The Secrets Of Body Language: How To Up Your Personal Power, Decode Anyone, And Get Whatever You Want!
22 April 2013, 10:01
The more I travel, the more people I meet… And the more people I meet, the more I think about what I can do to make the best impression possible. As much as we want to come across as positive, confident and friendly, if we’re actually shy and anxious, our body language can betray us and tell a totally different story!
Knowledge is power, after all, so here a few quick lessons in body language that can help bring your words and your actions into better alignment!
As you read, you’ll find that you do some of these things — both positive and negative — naturally. Changing your body language can be as simple as being aware of it, and the more you practice using powerful, confident body language, the easier it will become.
How to up your personal power
Let’s start with the basics: good, straight posture shows that you’re confident and in control. Physiology informs psychology, so when you sit up straight, you actually feel happier. Of course, when you slump down in a chair, you feel less powerful and more unhappy! Your mother had a point when she told you to stop slouching!
Taking on a powerful pose doesn’t just make you more confident, it actually changes your hormone levels and increases your propensity to take risks (Carney, Cuddy and Yap, 2010). Powerful poses usually consist of making the body bigger and taking up more space, so putting your hands on your hips, standing up taller (or putting on a pair of high heels!), and planting your feet can literally change how you feel.
If there is one thing you take from this article, it is to never cross your arms! It makes people think you are less credible. Not only that, people whose arms are crossed are telling others that they’re closed off and not open to new ideas or opinions. It can also betray that you’re uncomfortable with your size or weight: we unconsciously try to cover the things we think aren’t “good enough”. (Before I got my teeth straightened, I would always put my hand over my mouth when I laughed.)
Crossed legs tell the same story, whether sitting or standing. People will often stand with one leg crossed in front of the other when they are in a group of people they don’t know well. When women do this, it says that they are intending on staying, but also that they are romantically unavailable.
Another common posture is the self-hug, where one arm is straight at your side, and the other crosses your body to hold the opposite elbow. This shows a lack of confidence and insecurity; you are literally hugging yourself to give support.
Don’t be afraid to lightly touch people, even if you don’t know them very well. Politicians will often touch the elbow of the person whose hand they’re shaking: it demonstrates charisma and confidence. Waitresses get better tips when they lightly touch their customers when they talk to them. (This might feel really awkward when you first start, but you will get more comfortable the more you do it!) People who casually and lightly touch others are liked more, on average!
How to decode anyone
In the world of body language, it is often said that the legs reveal what the mind wants to do. (The further a body part is from our brain, the less control we have over it, thus, our legs and feet speak volumes!)
A person who is sitting with legs crossed, kicking their feet, is bored. If they’re sitting with their legs apart, they’re open and relaxed. The direction of people’s feet can tell you a lot, too: they will point where they want to go. Usually, they will point at the person they find the most attractive, but sometimes, a person’s feet will point at the door!
When you’re having a conversation with someone who finds you interesting, they will put one foot forward to shorten the distance between you. If, on the other hand, they are bored witless, they will move their feet back, usually under a chair if sitting down.
If the person talking to you has their thumbs in their belt-loops, they are attracted to you, and want you to notice their man- or womanhood! Look at where their thumbs are pointing! You can’t get much clearer than that… Yowza!
If someone tilts their head, it shows that they’re interested. If they bring their hand to their chin or cheek, they are thinking and evaluating, but if they do this and put one finger up along the side of their face, they are being critical and judgmental, and are not happy with what is being said! It’s almost like making a silent objection.
Women often tilt their heads and show their necks to men who they find attractive. It’s a sign that invites their object of interest to dominate!
Someone who touches or rubs their nose is showing that they have doubts or are not being entirely truthful. If they rub their eye, they don’t believe what you’re saying. Of course, take both of these with a grain of salt during allergy season!
If they bite their nails, they are insecure and nervous. Pulling or tugging on the ear shows indecisiveness. Fussing with the hair shows a lack of self-confidence and insecurity. (It can also mean you’re trying to make yourself more appealing to someone you fancy.)
Closed body language means the mind is closed off, too. Closed body language is shown by crossed arms, legs or feet. If you really want to get a good read on someone, sit with them and offer a glass of water, coffee, tea or pretty much anything else. Then watch where they put their glass after taking a sip. If they use one arm to cross in front of them and put the glass on the table on the opposite side of their body, then they are hesitant, anxious or feeling negative. But if they drink using one hand and place the cup down on that same side, they are feeling open and secure.
Someone who rubs their hands together is showing that they expect a positive outcome, and are excited about what will come next. Having said that, the speed at which they rub their hands shows who they expect will come out on top! A slow hand rub denotes that they think they are going to be better off. (Just think about how sleazy someone slowly rubbing their hands together looks!)
