In my yoga teacher training, we did a lot of really fun mind-bending exercises that caused us to examine how we perceived ourselves and other. It turns out, most of our realities are based on assumptions. We assume someone is in a bad mood if they have a scowl…maybe they’re just cold. We assume a family member is an asshole and wears us out…maybe we have some unresolved emotional issues that are draining us and we are triggered when we see them.
In our relationships, to protect ourselves from being over-exposed and overly vulnerable, we posture and protect. This can sometimes look like two extremes of either humility or dignity. If you go too far into humility, you’re a doormat. If you go too far into dignity, you’re an arrogant asshole.
One of the games in my yoga training that dove into this polarity was to adopt the posture of going too far into humility. Make your body into the posture of being a doormat. What does it do to your brain? Shoulders hunched, head hung low. It doesn’t feel great. Now adopt the posture of going too far into arrogance. Swagger, nothing touches you. Ignoring what’s happening around you, nose in the air. That doesn’t feel great either.
Now walk as if you are firmly rooted in humility and dignity at equal amounts. You are confident, but not untouchable. You are compassionate, but not weak.
Our bodies are tools to carry these postures into the world. We literally can walk our talk, whether that talk is verbal or internal. You will find that if you practice these embodiment exercises, you’ll gain a new perspective on how your body translates your inner state to the world and how it translates the world to your inner state.
This week’s Growing Beyond podcast episode is Chapter 1 from Conflict=Energy by Jason Digges.