Thursday, April 13, 2017

Power in the Pose.

Over this last year I have learned and researched power poses, it is fascinating! The first time I came across this study was a TED talk by Amy Cuddy her talk made sense to me. I have spent the last several years dipping my toe into the vast pool of our brain and the ways it works, what she was saying aligns with what I have learned.

We fight in our home to create a certain atmosphere, the beat of a metronome plays in the background when music isn’t, we don’t allow put downs nor negative self talk. We aim to speak life and truth into our space and one another. “Believe it or not, Amy Cuddy’s studies show that if you stand like a superhero privately before going into a stressful situation, there will actually be hormonal changes in your body chemistry that cause you to be more confident and in-command.”

This past weekend I had the chance to pack the whole crew up and my mom and attend a foster parent conference a few hours from our home. As we drove there my heart was heavy and discouraged, the past several weeks we have had a lot of processing each wave of emotion has been draining. My toolbox felt empty and I found myself finding more questions than answers. As I sat in a training on trauma and how in the early years it shapes our brains I was reminded just how damaging toxic stress. The very foundation of my Crew’s brain is wired differently than mine or others. As the information flowed in, so did hope, a faithful reminder, together we can rewire some of those pathways.

One of the speakers brought up briefly power poses, suddenly I was reminded of a previous teaching I had on this topic. I was flooded with the research I once had done on the topic. Reminded that this simple action can radically change the course of our days. Upon returning to daily routines we began to start our days with power poses. Wonder Woman is the one that comes to mind first, feet firmly grounded, chest out, shoulders back, hands on your hips and chin up, she stands boldly, unwavering. We practiced, we stood strong, fists in the air, chins up, shoulders back, feet grounded, we stand and we declare exactly how our day will go.

Each child gets a moment to do their pose, they sometimes add a flip or spin for flair. They strike their pose and with that declare a goal over their day. It could be the color they want to land on the color chart, the fact that it will be a great day or that they want to be confident, strong today. I must say we have had a very different morning routine and the outcome is showing in our attitudes.

I watched as my crew nervously took their first pose and commanded their days and I saw how they changed their outlook and found their confidence with a smile. This week we all have stood a little taller and walked into our days shoulders back. We are commanding our space, our energy and our time, owning our days and directing how it will play out.

The power pose anchors us, instead of greeting our day unprepared by the wind and waves we find our self unmoved by the realities of our day. Our daily routine hasn’t changed much, the tasks we must accomplish to get out the door is the same, however our posture in which we do these things has changed. We took an early morning hike today and as we approached the last, but very big hill (mountain) to get us back to our car we were all out of gas and felt overwhelmed. I watched as my crew took their power poses and declared how strong and capable they were. Then watched as they got themselves to the top, it was not easy but there was a joy and pride as we summited.

What if we all started our days with the mindset that we are powerful? What if we declared over our day exactly what we would allow to happen? What kind of energy and momentum could we gain in the simple act of securing our feet and holding our head high? I suggest that this simple action has the possibility to change the very course of our days. At the very least it will provide for us the kind of mental space we need to rewire the pathways that have been set.

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