Clasping your hands behind your back shows that you don’t want to let someone know how you feel — and you’re usually angry, frustrated or worried.
Someone who is tapping or drumming their fingers is impatient.
When someone disagrees with what is being said, they will often pick lint from their clothing! This person has a secret opinion that they don’t want to share.
People who straddle chairs by sitting on them back-to-front want to dominate or be in control, but are secretly insecure.
A tight-lipped smile lets you know that there is something someone doesn’t want to tell you. It is a sign of concealing information or emotions.
It’s easy to spot a liar, because they usually do all four of these things in succession: touch their hands together, touch their face, cross their arms, and lean away from you.
How to get anything you want!
One of the fastest ways to build rapport with someone is to mirror their actions. Mirroring is exactly what it sounds like: you copy someone else’s facial expressions or body movements. As awkward as this sounds, we do this unconsciously, and we will often mirror the behaviour of someone we respect, look up to, or consider to have higher status than us. But when we do it, it puts the other person at ease, and makes them feel like you vibe well together.
We tell stories with our hands. Back in the olden days, showing your palms to someone was a sign that you were carrying no weapons, and the way we read it is similar today. When someone is opening up to you or being honest, they will tend to show their palms to you. On the flipside, people who are dishonest — or who simply don’t want to talk — will often jam their hands in their pockets.
If you talk to someone while showing your open palms, it will actually encourage them to be more honest and open with you.
Pointing your finger while you speak is perceived very negatively by anyone who is listening to you. For this reason, a lot of professional speakers have been taught to show emphasis with their hands by touching their thumb and forefinger together to make an ‘OK’ symbol. This gesture is seen by others as being authoritative but not forceful, and in fact, makes an audience think you are thoughtful, focussed and goal-oriented.
This is fascinating and unusual: if you stand on the left side of a photograph, viewers will think you are more dominant than anyone else in the picture! (Sweet reader Jessica reminded me that in Party Monster, James St James encourages Michael to stand on the left in photos, so his name is printed first.)
Guiding other people through a door — going first and holding it for them — shows that you are in control, and will encourage others to view you as a leader.
When the mind closes, the body follows. If you can see that someone else has a negative attitude, either through crossed arms, tightly grasped hands, or some other action, you can be sure that their attitude will persist until you can get them to change their body language. An easy way to do this is to give them something to hold, or encouraging them to walk with you, which forces them to open their stance.
When men lie, you can read it in their body language. They put their hands in their pockets, they cross their arms, or they conceal their palms in some way. Women, on the other hand, like to look busy while they lie — so they will often lie as they do an activity, or will talk around the subject while multi-tasking.
Getting on the same physical level as the person you’re speaking to is very powerful, too. At The Blogcademy, during activities, Kat, Shauna and I will walk around and speak to our babes (who are seated). I’ve discovered that crouching down and literally being on the same level as them — as opposed to standing over them and talking down — encourages a much more candid, open conversation.
The cheat sheet!
Be animated when you talk, and smile with your teeth! Use your hands to gesticulate, keep your palms open, and don’t cross your arms, legs or feet. Lean forward and nod when other people are talking, and tilt your head to show that you’re listening. Don’t allow your chin to drop. Mirror the body language of other people. Make eye contact and smile!
Extra for experts
There are plenty of books on the subject, too. Check out What Every BODY is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People, The Definitive Book of Body Language, and Winning Body Language: Control the Conversation, Command Attention, and Convey the Right Message without Saying a Word!
Body language is totally fascinating, don’t you think? As I put this together, I started to pay more attention to what people’s bodies were telling me unconsciously. When I did this, I was able to add a new depth of understanding to the conversations I was having… And I was able to steer things in a more positive direction quite easily!
Have a play with this, and see what you discover!
Practicing my power pose,
Photographs by Caroline Winata of Milou and Olin.
25 March 2013, 10:07
I wrote this with future Blogcademy students in mind, but truthfully, this advice applies to any workshop. We all want the same thing out of our experience: to feel that we got our money’s worth, that we enjoyed ourselves, and that we asked every question that came to mind!
Sometimes, though, when we walk into a room of unfamiliar people, that all goes out the window. We get shy or anxious, our minds go blank and sometimes we just don’t feel like we have the confidence to approach someone else.
Here, then, are my tips for getting over that stuff, and not letting it encumber your enjoyment of your time. Here’s to a fantastic event!
Fluff up your site!
Before The Blogcademy even begins, we connect all our students together in our forum, where they swap URLs and start to get to know one another. And you know, these days, your blog is like your outfit: first impressions count…
If you’re going to a workshop or a seminar, give your site a good going-over the week beforehand. Check that you have links to all your social media and your email address somewhere obvious. Run a spellcheck. Consider refreshing your “about me” page, especially if your hair is a different colour now!
