By Dr. Marta Adelsman
Life Coach in Communication and Consciousness
(June 12, 2015)
Recently I decided to use my practice of jogging to improve my posture. As Bella trots beside me, her little white cockapoo legs a blur, I focus on how I carry myself: core tight, rib cage lifted, shoulder blades together, chin back, breath-in, breath-out, left-right, left-right.
In years past, I have often sat or stood round-shouldered in an attempt to shield myself from potential emotional pain. For years I had a low opinion of myself, moving through life apologizing for my wants, my needs, and my existence. With my body in a hunched-over position, I had a very nice view of the ground.
The new body posture creates a shift I didn’t expect: it opens me and raises my eyes to the horizon. The beauty of the mountains, the sky, and the red rocks in the distance fills my vision. This viewpoint feels new and not yet natural. With the new and improved posture, I feel more vulnerable and exposed.
I also notice that holding myself more upright requires less energy. My jogging movements seem more efficient and I don’t need to work as hard. As it is my habit to squeeze lessons from the full fabric of my experience, I attempted to apply this new physical awareness to emotional, psychological and spiritual existence. Is it possible that an attitude of openness and vulnerability allows us to sail through challenging emotions, situations and relationships with greater ease? After all, it takes a lot of energy to protect a contracted little “me.”
When we realize we are openness, there is nothing for the physical body to protect. We can relax and allow people, events and circumstances to be as they are without trying to push them away. We cease fighting and struggling. With the openness comes acceptance, allowing us to straighten our shoulders and lift our eyes to life. We don’t shrink because we know we have the means to deal with whatever comes. We stand tall in the invitation for life to bring on what it will.
The more I practice the new posture, the more comfortable I become with the feeling of vulnerability. Holding myself in the new way seems to reflect an inner change that has been happening for some time now. My body is now catching up, bringing itself into alignment with the inner shifts and even furthering them.
If you shrink to make yourself smaller or to prevent others from feeling small in your presence, stop. Give yourself the gift this holiday season of standing tall, opening up and allowing yourself to become vulnerable. You will handle life’s situations with less struggle. The new ease will open you to increasing gratitude, acceptance and Joy.