Go ahead ladies, take up space!
6 tips that will help you become physically present
1) Don’t be polite. If you see an empty space at the conference room table, take it. If it’s going to be a crowded meeting, don’t caretake and don’t sit on the sidelines.
2) Yes, walking around with a book on your head really works. If you feel that your posture can be improved, try walking with a large heavy book on your head. Start with 5 mins. a night and increase the time as you become more comfortable.
4) Keep your heart open. If you tend to stand with your arms crossed or your chair pushed up close to the table during meetings, consider opening yourself up more so that your heart is exposed. This is where vulnerability and connection live. When we close it off, we are closing ourselves off from connecting with others.
5) Move your body. During the workday choose to take a walk, do jumping jacks or stretch. If your office has stairs, maybe take these instead of the elevator.
6) Breathe. Here is a simple exercise you can do at your desk: Sit at the edge of your chair with your feet shoulder width apart and your feet parallel to each other. Really feel the floor beneath your feet (take off your shoes, if this helps). Place your hands, palms down, on your lap. Now, gently roll your shoulders back and feel the ceiling above your head (notice what is above you). Once you have settled in, breathe through your nose on a 4-count (1-2-3-4) and then exhale through your mouth on a 4-count (1-2-3-4). As you repeat this a few times, notice your entire body and check in with yourself: how am I feeling both physically and emotionally? Where am I feeling it? How is my posture? Am I connecting with my breath? Does it feel shallow or am I engaging my diaphragm? If you are in a private space, you can try this laying on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Rest your hands just below your belly button so you can feel your breath. This posture will help you immediately feel the breath drop into your diaphragm.