Just cast your eye over your site as if you were seeing it for the first time. This is probably not the time to start a complete overhaul, but do what you can do to clean it up, and make it the best it can be.
Business cards, business cards, business cards!
Sure, business cards can seem a little old-fashioned in today’s eminently Googleable world… But done right, they can make a fabulous impression.
If you’re going to an event, you absolutely must have a stack of business cards on you… And those business cards absolutely must have your Twitter handle on them. (Other than your URL, it is probably the only information on your card anyone will use.)
At Alt Summit, the business card game is NEXT LEVEL. Look at these turquoise and bright pink cards, for example. When I spoke at Alt in 2012, I was handed business cards which came with bracelets attached, or a little packet of glitter, or a teeny pair of scissors… The ingenuity was incredible.
You don’t have to spend a million dollars on your cards, but do what you can to make them eye-catching and memorable. You never know who you could be handing it to!
Come armed with questions.
As soon as you book your ticket, start jotting down any questions you have, no matter how silly they may seem. For extra-organised Virgo points, put these questions in the notebook you’re planning on bringing to the event. Keep writing down any questions that occur to you in the time between securing your ticket and the workshop itself.
Inevitably, many of these questions will be answered during the class or seminar. But there will be a few that are more specific that you really want to know about, and will fly out of your head when you’re in a room full of people, being overstimulated. (Then, of course, three days later, you’ll be sitting in front of your computer, it will hit you, and you’ll think, ‘DAMN! I wish I’d asked that!’)
So write down everything you can think of… And don’t be too afraid to raise your hand in class!
Wear something that is a conversation piece.
There are a few reasons for doing this. Firstly, it makes you more memorable. Secondly, wearing something a bit bold can encourage you to be bold, too… Almost like wearing a costume. Thirdly, it actually does other people a favour: if they’re feeling shy or don’t know what to say, they can always compliment your shoes/hat/dinosaur necklace!
We always recommend our Blogcademy babes wear ears. It has become a kind of silly signature of our class, which we love (and it makes class photos so much more adorable!). Wearing ears at The Blogcademy shows everyone else that you are part of the clique (or cult, as the case may be!), and it also encourages you to get just a little bit outside of your comfort zone. When you’re a little outside of that cushy place, you’re more likely to take chances or try new things… And that’s what this is all about!
Before you walk in the door, do a quick gut check.
Ask yourself: what do I want to get out of this day? What do I want to achieve?
In fact, Kat, Shauna and I do this before every class. (I force them to do it, but I think they secretly love it!) Before we kick off the festivities, the three of us get into a huddle, like a sparkly football team, and I say, “How do we want today to feel?” We start to throw around adjectives, like, “Exciting! Informative. Friendly. Helpful! Glittery!” That totally sets the tone for the class.
There is no reason why you can’t do this on your own. I often do it before I go out to an event: it helps remind me why I’m going, and what I hope to get out of it. If you try this, let me know how it works for you!
Put yourself out there.
If you’re not the most extroverted person on the planet, that’s okay. Odds are excellent that PLENTY of people in the room with you feel exactly the way you do! You don’t have to be an outgoing chatterbox to get the most out of a class or seminar… But just mustering the courage to say hello to people can work wonders!
As a teacher, you know what’s going on with your students. Kat, Shauna and I are hyperaware of how engaged people are, whether they are interacting with one another, and how shy they are. I get a feeling about certain people all the time, where I know they want to speak to me on a personal level, but they’re afraid to do it…
...And inevitably, I end up having a heart-to-heart with one babe at the very end of it all, late on Sunday night. It always makes me wish we had been talking like this for the whole weekend! I wonder about them, too. Did they get to say everything they wanted to say? Was I able to answer all their questions?
One of my greatest thrills in life is getting to know someone, and feeling like I have been able to help them. It would really upset me to think that I hadn’t made myself approachable enough for someone to feel comfortable talking to me candidly. That’s what I’m always striving for… And I don’t think I’m alone in that. That’s what we all want, no matter whether we’re teaching or soaking it all in.
So next time you feel nervous, just take a big breath and say hello. Start a conversation. It’s what we all want, and it’s worth the risk!
Take notes. Lots of notes!
Some of us fool ourselves into thinking that we will simply remember all the best bits of the day… But the truth is that a full day (or more!) of incoming information will overwhelm even the most magnificent of brains!
Always take a couple of pens and a notebook to any event where you think a little bit of genius might be taking place. Write down direct quotes as much as possible.
I always like to create a to do list while I’m sitting at an event. It’s one thing to take on the information, but it’s entirely another to put it into action. If you make a to do list at the time, you’ll have actionable items to get cracking with as soon as you go home!
