Everything is revealed--whether you are confident or scared, shy or annoyed, sick with the flu or insanely in love--all of you is on display. And the truth is that most people go through life blissfully unaware of the message that they are sending to the world.
I know that I walk with confidence. One ex-colleague told me that I walked like I was on the runway--and though I am sure she was being a snarky frenemy--I know what she did notice was that I radiate comfort in my skin. The pep in my step shows that I am a confident woman aware of my body and the moment--a don't mess with me kind of attitude. I occupy the space right.
A couple of years ago I was on a tour of a majestic waterfall in the Costa Rican forest near the Panamanian border. The eight tourists, myself included, were climbing up a steep hill and holding on to rocks, trees, branches and the earth as we steadily made our way up the lush terrain. Everyone was second guessing each step, temerity was on the menu. I went up the mountain like I was walking up Madison Avenue, with gusto. And it's not that I was or am an experienced hiker--it was my first time. Rather, I embraced the new terrain and moved gracefully, with respect for the earth, but with certainty. Doubt can get you in trouble when you are hiking up a steep hill just like it can get you mugged in the wrong neighborhood if you are not careful. The Rasta guide turned to me and said, "lady, I could tell you know how to walk right... the way you are climbing the mountain shows me you are not afraid of the earth, you honor it and yourself." True to that!
How did I learn to walk this way? I watched my fierce mother for one. She walks with authority and even in her golden years, she has this way about her that says, I know who I am and where I am and don't mess with me. She'd always remind us to walk right, straight when we slouched. One of my sisters especially got hit on the head because she had a habit of walking with her head tilted to the side. Mom watched us, and guided us and made us aware of our body language and what we were saying to the world.
I notice that people today really don't pay attention to how they walk-- they slouch, rush, and clog up sidewalks with their waddles. It's amazing to watch.
I have a friend who conducts a "How to Walk Like a Goddess Workshop." She will be joining me and teaching several workshops in Los Angeles in May when I go on my West Coast Book Tour. Stay tuned for details. The class is nuanced and she has her specific and revelatory tips. But one of the things she has her students do is to choose a great outfit that makes them feel great, powerful, beautiful, like a Goddess and a diva. The women wear the outfit an entire day and record how they feel as the go about a normal day. There is a specific strut that she teaches them that when you see it, you'll recognize--a woman or man in full command of herself and himself. Regal. Beautiful. Brave. Sensual, because she or he are aware and in tune with all their senses. Barack Obama has that step. So does Michele. So does Denzel Washington. Helen Mirren has it too.
Next time you take that step, check out how you walk, like how you speak, your step can tell people about you. What is the message that you are sending to the world? And is it the one you want to send?