Finding Ways to Center

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You wake up in the morning and something feels off. Maybe you can point to a reason why you are experiencing sadness, crankiness, grief, anger or any other emotion that doesn’t feel good. At other times everything seems to be going along smoothly, but you still feel uneasy. I believe it’s important to pay attention to these feelings because they can be a compass to our soul’s well-being. Then I know to try one of the following techniques to help me to get back into balance.

Think of a place that makes you feel calm — a place where you can breathe easier and let your hair down. It could be visiting a friend’s house, a museum, a temple or observing nature. For me that place is the beach. As soon as I smell the fresh, salty air, any stress I have been carrying magically lifts off me. Somehow, no matter what is happening, the peacefulness of the waves and the marine wildlife make me feel everything will be all right.

Another idea is to find an activity that makes you feel good. A few of my centering activities are creating art and writing. When I’m focused on making a mosaic piece or writing a story or a poem, I lose all sense of time. During this period of creating, I have no thoughts or worries, due to my complete concentration on what is in front of me.

Now that you have hopefully found a place that centers you and an activity or two, ask yourself if there is a spiritual practice or a set of beliefs that ground you? Start to get clear about what beliefs give you a sense of unity and connection. You don’t have to follow a religious tradition; you can create your own. It could be a breathing practice, meditation, yoga, qigong, asking your ancestors or angels for guidance or praying to whatever name you prefer for a Higher Power.

My most powerful ways to center myself are through meditation, Reiki, and taking time daily to be in silence and ask for guidance. This is when I often reflect on the combination of beliefs that make up my own personal faith. At a young age I was taught spiritual laws to create a fulfilled, happy life. They included: the unity of all life, the individualization of the One Spirit in each of us, and that we are surrounded by a Creative Power that receives the direct impression of our thoughts and acts upon them. I studied and applied these principles and then added the Buddhist teachings of compassion and cooperation and Native American beliefs about our oneness with all of nature to make up the core pillar of my spiritual identity.

In recent years, I have also integrated my practice of Reiki — both the sessions I give to others and the self-healing component of Reiki. This modality works by helping to remove blockages in the life energy that flows through each of us. A diminished flow of life energy can cause problems in our bodies and in our emotional states. Prayer and meditation time, along with self-Reiki, have become a powerful, deep spiritual practice and a way of life for me. Anxiety and stress, sadness and emotional pain begin to melt away, giving me a deep sense of peace. I have not found any other centering practices that work better.

It is important to honor your feelings and give yourself time and space to work through them. Sometimes, pulling back from the busyness of life and having more quiet time for contemplation is a good way to begin. Then, you can choose a centering technique that you have tried and found to work. Having methods ready to use when you need them is key.

Centering is considered a practice for a reason: because as you consistently go to what helps you to re-center when you feel out of balance, your ability to center will deepen. My hope for you is that with practice you will find more peace of mind and have less ups and downs. It’s an evolution worth working toward.

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