It’s a simple tip, for sure, but it makes such a difference! Sometimes when we think we have a neutral face, we’re actually doing a chronic bitchface. Eep! (I am so guilty of this!) Standing around looking dour makes it less appealing for other people to approach you, and that will impact your day.
As much as you can remember to do it, smile! Grin and laugh and beam at other people. Nine times out of ten, they’ll smile right back!
Make an effort to remember people’s names.
We try to do this as much as possible when we’re teaching, simply to show people that we value them, and because it makes our students feel good. They always say that there is no sweeter sound to a person’s ears than their own name, and I think that’s true!
If you’re not great at remembering names, try playing a memory game, or simply jotting notes on any business cards you receive. There is no such thing as a good or bad memory (apparently), simply a trained or untrained memory. That means you’ll just get better with practice… And this is certainly something that’s worth making a little time investment in!
Follow up with your fellow attendees afterwards!
The fact of the matter is that it doesn’t matter who you’ve met if you never follow up with them! The only girls I remember from Alt are the ones who made an effort to reach out to me — and vice versa — once we’d all gone back home. The rest of them disappear into a haze of faces.
If you’re going to a workshop or an event with the intention of making friends or contacts, this step is imperative! Just meeting someone once isn’t enough of a basis to establish a friendship or a working relationship: you need to follow up, be in contact, and remind them that you exist!
Add the people you met to Twitter. Like their status updates on Facebook. If you took photos together, email them through with a sweet note! Get involved with them, and as Kat would say, “Subtly insert yourself into their life!”
I hope these tips help you at your next event… Of course, you’re more than welcome to put these ideas into practice by joining us on The Blogcademy World Tour! Just click for more details.
Photo by Shell De Mar.
13 March 2013, 10:00
Where would we all be without our phones? Mine is constantly at my side, and I’ve discovered it’s not just great for obsessively decorating, listening to music or taking a million photos. In fact, there are a bunch of iPhone apps that can actually improve your life. Here are a few of my favourites!
If you can’t sleep: Relax Melodies
Relax Melodies is basically a little sound machine in your phone. You can choose any combination of sounds — like ocean, rainforest, thunderstorm, or rain on the roof — and they just loop for hours. I know you’re not meant to sleep with your phone beside your head, but sometimes, when there’s a guy parked outside with his car stereo booming, I need something to help me get to sleep!
I love Relax Melodies. It really does relax you, and falling asleep to the sound of rain is about the most peaceful thing I can think of.
P.S. There are two versions of Relax Melodies: free and paid. I upgraded mine, but I think the free version is completely adequate!
If you want to get your inbox to zero: Mailbox
First, the bad news: At time of writing, there are approximately 700,000 people ahead of you in the queue to use Mailbox. But the great news is that the queue moves quickly — I waited about two weeks, I think — and when you’re granted access, Mailbox is a complete game-changer.
Mailbox makes it really, really easy to archive or delete your mail, as well as a brilliant “show me later” feature. You can choose to delay a message, and deal with it tomorrow, next week, or even next month. Mailbox also keeps a little numeric tally of messages as part of its icon, which really inspires you to clear out your inbox on a daily basis!
Mailbox has replaced iPhone’s OSX Mail app as my email application of choice… And I’ve never been happier. Just watch their video and I think you will be similarly convinced!
If you have a goal: Everest
Everest encourages you to break your goal down into manageable, bite-sized chunks. No matter what your intentions are, this app will help you get there.
You can connect with friends to help keep you accountable, as well as browse around and see what complete strangers are doing. I haven’t had a lot of time to play with this app yet, but I think it is so brilliant!
Additionally, if you’re looking for some more adventure in your life but aren’t sure where to start, just tap the Challenges tab and accept someone else’s dare! Some examples include cut out sweets for a week, don’t complain for 24 hours, do a silent retreat, create a plan to get debt-free, and run a half marathon. Each challenge is broken down into steps which you simply swipe to complete.
If you’re stressed: Take A Break
Take A Break is a free app which comes with two different guided meditations: one is a “work break” that runs for seven minutes, and the other is a stress relief meditation, which is thirteen minutes long.
You can choose whether you’d like to just hear the voice, if you’d like music in the background, or nature noises, which makes this very simple app a little more customisable.
Guided meditation is one of my favourite types of meditation, and it’s particularly useful for anyone who is new to sitting still and quieting their mind! It gives you something to focus on, rather than trying to think of nothing and obsessing over how much your nose itches!
I always feel much more serene after using this app. Give it a try!
If you can’t remember everything: Wunderlist
I have tried so many apps over the years, always looking for that sacred sweet spot: the intersection between ease of use and practicality. I’ve recently come back to Wunderlist, and I’m in love with it.
One of the reasons I love Wunderlist is because it has a desktop app. I don’t like to do everything on my phone, I like to be able to type and research on my computer, and Wunderlist syncs beautifully across all devices.
