"Centering rejoins our disordered parts"
Many modern influences contribute to people losing harmonious connection with all of who they are. Physical exhaustion, overworking, arguments with others, disengagement from nature, being frequently triggered into "fight-flight-freeze" mode by stressors, too much time spent on computers, relating to life's challenges mainly from the intellect and/or emotions -- all of these factors, and more, can drain and disjoint a person's energy. You can end up trying to meet the challenges of daily life feeling very foggy, tired, sped up, frightened by others or the world around you, easily triggered into feeling anger, anxiety, dizzy, or overwhelmed. Those qualities describe how a lack of centering may feel.
In contrast, to be centered means to harness your full energy inside your own body so that it is balanced and radiating from a central core point, like the center of a star. You are less easily pulled off-track by other people's behaviors and moods, or by the media, or even by your own physical/emotional/mental issues. Moving through life while centered feels radically different -- you feel rooted, calm, strong, peaceful and safe.
It is quite easy to learn how to center yourself and once learned, you can practice this anywhere, anytime. I like to practice centering daily as a self-care maintenance tool and it is often one of the first interventions I use if I feel stressed, out-of-sorts, or if I need to have a difficult conversation with someone. There are many centering techniques available -- I just googled "centering technique" and received 850,000 results! Below is one that has worked well for me and is adapted from techniques taught in the book "The Way of Aikido" by George Leonard.
1) Locate your center, also called the hara. This is a point in the middle of your abdomen, about 1-2 inches below your navel.
2) Shift your full awareness to that point. To help train yourself to bring your attention there, try gently tapping the point and snapping your fingers in front of it.
3) Practice breathing deeply and easily, in-and-out, from that point. Allow the rest of your body to remain relaxed.
4) Imagine that this center point is actually the very center of a star or the center of the universe. This universe radiates out, from that center point in your body, into infinity in all directions. (And, every person you meet has their own center of the universe that radiates into all directions from their own hara). Feel yourself as one with the center of the universe.
You can practice steps 1-4 in different positions, while walking, while talking with people, while working, anywhere! As with most wellness tools, the benefits accrue the more you practice.
If you practice this technique or a different centering technique, I'd love to hear your experience.
"He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe"
(photo by Marnie Burkman)