Written by Heather Dick
PRESENCE & POWER Series - Part 1
Step 1 - Freeing Yourself Through Body Awareness
Almost daily, we find ourselves in situations where we want or need to be heard, seen, understood and acknowledged. During this Covid-19 crisis, when we are physically distancing and wearing masks, clear, heart-centred communication is more important than ever before. As tension and anxiety increase, how can we stay present, responsive and ready to shift gears or improvise as needed? How can we express ourselves authentically and clearly while listening openly to others? Our ability to be truly ourselves, to follow our intuition and to ‘go with the flow’ will give us presence and personal power in any situation.
I use B-BRAVE*. This method is a series of simple actions that bring me into the present moment and help me to stay focused, with my heart open, so that I am able to listen, truly ‘hear’ what others say and respond with honesty. My acronym, B-BRAVE, stands for Body, Breath, Relaxation, Awareness, Voice and Energy.
Why do I begin by connecting to my body? When I’m more aware of what is physically happening in my body and of my body in relationship to the space around me, I’m more grounded and energized which gives me personal presence and power in any situation. Moment-to-moment physical awareness also focuses my thoughts and prevents me from imagining ‘worst case’ scenarios so that I remain calm and able to think clearly.
Try this next activity either standing or sitting, anywhere and anytime, to bring your awareness into your body.
The Activity: With your eyes closed, bring your attention to your feet. Wiggle them around inside your shoes and then let them rest heavily on the ground. Keeping your feet flat on the ground, lift your toes and spread them wide so you increase your connection to the earth. If you’re standing, find your balance on the centre of your feet. If you’re sitting, be sure your feet are directly under your knees and flat on the floor. With your eyes still closed, quickly scan up through your body acknowledging any aches, pains or spots of tension. Finish with a yawn, letting your body stretch as it needs to then give yourself a gentle shake.
Close your eyes again and listen to the sounds around you. How many different sounds can you hear? Bring your attention to the smells around you. How many different ones are there? Can you feel your clothes touching specific parts of your body or feel your hair against your face or neck? Is there a breeze passing over your skin?
Now, open your eyes and actively look at the space around you? What can you see? Is it possible to stay in your body as you look around you, so that you are connected to what is happening inside your body while being aware of your body in the space. Go for a short walk or move about. Are you still able to maintain this inside - outside awareness? Feed in a yawn and allow your body to stretch from the inside out.
If you follow these steps and explore your physical presence several times a day, you‘ll soon find yourself quickly and effortlessly tapping in to what is going on both inside and outside your body. Over time, you'll be able to remain open and receptive for longer and longer periods. Being physically in your body is the first step to being present and confident that you will be ‘heard’ and ‘seen’ by others.
Use this audio file of the exercise from your phone, any where and any time.
Check out my next blog in the POWER & PRESENCE series: Freeing Yourself Through Breath.
*B-BRAVE © Heather Dick, 2020.