Wunderlist is basically where I vomit everything I need to keep in my head. At the moment, I have lists for places I want to visit in Los Angeles, pictures I want to take for Instagram, articles I want to write, things I need to procure to make my living room a better place, a Blogcademy “to do” list, a generic shopping list… And that’s just for starters.
It really helps to keep me on track, and I think it will help you, too!
If you want to keep a journal: Day One
There are a lot of journalling apps on the market but Day One is my favourite. The design is sleek and easy, and the app just does exactly what it says: no more and no less. One of my favourite features is the ability to add a photo to your diary entry. It makes it more visually stimulating, which provides a whole lot more motivation to keep adding to it.
The best thing about Day One is that you can set an alarm to remind you to update your journal. Maybe setting an alarm for 10pm or 7.30am would be the best time to get your thoughts down. Play around with it and see what works for you!
If you want to be on time: Uber
Uber is like having access to your own personal driver through your phone. It’s different in every city, but in NYC they have partnered with a number of black town car services, and it simply pings the one who is nearest to you.
It’s so easy to use: you input your address and it gives you an estimate of how close the nearest car is. Where I live, in the East Village, a car is usually about 6 minutes away. Once you submit your order, Uber will actually chart the path of the car while you wait.
Using Uber is a little more expensive than a taxi, because it’s a town car service. A trip that would normally cost me about $16 cost me $24. But I didn’t have to leave my house and go searching for a taxi, the car was impeccably clean, I didn’t have to swipe my card at the end (it’s all done in the app), and the tip was included. (A 30% tip on a $16 fare is almost $5, anyway.)
I am completely obsessed with this service! It’s truly perfect if there’s somewhere you need to be, if the weather is terrible, or if you’re just feeling too fabulous to want to prowl the streets in search of a taxi!
By the way, if you use my invite code, you’ll get $10 to use towards your first trip! Awesome!
If you want to eat healthy: My Fitness Pal
You know how they always say you should keep a food journal if you want to become more conscious about the amount — and type — of food you’re eating? It’s a great idea, but no one really does it. Or at least, I’ve never met anyone who managed to make it stick!
MyFitnessPal seeks to fix this problem. You can search for foods or scan any barcode and have it instantly entered into your food diary, figure out serving sizes, and even discover how many calories you should be eating if you have a certain weight goal.
If you’re anything like me, you have serious eating habits. I eat the same foods every week, and with MyFitnessPal, once you’ve entered them once, they get saved in your regular foods list. This makes it really easy and fast to keep on top of your diary.
There’s also space to enter any exercise you do. Great for gym bunnies!
If you want to say thank you: Ink
With Ink, you can instantly create greeting cards using the photographs on your phone. I love this app, because it removes any and all excuses for not sending a quick thank you to anyone who deserves it.
Using their app, you select a design, pick a photograph, add any text, then choose a contact to send it to. The Ink nymphs print it out at their magical factory, then slap a stamp on it and send it out. It arrives at your friend’s house soon after, and you all rejoice!
Now you really can be the babe with the best manners!
If you want to get centered: Pranayama Universal Breathing
Pranayama Universal Breathing is a super-simple app. When you fire it up, onscreen you see an animation of a man sitting cross-legged. Next to him is a pie chart, which shows how long your inhale and exhale should be. The first 1/3 of the pie chart is devoted to your inhale, and the rest is intended for your exhale.
Then all you have to do is follow the instructions. Breathe in… Breathe out. Breathe in… Breathe out. Do it for a few minutes, and you’ll feel back to your old self in no time!
You can up the ante, too, if you’re looking to try some more advanced breathing techniques. Fabulous!
I hope you have fun playing around with these apps!
Help! I think I’m in love with my phone,
6 March 2013, 14:14
Do you want to know your future? Oh come on now, I know you do!
Palmistry has been around for thousands of years, and it’s still popular today. No matter where you came from, everyone is at least a little bit curious about what their hands might tell them.
Obviously, the best way to create a future you’re happy with is to take consistent, positive action every day. But if you want to dabble on the metaphysical side of things, it can be really fun to read your palm!
It’s old-fashioned, I know, but I believe everyone should have a party trick. Being able to read palms is one of the best!
Palmistry is quite easy to learn, and like with any other form of fortune-telling, you get better at it the more you do it. It’s a great thing for shy people, too, because it forces you to interact with others one-on-one, and it gives you something to talk about.
I’ve written a super-simple guide to palmistry below. There are many more lines, mounts, bumps and clues you can read, but I’ve kept it simple… And there are some links at the end if you want to develop your skills further!
Which palm should you read? Well, ideally, you should read both. The theory is that the left hand shows potential, while the right hand shows what you’ve done with that potential. Some palm readers believe that “the left is what the gods give you, the right is what you do with it”.
