“It’s about having a well of physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual strength that drives personal achievement and, in turn, inspires others to follow.
‘What’s exciting is that we are starting to discover ways women can actively build skills to become more self-confident and effective leaders.’
Centered leadership emphasizes the role of positive emotions.”
Centered Leadership: How Talented Women Thrive, McKinsey
I grew up in a chaotic and dysfunctional household and easily carried that energy with me into my life. It wasn’t until I learned to breathe and center — and most of all be grounded — that I recovered the best of who I am.
In my work, I witness women — even some of the most powerful ones — give themselves away. A weakness shows through even the slightest gesture, stance, facial expression, a withheld breath or in their voice. A slight shrug, a tilt of the head, a narrowed stance, a dropped voice for instance.
There was the time my improvisation teacher said to me, “NO Apology!” I was stunned. Apologizing? What? Who? Me? In acting training, all your “warts” show — they just do. Its process of self-discovery is painful and yet I am grateful for the awareness so that I could do something about it. I had to dive into the deep end of being out of my comfort zone to heal.
Here’s a hack for you to do it in considerably less time.
How do women who want to lead with grace and power show they are fearless — unapologetic? How do we awaken the wisdom of our body?
It takes a revolution of the heart.
In my previous post, Two powerful practices for women who want to lead with grace , I spoke about breath and centering.
I’d like to address how to access another place of grace and power in being grounded.
First, let’s review. Being centered means having the ability to recover one’s balance, even in the midst of action, a centered person is not subject to passing whims or sudden excitements.
The dimensions of center are: length, width, and depth. We have these three proportions of top to bottom, left to right, and front to back. Feel them. Align yourself in your center of gravity found approximately two inches below your navel. Breathe.
To be grounded means that we are fully attached to the earth; we are fully in our bodies.
Being grounded means being down to earth, having gravity or weight. I know where I stand, and I know what I stand for: that is ground. Give over to gravity — be “in your weight”.
Ungrounded people can be quite easy to spot. They tend to be unfocused or out of touch with their own needs and feelings. This could be a fear reaction to cause us to dissociate both from an experience and from our self when we cope with problems.
Grounded people can draw on their full faculties, abilities, and experiences, and are able to handle any situation — fearless and ready for action.
The benefits of being grounded
– We are more effective in daily life if we are grounded.
– It takes us from self to connect us with the environment.
– You draw attention. You amplify your presence that expands the audience’s perception. We have the ability to leave an indelible imprint.
This pre-expressive communication referred to as Presence is a subtle but powerful aspect and is critical in being able to capture and hold others’ attention — often even before speaking a word.
– It allows us to show up, to emerge as connected — to be potentized.
Being grounded enhances our entrances and beginnings as it is a stable state that establishes our strength and our credibility.
Use this the next time you are preparing for an important interaction, meeting or presentation. (I have a client who used this to address her child’s unwanted behavior to great success!)
- First, get into breath and center. Now start off standing with your feet relaxed and shoulder width apart. Now carefully bend your knees slightly.
Check to make sure your weight is evenly distributed between both of your feet in this position. Sink your weight downward.
While in this position, you will want to close your eyes and do some deep breathing. Just relax in the moment and be mindful of your connection to the ground.
2. Take a nice gentle breath and feel your feet flat on the floor, your spine easy and straight.
Feel your feet. When you put all your attention on your feet you drop your breath deeper into your lower abdomen. It fully connects you to yourself from head to toe.
Drop into your weight and feel gravity take over. Take a breath down to your feet.
3. Breathe in and drop your awareness down into earth — somewhere around four feet below you in the ground. Breathe out and see if you can feel or imagine it there beneath your feet.
Again, breathe deeply and imagine yourself merging with the earth, relax your breath into the earth and then breathe that connection all the way up into your spine, up to the top of your head.
4. Breathe deeply and imagine that you are drawing the energy up through your feet, up through your body, to the top of your head. Imagine your own connection like the roots of a tree sunk deep into the center of planet releasing energy back down into the earth.
Breathe and allow this circulation of energy to continue and flow.
We can cultivate a deeper source of integrity that validates our right to be loyal to ourselves and connect with other women who do the same.
Being in breath, centered and grounded always bring immense possibilities to any situation.
Learning means to go forward with practice — to the edge of yourself — that brings you to a place of choice.
Grounding, with breathing and centering reduces stress and inspires powerful choices. Take these practices as preparation for your next high stakes interaction. Notice the difference in the way you respond to others and they respond to you. You being in a stable state allows others to find their stability too.
We women get to our grace in the mastery of our physical energy. We use it to support and nurture ourselves and others to greatness.
Call to Action
Repetition is the mother of skill. When you adopt a practice with each repetition you must learn more.
Good news! Men can use these somatic practices too for their great success.
Please recommend this to others and share.
Next up! — Vocal Virtuosity.
“The collective Feminine heart right now needs incredible sensitivity, support, care and nurturing.” Sophie Bashford
“It’s time to move from knowing what to do to actually doing it.” Arianna Huffington
Originally published at medium.com