Amy Cuddy is a social psychologist who gave a TED talk in October 2012 entitled, Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are. It has been viewed by over 60 million times on the TED website and over 19 million times on YouTube. You may view it HERE
In short, when any of us expand our bodies for just two minutes, our stress hormone (cortisol) drops and our confidence hormone (testosterone) increases considerably. Expanding our bodies includes things like arms upraised, or leaning back with feet on a desk and hands behind the head. For those old enough to remember how Wonder Woman often stood, that counts too. When we make our bodies “large,” are brain calms down and we become more confident. I have been known to strike a power pose before a job interview or during a break on a stressful day.
Body position changes our brain chemistry.
For a span of many months last year I went face down before the Lord every morning as I got out of bed. I blogged about it HERE and recall why I did so:
- I had been trying to remember that God is the Creator and I am created. To live rightly, I must live in proper relationship with my Creator. He is in charge. I am not.
- I was facing daunting tasks that kept me keenly aware that I could do nothing without Jesus. Nothing. I unabashedly fell at His feet each morning to express my need.
I have slipped out of the habit of going face down.
The first move out of bed each morning still involves prayers of surrender, but lately I have been voicing them from an upright position as I walk to the bathroom or to the coffee pot.
And I haven’t been doing well.
I have been a bit revved up. I have been working hard, blurting words, and having trouble settling down. Tuesday night of this week I listened to one of Jen Wilkin’s talks at the The Gospel Coalition’s 2018 Women’s Conference HERE. (Feel free to listen!)
Jen talked about how God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. We cannot be these things. We cannot be God.
But we try.
- When we are trying to “make” someone change, we are trying to be omnipotent. We are not that powerful. Only God can change a person.
- When we are “needing to know” and searching on the internet and seeking answers to too many questions, we are trying to be omniscient. Only God knows everything, and it was never part of His plan that we know everything. We are safe in our not knowing everything.
- When are keeping track of people all over the globe, keeping our notifications on so we can stay in touch 24/7, we are trying to be omnipresent. I can text or message on WhatsApp, but those messages don’t make me present with the person I love. Only God is present at every location.
And I had eyes to see.
I have been stepping out of my role to reflect God and have been trying to be God. And as I texted my daughter the next day, “When I am trying to be God, I can’t reflect God. Ouch!”
So I am bowing low again.
The physical act of going face down may or may not have a physical effect on my body but it certainly has a spiritual effect on my heart and mind. My posture helps me remember:
He is God. I am not.
How long do I stay down? As long as it takes, but usually less than five minutes. At first my back won’t stretch out, so I ease into the deep bending. Once I am not thinking about my stiff limbs anymore, I verbalize something that gets my mind fixed on Him. I start with things like, “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.” I may say, “You are my Creator. I belong to You. This day belongs to you.” I pause to focus on what I just said, maybe repeating, “You are in heaven. You are hallowed.” On some days I lay flat out on the floor instead, nose to the carpet, arms outstretched (also a power pose) and I stay there saying these same things until my heart has things straight.
He is Creator. I am created.
- My life is in His hands, not mine.
- My life is His business, not mine.
- I am responsible to live well, but I control nothing.
Then I give Him the day, often using the date. Only then do I get up to head to the coffee pot. One day this week I got to the coffee pot and realized I hadn’t gone face down, so the kitchen floor had me on it for a while, just long enough to realize caffeine wasn’t going to give me energy, only Him. Only Him.
Anyone else going face down with me this week?
Picture Explanation: She had no idea when she attended his wedding in 2004, that he was going to officiate her wedding in 2021. What a fabulous reminder that we cannot know what God is weaving together as we submit to His reign each day. What we do know is that life will be filled with plenty of pleasant surprises as we turn the pages of His story for us. “Be patient,” He says to us. “I see the bigger picture. Trust me.”
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