Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges
by Amy Cuddy
I recently finished reading Amy Cuddy’s book Presence and I have been Wonder Woman posing before stressful situations ever since. Sounds like a weird take away from reading a book and maybe just a strange thing to do period, right? Well here is why I’ve taken to striking a pose.
Presence starts out by defining what it means to be present which ultimately is about engaging life from your true self. Not from the masked up, adapted part of you but from the part of you that is the most honest authentic heart of yourself.
Amy Cuddy unpacks all this and then moves into a discussion about the ways that what our body is doing impacts our mind and our emotions. The postures and positions of our body often reflects our sense of personal power and alters how we make decisions, engage with others and generally do life. If our body is caved in on itself or folded up to take up less space that has an impact on how we feel about ourselves, our ability to impact our worlds and our confidence in relating to others. When our bodies expand, we stand tall, spread our arms and take up space we feel differently about ourselves, others, and our ability to impact our worlds.
The book outlines research indicating that adopting a ‘power pose’ for just two minutes can radically alter your emotional state and sense of personal power and efficacy.
If you don’t have time to read the whole book, another way to learn about power posing and how it can change your state is to listen to Amy Cuddy’s Ted talk. She summarizes her research there and gives a quick overview of the potential involved.
The Fellowship Text for Adult Children of Alcoholics
Each 12-Step Fellowship has followed in the tradition of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and developed its own core text. The Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA) program has the big red book as its Fellowship Text. ACA is misleadingly named as it is a program for all adults who grew up in dysfunctional families, not just those with alcoholic care-givers. Whether you participate in the program or not, the Fellowship Text is one of the best books on healing childhood trauma that I know of.
The text starts with a laundry list of issues and traits that adult children who grew up in dysfunctional family often struggle with. Just this list alone can be life-changing as it provides language and brings clarity to dilemmas and challenges that often feel un-namable and confusing.
Do not let the door stopper size of the book deter you from delving in. This text is not meant to be read like a novel but instead should be dipped into, a little bit every few days and slowly chewed on and digested.
Written by Michelle Mays LPC, CSAT-S