An innocent phrase was set forth in this newsletter last week: Watch Your Posture.

Not change your posture. Not stand up straight. Merely Justin Stone’s suggestion: Watch Your Posture. Word from a couple readers was that this instruction either led them to make quick shoulder/neck/head corrections like I did or begin to worry about becoming bent over due to occupation or age.  

I promised last week to tell you this week another part of Stone’s instruction.  Without further ado, here is what he suggested in conjunction with watching your posture:

Frequently determine the state of your mind.  


Stone proceeds to make this sound easy. For instance, following his suggestions, I would say, if I am excited to go for a walk outside because of nice weather, my state of mind might be one of anticipation. Or if I lie down for an afternoon nap and the carpenters, putting siding on some of my neighbor’s homes began pounding in nails, my state of mind now is one of annoyance. This seems quite straightforward, doesn’t it? But Stone gives us one more step.

Stone writes that as the result of watching our posture and determining the state of our minds, we will make an unexpected discovery:

“After practicing both instructions for a few weeks, it will become clear that posture is influenced by the state of your mind and that your state of mind has a great deal to do with your posture.”

Again, he cautions us that his instructions are not about changing anything. Not your posture. Not your state of mind. The instructions are about gaining awareness. He does not spell this part out, but I think what he means is if we want to change something, this is the place to begin.  Awareness is what we are working towards. We cannot make any change unless we are aware.

What do you think? Does awareness come before change? Let me know what you think.

The image is a painting by Justin Stone on the front of his book, Heightened Awareness: Towards a Higher Consciousness, 3rd Edition.


4 Responses

  1. Makes so much sense. Somewhere I read this about awareness: each day (I do this during my walk) – note 5 things you see, 4 things you hear, 3 things you feel, 2 things you smell, 1 thing you taste. Surprising how easy it is except for the last two!

    • Sue – I love thinking about you walking and doing this mindfulness exercise! Thanks for sharing with us.

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  2. I agree that awareness is the first step. You can’t change a behavior if you aren’t aware of it enough to recognize the need for change.

    I wonder if Justin Stone adds weather into the equation at any point. Just like you anticipate a walk in the sunshine, my moods are affected by the weather. Gray days make my moods gray, and they probably negatively impact my posture as well.

    Interesting topic, Nicky. Thanks.

    • Susan – I will keep an eye out for Justin Stone commenting about weather as I explore his writing but I think you are
      on to something! I have noticed the differences in my feelings when the sun goes under a cloud for a bit. Pretty amazing
      how tuned in I am to a slight change in light.

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

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