There are four major types of hands, which relate to the elements. Your astrological sign might be an Earth sign, for example, but your hand might not be! Here’s how they break down…
Earth hands are wide, with square palms and fingers, thick or rough skin, and ruddy in appearance. The length of the palm is usually equal to the length of the fingers.
People with Earth hands are usually very practical and level-headed. They’d rather get out into the world and do something rather than learn about it. They can be quite conservative, and prefer to be outdoors. If you have Earth hands, cabin fever is real!
Air hands feature square or rectangular palms with long fingers. They often have protruding knuckles, low thumbs, or dry skin. The length of the palm is usually equal to the length of the fingers.
Air types are very intellectual, always curious and full of ideas. They practically hum with nervous energy, and can be prone to worry and stress. People with Air hands are great communicators, but they can internalise their feelings too much. This can lead to difficulties within their close relationships.
Water hands are based on a short, sometimes oval palm, with long, flexible fingers. Their palm is usually wider than it is long, with fingers equal to the height of the palm.
People with Water hands are very emotional. They are always looking for peace, and are extremely artistic. It can be hard for Water hands to deal with stress, and they are mostly motivated by feelings.
Fire hands have a square or rectangular palm, flushed or pink skin, and shorter fingers. The length of the palm is usually greater than the length of the fingers.
Fire hand types are energetic and always on the go. They need variety, and can be a little impatient and intolerant! People with Fire hands are often fiercely individual, and make great leaders.
If your hands are clammy, you are lazy and unstable, but well-intentioned. If it is hot, you are wild and successful, but can be insincere. If your hands are cold, you are generous, reserved and a bit of a hermit!
The heart line is about any and all matters concerning love.
If your heart line starts under your index finger, you have a satisfying love life. If it starts beneath your middle finger, you are selfish in love. If it starts somewhere in between your first finger and your middle finger, you fall in love easily!
A short heart line denotes little interest in romance. You’d rather do other things! If your heart line touches your life line, it means your heart breaks easily. A long, curvy heart line means you express your feelings with ease and tact. A straight heart line which runs parallel to your life line means you are exceptionally practical in matters of love. A wavy heart line means you will have many lovers, few of them serious… !
If there’s a circle on your heart line, it signifies sadness or depression. A broken heart line, or small lines crossing your heart line, shows emotional trauma of some kind.
The head line shows your intellect or wisdom.
In general, a curvy line denotes creativity and spontaneity, while a straight line favours practicality and structure.
A short head line means you prefer physical accomplishments over intellectual ones; you’d rather go hiking than write an essay. A wavy line shows that you have a short attention span, while a deep, long line is evidence of a clear, focussed thinker. A straight head line means you are a realist.
If your head line is separated from your life line, it means you have a lust for life and an unquenchable thirst for adventure!
If there is a circle or cross in your head line, this denotes an emotional crisis of some kind. Multiple crosses show that you have to make a lot of very big decisions in your lifetime.
The life line is the line of destiny.
It shows your character, as well as any important events that will happen in your life. And don’t worry: contrary to popular belief, the length of the line doesn’t show when you’re going to die!
If your life line is very close to your thumb, it means you have low energy and are often tired. Conversely, a wide, curvy life line shows that you have plenty of energy. If it swoops in a semi-circle, you are strong and enthusiastic. If it’s straight and stays close to the edge of your palm, you are cautious in your relationships.
A long, deep life line shows your inner vitality, while a short and shallow life line means you are easily manipulated by others.
If there’s a circle in your life line, it shows that you will be hospitalised or injured. A break in the line shows major changes in lifestyle.
The fate line can be read in conjunction with the life line to show the future.
By the way, not everyone has a fate line, so don’t feel bad if yours is nowhere to be seen!
A deep fate line shows that you are strongly controlled by destiny. (It’s up to you if you choose to believe that or not!) If there are a lot of breaks in your fate line, it means that external forces will change your life many times.
A fate line that is joined to the life line shows that you are an aspirational, self-made babe. If your fate line starts at the base of your palm, you will find yourself in the public eye often!
Reading the mounts is the next step in palmistry, and it’s pretty easy. At the bottom of each finger is a spongy pad — the other side of your knuckle, if you will. All you need to do to “read” the mount is to look at it and gauge the height. There are three heights: high, low or flat. How well-pronounced the mount appears will tell you everything you need to know!
If you find it difficult to tell the relative size of your mounts, just cup your hand slightly and look at it side-on. You will easily see which mounts are larger than others!
The Venus mount is under your thumb. It’s the fleshy bit that your life line curves around. The Venus mount relates to love, intuition, vitality, sensuality and success.
