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.”
© 2021 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.
Jenn’s talk put words to some of my thoughts. Thanks for sharing! And, with CoVid dragging on in dreary winter months, I also appreciate the reminder to stretch out more frequently. Praying with you.
I am unbelievably grateful God put His finger on the problem. A new lens. Glad it encouraged you too. And stretching our backs out isn’t so bad either!
Hi, Friend. Thanks for this post. What a beautiful practice, a beautiful way to show submission and dependence on the Lord. Thank you for always being real and vulnerable about your own struggles and the lessons you are learning. I love the way God uses the creative mind he gave you to bless others!
Thanks for allowing me to be real and vulnerable. This week truly was life changing. Something shifted.
May we all stay low so He can continue to transform us more into the likeness of His Son. I cannot believe He bestows on us the honor of learning how to reflect Him.
Beautifully written my friend. A heart that is surrendered to the Soverign God can be at peace. The world has gone crazy! No one would have ever had thought last January, we would be where we are right now. He knew it all. I read your post every Sunday morning and thank you!
I just shared with someone this week that the world looked like it had gone crazy the day Jesus was crucified. Angry mobs, a weak leader, an innocent man with shredded body hung on a cross.
And all the while, Jesus was dying on the cross for our sins.
God was in control the whole time, and He is in control today. May we all stay surrendered in His safe story.
Thank you for reading on Sunday mornings. I am very humbled by that and so grateful for your friendship that has watched my tumultuous spiritual journey become more stable. May it continue to become ever increasingly so.
Thank your for this post! I can see how bowing down before the Lord first thing each day pleases God‘a heart. It gives Him a clean canvas to paint whatever picture He so desires for our day. It shows that we trust His love for us. I go face down when I have a huge need, and I think that pleases the Lord, but I think going face down each day just out of love and surrender will please Him much more!
Quite honestly, I am trying to communicate to my own heart that I need Him just as much on normal days as difficult days. I am embarrassed to confess that I have varying levels of how much I feel I need Him based on what the schedule looks like. I absolutely hate that fact. If going face down improves my reality that I need Him every hour, then bowing low is worth it.
Someone shared in our Sunday class something she saw online. It rings true with with your message as well:
“Worry is fear that God won’t get it right.”
I’m watching for those insidious signs that I’m beginning to worry or “be concerned” about something and giving that thing (and myself) back into God’s hands where all things rightly belong. After all, He’s our Creator (Elohim), sustainer (El Shaddai), and the only One truly capable of controlling my life (Adonai).
Oh, I love this! Thank you for sharing not only the worry quote, but your own phrase, “…into God’s hands where all things rightly belong,” and “the only One truly capable of controlling my life (Adonai).” Beautiful. Simply beautiful.