Posture 5: The Victim / Living in Lack

Do you know someone who everything seems to go wrong for? It maybe at work, in relationship, in their health, but they always seem to be the victim of something or someone.

It’s a bit like the bullied child at school. You sort of know who is going to get bullied and often you also know who is going to bully, because of how they walk, how they stand, how they behave and how they talk. It’s in our posture and we already know who the victim is.

Another way this posture shows up is the person who never seems to get what they want. They may try hard, they may work hard, but someone else always wins or get’s the girl. They are the one who is always lacking and missing out.

The can stem from events that were seemingly unfair and the individual felt that they were a victim of circumstance, sometimes the event was big, sometimes small. But none the less it sets up a pattern of lack or victimhood that can run a life.

And that can lead to different responses - the “given up” state or the “internally angry but never saying” state, or a mix of both.

So their internal dialogue may be along the lines of:

1.      It’s doesn’t matter what I do, nothing seems to work out(

2.      (Why does) It always happen to me (?)

3.      I really tried, honest…..

4.      What’s wrong with me?

5.      I’m going to make them suffer

6.      I’m never angry / I’m always angry / It’s not fair

7.      There is never enough to go around

8.      I’ll show them, whatever it takes I will make it happen

Some people with this posture are actually incredibly successful in aspects of their life, but rarely happy. It may drive them to achieve, to show others what is possible, but the internal dialogue is often destructive.

So what happens as this pattern resolves and becomes a source of growth?

The answer is that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. This can lead to a live of riches and abundance. Because so much energy is embedded in this posture, when turned around and owned it can be a massive source of growth, transformation and joy.

The solution lies in recognizing that this pattern is there, and in feeling it in the body, truly feeling it. Because once you feel something it becomes a resource, a starting point for change.

Again, I suggest standing up and observing your feet on the ground. Often in this pattern the weight is forward, or the weight is almost collapsed into the feet, but still a tendency to forward. Observe your feet on the ground and aim to balance out the contact. What changes in your body? Can you do it?

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Posture 4: I'm Fine

In his original work, this pattern was referred to as Passion, or lack of. The more I’ve worked with these postures and patterns, I think the best way of summing up this person is “I’m Fine”. Because that is what they say, even when things are totally horrendous, their partner is sick, their job in on the line, they can’t get pregnant, they hate their life or whatever it is. They still say when asked how they are that they are just fine thank you very much.

There seem to be two key variations on this posture.

  1. Their inner dialogue is often one of overwhelm, too many thoughts, too many choices or decision. They have too much to think about, so making a choice or decision is often a big challenge. They may be talented and capable and feel that they just have too many options and want life to be more simple. They may talk of not being able to sleep because they just can’t turn their mind off. Their mind is often delivering a list of criticisms and ideas that get in the way of moving forwards. This state can be exhausting.

  2. The second way this presents is someone who is often very sensitive and has become overwhelmed with emotions and just feels too much. To cope with this, they try to turn the feelings off and often become very rational and logical. Life becomes about not feeling, and often over the years these people become very disconnected from their body and may find it hard to feel many sensations other than pain or discomfort. When asked what they feel, they will tell you what they think instead, and it’s not that they are consciously avoiding answering you, this is just their survival strategy to avoid overwhelm.

And then someone who is expressing this posture in a truly positive way, will be the person who lights you up at a party because they are so passionate about their subject. Even if it’s something that holds no interest for you, you are attracted by their passion, their aliveness, their commitment. These people feel their emotions and are happy to express them. They don’t have the constant voices in their head, instead they live very in their body. They often feel very alive and people are very drawn to be with them.

So if this is a strong pattern for you, you may not have the best body awareness. When I ask you to pay attention to your posture, you may dismiss this as nonsense, because actually not being able to feel what is going on in your body is judged as a failure or problem and that creates some of the pain you are trying so hard to avoid.

