Patterns in our thinking show up as patterns in the body. And without even saying a word, we show people whats going on for us inside. There is a saying amongst massage therapists that, “the body doesn’t lie,” which is what makes it so easy for an astute, intuitive bodyworker and healer to read somebody’s energy. When I see people standing and walking as they go about their lives, I can almost always get a sense of where they are based on the way they hold themselves, and the way they move. Often I can feel a person’s self confidence and enthusiasm, or depression and low self esteem, as if they’ve donned it like a cloak.
In yoga, there is an asana (posture) called Tadasana, or Mountain Pose. Here you are encouraged to stand tall and intentionally; to elongate your spine and lift your heart toward the sky; letting your shoulders relax down your back, all the while grounding yourself as you become very aware of your feet touching the Earth. It’s a very confident, powerful stance – like standing at attention, but without the tension.
Tadasana is a great opportunity to notice how we hold ourselves in relationship to the world around us. Through our bodies do we energetically meet the world from a place of inner strength and confidence? Or are our shoulders rounded, head bowed forward as we buckle under the weight of life, our posture an indicator of just how exhausted and powerless we feel?
And when you add language to the mix, choosing words to communicate your inner reality, you further define yourself for, and to, others. The way others treat us is in direct response to the way they see us treating ourselves. If we honor and respect ourselves in all ways, others will do the same. We set the standard. We create our reality. If we are hard on ourselves, berating and blaming ourselves for mistakes or when things do not go as expected, others may feel comfortable doing the same. In other words, if we are willing to blame ourselves when things go awry, they may be willing to as well. If we are kind and gentle with ourselves, honoring and respecting our humanity and remembering that mistakes are what help us grow, others may see that in us as well.
One thing we can be sure of, nobody is going to give us anything we are not willing to claim for ourselves. If they did, we wouldn’t be able to receive it anyway.
We teach people how to treat us. Everything we do and say, every mannerism, speaks volumes about who and what we are. Every choice we make conveys a message about us. Without even necessarily saying a word we are communicating with those around us. Consciously or unconsciously, we are always communicating.
Start by noticing your posture, and how you hold yourself. Next time you are standing in line at the grocery store, washing dishes in the kitchen sink, or brushing your teeth, take a moment to check in and notice how you are standing. Make a conscious choice to stand tall, and confidently claim your space in the world.
Then choose your words, and your actions, wisely. They send messages to the world around you, and like powerful magnets attract the people, circumstances and opportunities that can meet you at your level. If you want to change your reality, start by being conscious of the way you are showing up in your life.