“Healing from the Center” begins with identifying who is behind the steering wheel of your life. It begins with you at Your Center – not your diagnosis or your problems. How are you relating to yourself and your life? Let’s begin there as this post explores what is meant by the Center and how it feels to operate from it. In my last two blog posts I introduce Healing from the Center. In the first post I write that beginning any health and healing journey from the Center is essential. Coming from your Center lays a foundation of acceptance and relaxation which is required for optimal health/well-being. In the second post, I write about how operating from the relaxed Center can open us up to finding the balance and creative problem solving needed to resolve our personal and health challenges. (Sunflower image: Cindy Bonfini-Hotlosz, unsplash.com)
The Self or Center operates beyond our personality self that is preoccupied with all of our problems, worries and challenges. The Center knows, is peaceful, feels grounded, connected and deeply intertwined with all of creation.
What is Your Center?
It is the Center of you, the inner core that you settle into when the dust settles. It is unchanging. It is that sense of I that has always been with you. I remember when my mother turned 65 she commented that she felt the same inner sense of herself regardless of what she sees in the mirror. It is the you that has been witnessing or aware of all the changing aspects of your life including your thoughts, feelings, your physical body, or the changing events of your life. This is where you line up with your Truth, your authenticity. It is from the Center that you feel most yourself with no role or mask attached.
We know when we are centered or not.
If you investigate this Center, as I have, you will find that it is silent, aware, intelligent with a unique energy or vitality that wants to create and express as you. This still point is undamaged, innate and is always accessible. It is the ultimate place of safety.
Try it now as it is easy to access: Close your eyes and focus on your heart. Take some slow deep breaths and relax into the present moment. Become aware of your breath and then the sounds in your room. Become aware of yourself as the one who is perceiving or aware of the sounds, the breath. Notice how this awareness is always with you, is calm and silent. Feel yourself as this awake, vital presence. Notice how all the external noise of your life quiets as you focus on yourself as this presence. This quiet presence is easy to overlook, especially in today’s noisy environment with so much competing for our attention. It maybe easy to access but living from that Center takes mindful practice.
Most religions and many psychological frameworks have a concept of a core True Self. Some terms used include Buddha Nature, Universal Christ energy, Soul, Entelechy, Presence, Neshama, Consciousness, Inner Light, Spirit, Atman, Essence. Don’t let these terms intimidate you. This Center is available to everyone in every moment. I even named my business in honor of this True Self – Essence Health. I see the Essence of each person I work with that is already whole, healthy and a perfect aspect of the Divine, no matter what symptoms are presenting. I had a knowing or intuition that the closer we get to this Essence or True Self the better our health and well-being would be. That was 6 years ago and every personal experience, coursework and client I have worked with since has affirmed this truth.
What I have found fun and interesting is that the spiritual Center overlaps with the Ventral Vagal branch of our nervous system, written about in Healing from the Center, Part 2. Science and spirituality overlap to tell us that we are wired to live from the Center; that’s our default setting, where we are supposed to be except when fighting or fleeing from danger. This is the rest, digest and repair part of the nervous system allowing our bodies to heal and maintain health. The body is a miracle!
The True Self operating from our Center is inherently calm with the most highly evolved parts of our brain online such as creative thinking, empathy, logic. Having full access to our higher brain combined with the heart’s compassion and wisdom allows for physical, mental and emotional well-being. Decades of Mind-Body science linking stress, emotions, and thoughts to our health, informs us that living our lives from the Center is not only good for us but is the foundation of our well-being and our birthright!
The goal of my coaching and healing work is to help people access and live from the Center thus living healthier and happier lives.
Finding Your Center
Finding your center takes a bit of quiet time. Meditation did not come easy to me. I would sit for a minute and get restless, not able to quiet my mind and conclude that I was better off doing yoga or going for walk. I concluded that meditation was not for me! While yoga and walking are beneficial, I didn’t really land in my Center until I spent the time learning to meditate. I found it was easier than I thought once I dropped the belief I had to quiet my thoughts and just started being with myself and watching my thoughts and feeling what came up. If meditation is a barrier to you, I invite you to reframe it as centering time.
I start every morning aligning to my Center. When I operate from my Center, I flow with my day and find joy and beauty in simple things. I am able to handle the inevitable challenges of the day and come back to neutral. As I spend more time there, it is harder to be off-center as I can feel it in my body and mind immediately as it feels like a painful constriction. However, some days or weeks are better than others, as it is easy to get drawn off-center, especially now! So I’ve added quick check-ins throughout my day to notice where my thoughts are, what tension is in my body, what story am I believing that is creating a stress reaction. It’s simple but takes making it a priority. You are what you practice as my teacher would say!
Borrowing from Internal Family Systems, a psychological/coaching framework that aims to help people to lead lives from the Center (IFS calls it Self), the Center has 8 consistent characteristics that all begin with the letter C. You can use these as ways to access your own Center. Can you approach your life with curiosity and compassion for example?
Your Center is…
- Calm and clear
- Curious and compassionate
- Confident and courageous
- Creative and connected
Image credits: Top image: Kevin Bergen, Sun image: Rajiv Bajaj. unsplash.com