as you call them “the underbellies,” to help us shift away from survival mode and into sensuous living. Can you share a bit more about this process?
The underbellies are shame, shadow, and trauma. The trifecta, as I see them. What they all have in common is pain, something too overwhelming happened and you weren’t able to process the experience, or you were shamed for being a certain way or had to do something that would grant you love and belonging. And even though we may not cognitively remember the incident(s), our body remembers it all. And it usually comes up in our relational experiences, which is why I’m so excited to be creating a group program on relationships. They are great mirrors and healers.
We tend to develop patterns to prevent the pain again. Our trauma responses are a survival function of our nervous system: fight, flight, freeze, and fawn.
And guess what is also a function of our nervous system? Our senses!!! So I see it as a beautifully direct path, as sensuous living is an inside-out process. We have to get to the root of the problem, which typically lies in our trauma history. We clench our senses, our posture, and our tissues which reduces our ability to feel, experience life, and of course sense our body as a vessel of love, delight, flow, creativity and all these other great inherent qualities.
Once we are able to somatically open our body and release the stored tension and patterns rooted in fear/survival that no longer serve us. We can inhabit our bodies more fully allowing for more pleasure and that rapture of being alive (openness, love, joy…) that Joseph Campbell speaks to, and in essence, live more sensuously.
I was captivated last week when I heard you say on your Instagram stories, “Creativity is a reflection of human nature.” How does our creativity fit into living our sensuous truth?
Yes, a reflection of human nature and nature at large. Creativity and the senses go hand and hand and is really what initiated my business. I played piano, I wrote, I loved photography, nature and all the arts really. My mom would call me a Jack-of-all-trades, and it wasn’t until I started studying the senses and the body that I realized my life is in and of itself lived creatively.
Our body is a microcosm of the universe. We are a creative, powerful force. Living an engaged life, embracing the full rainbow range of your emotional and sensational aliveness, where you are in sensuous communion with the world IS living creatively. When we allow for raw, embodied freshness and spontaneity we are not bogged down by the stories and patterns of our past. And so in operating from that place, will naturally be more creative, with life force energy and flow – which is creative, lively, sexual energy. We often look at babies and how free, buoyant and full their laughs are, how fully in their bodies they are. We restrict our movement and thus the creative force of life is strangled. When we somatically open and unblock the areas of constriction in our tissues we can feel that flow of aliveness, once again.