Moving from Center… Again

Posted by on May 18, 2014 in Blog | 1 comment

Moving from Center… Again

Take a breath… Feel your feet on the floor…

Notice your belly rise and fall… It’s easy enough to be centered in your body (and your life) while calmly sitting still. In a yoga class, or a quiet den, the context lovingly supports your goal. But can you stay present and connected to your self when things start moving fast? Even out of control? What happens to your state of ease and grace when life throws you a curve ball?


There’s no doubt about it. Centering in motion is a skill worth investing the time and energy to develop. And yes, I said skill – not tip, quick fix, or magic trick. Like learning to tie a shoe or drive a car, the ability return to center becomes more accessible with repetition.


In fact, coming back to center, according to Morihei Ueshiba, founder of the martial art Aikido, is one of the most fundamental practices of all. No matter how far I travel, the distance between me and center is just a few deep breaths and body-mind-emotion adjustments away. And yet, no matter how many new techniques I study, or personal development courses I take, the effort it takes to re-center when thrown off balance by a major life-altering event can still be great.


Once again, I am re-centering.


And still, centering is a practice that asks me to offer my intention – and attention – to the process of its cultivation.


In order to re-center, you must understand a thing or two about how we go off balance. Scanning is a good place to begin. The good news is, it’s not necessary to stop, or even slow way down. With practice it’s possible to take stock and re-center in while still in motion.


First and foremost, returning to center is about checking in with your core.


In body, that may involve dropping your attention to the spot a few inches below you navel (in Japanese, the hara). Notice where the primary flow of your energy has gone (face, chest, head, shoulders) and ask it come back down.  Feel your hips.  Relax your chest, shoulders and jaw. Lower your center of gravity. Take a deep belly breath.


In life, “checking with your core” means taking stock of your core values, important goals and personal commitments. Perhaps you notice that your recent actions have drawn you astray from what you most care about. Or, you may realize your values have actually changed, or that they themselves are somehow misaligned.


Can you remember a time when you felt alive, in flow, and aligned with your inner compass? If so, you may ask yourself: what would it take to get back to that feeling again? What would I have to shift, tweak, let go of, crack open, admit or take a stand for? Then, if you’re willing… take the next step. Try it on. Like children do, adjust, adjust again. Adjust again. Every time like the first, until it feels good. Trust that you have an in-built sensor that can feel the difference. Keep adjusting until your body tells you the adjustment worked.


And tomorrow, be prepared to do it again.


Of course, we all want to get it right, and STAY there. In my experience, THAT desire creates an inner battle that’s wrought with egoic celebration (when it’s working) and harsh inner critique (when it’s not). Rather than pendulum-swing between beating ourselves up and patting ourselves on the back, I suggest – as Morihei Ueshiba said – that we incorporate the art of re-centering as a normal, daily event that can be honed to a state of mastery.


Then, rather than reflecting an expression of failure, our “going off center” simply reflects the undeniable state of being human.


Which we are.


Feeling my humanness,




PS ~ Wouldn’t it be great to live in a world where everyone moved from center? If you enjoyed this blog, please share!





One Comment

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