Joy Ignites Success

Getting Your Head on Straight

By - Wednesday, March 08, 2017


This morning, during my dance party (yup, dance party for one in my living room),  I was throwing my body and arms and head around, and found myself thinking that I was in the process of getting my head on straight so I could continue my writing. The importance of getting one’s head on straight (also known as getting your shit together), cannot be over emphasized. Our experience of the world is a direct result of how we see and interpret the circumstances of life. Think about it, when you are in a lousy mood, the world pretty much sucks. The reverse is also true, when feeling good about yourself, it’s easier to see the world from a kinder, gentler place, which results in more joy for you.
If we examine this expression from a body perspective, we can get very literal. Your head could be tilted to one side or another, or could be jutting forward (in yoga, known as forward head posture (fhp)) or even pulling back (pretty rare in our society). FHP is particularly common, thanks to computers, cell phones and devices that we tend to lean into when using.

During my training at Naropa University, I learned how to use oscillation of attention in therapy. We can think of an oscillating fan, moving back and forth from different positions. I was taught the power of oscillating my attention between inner and outer focus. To recognize internal reactions and responses while hearing and seeing my client’s experience. Without the ability to oscillate attention, I could easily get caught in a client’s story (and lose access to wisdom coming from within) or I could just as easily get caught in my own stories and projections.
The oscillation of attention outward could be translated to FHP, where my head and body are focused outside of myself. Where it may appear that being completely focused on my client (or whatever is in front of you) is a good idea; we need to recognize the disconnect in this position from the wisdom within and beyond. On the other hand, oscillating inward to the extent of denying the external (head pulling back), could lead to cutting off from the world and a distorted perception of both internal and external. It is the dance of inward and outward that results in a happy, balanced state of mind.
As to tilting the head from side to side, I tend to see more of the wisdom in this, rather than the downside. I rarely see anyone stuck looking from the right or left (though a more careful study of politicians might be in order). I think more about how Beatrice (the fragile and sensitive big ass dog in my life), will tilt her head when she hears something out of the ordinary. Besides being most endearing and adorable to witness, I imagine that she is attempting to hear from a different angle. I see humans do this occasionally too, just tilting their head as if to say “what did you say?” I can see conscious use of the head tilt being very useful. If we listen from a different angle, we could hear differently.
What can you do to get your head on straight today? Remember, “Where the body goes, the mind will follow”.


If you’d like to read more about the effect of FHP on health, click here.

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About MSI

Melanie Smithson Institute is dedicated to enriching lives through embodied education and training; using movement, play and releasing to connect with innate wisdom and joy.  

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