A high Venus mount shows someone who can be promiscuous and overindulgent. Sometimes they can become obsessed with instant gratification. A normal, well-developed Venus mount denotes a person who is influential, and passionate about the arts. If your Venus mount is flat, you have little to no interest in family life. These people also tend to criticise others.
The Jupiter mount is under your index finger. It tells us about your personal philosophies, beliefs and leadership capabilities.
A high Jupiter mount means you are self-centered and aggressive to the point of being dominating. If your Jupiter mount has a normal height, you are intelligent, and an ambitious, natural leader. A low or flat Jupiter mount means you don’t have much self-confidence.
The Saturn mount is under your middle finger. This mount is all about how patient and responsible you are.
A high Saturn mount shows stubbornness, a tendency to be alone, depressed, cynical and shy. If your Saturn mount has a normal amount of elevation, you are responsible and hard-working, friendly and you trust in the Universe. If it is low or flat, this can mean you are superficial and disorganised.
The Apollo (or Sun) mount is under your ring finger. The Sun relates to creative genius, fantasy, imagination and happiness.
A high Sun mount means that you are a prideful person, who loves to flatter others, can be extravagant, but can be quick-tempered. A normal Sun mount shows someone who is adaptable, outgoing and self-confident. A low Sun mount means you are someone with very little imagination. You might find it difficult to make decisions.
The Mercury mount is under your little finger. Mercury is all about wealth, intellect and travel.
An overdeveloped Mercury mount can denote someone who speaks too much, and can be untruthful. They can be greedy, too. A normal Mercury mount means you are thoughtful, versatile, with lots of interests. These people tend to be great in business and able to read others well. A low mount of Mercury shows someone who is shy, unable to communicate, and may not make a lot of money.
The Luna (or Moon) mount runs along the outside of your palm. It starts underneath your little finger, and runs along the side of your hand. The Moon is a sign of imagination, creativity and emotion.
A high Moon mount points to someone who lives so much in their imagination that it crowds out all sense of reality. If you have a well-defined Moon mount, you have extraordinary creative abilities. You love the arts, are compassionate, and have psychic abilities. A low or flat Moon mount denotes someone who lives in her head, but doesn’t share it with others. She may be a bit of a loner, with pessimistic tendencies.
Photo by Nina Ahn.
Large thumbs belong to people who are opinionated workaholics with high energy and plenty of self-control. If your thumb bends towards your palm, you can be a little cold and indifferent. A thumb which bends outwards demonstrates a generous nature. A thumb that is bent out and backwards is called a “killer’s thumb” — hey, I didn’t make it up!
Long fingers show someone who is anxious, delicate, good-looking and well-mannered. Short fingers belong to the impatient, creative and highly-sexed! Pointed fingers denote someone who is well-intentioned, but scatterbrained.
Long fingernails mean you are kind and you’re good at keeping secrets! If they’re long and thin, you are quite psychic, and easily annoyed! Long, large fingernails mean you are shy and a bit of a hermit.
Almond-shaped fingernails belong to people who are sweet, kind and extremely diplomatic.
Rectangular fingernails denote someone who is practical and logical. You like things to be explained, and you always wear sensible shoes.
Short fingernails show someone who is critical and sarcastic. Extremely short fingernails mean you have no self-control whatsoever! If your nails are short and large, you are sad, depressed easily and a little unstable. Short, straight nails belong to those who are filled with envy. Short, rounded nails mean you are a bit judgmental and love to gossip… !
Photo by Daniel Minnick.
The Palmistry Room at Psychic Library has a great and in-depth primer on palm reading.
This pieces goes into more detail on the individual fingers of the hand, as well as the thumb.
Here’s some more information on the Earth, Air, Fire and Water hand shapes.
Palmistry on Wikipedia is a pretty brilliant resource, too!
I hope this little overview has inspired you to give it a go. Let me know how you get on with reading your palm (and those of your friends, too)! Tweet me with your discoveries!
23 February 2013, 10:32
Photo by Laura Burlton.
Oh, Mercury retrograde.
You are here, AGAIN. You have arrived on our collective doorsteps in all your messy glory. You are our dreaded but regular house-guest. You stagger in the door, kick over our furniture, leave crumbs all over the couch & hog the bathroom. Then, as quickly as you appeared, you disappear again, leaving us slightly stunned but much better equipped to continue with our own lives!
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, here we go. The planets are swinging around at all times, & their movements affect us all in different ways. All planets go retrograde, but Mercury’s journey seems to impact people much more than any other. (Even people who “don’t believe in astrology” often “believe” in the crazy aftershocks of Mercury retrograde!)
Why is that? It’s because Mercury rules communication, clear thinking, truth & travel, so when the planet goes retrograde — which means that it looks like it’s going backwards in the sky — all those things go backwards. They start to get ugly & tangle up. Mercury isn’t really going backwards, it’s just hanging out by the sun, but from Earth, that makes it look like it’s in reverse. It typically runs for a couple of weeks, a few times a year.
