How we show up: power to influence for the common good
When we live with integrity and authenticity, it is obvious from our posture and attitude: how we show up to family, friends, and colleagues, and our resiliency to stresses. We can change our bodies, heal from within. As another Ortho-Bionomy blogger says, “If you observe how your body functions when you are feeling happy, in control and safe, then you have the basis for changing when you are feeling sad and insecure.” (Ortho-Bionomy with Tracy, Posture and Emotions).
This spreads outwards. What Stephen Covey calls our “True North”1 is recognition of the values that are sacred to us, and living by that moral compass. When those values show up in our bodies, in how we carry ourselves, it has a subtle influence on others in our environment, because it resonates with those values that are inherent and natural to every person. Living from love, truth, integrity, connects you and each person you meet, with our common humanity.
Old pain or trauma?
What happens when you have old traumas, fears or negative expectations that sabotage your efforts to live according to your personal “True North”? They also show up in your body, and communicate to everyone around you. For example, a collapsed chest could be an indicator of job related stresses, too much time at a computer, or a carryover from childhood expectation of criticism.2 It doesn’t communicate confidence, dignity, or authority. People unconsciously respond to the subtle messages your body signals.
It goes the other way, too. You can regain self-confidence by healing your body. Exercises and bodywork to increase sensory awareness of how you are holding yourself may empower you correct muscle tensions, tight or rounded shoulders, a neck thrust forward. They may increase your capacity to regain voluntary control of muscles you have forgotten—what Thomas Hanna calls Sensory Motor Amnesia, SMA.3 When you do that, you simultaneously release the habitual expectation of criticism. You erase the old tapes of “not good enough”, “failure”. You replace them with awareness of self-worth. You radiate. You no longer attract what no longer fits.
This is true whether you are an attorney, counselor, seamstress, designer, chef, consultant, accountant, sales executive, teacher, healer, realtor, parent or grandparent, or tired and retired.
Sometimes your contracted posture does not come from old traumas, but from injury, or habitual work postures, or personality patterns such as shyness. Or just from pain. Unconsiously or consciously, these can contribute to an emotional disconnect. Emotions in the body are carried by neurotransmitters in the brain and nervous system. Deb Shapiro says,4 “All your thoughts and feelings get translated into chemicals that fire off throughout your body, altering the chemical composition and behavior of your cells.” The body and emotions cannot be separated. And they can be healed together.
A change in posture changes what you communicate to others. When your body no longer holds the old pattern, and your boss is looking to point the finger, there is no place for it to stick. It washes off you, your integrity remains untarnished, and you show up with the dignity and self-assurance that has always been your nature. You can stand up for yourself without insulting anyone else. Your authority with your grandchildren increases without having to raise your voice. You remain calm and unruffled even in the most tense situations.
Emotional authenticity is reflected by bodily integrity. It comes from clarity about who you are, knowing your “true north”. Every cell of your body participates in this. This may be a life long process. There may be ups and downs in this journey to authenticity. Healing yourself5 is one way to contribute to the common good.
Integration Massage offers sessions of informed touch, bringing your awareness to habitual bodily tension patterns, and helping you release them, to get free.6 Some of how I work towards pain relief, body-mind integration, or posture retraining can be found in the links of my Services page. You may call for a consultation, 503-708-2911, or schedule a session online, with the purple “schedule appointment” button in the top right corner of this page.
 Stephen Covey, A. Roger Merrill, Rebecca R. Merrill, First Things First: To Live, to Love, to Learn, to Leave a Legacy. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994
 Emotional Anatomy and Your Body Speaks Its Mind by Stanley Keleman.
 Somatics by Thomas Hanna
 Your Body Speaks Your Mind by Deb Shapiro
 You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay
 You Can Heal Your Life and Your Body blog post by Rosi Goldsmith