Friday, August 28, 2009

Returning to Your Center

Returning to Center, wax painting, 6" x 6"

Where is your center located? This isn't a trick question and there are no "right" answers. When I ask my clients where they feel their center is located, they often place their hands on their solar plexus or belly. I've also had a few clients place their hands on their hips or low back or even their heart.

Put in another way, where do you feel your core resides? Your core may be interpreted as that balancing element inside you that gives you feedback when something is "off kilter"? Sometimes you feel this area only when things feel off--when you get that itchy wool sweater feeling all over. I find that when I am centered and balanced my body, mind, and life in general run smoothly and the itchy sweater turns to satin.

So if you'd like to explore your inner center, first, scan your body to determine where your center resides. Allow whatever sensation, image, feeling, or thought come to you in determining this center place. Respect that tomorrow this center may change location for you. That's okay. For now, this is where you feel it.

Now, place your hand on this center point, this area that seems to be the source of your balance and equilibrium, your sense of safety and certainty. Make gentle contact with this area and breathe into it, giving it a bit more life--and giving you a bit more awareness of it. What happens when you access your core in this way? Do you feel more secure and balanced or does tapping into this area bring you some anxiety? If you do feel some anxiety, remember to tap in to your breath again, allowing slow, deep belly breathing to calm you.

If you feel like like taking this exercise a bit further, try giving this area of your body some issues for feedback. Think of a life issue you are struggle with (or an issue you are just curious about). Keep contact with and breath work at your core as you try on this issue like you are putting on a jacket. How does your center respond? Does it absorb the problem, deflect it, nurture it, churn it up, or transform it? What sensations and feelings emerge? Does this issue make you feel like toppling over or do you feel strong like the roots of a tree?

And ultimately, how might returning to your center on a regular basis help during moments of stress, dis-ease, or confusion? How might this area of your body help you regain balance and feel inner peace?