Friday, 3 June 2016

June 3, 2016 Chautauqua

Beth's Ponderings
   I’d like you to try something...Please stand, observe if your weight is more on your toes, your heels, or balanced across your whole foot.
    If you have difficulty figuring out exactly how your weight is distributed, look at the wear patterns on a pair of shoes.
    More weight on your heels is an indication that your predominant thoughts are orientated in ruminating about the past.
    More weight on the toes is an indication that your predominant thoughts are orientated to anticipating or fretting about the future.
If your weight is balanced, then you are centred in the here and now.
    While our thoughts flit between past, present and future during various moments of our day, that simple standing test gives you a snapshot of your general thought patterns. It is also applicable to how you usually sit - slouched backwards, leaning forwards, or centred upright.
    There are numerous affirmations and other self-help techniques for changing your thoughts - and thus your life - and while we can change our thoughts, nothing will really change till we change how we hold and move our bodies. As strong as our thoughts are, our bodies are stronger. 
    Amy Cuddy, in her book “Presence: bringing your boldest self to your biggest challenges” and TED Talk (, explores how standing in a “power pose” for a mere two minutes affects our hormones, and thus our thoughts and emotions. 
    This is true not only of how we position our bodies, but of our facial expressions too. No matter how angry or depressed you feel, if you smile - even if it is with a pencil clenched sideways in your teeth - it is impossible to maintain the angry or sad feelings. Your body will relax and lighten - despite your thoughts or feelings.
   To become more present and centred, briefly lift your toes off the floor, while still standing. That will transfer your weight equally between your heels and balls of your feet. Do this a few times during the day, daily, and you will achieve the same effect as meditating for hours.
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