When most people think of "strength", they think of the superficial physicality of someone: how big their muscles are, how much they can bench press. However, a lot of the time, we do not focus on people’s inner strength. By inner strength, I mean the ability to cultivate a stable sense of self. When you have a firm inner foundation you are able to stay grounded when the wind blows or the earth shakes. However, having a strong sense of self with confidence, pride and the ability to think rationally does not come easily to most people especially in the face of chaos. When my life was shaken upside down due to the trauma of going through chemo and the heartbreak of losing my mother, I had to learn how to hone in on my inner strength in order to stay a float. I had to scramble inside of myself to create confidence and strength as I looked at my superficial self in the mirror and could not understand how I was losing my hair, my partner in crime, my femininity. How was I suppose to tackle this difficult world when I did not look or feel like myself? I decided I had to create my own inner confidence and strength and could no longer rely on the superficial signals from our image-obsessed Western society. While I meditated, I would image breathing in positive energy to give me strength to sit up taller and stronger. With each inhale, I would feel space grow between my vertabrea as my shoulder blades drew down my back, making it so my heart center stayed open to give positive energy while my stance aimed to embody the strength of a mountain.
You know how people always comment how intimidating tall people are? Well, I felt I just had to create a straighter and more confident presence that would prevent anyone from questioning why I was wearing a hat all the time. I had to search for my inner dignity and allow that to shine.
Sitting up straight and having good posture is not only important for how you physically carry yourself, but it is also important for your internal organs. Sitting up straight allows there to be enough space for your organs to function properly. Most of us spend too much time hunched over a computer, which is detrimental to both the physical and mental state of our bodies.
THIS MUST CHANGE.
Suggestions: Doing Pilates is an amazing way to to create length in the spine and core strength so you are able to physically sit up taller. You have to strengthen those tiny muscles so it becomes easier over time. Some daily tips are just to start becoming more mindful of your body. Try sitting up tall for five minutes and then relax to your normal slouched position. You will see how much weaker you feel in the slouched state. Yes, it maybe more “comfortable” at first, but once you get strong enough to sit up straight, you will never want to feel or look like a baked potato again. Find that inner dignity within yourself and present yourself like a strong mountain so nothing in this world can knock you over.