• Resilient Practice

How to Find your Centre

"Be the calm eye of the storm where nothing phases you, focus on your centre to remain balanced, let your life flow like a stream of wind" – Jay Woodman

We continue to live in times of uncertainty. Many of us have learned strategies for adapting to a new way of life and some of us have endured great hardship.

This week we would like to share a tool which will help you to create a sense of balance and calm when things in feel a little turbulent and beyond your control.

Do you ever experience mood swings? Have you noticed how some people appear to express a wider fluctuation of emotion than others? Often people who are capable of being very ‘up’ seem also capable of being very ‘down.’ Conversely, some people present as solid, stable and unwavering in most situations.

The way that we are feeling is undoubtedly influenced by our circumstances, however we do not all respond to events in the same way. Our emotions are coloured by what is going on with us internally.

Clearly, life affects mood; but to what degree we are influenced may vary from person to person. The distance our current mood is able to swing away from a balanced centre point, seems to be an individual thing.

Whist we can all think of people on either end of the spectrum, everyone appears to sit somewhere along it. Imagine it like a swinging pendulum. Some cover a greater distance, but all have to arrive back at a balanced equilibrium when the drama is over.

In difficult times, it is not easy to acknowledge where highs may balance lows, but there are usually things to be grateful for during adversity.

There is no joy without sorrow, no love without loss, no success without disappointment.

The greatest hardships teach the most valuable lessons, the highest rewards result from the most arduous efforts, and there are wonderful examples of human love, community spirit and sacrifice during a pandemic.

We regularly teach that self-awareness is necessary for resilience and this applies here too. Being aware of the cycles and rhythms of our own mood can be really useful.

We do not remain the same, even when our circumstances do.

If we are feeling low, we can accept that our frame of mind will change at some point. We will not feel like this forever. This is in line with the Buddhist teaching of impermanence. It can be of great comfort to us when we are suffering.

Additionally, if we know that we are feeling a little volatile, we can accept that big changes in mood take up a lot of energy and seek to be kinder to ourselves. We can also consciously question whether that energy is being well spent.

Whatever the highs and lows look like to us, there is always some kind of balance. The extent to which we fluctuate in mood may vary but, when we are aware that we are out of balance, we can consciously work towards finding equilibrium returning to our centre.

The following exercise is helpful when we have experienced high levels of emotion, whether positive or negative and we feel unsettled or unbalanced. It will allow you to build trust with the Self and to cultivate calm and balance within your life.

Try this:

Find a quiet, comfortable place where you will not be disturbed

Sit, relaxed, with your spine straight

Take your awareness to your breathing as you have done before

The tidal in and out of your breath

Aligning with all the cycles

The patterns and symmetry

Of the Natural World

Remember that you are of the Earth

Rather than upon it

Now allow any feelings of turbulence that you have

To come gently to the surface

Anything that is unresolved

Or not understood

Anything that is taking up precious space

Acknowledge its presence

And sit with it in gratitude for the information

Understand that you are a unique child of the Universe

And begin to take a journey within yourself

To find your true centre

The most authentic part of the Self

The moment you came to earth

Something made you distinct from everyone else

Before you were labelled

Before you were recognised by others

Before you belonged and were accepted

You were unique and individual

Precious and gifted

Only one of you was made

In the whole of the cosmos

From material from the Heavens

Never to be repeated

Deep within you

At your very centre

Lies that spark of divine light

That you came with

The wisest version of your Self

The inner voice

Of simply knowing

Not from learning from others or experience

But from the possession of innate wisdom

That is yours and yours alone

It is the voice that you hear

When you give sound advice to others

The part that knows how to provide comfort

To a sick relative or a frightened child

The part of you that

Whatever the circumstances

Knows that everything will be alright

Because you came here with

And have always possessed

All The skills and resources

Knowledge and tools

Not only to survive

But to thrive during your time on Earth

Sit with that part of the Self

That was not sought or earned

While you were here

It is your gift

Sit with it in gratitude

Feel the connection

All is as it should be

You are in balance

When you connect with this part of the Self

You tap into your inner knowing

And you know without question

Quietly what is needed in all situations

You are whole

Now gently travel from your centre upwards and outwards

Through the necessary veils and layers of protection

That you wear throughout life

Until you find yourself here

In this situation

Right now

You can travel to your centre at any time to meet your true Self and achieve a state of calm balance throughout your day.

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