Coming Back to Center: Keeping it Simple

FullSizeRenderKeeping it simple is real. Coming back to center is a real place. It’s not a metaphor.

You might know this place from yoga or tai chi, from golf or tennis, when the ball has a spin, or the swing feels right. You know it when you are feeling the alignment of your body, the spools lining up in your spine, the energy of the chakras spinning in some vibrational pattern that seems both quiet and alive. You know it when everything feels soft inside, but not too relaxed, poised and dynamic, in a flow. If you are singer, you know it when the voice is effortless and resonance is a felt sense.

It is what we long for after massage or other body work. It’s an actual experience where the head is on right and the muscles are not screaming for attention. Where the body has an inner purring.

We all had it as children, a lot. If not, we could not have learned to walk or get up from all fours to standing. It might not be as easily accessible in the body of an adult with our collection of compensating tensions and restrictions to our breath and balance. It might feel out of reach and impossible, BUT we all have had the experience, either in our bodies or in our imaginations.

It can be learned. I know because I can teach it to people, and I do in my work.

BODY DIALOGUE, the name I’ve given to my work, is about finding a full breath and finding that sweet ephemeral balance when the feet are grounded and the head is floating like a balloon. It’s when the upper body and the lower body are unified . Our body feels organized and connected.

There is another center that is metaphorical.
It’s often attainable even if the body is not feeling so great.
It’s when the mind is clear from worry and the emotions are steady—when the heart feels safe even when the world around  is not.

It’s when the people you love can open their hearts to you, and it feels right and easy between you and the world. It’s a reference point. We call it well-being.

I think it is what our addictive society promises with the pursuit of wealth, the perfect body or the perfect partner. The addict longs for this state, but has no idea how to find it without the drug, or shopping, or they simply keep too busy to feel anything at all.

It might be what people mean when they say “everything is under control.” But I know that well-being is not about being in control.  It’s knowing you can handle life when the fear feels bigger than anything else.

I call that place the allowing place. It’s a reference point that sometimes is achieved in prayer and meditation. In that place we can risk showing up to the present moment. We can feel the courage to face what is seemingly impossible. We can feel our open hearts and know our resilience even while knowing that what is showing up feels unmanageable. It’s a state of mind that we might call grace or ease. Sometimes we find it on vacation when we have eliminated stress. BUT but more often than not it’s simply a fleeting moment when we can say:

I am grateful for this moment,

I am present to what is.

It comes and goes. It’s not static. Not something we can hold onto even if we want to. It simply is. It’s our recognition of being BOTH Human and  Divine.

Keeping it simple is a practice of coming back to center over and over again. It’s finding that sweet spot where true beauty resides and deep listening happens.

It’s a practice because its takes practice to know it is always there, if we say yes to it .

My experience has shown me that even when the heart center is closed and the physical center is hard to find, there is a practice of trusting that it is present and can be accessed.

Sometimes we need the body practice to help the mind/heart. Sometimes we need the body to kickstart the process. Sometimes we need gratitude practice to anchor the emotional body in something larger than our small self.

We all have had a moment in life where we know what trust feels like.

For me, I am celebrating the ability to know the difference between trust and worry, courage and complaint.

I say this holiday season is about practice,
whatever the religion, whatever you believe about the world.

We all need to find center these days and to keep it simple.

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