Our body is an important part of our persona. It helps to tell people who we are. It plays a large part in how we feel about ourselves and what kind of personal presence we convey to others.
When what we are saying to others is not congruent with the messages our body is sending, others will detect this and we can come across unauthentic, un-confident or our message may be misread.
Similarly, when we are stressed or overwhelmed we can disregard the body's role. Imagine, right now, you are asked up unexpectedly to speak in front of a room full of people. How does it feel?
Many of us in this situation will feel very ‘self-conscious'. You may feel over-awed or fearful of making a mistake. Your breath may rise in your chest, your head fills as your mind goes into overdrive, your cheeks may blush and your voice feels high. You may even feel physically clumsy.
In short, your mind has hijacked the situation, and in a time of crisis you have left your body behind.
Now imagine again that you have been asked to speak, but this time it is different. This time you engage your body as well as your mind and emotions, and you are ‘centered'. Instead of feeling self-conscious, you feel ‘self-aware'. Your breathing is relaxed and comes from your center, you feel aware of all of yourself. Instead of butterflies you feel confident and in control and you feel that you can be yourself.
The ability to center is a key skill for many high performers in all walks of life. It is much more than a state of mind, it is a state of physical, mental and emotional connection; it is a state of self.