My Position Statement on Positive Attitudinal Positioning

7 Aug

Not a single day goes by when the words ‘attitudinal positioning’ don’t scroll across the marquee of my brain,  escape my lips, or become a practice I make a point to engage in regularly .  I created it, and I’d feel lost without it.

In my nutrition consulting work I talk of metabolic positioning, The Diet Doc, Dr. Joe Klemczewski’s,  term for the physiological trajectory that  must be reached in order to burn fat most effectively. That position is different for everyone.  I’d feel lost without those words also.

Both of these positions operate on a continuum, and both require, in order for them to be useful,  a re-positioning of the mind and body.  Their purpose is stability, and they demand an awareness of the present condition. Allow me to explain what I mean.

Stop here and assess where you are, what you’re doing, what thoughts you’re having, what your body is feeling. Strange? Do  you constantly find yourself feeling as if you’re just treading water and thinking, “When am I going to get a break?!” or “I have so much to do!”; if you are so used to ‘doing’ and find yourself filling the time when the time could be spent resting; or if you find yourself in the grocery store line ready to blow a gasket when the cashier has to call customer service for the patron in front of you, you’re due for some repositioning.

The lady on the Garmin likes to call it “recalculating.” She’s quite annoying (but only when you’re thinking too far ahead about your destination and not getting there on time!), but smart nonetheless. She recognizes that if the direction you were going in didn’t quite pan out how you thought it would, you can redirect your efforts and try again. We could take lessons from her in staying present-focused. She’s right there, in the moment, assessing the situation from the intersection at which you’re idling.

“Kori I realized this week as I was practicing being more present that I’ve always been operating from a place of go-go-go. I’m always looking ahead at the future. Okay, finish college, get a job, acquire my license….maybe go to grad school, do some traveling nurse work….I had it all mapped out. When I left my boyfriend to move for my final couple years of school, and he said he wanted to come with me, I freaked out. How could that work? He wasn’t on the map!”

We agreed, however, that the map has many different roads leading to the same place. And the map has detours because of construction. And the map has dead ends, bridges to cross, flood plains, earthquake faults, rivers, valleys, and canyons.  The ‘loneliest highway in the world’ is a straight line, and it runs through a desert!

“Then I thought about what you had said about marriage and relationships and how it’s a choice. You know when I told you that I was scared about us growing apart? Like what if he wanted one thing and I wanted another and the same thing ended up happening to us like it did my parents? I had this moment where I realized that I don’t have to let the behaviors and actions of my parents become my own. And everything IS a choice. I can choose to move away from him or I can choose to move toward him. I can accept how it is right now but also honor how I’m feeling. I don’t have to move on those feeling, but just recognize they are there! No judgement!”

She spoke of her focus on the opposite end of the continuum, the past. Her mind set her up for living in a manner that had her running from a relationship occluded with the mistakes of her parents. She is realizing through practicing awareness and acceptance though, that she gets to write her own script. But it took her being present to recognize how she was being guided by unrealistic thoughts.

Attitudinal positioning is just this–recalculating to a position where you will idle for a while. Just be.  Author and stress reduction expert, Jon Kabat-Zinn speaks of meditation in virtually the same manner. “Meditation is really a non-doing. It is the only human endeavor I know of that emphasizes being where you already are. Much of the time we are so carried away  by all the doing, the striving, the planning, the reacting, the busyness….we tend to have little awareness of the incessant and relentless activity of our own mind and how much we are driven by it.”

In the spirit of honoring my own quirkiness, I will tell you that I often talk to myself. When I do I’ve noticed that I’m breathing deeply. Centering behaviors for me like this have become habitual now over years of practice in  being mindful. “We’ve all got minds…” says Dr. Zinn, “…we seem to need to ‘re-mind’ ourselves  (of that )”.  Talking out loud is my reminder. “Wow, Kori, that was a strange thought. Where did that come from?” Recognize that the thought was not “Wow, Kori, that was a stupid thing to think.” Present and non-judgmental.

I challenge you to take some time in the coming week to practice just recognizing and tuning in to yourself, remembering that your thoughts are not you. Yes, you read that correctly. They just “are” until you give them meaning. If you need some help as you move forward with your attitudinal positioning, you know where to find me– right here.

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