Last weekend I spoke to a group of women about mindfulness meditation. I was nervous. So I did what any sensible person does when anxious about public speaking, I summoned Marsha Brady and envisioned the audience in their underwear!
No, I didn't really. But never say never. I keep this tool in my back pocket just in case.
I did, however, stand in front of a mirror in the hotel lobby bathroom posing like Super Woman. Hands on hips, feet hip distance apart (and paranoid that someone was about to open the bathroom stall). I expanded my chest widely, dropped my shoulders away from my ears and stared at myself in the mirror for 3 minutes. Is that spinach in my teeth again? I didn't even eat any spinach today!
I have been doing this a lot lately. Not finding spinach in my teeth but assuming powerful poses when I feel nervous. Why, you might ask? Well, I got inspired after watching Amy Cuddy's Ted Talk. In it, she discusses the science behind posturing and body language.
By doing this particular pose we drastically decrease the stress hormone, cortisol in our bodies while increasing testosterone. This is a good thing since testosterone is associated with feelings of power and strength. And it works, I always feel a bit more clear headed after assuming a more open and welcoming posture.
I also talk to myself. Usually in my car. There, I sound cool and collected like I have my shit together. Although, most of the time I don't.
But, (if you recall from Pee Wee Herman's Big Adventure, there is always a but) even though I still get nervous, I have found that I really like speaking about topics I feel passionate about. Like meditation.
And I also remember that it's not about me. It's about sharing something important to me and letting something move through me. I don't mean the latter to sound like a laxative commercial. But I mean by remembering that we are connected and part of a bigger more spirit infused picture, we can get out of our own way and make room for our souls to shine through. Even if we have spinach in our teeth while doing so.