Check out these dates below & put them in your calendar!
In 2013, Mercury is retrograde from…
February 23rd to March 17th
June 26th to July 20th
October 21st to November 10th
Note: We sometimes start to feel the effects of Mercury retrograde a few days early. It’s nice to give yourself a bit of leeway on either side of the prescribed dates!
What happens when Mercury goes retrograde?
All sorts of things! It’s like everyone you know has suddenly gone mad! You might find yourself getting into bizarre arguments about nothing at all, being unable to finish sentences or barely even able to form a coherent thought. Your computer & other electronic equipment is more likely to go on the fritz. You could experience travel delays, too. Double-check your flights & take a book with you to keep you occupied while you wait for the train! We don’t tend to get all the information we need at this time, so it can be hard to make big decisions & it’s not always the best time to sign a contract, either.
Expect to hear super-loud complaining from your friends who are Gemini or Virgo, since both are ruled by Mercury! Mercury also rules a lot of industries like publishing, writing, editing, advertising, sales, public relations & anything to do with transport, like airlines, the post office & cabs! This means it can be particularly rough for Gemini train conductors & Virgo magazine editors, so be kind to any you know!
I often find that Mercury retrograde makes me want to go into hermit mode. I feel like half my brain is missing so I’m really not that interested in interacting with anyone, plus every conversation seems to go in an unusual, confusing direction. I feel much more irritable & frustrated & things just don’t seem to go how I want them to.
So that’s the bad news. Mercury retrograde can be a total kick in the teeth for those of us who normally pride ourselves on having our karmic shit together! The GOOD news is that Mercury retrograde provides us with lots of beautiful opportunities if we can just tilt our head & squint.
Mercury retrograde wants us to move back spiritually. It is providing us with a chance to re-examine various areas of our life which may need a little more work, so that we can move forward to a bright new dawn. Now, more than ever, the time is right to look at things with clear eyes. Delicious, fresh perspectives are revealed. We often have major breakthroughs — intellectual, emotional or spiritual — during this time.
It’s also a terrific period in which to tie up loose ends. So many of us have unfinished projects… Maybe that door just needs another lick of paint, or you’ll decide to put away your ex-boyfriend’s love letters once & for all. Having said that, this is also a time where it’s very common for old lovers, friends & acquaintances to get in touch! If you hear from someone from your past, get together with them & see what eventuates!
One of the best ways to cope with it — as with anything, really — is to just “go with the flow”. When you fight Mercury retrograde, that’s when life gets really ugly. Just take some time, go slowly, be careful, don’t freak yourself out by expecting to be uber-productive-perfect right now. Be good to yourself & the people around you, now more than ever!
surviving Mercury retrograde!
(Print it off & stick it in your diary or on your wall!)
Be sure not to take things too personally. People will often say offensive things they didn’t mean around this time, because their thinking is clouded & their communication skills are on pause! If your best friend suddenly became the most insensitive person in the world, give her the benefit of the doubt.
Back up your data!
Don’t purchase any big ticket items, because they will often have flaws or issues that you weren’t aware of! Of course, life doesn’t stop just because of wacky planetary movement, so if you absolutely have to get that car, computer or iPhone, TRIPLE-check all the paperwork, & make sure you have a warranty!
Take things with a grain of salt. Everyone is a bit confused, & people are much more inclined to change their mind once Mercury goes direct. Mercury can be a bit of a trickster — could it be that the next few weeks are a big karmic joke?!
Read the small print on any contracts. Ask lots of questions. Again, you can’t put your life on hold just because of some silly planet, but adapt your lifestyle a bit so that things run more smoothly. Communication can be a mess right now, but do your best to get as much information as you can.
Finish things you started a while ago. Home improvement projects? Wardrobe re-organisations? Short stories? Love affairs?! This is an excellent time to tie up loose ends & file things away forever.
Get together with old friends, reminisce & laugh!
Double-check any information you’re given, especially as relates to travel arrangements! During one particularly formidable Mercury retrograde, I actually caught a cab to the wrong airport! Check times, delays, baggage allowances, reservations… everything!
Allow Mercury to nudge you in unusual directions. If you seem to find yourself “back to the future”, don’t just try to wriggle out of it — look at what the universe is trying to show you. What can you learn from this situation? This is a fantastic time to re-examine, accept & move on.
Use the things you’ve discovered in the past to create a dazzling new vision so that you’re ready to blast ahead when Mercury goes direct!
If you want more tips, read 10 Magical Ways To Make The Most Of Mercury Retrograde!
Fingers crossed for the next few weeks, & best of luck to you!
Love & sanity,
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