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by Dr. Sara Gilman, LMFT, PsyD

“Sara met Colleen while fulfilling a lifetime dream of cycling in Italy. Inspired by the fun of the trip, and the beauty and connection of the women she met, she embarked upon fulfilling another dream of completing her doctorate degree! Dr. Sara just graduated and was keynote speaker at her commencement! “

Let your body change your mind!

Have you ever wondered why you get a strong urge on a WQ retreat to throw up your arms and smile? For me, WQ retreats bring out a sense of joy, inner strength, deep heartfelt connections with others and nature, and a renewed physical strength! The retreats are geared to fully experience our bodies while engaged in nature and with each other. No matter how I begin a retreat, usually tired, run down, over worked…I always leave recharged, happy and renewed. Why? It turns out there is research to support the positive effects of changing your body position to change your mindset.

In a wonderful Ted Talk. Amy Cuddy talks about how your body language changes you. It is well worth watching. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks-_Mh1QhMc


Amy Cuddy is a social psychologist, professor, and researcher at Harvard Business School, where she studies how nonverbal behavior and snap judgments affect human perceptions. Her research reveals that we can change other people’s perceptions, and even our own body chemistry, simply by changing body positions.


Changing your body position and using your body in a variety of ways can also influence hormonal fluctuations in cortisol and testosterone levels in your brain. Wow, this is truly a powerful concept. We can position ourselves into powerful stances to shift hormonal fluctuations to our advantage! These changes have been shown to occur in as little as two minutes after posing in a certain position.


You might be saying, “but I don’t feel powerful, confident or strong, so how can I strike this pose? It isn’t real.” You can make it real by creating the inner body experience of confidence and the mindset and feelings will follow. Isn’t it fun to think that you are your own ‘remote control’ on how you want to experience your life, moment to moment! So if you want to test this out, try this: sit in a chair, slumped, head drooped down for two minutes. Then write down what you think and feel. THEN, stand up, feet a part, take some deep breaths, smile big while you stretch your arms out in a ‘victory’ type stance for two minutes, THEN write down how you feel and what thoughts came to mind.


Using your body to support, encourage, and empower yourself is likely what nature intended for us.  This ‘organic’ intervention can change your life! Use what you have to get where you want to go!


Come from your heart, use your body & your mind will follow! Bring that WQ ‘feeling’ into your every day life!


I can’t wait for my next WQ retreat so I can restore my body, mind and Spirit!

See you there!

From My Heart to Yours,

Sara Gilman, Quester!