Back To Center

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Don’t you hate those days when you’re spinning and can’t seem to hit the mark no matter how hard you try! It feels like something has got a hold of us and were not the person we want to be. Our decisions seem to make things worse. And we become impatient, perhaps even disappointed, with our selves and those around us.

When this happens we are off center and ungrounded. Everything we try goes wrong and we notice the family dog siting far in the corner…. gazing down its wet snout, waiting longingly for the tide to turn.

At such time we must return to our center; finding a way to rebalance, or recalibrate, the tumultuous thought processes that keep us spinning outside the easy flow of our best self.

With permission I’ll share the life of a client who lived with an alcoholic father whose behavior was erratic. Consequently my client became a chronically anxious child. And because she knew no other world, her anxiety became normal. She was off centered and did not know it.

In counseling, previous to my time with her, my client had come to realize that her central nervous system was out of whack and her hypersensitivities were too often self-destructive. She was too easily triggered by everyday stresses.

Though she knew where her unwanted behavior came from, she still struggled with it. And it became my job to help her calm her easily provoked central nervous system. And to do this without medications …though I did suggest she might consult her doctor for temporary assistance when times got really ‘bad’ for her.

Her journey was about moving back to her center. Perhaps discovering for the first time, that place inside of herself where fear, though present, would not dominate and control her thoughts and feelings.

What we found most helpful was creating a grounding credo: words she could tell herself (repetitively) to pull her back into her souls depth.

I have found that such perspectives flip the defeating spin 180 degrees. For example, my client believed that things were constantly going wrong and that the future was scary. Her central nervous system was overly stimulated and she was more or less on guard all the time. Her re-centering self-talk became “all is well and all will be well.”

This perspective works for her because, from past experiences, she believed deeply that ‘by the grace of God go I’. And this is important to note… because perspectives that re-center us must come from experience and not from some heady philosophy or moral platitude.

As the words began to sink deep, she became increasingly self-assured, spontaneous and creative. Her fears eventually decreased and, I assume, her central nervous system returned to some normal vibration. Every success reinforced an even calmer disposition.

Finding our center, and staying centered, is a life journey. A work in which we unravel our false self and reveal our individual truth.

Each of us has those deep spiritual or philosophical beliefs that we feel to be true. We may not live them consciously, or they may be lost beneath our pains and wounds. But we recognize them as truth when we hear them.

As I see it, we could all benefit from unearthing the perspectives we hold true to our authentic self. And, through repetitive self-talk, raise up those perspectives as active touchstones, or grounding self-affirmations, when things get a bit crazy.

Such a centering practice can push beyond the wounds that bind us, and heal those reactive behaviors.