Fake it till you make it!

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Manukau Heads, Auckland, New Zealand

You may or may not have heard this expression but how does it work?

If you feel sad, how do you fake feeling happy?

If you are shy, how do you fake feeling confident?

If you are in turmoil, how do you fake internal peace?

Simple! Change your posture and the way you move! Fake the posture of the person you want to be.

Have you ever observed the posture and movement of a different people? Some people may have their head maybe slumped forward, looking down, shoulders rounded, palms facing backwards and dragging their feet.  How do you think this posture reflects their mood? This posture over a long period of time can have negative effects upon their health and well-being.

Compare the posture above to that of a person who tends to stand tall, look up, shoulders back, chest out, and has a relaxed yet purposeful walk.

By being consciously aware of your posture and how you move your body surprising things may happen. You may begin to feel like a confident happy person. The final step could happen naturally- a beautiful smile.

Due to injury I have been practising improving my posture. One of my colleagues made a positive comment regarding how I was now walking. I was very pleased.

Unfortunately a few weeks later I was having a challenging time. These issues began to dominate my thoughts and little did I notice how my posture had deteriorated.  I had to return my focus to my posture and now I am walking tall again which has left me feeling far better to face the world.

This experience made me contemplate, could adopting a confident and happy posture make you more emotionally resilient? By emotionally resilient I mean have the ability to sail over those challenges that are part of life.

 

When you next leave the house, stand up tall.

Let your arms relax and fall.

Hold your head up high,

While you look the world in the eye

Relax your mouth and let it smile.

It’s all been worth while.

 

Mark- The Alchemist’s Journey

Best Foot Forward

The view from Tower Bridge, London

They say our posture and how we stand says a lot about us but how we walk says even more. There are expressions like having a spring in our step, they are dragging their feet or plodding through life.

Standing and walking are some of our first great achievements as an infant. Soon very little attention goes into these activities. As our feet are the furthest part of our body from our head they can often be neglected.

It is said that an elephant can stand on its trainer’s foot yet the trainer’s foot remains unhurt.  If the elephant tensed its foot, the trainer’s foot would be crushed.

Today our feet are so tight and tense that if we stood on a small stone barefoot it could cause much pain. Due to the tension we hold in our body it is only natural that are feet are tense.

Through releasing the tension in our feet can we release tension in our body?

Reflexologists believe that the feet mirror the body. All organs, systems and glands of the body can be mapped onto areas of the feet called reflex points. A reflexologist knows how to stimulate the reflex points in order to bring about a response in the corresponding part of the body.

Could we through barefoot walking stimulate our feet and the corresponding part of the body?

For many thousands s of years people have been barefoot or worn simple leather sandals. People migrated hunted and ran barefoot.

Growing up in New Zealand a lot of my childhood was spent barefoot. The environment I would walk around was very different to now.  The concrete jungle we live in our feet never touch the ground. The concrete and tarmac is hard and cold.

We insulate, protect and provide cushioning to keep our feet safe and comfortable. We lose contact with mother earth. We forget the simple pleasures of damp grass or warm sand on our feet.

When I was speaking about this to a friend, they were concerned about standing on something sharp or unpleasant. My response was that we should be mindful of every step we take.  We would then be aware of any potential dangers or hazards.

Could focusing on every step we take be a form of meditation to keep us in the moment?

Should we focus on relaxing our body and centring ourselves as we walk or check our mobile phone?

Maybe we should appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.

Having bare feet in our normal day to day activities may not be practical but being mindful of every step has no limitations.

Let’s all be mindful of every step we take and every step be graceful.

Mark- The Alchemist’s Journey