Bare with me. I had a very strong “I’m Fine” in my body, and it did take some work to get reconnected to my body and out of my head, but it’s been more than worth it. And as I continue on this journey, it’s like finding sea shells on the beach. There are loads of them, and they are endless and each one more beautiful than the last. They just take a bit of work and commitment to uncover.

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Posture 3: Who am I?

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This is all about the roles we play in life. We have many role - daughter, son, wife, husband, teacher, lover, sister, brother. We have professional roles, some of us identify with what we do - I’m a Doctor, I’m an Engineer, I’m a Scientist and so many more.

The thing is, often we play out the roles we were expected to. We behave like the good child and go to university, even though we really wanted to go to Art School. Or we follow our families wishes and become a Doctor, when we really don’t like people very much and would have preferred to be an academic. Or we marry young because it’s expected, or have children because it’s expected of us. We never stop and think - who am I? What do I really want? Instead we do what our conditioning says we should. Some people get lucky, turns out that they are carry out roles that are totally authentic for them. But when people feel trapped in a version of them that is not authentic, and this version doesn’t chime with who they are, it can be distressing on many levels - physically it often shows up as back pain. But there are many levels of pain, and this can be physical, emotional, mental or even spiritual.

Common signs of someone who is showing this posture type are that they may be the job hoppers, who change careers every few years. Or the people who attend course after course, getting more and more educated yet never really using any of it.

Or they may be very easily swayed. They never really know what they want and so will jump on every bandwagon that comes along. They lack the ability to say no, and often say yes through fear of missing out. Their will power to carry anything through can be lacking and decision making around what serves them can be a big challenge.

Questions they may ask or statements they may say or think include:

  1. Who am I?

  2. What is my purpose?

  3. What job / career would be best for me?

  4. Do I want to be a parent? Have kids?

  5. Why is everyone else settling down and getting married?

  6. I just don’t seem to have a purpose. What’s wrong with me?

  7. I don’t know what I want from life

  8. I don’t know

  9. I’m grateful for whatever life gives me, as long as I don’t have to make a decision

What is the flip side of this? This is when someone is totally congruent with who they are, the choices they have made, the decisions they make and how they lead their life. They may be a teacher and it lights them up. They know they are doing something that is totally authentic for them. And they are doing it well because it comes naturally, even if they had to study and learn, they still know in their soul that this is who they are and why they are here.

If you recognize this pattern as being strong in you, take a moment and stand, ideally without shoes. Where is the natural balance on your feet? Do you favour one leg over the other? Do you constantly stand on one leg, even if you are balanced in this moment? If you are out of balance, try to bring your feet into balance so that you have even pressure on both feet. What happens in your body when you do this?

Some people will find this easy to do. Great. If you don’t, that’s also great because now you know that your body awareness could probably do with some work. Don’t worry, lots of people start here, and it’s amazing what you can notice when you start to practice.

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Posture 2: Stuck in the Future

Do you know someone who is always worried about what might never happen? They manage to worry about things that may never happen and probably never will. They are also the catastrophizers of this world, seeing things that may go wrong even though the chances are very low. The emotion that runs their life is FEAR. And being fearful becomes their way of approaching almost everything. Sometimes it’s so bad, they’d rather not engage with life, but remain hidden and small, to stay safe.

Medically these are often the hypochrondriacs, the people who think that they have every disease known to man. They worry about what they may never get, to the point they can make themselves sick.

In the extreme, they may worry about themselves, or their children, or their parents, or their partner, and failing that, they will find something else to worry about.

Others expressing this pattern may have a strong sense of betrayal. They believe that everyone is going to let them down at some point, and can’t trust anyone, often not even themselves. And there is often a lot of unexpressed anger or grief around this. They know they feel let down and betrayed, yet unable to do anything about changing the pattern. You often recognize this as unexpressed anger and/or unreasonable behaviour. And they expect to be let down again, and again, and again!

The problem with worrying about anything we cannot influence is it takes us out of the present moment, often so much that we forget to be. And one of the purposes of life is about being in the moment and experiencing whatever is going on just now.

