On the 21st of January, the day following the inauguration of president Donald Trump, millions (4.8 million and counting) have taken to the streets around the US, Canada, Mexico and in major cities around the world in a show of protest against the views and policies of Trump. In Washington alone more than 3 times the number of people attended the #WomensMarch than attended the presidential proceedings a day earlier – an interesting outcome given the supposed democratic election processes.
The marches were initiated at a grassroots level shortly after the presidential outcome was announced and were designed to protest against the following views of the new government:
To read more about why #womensmarch drove more interest in the US than any other protest since the anti-Vietnam War movements check out #whyImarch
It is incredible to see the power of social media and the web in action, and as someone who regularly uses social media to arrange events and workshops there was a lot to be learnt from the #womensmarch organisers, but that is for another blog.
Having watched the Trump campaign from a distance (being on the other side of the world) I have gone through my own private cycle of:
While events like #womensmarch enable women to have their voices heard, and are thus an important part of our society, I feel it is our behaviour as women each and every day in all aspects of our life which will put a stop to abusive, degrading or bullying behaviour.
There are so many reasons to march for women’s rights and freedoms:
These are issues that are not based on short-lived clickbait chauvinistic remarks, but rather are pervasive and enduring problems of our time. Issues about which seemingly little is being said or done given their global and horrific nature. They show that women’s rights, however far they might have come, are nowhere near where they need to be.
How do we build a society which not just defends our rights for equality, inclusiveness and independence (which really should be a given) but actually embraces the natural qualities of of women – the tenderness, fragility and femininity of a woman who lives from her essence. It is not enough just to eliminate slurs of bigotry and prejudice, we need to replace them with a deep respect for women, by both men and women, for the sanctity and sacredness of a women in livingness.
Each woman is equally responsible for holding our society accountable, and it is in each movement we make that we communicate the standards we choose to accept.
So often in work environments we find ourselves being sold to. Persuasive discussion is the foundation of business. It could be by someone within our team wanting to make a good impression, or a vendor who wants to make a sale. We might even be the ones selling – even if we don’t see ourselves as sales people; do you ‘manage upwards’? That means ‘selling’ to stakeholders.
So with all this communication designed to drive a response, it soon becomes very clear that we have to look below the lip service to understand the real motives and intention of a conversation.
Top sales training courses have a keen focus on body language – as it is well known that the movements by the body can contribute to a sense of conviction in a much greater way than words alone. Common teachings include;
But the science of reading the body can go so much deeper. Indeed the movements of the body speak volumes about the true intentions and underlying energetic activity of a conversation.
As a manager I have been part of some gravitas giving and getting of feedback. During these discussions, its invaluable to read the body of the other person, not just listen to their words.
Look for signals that help you understand how to proceed with the discussion:
In a meeting situation you may find that by turning your attention away from the words that are being spoken, and instead reviewing the movements of the body sitting across the room, you will get a very honest read of the situation.
You can also watch your own body to learn more about how our actions speak louder than words, and take steps to support yourself:
Learning to read the body can give us intelligence that would take hours of open discussion to discover otherwise. As we become more aware and connected with our own body we learn the messages that are being communicated through movement 24/7.
I was one of those people in school who couldn’t sing the hymn. I would mouth the words but let nothing out. I looked around at the chapel we frequented all of once per year and nothing in that building made me feel remotely connected to God.
To me, religion was a dirty word – a word that described sheep deprived of opinions, free thought and who were instead subscribed to a dogmatic, sexist, racist view of the world. I was raised non-denominational and went to a school that was for the most part, without religion.
It wasn’t until I was 23 that I had my first experience of God – and it changed my life.
I was doing Esoteric Yoga at the time – laying in a gym with about 100 other students at a retreat in northern NSW. The instructor was mic’d up, reciting the format for the class.
Bend your left leg, then straighten, bend your right leg, then straighten. Sit up, Lay down.
There wasn’t anything complicated about this. And yet after 3 days of morning and night practice, as the sun set outside, and I yet again I bent first one leg, then the other, suddenly my body lit up like a Christmas tree. It was as if my blood cells were being carried by thousands of tiny fairy lights – the sensation was like a very fine, very subtle tingling, running through my entire body.
It was a level of connection I hadn’t experienced before, and it was sensational.
I have done my fair share of recreational drugs and drinking, and consequently had many experiences of being high. This was not like that at all. There was a clarity and a quality to the sensation. The best way I could describe it was the cells in my body were running on a different quality of energy.
I didn’t realize it at the time but that energy was impulsed from the Soul. A connection that is available to every human – it is as commonly available as the air we breathe. This connection to The All, is also known as God.
As you can imagine, to feel God in such a ‘real’ way – as a sensation in my body was a perception changing experience. Gone were the days of being anti-religion. After all, what is religion but a name describing the connection to that oneness.
This finally fit with what I had always known was true. I had observed all religions as being separatist, and while they might preach love, they often always preached judgement and that never sat well with me. True love has no judgment, only pure acceptance of another’s equality in divinity.
Of course for some their experience of organised religion has left them feeling cold to the word god. But is it possible to redefine it? To start looking on god as a connection to something Universal, the bigger picture of life and our awareness of the world around us. God can be in the everyday moments we see and feel, a simple acceptance that there is more to life than the naked eye sees.
If that awareness that I found in the gentle and purposeful movements of Esoteric Yoga created a connection I had never felt before, might I have found god in this and had a religious experience? With no temple, script, mantra or dogma required. Just me and my body feeling more than I had before.
If we are all from The One then there is no space for condemnation. And if God doesn’t judge us, then might it be that it actually supports us; holding us in love wherever we go, whatever we choose to do, whether we choose to feel that or not.