Have you ever had someone say to you – whether in a workout class, meditation course, work seminar, art group – “find your center?”
I sure have! Whether the instruction of the moment is designed to help me find balance, focus, concentration, calm, in the past, what it has inevitably produced within me instead is confusion.
There have been moments I have become so consumed in searching for my center I actually stopped paying attention to the rest of the course or class or lesson!
Where is it? Where is my center? How will I know it when I find it? Is there anyone else like me who doesn’t seem to have a center at all (or whose center loves playing “hide n seek” like mine does)?
But then the other day I was practicing Yoga with Adriene as usual (I’m doing Yoga Camp now) and she started to give instructions for how to find your center.
“Oh, no,” I thought. “Not again.” SIGH.
From a standing position (“mountain pose” if you are yoga-familiar), first she instructed us to rotate right onto the very tips of our toes and notice what happened. Then she reversed the instruction, guiding us to rock back to the very back of our heels and notice what happened.
As we did this, she told us [and I paraphrase] to specifically tune in to what goes on in our abdomen/core as we are about to lose our balance. What kicks into gear? What activates?
This, Adriene explained, is our “center.”
I got so excited at this point I now can’t remember exactly which day of Yoga Camp we were on or at what point in that day’s video this occurred.
Because I actually found my center!
I found it! I found it! I found it!
My wonderful center, as it turns out, exists just behind and beneath my navel. I think there might be a chakra associated with this point, too, but I don’t know what it is called. All I know is I felt the slight tug, the activation Adriene described, right at the moment I was about to lose my balance.
Not only that, but I felt that same point activate in my mind, my awareness, as well. So I didn’t just “find my center” in my body, although at first that was totally what I was focused on.
As I practiced this little maneuver more, I noticed that when my body-center activated, my mind-center also activated. It was a tiny inner awareness, like a little red light that went on, cluing my mind in to what was going on.
Hey, you, you are about to fall. But you aren’t falling. Yet. Pay attention.
The more I study this, the more it feels like a “center chain reaction.”
First the body activates (for me, at that little point behind and just below my navel).
At that same moment, it sends the mind a heads-up.
The mind then forwards that heads-up to the ancient limbic brain system and its state-of-the-art emotion and energy conservation system, which fires up my fight-or-flight system….just in case.
Falling? No problem. We’re on it.
Oh? Not falling? Not yet, anyway? Okay….keep sending those status updates – we’re here for you.
I think there is another level as well – something in my higher consciousness. This part feels, well, balanced. It is alert, aware, in a state of calm-before-the-storm, and if there is no storm it is perfectly content to just stay calm, too.
So body – mind – emotions – spirit/awareness – I actually found four centers within me, where before I didn’t even think I had one.
Today’s Takeaway: Have you ever had an experience where you really felt – either in your body or mind or awareness or some combination thereof – your unique “center?” The “center of you” – could you point to it, or locate it in some other way, or tune into it, if you needed to?