My body, my mind, my awareness

I frequently check my shoulders to see if they’re even slightly raised. I place my left hand on my stomach and listen for a moment. I feel for what my heart is feeling. My body tells me things that would take hours, days, weeks, and sometimes years to realize otherwise. It’s a matter of knowing that my intelligent body is there to listen to. A friend pointed out to me that I do this. That I’d say, “My stomach doesn’t like it, ” instead of “I don’t like it.” Or “It hurts my body to hear that [gossip],” instead of “I don’t want to hear that gossip.” Because if I were to be honest with myself, I want to hear that gossip. Because I always recognize the pain in my body first before my mind catches on. My mind is more desensitized. Which means, when I ignore my body signals, my awareness around that topic or event dulls, and by the time my mind catches up to it, it gets stuck and enmeshed in the fear and scarcity of letting go, or in the shame of my complicity, to do anything about it without a lot of digging that I don’t want to do. So I’d rather defend it.

Better to check my body first.

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.