My experience of Amy Cuddys Body Language Shapes Who You Are
I recently watched Amy Cuddys TED talk “Body Language Shapes Who You Are” and it resonates with an experience I had in the psych ward in April.
I was experiencing a mean wave of psychosis and feeling deep waves of shame and grief. I was having terrifying delusions and I noticed that if I sat hunched over in a certain way, I felt like a homeless person. I literally dissociated more from identifying with who I know myself to be, and felt like I was someone on the street with no family and no friends. This is one of the lowest feelings that a human can feel in consciousness. I then noticed if I said “NO” to this, and consciously sat with a confident posture, I no longer felt the feelings of being homeless, alone, and hopeless. This is a dissociation or “embodied hallucination” that I’ve had on several occasions. Besides feeling like a murderer, or like I’m going to be framed for murder, feeling homeless is the scariest.
Although sitting confidently and consciously standing with better posture didn’t fix everything, it made me feel noticably better. Even though I felt like I had no control over how disconnected from reality I felt, and the fact that I was in the psych ward, I realized I had enough control to bring myself out of feeling like I was homeless. I felt less dissociated and like I could move up to the next level of consciousness. I felt at least that I only had to deal with a million of my own shameful thought-associations, instead of those of someone else, somewhere else, at another period of time.
Another thing I did to conserve energy was under eat. Yes, I ate half my yucky psych ward meals and left the rest. This gave me more energy to remain clear headed, especially considering the way they were drugging me up.
The day that was a turning point for me in this my fourth psychosis, I sat outside cross legged with a straight spine, closed my eyes, allowed the suns rays to gently embrace me, and “meditated”. I must have sat there for an hour, not moving, despite the constant rotation of people entering and exiting the smoke pit adjacent to me. I felt recharged. Giving myself that time to be still, to be in the sun, and to be inward, was healing.
One other thing that was interesting related to this was that when I was started on antipsychotics, my face developed a permanent scowl. I had a deeper creese between my eyebrows. The medication changed my facial muscles and my facial expression. I had a resting constipated looking face. This was scary. This to me, is the opposite of the energy and clarity that comes from natural energy.
The second video I started on the best part with some studies that will give you clues as to what you can do right now to make sublte changes that can make a big difference.