Today I want to speak about Grounding and Posture. About tension and how tension tires. Many people think that when they’re tensing up they are being tough but actually, if you are tense then you become like a toad. You become inflexible and lethargic. In relaxation and letting go of tension there is a lot of power. There is a lot of flow, energy and efficiency to be re-discovered.
Now why is posture so important? I remember back when I was learning how to meet women and talking to a lot of girls. At one point I made a big shift in my communication. I learned about the meaning of leaning in too much with your body when talking to girls or other people. I was leaning in a lot. I was always thinking: “I want to meet a nice girl, I want to have this girl in my life. I want this person to like me”. I was communicating overinterest with my body and it didn’t feel good. Once I stopped doing that and I changed my attitude I was surprised at the big change that came from this small shift in the body made in my communications. Suddenly women responded much more positively. Just because I was being more relaxed and staying more centered with myself. With our posture and being grounded it’s not only about our communication with other people (there is a saying “You cannot not communicate”). It is at the same time communcation with ourself. Our subconscious mind is always eavesdropping. This is on the level of our thoughts, our self-talk, the things we say out loud and also how we hold and use our body. How we use our body is a statement. If you see people dancing, or even express themselves with music: there are many ways we can communicate our ideas and feelings. Our body language is a very direct way to communicate with ourself and with other people. Today I want to talk about a few simple things that we can do, that can really improve our grounding and help with being more relaxed. Before writing at length about it, I want to invite you to listen to the short session I recorded (~15 minutes). In there I will guide you through a few simple exercises for feeling your grounding, finding structural alignment and letting go of tensions. You can connect with your body and this will allow you to experience a deeper state of balance, leading to better performance in work and in your communcations. It’s also fun and pleasant and afterwards you’ll feel refreshed and energized. You can find the recording HERE.
Closing off I want to cover the important main points:
- Connection with yourself. That you connect with your own body and emotions. That you take the time to, maybe even close your eyes if it’s possible, feel your body and connect with yourself. This gets you out of your head and connected with your body. This brings you in contact with your emotions and your creativity. Feeling yourself lets you also feel what you actually want in a certain situation.
- A twofold balance. The first kind of balance is the balance between tension and relaxation. Over the last years I’ve done many different things. I’ve done a lot of formal sitting meditation. I’ve done seminars where there was a lot of bodily movement and activity. I did a seminar with Anthony Robbins (there is a lot of shouting and moving your body), which is kind of the opposite of a stillness retreat. What I learned is that it’s really about the delicate balance of having the necessary tension, activity, strength and power and at the same time relaxation wherever possible. The second balance is our actual “balance” (proper structural alignment) within our body. Here I talked about imagining a string that helps our head rise to the top and our spine to expand. Then in the next step we imagined this solid string was holding our body, allowing us to relax all unnecessary tension around what actually supports our posture (which is our spine and the muscles in our spine). We are held up and supported by our bone structure, not primarily by our muscles. This twofold balance brings us to a level of functioning that is optimal and that is also the most pleasant and comfortable.
- Repetition and gradual progress. You might notice that you’ll feel really good after doing this, but then ten minutes later you realise: “Oh, again I am slouching or tensing up in various areas of my body”. That’s completely natural. We all have our habitual ways of using our body in general but also of holding tension and certain places where we usually tense up. If we want to really change things then we have to apply effort and practice the new behaviour again and again until things begin to shift. So it’s really good if we can do this often. We may find a fixed time to do it like each time we are commuting (here we can align our spine and relax excess tension with the imagination exercise of the string, or practice simply feeling our feet and relaxing tension in our feet which helps with our grounding). For many years I had a routine I was doing every morning (these days I practice some form of “Qigong” which is also similar and helps me feel the body, get grounded and relax). Grounding, feeling the body, getting in contact with the floor. Paying attention to my structural alignment, standing upright, letting go of unnecessary tensions. Over the time it acccumulates. The more you do it the quicker and more change you can achieve for yourself.
- At last we have to recognise that our state of mind, our attitude, reflects in our body as well. If we do a lot of negative self-talk – at some point our shoulders will be drooping. But it works both ways. If we bring our body in alignment and relax unnecessary tensions and get grounded, this will also facilitate positive emotional and mental states. This then promotes a healthy and positive body language. This has a big effect on ourself as well as on our communcation with other people.
I’m excited about you trying this and hearing from you what this does for you. For me it has brought many big changes to my life over the years. It is a wonderful thing to pay attention to your body and to take the time to take great care of yourself and make yourself more effective, efficient and happy. I hope I was able to help you in this regard. See you next time!