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How Changing Your Posture Can Change Your Life

Standing tall with confidence

I have been having more migraines in the last month than have had in a long time. I have done all I could to determine a physical cause but could find none. So, I decided it might be an emotional/spiritual issue. I have worked for a few years on and off with Steve Keller, who calls himself an Emotion Reset Coach. He has been trained as an emotion and body code practitioner. Yes, it sounds like “voodoo” medicine, but it works. It is also important to me to know that Steve is a strong Christian.

During my recent session with him, we talked about how difficult my internship as a chaplain in a hospital has been for me. He determined that subconsciously I was thinking the following: “I am worthless at being a chaplain, the hospital is a perfect storm to disempower me, and I have unforgiveness toward the environment for making me feel I don’t have what it takes.” He learned that about the time I found out I would be doing my internship as a chaplain, I had a heart wall of terror and that I was feeling like I would be unsupported in the internship (i.e. this is going to suck). He also learned that other people’s grief humiliates me because I have an unconscious feeling that “I should be able to fix this.” Thankfully, Steve was able to “reset” my emotions, freeing me from being trapped by them – and my headaches “magically” disappeared.

One of the things I do in my sessions with Steve is speak aloud any affirmations he suggests. During this session he told me to say, “The hidden gift of chaplaincy is I will be forced to walk in God’s anointing. I cannot do this, so God you will have to. It is not my job to know how to help these people. It is my job to allow God to help them.”

Steve shared with me a Ted Talk by social psychologist Amy Cuddy about how our body language shapes how we see ourselves. We know that what we think can affect our physical bodies. But did you know that the way you sit and stand can affect your testosterone (power hormone) and cortisol (stress hormone) levels? Amy said that women especially try to make themselves smaller. We sit and stand hunched over, we wrap our arms around ourselves, we try to take up as little space as possible. In the animal world, and in the human world, this closed in posture makes us appear, and actually BE less powerful. Amy encouraged her audience to take two minutes to stand or sit in a power pose, hands on hips legs spread wide – like Wonder Woman!

She says that 2 minutes in this position will allow us to be less stressed, think more clearly, and be more confident. Tweet This

So, I am going to ask you to try this out. Try standing in the “Wonder Woman” pose for two full minutes. Try to take up as much space as possible. Chin up, looking like you are the most powerful woman in the world. Two minutes in this pose will actually feel like a long time, so it is important to time it. It is helpful to think of something positive during those two minutes. Steve suggested to me that I meditate on how many challenging things I have overcome during my lifetime. Choose an affirmation that works for you.

After we try this, when we are faced with a challenging situation, Steven suggested we think about being a 747 and rising above a thunderstorm, rather than having to fly through it. From this altitude we can clearly see what path we should take.

We are not meant to be powerless. Ephesians 6:14 – 17 says:

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,which is the word of God.

Question: Do you stand and sit hunched over? After trying this for two minutes, how did you feel?

Let’s pray.

Dear God, the way you made the human body is amazing. It feels surprising to know that doing such a small thing with our bodies could have such a profound effect on our minds. Help us to be okay with the fact we can’t live in our own power. Give us the grace to be okay with that thought. Help us please to focus on things that are true, noble, right, lovely and admirable, instead of all the ways we fall short. Thank you that you can do this for us. You are good God. Give us your peace as we move on in our lives. Amen.

 

 

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