The kind of things you hear if this is a strong pattern (or think, because you may be internalizing this and never verbalizing it) are:

  1. I can’t do that because xyz might happen

  2. I have to stay home, just in case x calls by

  3. I’m calling to check you’re ok (when there is no reason to call)

  4. I know she’ll let me down in the end, people always do

  5. People are only out for themselves, they don’t care about me

or internalizing

  1. it’s just not possible, I can’t do that

  2. I’m worried I’ll make a mess of it so I wont try

  3. It’s all going to go wrong

These are just examples. Many people with this as a dominant pattern will be seeing scenarios of doom and gloom on a fairly regular basis, or will be frozen and unable to make decisions… just in case of xyz.

So how would someone look if they’re expressing a positive Posture 2? What would they say?

  1. I trust that everything will work out fine

  2. I have faith in him

  3. I’ve done all that I can, I know it will work out

  4. I know that what needs to happen will happen

  5. I only sweat the big stuff, the small stuff is not worth worrying about

  6. People are innately good, I know I can rely on him/her

  7. I have confidence in you

In this modern age, everyone has things they could worry about. The difference is where you put your focus and not spending time worrying about things that you just can’t influence or change.

So if you recognize this as a dominant pattern, what can you do? When you catch yourself worrying, start by coming back to your body. Notice your feet on the ground or your bum on the seat. Find a reference point that is in your body, not in your head. Direct your breath into that area or if you have a sense of energy in your body, become aware of the energy in that area. Some people find stamping their feet or jumping around brings them back into the current moment.

You can use Stages 1, 2 and 3 to explore this further (all the stages will add value as you get more connected to your body, but start with the first three so that you can discover how you really do this pattern)


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Posture 1: Stuck in the Past

Have you ever have a conversation with someone who is asking for help, but every time you suggest something to you they go “but that won’t work, I’ve tried it before”. It doesn’t matter what you say, their belief is that it wont work because they’ve already done it. It may even be that what they tried wasn’t exactly what you are proposing, but their beliefs and perceptions are stopping them from moving forwards.

Or maybe they were bullied at school. And then they get bullied at work, so they change jobs and it happens again. They start to believe that this is normal, this is how life is, and it can never change because it has always been this way.

Of when you challenge a behaviour they have, or something they are struggling they always answer “but that’s because of xyz”

The classic person who is “Stuck in the Past” will make comments on the lines of:

  1. It’s because of the car crash I had when I was 9

  2. It’s because my mother never loved me

  3. I’ve never been right since xyz happened

  4. It’s not possible to heal, I’ve been like this for x years

  5. I’ve tried everything and nothing works, nothing changes

  6. It always happens to me

Notice when you do this. Is it in reference to specific events or to specific symptoms.

So how do you recognise someone who is showing a positive Posture 1?

They make comments like this:

  1. I have a really challenging childhood, but it made me who I am today

  2. The accident/illness stopped me in my tracks. It made me realise what mattered and I’ve changed in so many ways. Although it was tough, I’m so grateful it happened

  3. I learnt so much about how to manage people through the bully incident. I vowed I will never do that to someone else, and I’ve been true to my word

So do you see the difference. We all have tough things to deal with, it’s how we deal with them that makes the difference. And some people naturally take a challenge and work with it, but others get overwhelmed and go into a defence coping strategy, which means they survive, which is great, but then they need to find a way through it.

So if you recognize this as a dominant pattern, what can you do? When you catch yourself worrying, start by coming back to your body. Notice your feet on the ground or your bum on the seat. Find a reference point that is in your body, not in your head. Direct your breath into that area or if you have a sense of energy in your body, become aware of the energy in that area. Some people find stamping their feet or jumping around brings them back into the current moment.

You can use Stages 1, 2 and 3 to explore this further (all the stages will add value as you get more connected to your body, but start with the first three so that you can discover how you really do this pattern)

To join our online community click here