BodyLogos Blog

WHAT NEEDS TO BREAK DOWN TO FULLY STAND UP?

Who decides how you present you?

In our effort to stand strong and straight, mentally and physically, we often project an ideal persona rather than a real person. A want-to-be persona that resembles a rooster showing its willingness to fight for dominance, prominence or survival takes over our posture. This outward display tenses our muscles, excites our nervous system and expects a response. We are taught, that this attention to posture will attract success. This is not necessarily the case.

The problem with this persona posture is that it is not connected to what is really within its silhouette. In fact, this fake-it-till-you-make-it stance can lead you further and further away from what is true for you. I am not implying that you should depress your posture when you feel depressed. What I am suggesting, however, is to lift your posture’s alignment to meet that depression, or whatever problem is surfacing; rather than ignoring what is actually happening within you and jumping over it. Though jumping over obstacles may feel like triumphing over challenge initially, it is only bypassing the problem temporarily. The problem will resurface again and again!

So what does it mean to stand strong? Is it an outward projection of what you want-to-be or an inward ownership of being you?

I am going to borrow from the military because they have recognized the power of posture. Though, I also believe their breakdown can be developed upon to include civilian lives and a more entrepreneurial mindset.

  • “At-Attention” military posture ensures strength through following another’s leadership. A soldier’s legs are together, thumbs pressed against the side seams of their trousers, fists closed. Their muscular system compresses their central line of energy, while their eyes focus past the scrutiny of their commanding officer. Abandoning one’s authentic nature, the soldier awaits orders for the protection of the greater whole.
    • This abandonment of self could be compared to your mind-body stance when addressing your boss, a job interview, or a professional/social gathering. Anytime your posture is forced because you feel beneath the person(s), task or challenge before you, this is a physical experience of aligning.
  • “At-Ease” military posture asks for strength through one’s self-discrimination. A soldier’s legs are spread, arms and fists relaxed but held behind their back. While the muscles of their limbs are at-ease, their torso remains attentive to what their rank tells them they should-be. A degree of authenticity is allowed here as eyes meet, and a relating to the truth of one’s experience or expertise is being sought after and discussed.
    • This should-be attention could be compared to your mind-body stance when at your desk addressing work-tasks, organizing your home, or on a first date. Anytime your posture is stilted because you feel you should-be a certain way, you are trying to live up to the expectations put upon you by yourself or another. This is a mental experience of aligning.
  • At-Peace–a life posture–upholds strength by allowing what is. Using the flow of energy to secure alignment, you become sensitive to misalignment. As the skeleton is prompted to align itself above and below one’s center of gravity, the muscular system becomes elongated and supple, giving the body’s central line of energy room to expand. This relaxed strength permits authenticity and personal reflection. One’s sense of self connects to their unique perspective, life purpose and self-development. Aligning oneself with personal beliefs ensues.
    • This relaxed strength could be compared to your mind-body stance when on vacation, involved in a creative project or an entrepreneurial endeavor. You are at peace with who you are being. This is a spiritual experience of aligning

Military postures are what most of us relate to as good posture, because they are physically aligned. Their unyielding rigidity in body and mind, however, when used as a life posture, are exhausting and cannot withstand time without exhausting you. Replacing your energy’s rigidity with flow, renews your relationship with yourself, to be one that is at peace.

We are all soldiers in life. Though abandoning one’s individual nature for the greater whole–to give one’s life–is viewed as upright and principled posture; I could say the same about a posture that is committed to one’s self. Breaking down the indoctrinated beliefs that it is selfish or unappreciative to believe in yourself, your differences, or your brilliance, is what truly escalates you fully into being! Self-awareness is found through a relationship with your body, mind and Spirit; and it is what makes conscious frontrunners that can lead by example.

To stand strong and straight is to know your beliefs, illuminate your resistance to living those beliefs and restore alignment, and be at peace with who you are being.

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Redefining Strength

I want to change our perception of strength. Strength is the ability to meet resistance and influence an outcome without compromising ourselves. And we already have it.

Strength is not an attribute; it’s a state of being. Gladiators, bodybuilders, and football players demonstrate strength through brute force, sheer willpower, muscle mass, and relentless pursuit. But we’re also quick to identify dancers and martial artists as strong. Their medium taps into a sense of vulnerability, balance, alignment, controlled power, and grace—but no one can deny their strength. Strength may look different on each of us, but it is an inherent part of who we are.

You are not weak by nature; you are stronger than you think. Your strength is not something you need to kill yourself to gain—it is already within you, waiting to be excavated. The key is to stop chasing something you already have and tap into it, so you can manifest that strength in your everyday life.

Because we don’t think we’re strong, we approach resistance with the idea that we’re not enough. We throw everything we have at it and push past our physical, mental, and emotional limitations. We see strength as domination, but it’s not.

When you learn to listen to your body’s divine wisdom, you cultivate a sense of where your body is developing tension instead of standing in its strength. You end the vicious cycle of unrealistic expectations, injury, and self-criticism and learn how to consciously embrace responsible growth. You stop compartmentalizing your strength into emotional, physical, and mental pieces and operate from the strength of your being at all times.

You learn how to align yourself with gravity—instead of working against it—so you can channel your strength to meet life’s resistance. As you meet resistance with equal parts power and alignment, you transform tension into strength

As in the sword dance above, the power lies in bringing just the right amount of force—not too little and not too much. By meeting the sword’s weight, I meet gravity. I am tapped into a larger source of energy, free of tension, and discover a strength that is wholly and uniquely mine.

About Tammy Wise

Tammy Wise is a widely respected mind-body fitness expert based out of New York City, owner of BodyLogos, Inc. author of The Art of Strength: Sculpt the Body ~ Train the Mind. A former Broadway dancer turned Tao minister, Tammy was voted the Best of Fitness by Time Out New York and has appeared in Martha Stewart’s Whole Living magazine, New York Magazine, Natural Health, Shape, and Thrive Global. She’s a Transformational Authors Contest Winner and regular contributor to Honeysuckle magazine and Medium. Visit her at bodylogos.com.