Being 37.5 weeks pregnant means I am not as mobile as I used to be — which means I am reading a bit more on the weekends. Since I have not gone for a run in 3 months (so hard for me) – it meant my reading had slowed down. We have filled our days and nights with planning and prepping for this baby boy to join us, but these last few weekends I have been reading more.
“First, we need to understand the power of conditioning. The following demonstration will make the point.
Right now, wherever you are sitting, lift your right foot a few inches off the ground and then start moving it in a clockwise circle. At the same time as you’re doing that, raise your right hand and draw a number six in the air.
What happened? Your right foot switched directions, didn’t it? Try it again. The reversal will happen every time!” page 4
Frustrated? Did it happen for you or were you able to get past it? It got me interested enough to keep reading (even though I skipped a lot of exercises). The real nugget I wanted to share was:
“Our energy follows our attention, always.” Page 69
It is true is it not? What we focus on we absorb. What we absorb, we ingest. What we ingest impacts our energy, our mood, our body language, and often what comes out of our mouth. Chris and I often talk about the energy we allow into our home. I think about it at work and with friends. We have a choice on what we focus on, what we attend to, and if we redirect — we might actually have a happier and more “energetic” life.
Do you ever think about how you walk into a room? What does your body language say about your attitude, mood, and demeanor for that meeting? Do you walk in and stay within your little bubble? Or, do you walk in with a smile, your head held high, and engage with others in the room? Do you hide and quietly hope that others do not notice you so you do not have to engage in conversation?
“There is almost nothing better in the world than the feeling of showing up for our own lives. When we can do this, we become people who are more alive and who have the ability to make things happen in our lives and the lives of the people around us. We walk through the world with the knowledge that we have a lot to offer and the desire to share it.”
Showing up. This is a mantra in my life. You might not have a clue about everything that is on your plate, how to make it all happen or juggle it all, but you show up. Being present means we bring it (or it should). We bring the best of ourselves to each encounter and interaction. Our best selves mean we are raw and real and truly alive.
Yesterday I met with a recent college graduate and was asked for advice of what she could do to be most successful in her budding career. My advice to her: “Be willing to do anything and everything. Say yes to everything. Learn from those around you. Innovate in everything you do in order to make all projects you touch better and better.” The result: you learn more about yourself, you gain new skills, you find out what you love, those around you trust you, and you grow each and every day.
We all have a lot to offer. Show up. Bring it. Make shit happen.
I was intrigued when I watched this TED talk with Amy Cuddy. I cannot remember how I came across it, however, it has my mind going with so many ideas and questions. Body language is fascinating to me. She talks a lot about how we carry ourselves and what that means about our emotional state. When we are in a business meeting are we slouching or sitting upright? What are our legs doing? Do we cross them or put them up on a table?
So what did you think of what she had to say? I have a confession. Growing up I always had a large chest. You know, breasts, boobs, ou-ba-ju-ba-wobbles. I hated it. I hid them, or at least I tried. It impacted my posture. I stopped standing up straight. I started rolling my shoulders and over time my shoulders now have stayed that way. I try to work on my posture, but I am afraid it will take a while to fix after all those years of hiding myself. I remember a Sunday School teacher once told me to stand against the wall and stand up straight and carry myself proudly. I was offended (especially because it was in Sunday School)!
Yet, after listening to Cuddy’s video, it makes me think a lot about body language and power. How we sit, how we interact, our facial gestures, etc. I ask myself: How am I sitting in my meeting? How do I carry myself when I am interacting with family? Do I look engaged and interested, or bored and tired? Do I show respect with my body language? Do I show my power, or hide behind my body? All interesting thoughts to me as I assess how I am ME in this world.