Sit Up Straight!

As I write this, it is the first sunny day in I can’t remember how long!  And it makes me SO happy!  The weather impacts my mood. And in the same way, so does my posture.

Have you ever REALLY thought about that? We can’t control the rain, but we can control our posture. I am learning so much about the importance of standing tall.  And I am becoming more aware of the way I hold myself. And not just in uncomfortable situations, but all the time. Even as I type the word, I feel myself sitting up a little straighter and pulling my shoulders back. It’s a good feeling.  And I know my chiropractor would be proud.

But this idea of good posture is more than needing fewer adjustments.

As I grow on my journey and gain more cognizance, I have learned that when something keeps presenting itself over and over, it is for me to take note.  I need to see what is there to attain.  And this concept of posture is everywhere! It is in my interactions.  It is in my reading.  It is in my learning not to shrink back when I battle the lies that I am not good enough.

Just a few weeks ago at The Exchange, Shelley talked with us how shame affects our posture.  She shared, “Chronic shame can also manifest itself in the way we carry ourselves, our posture. Head down, eyes averted, shoulders slumped. There’s a woman named Nina Bull who did a study back in the 1960s that showed that when we are in a posture of a specific emotion, that emotion will continue until you change the posture. In other words, if our posture is one of shame, we’re not going to be able to feel anything different until we change our posture.”

And as I am preparing for this month’s Exchange on the 12 Rules for Life (an Antidote to Chaos), the first rule is Stand Up Straight With Your Shoulders Back.  The author, Jordan Peterson goes into great scientific detail proving that posture impacts behavior.  That posture affects demeanor.  That posture can influence the trajectory of our lives. How we hold ourselves is much bigger than we think.

I am rereading one of my favorites, The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. (So good if you haven’t read it yet). And one of the many things she is known for saying is, “Whenever I’m faced with a vulnerable situation, I get deliberate with my intentions by repeating this to myself: “Don’t shrink. Don’t puff up. Stand your sacred ground.” Saying this little mantra helps me remember not to get too small so other people are comfortable and not throw up my armor as a way to protect myself.”

Just stand tall in your truth, Elizabeth.  Head up.  Shoulders back. Respond.  Don’t react. That’s what I hear.  That’s what I see.  That is what I know is for me. And the sooner I open myself up to receive this lesson, the sooner I will receive it.

Find a quiet moment and ask yourself… what is my posture telling me?  What emotion does my posture reflect? Am I shrinking back?  Am I puffing up?  Or am I standing tall in my my truth?  And then listen.  You might be surprised at what you have to say…