I led an experiential therapy group integrating some themes from Taekwondo. I taught each young woman in the group to stand in a Taekwondo fighting stance. From this stance, I can launch a kick, punch, knifehand strike, or any other technique. I can switch my feet, jump, slide, spin, shift positions, and block the opponents strikes and kicks in a number of ways. I’m in a strong, unapologetic stance. Both hands, raised and ready, are closed tightly into fists perched on strong, straight wrists, with elbows bent. In this stance I am protecting myself. Shoulders are relaxed and knees are bent slightly. My presence is waiting and ready, and I may decide to dodge a kick or launch my own. In this stance I take up space, and I’m okay with it. I know that should I choose to make a move, I’ll yell, too. My voice will take up some space. I will make a unique sound all my own, and it will be heard. In this space, I am both relaxed and uncertain about what my next move will be, because it depends in part on what comes in my direction. I may initiate, or I may respond. Both are necessary. I can remain relaxed in my uncertainty as I practice my stance, again and again, strengthening it for the time when the next obstacle arrives, or the next urge to act. I’ll likely need to make a quick judgment call. I’ll need to breathe and move, and eventually return to my stance again, hopefully having learned something.
What is your stance? What do you bring to the wave of uncertainty ahead of us? What do you rely on? What practiced starting point do you return to when you’ve gotten knocked down by 2020? What did you learn? What will you initiate and what how will you respond as we move ahead? We face a turning point, and none of us can foresee exactly what will arrive in the spaces we occupy. But we can know our stance, return to it, and take up some space.