Children are great teachers. Daily, our kids help me learn how to stand for something with my whole self. When our kids truly believe something I can sense it in their bodies. They radiate a strength and suppleness that is effortless. Their voices are strong and unwavering. If you try to move them, it will be difficult; they are actually heavier, because they are literally grounded in their stand.
Our bodies do not lie. To truly take a stand we have to commit to something with our whole body, mind and soul included. If Martin Luther King had any doubt in his dream, his body would have given him away. His voice would have waivered, he might have looked away, and he would not have gotten up and pushed on with the same purpose day after day devoting his life to a cause. He was a stand for his dream; body, mind and soul.
As an adult, I take a stand for what I believe in. When the stand I take is not firmly grounded in my mind, body and soul, I feel inclined to protect and defend. When I expend defensive energy in protecting my stand, I get tired. As time goes on, I fatigue and let go of my position; I give up on myself. When this happens, I begin a cycle that is hard to release. I justify letting go of my stand. When I layer justifications upon the knowledge that I let myself down, I spiral even further away from my initial, pure stand. In my body, I become rigid and unmovable. My voice gets stronger, sharper and there is not a balance of receptivity within my speech. I move away from connection with others and defend myself against them. In this state, I feel alone and sad. I want connection, and from this place cannot see how to get it.
Imagine being more like our children. Children can clearly listen for their stand because they are closer to the source; they have less information in their mind and fewer ingrained patterns of behavior in their body to build doubt about themselves. As adults, engaging in the journey to our stand means wading through layers of doubt and shame. Doubt and shame are incipient patterns of thinking and being that hold us back through the use of fear and loathing. An important piece to remember, we are human. As a human being, we have been given the gift of consciousness and emotion. This means, WE ALL HAVE DOUBT AND SHAME. We are not alone. When we normalize these emotions we release their hold on us and we find the freedom to discover our stand.
The how of discovering our stand is connecting to ourselves; taking the time to listen to the deeper purpose within us. As we practice listening, we can uncover the story we tell ourselves. If the underlying story is limiting, so will be the possibility.
Here are a few practices which can help set the course to discover our stand. A daily commitment to writing and, most importantly, accepting what is written can help you uncover the thread which will lead you to your deeper purpose. Another practice is meditation. Sitting and reflecting for a few minutes per day can be an eye opener into the workings of our brain. Over time, our inner stand will become clear. A third practice is to ask for help. A friend, mentor, sibling, parent, coach, or therapist can be an interactional way of discovering your personal stand. Whichever path you chose, commit to the process, set goals and a timeline, and create a structure of engagement. When we regularly practice, it is amazing how quickly we can begin to move mountains.
Take an effortless stand for yourself. Uncover your possibilities. Inspire others, we need you. Your time on earth is limited, chose today to make the most out of it, invite perspective.