Turn inward to your center of well-being. It is your touchstone.
Your center of well-being and renewal is inside you. It’s found deep in your body; deep in your heart. Without this center, your life would have little meaning, fulfillment or purpose. It is the source for all that you value and hold dear.
When you turn away from the bubbling activity around you, toward the quiet, still place in inside, you connect with your source; a quiet subtle, vibrant and powerful you. It’s an experience that you can feel, not just an intellectual construct.
As you connect with your center, essence or soul, your body can be restored a vitalized. Emotions are calmed. You feel safer and lighter. Your mind is clear and quiet. In a way, this is miraculous, but it’s entirely normal and predictable. Just like your ability to breathe. You breathe automatically (miraculously!) without having to orchestrate it. Your essence is similar. It’s there within you and you don’t have to do anything to make it so. All you have to do is turn your attention toward it. Simple.
Most of us tend to get overly involved in the activity of our life and forget about the still, clear, pure center of who we are. We take it for granted, like our ability to breathe. But when we pay attention, it can begin to shape and inform our lives. We can find greater purpose, direction and clarity by simply listening to our own source.
Johanna’s life was more turbulent than most. She was the last person you would expect to see closing her eyes and turning inward. But life threw some disruptive events at her, all at once. Her husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (with its deadly prognosis). Her sister was living with her as she went through a nasty divorce and was trying to sort out the emotional and financial wreckage. Johanna’s stress at work as a charge nurse was mounting with the familiar pattern of reduced resources and no reduction in patient services.
Johanna knew she was stressed, but when she saw a handful of her beautiful red hair swirling at the bottom of the shower and realized that her hair was falling out, she broke down. She cried hard and long, in pain and despair. Feeling exhausted, miserable, humbled, and very open, she became aware of a sweet quietness inside and gravitated toward it. It cradled her in a soothing, kind and restful way.
She started to feel better. Better than she had in months. She continued to be drawn to the restoring, quiet place inside and found a way to come back to it regularly. She became clearer and more organized and was more aware of her real priorities as she made important decisions. Her practice of returning to her source, sustained her though the chaos of her personal and professional life.
Johanna provides a dramatic example, but it isn’t unusual one. Often, a crisis acts as a catalyst for opening up to our center or essence. But a crisis or painful events aren’t necessary. Turning inward is a skill you can practice.
Finding your center isn’t difficult. However it does require some focus. You can do this by turning your attention away from the busyness and turbulence of your life. Paying attention to where the action IS NOT occurring is part of the practice. You‘ll know it when you feel it.
1. Breathe intentionally for 2 or 3 minutes. On the out-breath, sink into your body. On the in-breath, expand and gently open your chest and heart. Notice how stabilizing and vitalizing this feels.
2. Give up all your agendas, ideas, judgments, to-dos and grudges for just 5 minutes. Notices what opens up inside.
3. Take a time-out when you feel overburdened, overwhelmed or over-taxed. Walk, stretch and clear your head. Ask yourself “Whose life am I living?
4. Don’t just smell the roses. Become one. Visualize a rose (or a candle flame or a still pool of water). Then identify with the image of that object. Notice the qualities you possess as the object (e.g. beauty, serenity, openness). Ask yourself “Do I want more of these qualities in my life?”
5. Take the free Self-Care Assessment. Each of the 40 items is a reminder of what you can do to develop better self-care. Self-care will support a deeper connection with your center.
6. Bring the Performance and Balance workshop to your organization. This training provides essential tools for living and working in a more deeply centered and productive way.
7. Subscribe to the Enlightened Edge™ newsletter.
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