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THURSDAY’S THOUGHTS: Centring

by Sarah on June 30th, 2011

(image from rmhealing via flickr)

For my regular followers, I imagine you’ve guessed from the lack of posts lately that I’m pretty busy. I started to really feel the urge to a few months ago to get the grey matter churning, and the fire burning (such a poet!), and so decided to combine a few of my skills and passions in starting a design and food market.

The process has been so much fun, but also a little stressful at times. What I’ve been finding the hardest is getting the balance right between work and play (as in spending time with Lily and Graeme) and then also running a house. Because I still haven’t quite got the discipline thing under control (does one ever?), I can end up feeling pretty frantic and frazzled.

I explained this all to my life coach, who gave me the most wonderful technique to use when I’m feeling like this. It comes from a practice known as “Conscious Embodiment” which was started by an incredible woman, Wendy Palmer. Wendy has based this technique on the martial art of Aikido.

While I totally recommend that you read her book, or watch her DVD, I’m going to give you the basic steps today, because I’m pretty sure that every single person on this planet can do with a centring practice. It’s the most amazing feeling to be able to catch yourself in the middle of a stressful moment, or a hectic day, and bring yourself back to a state of calm and control. The trick, really, is to be able to catch yourself!

Ok, so here are the steps:

1. Breathe deeply, focusing on long out breaths. While you are breathing out, imagine your breath spiralling downwards within you.

2. Picture the heat or energy which all of our bodies exude, radiating from your front, back, left, right, top and bottom equally.

3. Focus on dropping your jaw and your arms, so that your jaw and shoulders are fully relaxed.

4. Invite a certain quality that you are needing to enter you and then wait for it. If you’re wanting “peace”, don’t imagine what peace must feel like (because then it’s just coming from your head and passed experiences). Instead, wait for the feeling to arise from within.

You can make this practice as long or as  short as you wish. Wendy jokes about us doing it for five seconds, a hundred times a day. My life coach recommended that I attach the practice to certain activities I do every day, like  stopping at a traffic light, or brushing my teeth. If I do it every time I do these activities, it becomes an automatic part of my day. And then, like I mentioned above, the real key is to to be mindful of when you are feeling stressed or anxious, and to use the practice to centre yourself.

Go on, give it a try!

PS. If you speak American English, the title of this post is “Centering”. I do realise that our British English spelling of the word seems a little weird, but that’s just how it is :)

From → Personal Stuff