We know our minds change our bodies. But do our bodies change our minds?

asks Amy Cuddy, Social Psychologist. Here is what she had to say about it:

Tiny tweaks can lead to big changes: In her study, she had groups adopt either a high power pose, or a low power pose for just two minutes. You can see what these poses look like in her Ted Talk (link below). Just two minutes led to these hormonal changes:

Risk tolerance: 85% of high those adopting a high power pose were willing to gamble. 60% of low those adopting a low power pose were willing to gamble.
Testosterone: there was a 20% increase after 2 minutes of adopting a high power pose and a 10% decrease for low power pose adopters.
Cortisol (the stress hormone): there was a 25% decrease for high power pose adopters and a 15% increase for low.

Non-verbals do govern how we think and feel about ourselves: Power poses may not increase your IQ, but they do impact your presence by bringing you to your true Self rather than to that sabotaging ego part of you that second guesses your every move or makes you feel like an imposter.

Think of what competitive athletes do when they cross the finish line to win: their arms stretch straight up into a V position, their bodies stretch upwards, and their chin raises a little. Do that first thing in the morning for 2 minutes, even before you press that snooze button or get up to pee.

Watch her Ted Talk.

One thing at a time

When you focus on just one thing at a time, without rushing or procrastinating, you cultivate a sense of timeless awareness that creates feelings of calm and well-being.

Deepak Chopra

It’s counter-intuitive. Doing one thing at a time seems like the long cut while doing multiple things simultaneously the short cut.

One of my beloved teachers once told me, the long cut is the short cut, and the short cut is the long cut.

As I experimented with that, I found he was right. When I do everything simultaneously, I poop out bits of unfinished creativity everywhere ending up questioning what to pick up next, and that becomes the story of my life: overwhelmed with nothing done. When I focus on one thing at a time, each thing gets done. One at a time. When I focus on one thing without feeling the weight of obligation or second-guesses, it gets done well, and I come out of it feeling like it was built from my heart.

This shift

Emergencies are overrated as a response mechanism. Preparation and prevention are about to become a more popular alternative…My generation was the dominant voice for sixty years. A voice that worried about the next 24 hours, not the next 24 years. That’s about to shift, regardless of what year you were born.

Seth Godin about Generation C and the effects of Covid-19

Shifts -in global change of the ages and in our individual lives -don’t happen without loss and grief. When I’ve experienced big shifts in my own life, I grieved what I lost; I grieved the stuff that were holding me back. The shifts that many of us have struggled to make in our own lives before covid-19 have now gone global– energetically, we don’t have to feel alone in making them; the current is moving in the same direction that we’ve been wanting to go. The momentum is on our side now to find our small but meaningful tribe, to focus on what is important, and to build something meaningful and sustainable that supports living, connection, and good health. Grieve the losses; it’s an important part of the process of moving on. And also, move forward in the direction you’ve wanted to go. Not much is working against you now.

Feel it fully without telling a story

Don’t beat yourself up.
Don’t let it define you.
Don’t let it define someone else.
Don’t create a story that makes you feel worse.
Believe it or not, that story is your sabotage, not truth.
Don’t let other people’s stories define you.
Whatever happened that made you feel the way you feel happened, and your feelings are real.
Your stories are not.
But those stories are indeed like another event that happened – just in your head – and they hijack your ability to work through the actual event.

DO feel what you are feeling. Feel it fully. Move your attention to your body. Live and breathe in the feeling. It’s yours and it’s real.
Is it coursing through your veins? Clutching your stomach? Closing up your throat? Aching your back? Tensing your shoulders? Heating you up (where in your body)? Giving you a headache (is it dull, sharp, shooting, where)? Is your body crying inside? How do you know? What does it feel like?
Instead of resisting them by trying to make them go away so quickly, delve into them and feel them lovingly and compassionately. Breathe as you do.

Just like you want to be seen and heard, your body wants the same; see and hear your body. You want to matter, so rather than ignoring your body, give mattering to your body, because you do matter. If you can give it to yourself first, you will find it easier to receive it from others.

This is a vital part of moving through your emotions.

If you give yourself a little time to see and hear yourself, then you can hear what your Self needs to work this through. If you can give yourself some time to matter, your actions will matter to you. Otherwise, you relegate yourself to your story that unfairly defines you and informs your actions and quality of life. And, well, you know that story.

Is this waking you?

As an individual and a collective, we’ve experienced frustrations over our lifetimes witnessing obstacles, limitations, and injustices getting in the way of humane progress. We’ve had opportunities to make change in our own lives so that we are not complicit. And we have, to an extent.

We were busy. Filling our days with obligatory habitual schedules, figuring out what to eat, getting our chores done, watching the news and feeling disgusted, and being exhausted.

I’m reading that carbon and greenhouse emissions have dropped dramatically throughout the world because of coronavirus, down 40% from this time last year in NYC and 24% in Europe. Crime has also dipped dramatically in many cities. And of course, school shootings aren’t happening.
Will we be able to mitigate the economic effects of this global lockdown so that there isn’t a rapid upturn in crime and pollution once it’s over?

We have an opportunity.

An opportunity to step back and get thoughtful about our self care (as it relates to health, our relationships, and our work) and what we ripple outwards. We have an opportunity to teach our children how to live now that we are house-bound with them. Our education system is archaic to say the least. We have an opportunity to teach them what isn’t taught: how to live. (The schools have opportunity to shift their approach as well.) We don’t have to become educators in the traditional way, but we can become examples, teaching them life skills and self-authority through the enjoyment of living – the enjoyment of getting up in the morning, making healthful meals together, getting the laundry done, playing games, talking together, picking up hobbies and interests that were replaced by the screen, thinking of others that aren’t physically with us and reaching out, getting fresh air whenever possible, reading together, and discerning when to indulge in the screen (because screen time is fun– in proper doses). We get to decide when to spend money (as a family).

We get to see who is important in our lives, how we respond to difficult situations, and how creative we can be. After all, we are in the creative age. We get to transform the archaic systems as a collective, but first we get to transform our own minds. Momentum is on our side.
We need to truly extend concern for everyone’s health and economic well being now more than ever. When these concerns and sense of creativity and desire for whole health and transformation emerge as a society, and in our own individual lives, our conversation begins to shift from division to love.

Instead of dwelling in fear, resistance, and paranoia, seize the opportunity to take command over the space you’ve been granted to retreat, redeem, and reprioritize. Your thoughts, your concerns, your individual shifts count. More than you know.

Feeling emotions

We need to grieve. It validates the loss and allows us to move through.
Anger is important. It reveals our boundaries, our values, and it shows us what we feel threatened by.
Fear: It teaches us discernment. Harnessed, it propels, challenges limitation.
Confusion: It may be telling us we haven’t been living right action (living in alignment). We’ve cowered to fear.
Worry: We are living in the future, using our creative energy focusing what we don’t want.
Depression: We are living in the past, spinning stories using all of the above.
Sarcasm: Fear. Bravado. Wall.
Happiness: We forgot our obstacles and remembered who we were (and are).

Your trajectory is set right now

The present moment contains past and future. The secret of transformation, is in the way we handle this very moment.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

No matter what the future holds, whether you perceive what comes as good or bad, it will be determined by how you respond to things today.

Our response is activated by the lens from which we choose to see, and as long as we choose to see through that lens, we will act upon that story and experience similar things in the future. Different action through the same lens doesn’t yield different experiences; just a different story. Different action through a different lens does.

If you don’t like what you see, it may be time to shift that lens. The work here is in observing how you respond to things because the way you respond will tell you everything you need to know about yourself, and your Self is the trajectory.