I wrote yesterday about the movie Secret Life of Bees
, which I thought was wonderful.
But it pained me to watch it in one rather selfish way. Queen Latifah, in that movie, had such perfect posture, and such a quiet, wise way about her. I have always wanted both those things. It seems like posture and that quiet, wise old owl often go together. And the wise thing has nothing to do with age; I have a 16-year-old friend who always sits perfectly straight, who is also very wise. She just gives that impression.
It must have something to do with the way we carry ourselves. When we have good posture, we give the message, "I am ready to take on the world. I am strong." We also say, "I am sure of who I am. I am confident." Combine it with a gentle spirit, and you have such a beautiful mixture of virtues that people long to be with you.
Unfortunately, I slouch. Horribly. It's genetic. My father slouches, my grandfather was very stooped, and now I am, too. I did not grow up with my father, so it's not as if I copied him. But my back looks exactly the same.
I took ballet as a child, which was a good thing, because without that I'd likely be worse. But I did learn how to carry myself, which means several dozen times a day I notice that I'm slouching, and I correct it. But I can never stay that way very long. I've tried different chairs, different beds, different exercises, but nothing seems to work. I am destined to slouch.
All of that is a major problem for me, because I so want to be that wise, confident presence that I keep seeing all around me. I want to be that woman who looks like she can take on the world. I want to be the woman who gives off an air of peace, of stability, of strength. And yet I don't think I do.
Obviously there is a lot more to a confident, gentle person than not slouching. After all, some people who are ramrod straight are harsh and pointy, in more ways than one. So it's not entirely your body; but I do love that combination of outer grace and inner grace.
Maybe I focus so much on the outer grace because it's easier to cultivate than the inner grace. I'm not a very gentle person. I mostly say whatever comes to my mind, and often regret it later. I joke a lot. I can be rather loud. I'm the exact opposite of that character that I loved so much in the movie.
I suppose the answer is to start being grateful for who I am, and for trying to nurture the good that I already do have. I think I have the kind of personality that puts people at ease. I'm easy to get to know. I'm fun. And there's nothing wrong with fun. But every so often, I would just so much rather be confident and wise.
I have to go now because I'm slouching horribly in this chair, but I would really like to know if I'm totally alone, or if others of you have felt this, too. Have you ever wished your body would behave differently? Are there personality traits you're trying to cultivate? Let me know! Subscribe to To Love, Honor and Vacuum