One of the highlights of my job is attending conferences through our trade association- Leading Age MN. There is always plenty of practical information to help me do my job better, but I especially look forward to the uplifting, inspirational messages from the keynote speakers.
Last week was institute week, and as my friend and co-worker, Angie tells me, you should always be on the lookout for the golden nuggets of information that stick with you and remind you to live better.
This year one of the “nuggets” I mined was from the gospel breakfast. The speaker was Jearlyn Steele from the award-winning singing group The Steele’s. Jearlyn said her motto this year was, “head up, heart open.” There is so much to learn from that short statement.
I fully believe our lives speak to us, and God is trying to get our attention through words, signs, people, nudges, quotes, and opportunities. The only way for us to hear this information is to have our head up and our heart open. We must pay attention, and be open-hearted enough to hear and feel what we are meant to.
Another belief of mine is when you hear something more than once, it is a sign to pay attention. If two people ask you if you have read a certain book for example, you should buy the book. Interestingly, the speaker the day before said something similar so I am paying attention.
The speaker was Sara Ross, a Senior Research Consulting Partner with the Institute for Health and Human Potential, and one of her messages was also about keeping your head up. Sara referenced the work of Amy Cuddy, a Social Psychologist from Harvard who has researched the power of body language and how it can affect our confidence and connect to the power of our presence. She has a TED talk in which she teaches power poses. The stance that invokes the most power is described as the Wonder Woman pose (which works for men too). She had us stand up straight, fists on our hips, elbows out the side, chest out, and chin up. You can use this anytime you are facing a stressful situation.
Conversely, Sara explained confidence is lost when we are looking down. She spoke about how cell phones are causing many people to walk through the world with their head down, which is the pose that drains our confidence. Think how much we are missing!
After hearing this information twice from two different people, I intend to spend more time with my head up and my heart open and thought perhaps you could too? I am hopeful this mantra will be as helpful to you as it was to me.
Can you think of times when you were using your full attention- both your head and your heart? If so, what did you learn?