Today’s topic in Soul Coaching is Using The Physiology Of Your Body. I really like this topic…at least I am comfortable talking about it. I think this all boils down to body language. I remember when I started working in NY at a residential treatment facility for children with emotional disabilities (severe)(violent) – one of the training classes you go through – is how you carry yourself. How you hold your body, how you walk around, sends off tons of messages to the kids at the facility…they can spot weakness (the phrase the trainer used not me).
I found that to be so VERY true. The first dorm I worked in I had a supervisor who was an idiot….he truly set me up against the disturb boys and it made for a lot of injuries to me and him just laughing away claiming that he was right woman do not belong in the field. I was approached by two other supervisors who saw what was happening and said they wanted me to work in their dorms…that they would further my training and teach me everything I needed to know. Well I did ….. (mind you – they were good friends with my first supervisor but they also knew what a JERK he was). I found out first and foremost that I made myself look vulnerable – I looked down a lot, my back after a while would slouch forward…all signs of weakness…or no power…no strength. Well they trained me in all of that and how to be a supervisor…in 18 months total from the day i started I received a HUGE promotion and became a supervisor. I was in charge of my own dorm…made my own rules….NEVER had a physical confrontation with any child in restraining them (yes that was just part of the job because they became violent over “whatever” reason). Hired staff that loved to have fun with kids…wanted to try new and different things with them..(like camping, going to the movies, going to a mall – etc)…my staff were supreme…I taught them what was taught to me….they NEVER had any of the problems either.
Interestingly enough – that first supervisor was fired (about 3 months after I left his dorm). Well 6 months before I left that job to move to Florida (almost 6 years after I started there)…he was hired but as a teacher’s aide. He was not allowed to be in charge of kids like he used to. I noticed his whole demeanor changed…he was walking with a slouch…not sure of himself…he kept wanting to have conversations with me and I kept telling him I was too busy for his garbage…I happen to hear that he had had a nervous breakdown and was not the same…the life was zapped out of him. He had cornered me one day and wanted to know why I felt the way I did about him…I told him he treated me like garbage – he set me up to get hurt – he was dangerous to be around – and he could not be trusted with staff or kids…just his whole attitude had sucked…well his eyes kept getting bigger and bigger as I spoke my mind…he was floored. He tried to apologize – I said that was fine but I don’t want or need his apology – it was just to make himself feel better – but for me – he was in the past. From that day forward until the day I left he always tried to be nice – but he was VERY cautious around me and I never gave him an inch. He noticed I carried myself differently…I had an ire of more self assurance… I could look someone in the eye and tell them upfront and honestly what I thought and that was that.
I carried those lessons with me ever since….especially when I worked in the state prison system. There were workers (non security) that were terrified of being near inmates…but my position of being a counselor, you could not be. I was very confident in my work, in what I could do, and how to deal with inmates. In all the years I worked directly with inmates (in a testing room of 30-80 inmates by myself) I NEVER had a problem, never had an inmate disrespect me, NOTHING!!! I contribute that to my body language – to the way I carried myself – looking directly at them, walking with confidence and strength..back straight…each step taken in confidence. That is truly how I survived.
I have noticed the my body language has changed since I have become sick…yes again I slouch. My head is down a lot…I look introverted….I will make an effort to change that – be aware of it more often – especially when I go out (if I do) so that others can see that confidence shine through.
Today – I will stand/walk with power and confidence – my body will express the strong me!
Today is day 24 of SOUL COACHING and day 25 of NABLOPOMO.