I spent time with Wendy Palmer in Boston recently. Wendy is an author, inspirational teacher and bright spirit. She offers coaching and training programs for leaders, groups, and individuals like you and me on Conscious Embodiment.

Like Thomas Crum, George Leonard, and others, including myself, Wendy also uses Aikido principles, and we spent most of the retreat moving with partners, consciously embodying ways of relating to one another, and practicing managing stress and pressure. It was reinforcing, energizing, and fun, and I hope the following reflection provides reinforcement for you, too.

Energy occurs before awareness.
Way before we take action, there is an energy that's present in the body. When you recognize that energy, you have the freedom to surface it, work with it, and change it. A tiny postural shift like lengthening your spine frees your breath, opens your mind, and fosters more conscious action. Try this: slightly collapse your chest; now open it by feeling a lift in the back of your neck and dropping our shoulders. Do you feel different?

Personality vs. Center
Personality is the part of us that is concerned with managing the "stuff" of life. Am I secure? Do I have enough? Do they like me? When I'm centered, there is more time and more space. Center is the zone, the flow state, where I'm already okay, approved of, and safe.

I Am Not How You Respond to Me
Center also knows that I am connected to something much larger, much more universal, than the everyday small stuff of life. I don't have to control you to feel good about myself.

The Spacious Field
We each have a field of personal space that we carry with us, similar to a magnetic field. This field can expand and contract. When we enter a new space--our office or home--our field comes along. How do we affect that space? Do we add positive energy, or do we pollute it?

We Can't Change Our Mind With Our Mind Alone
I am a mind-body-spirit organism. What I'm thinking affects my physical energy, and how I hold my body energetically affects my thinking. Centering is a muscle that develops with practice:

• Daily practices like meditation.
• Moment to moment practices like conscious breathing. It only takes 1-3 seconds to breathe in and out, feel your feet on the ground, and lift and lengthen your spine.
• Spontaneous smiling.
• A quiet check-in with your self.

What you practice is what you master and who you become. Each time I encounter real world pressure and my default patterns kick in, I have another opportunity.

Life is full of choice. What choices are you making today?

Author's Bio: 

Judy Ringer is the author of Unlikely Teachers: Finding the Hidden Gifts in Daily Conflict and the award-winning e-zine, Ki Moments. Judy is a black belt in aikido and nationally known presenter, specializing in unique workshops on conflict, communication, and creating a positive work environment. To sign up for more free tips and articles like these, visit http://www.JudyRinger.com