There's this concept called "centering" that we leaned in school. For me, it was one of the hardest concepts to understand at the outset.
Did they mean standing in a centered way-- like balancing your shoulders over your hips?
Or did they mean centering yourself between the ground and the sun.. sort of like a hovercraft?
Or perhaps it was something more esoteric like having your mind centered on what was right in front of you instead of all over the place?
And then to make it worse there was some guy doing a yoga pose right in the middle of the page, looking serene. Do we have to learn yoga and stand on one leg with our eyes closed to get this centering thing?
So, I'm just going to define it for you my way, because that's the only way I can do it right now.
For me, centering involves any activity that helps me get my mind, body and spirit aligned. Very often one part of me is dominating the sphere. Sometimes my mind is over-active—like I can't stop thinking about something. Or maybe my body is calling me too strongly, such as a physical pain. And at other times, my spirit is weighing heavily, like when I hear about a tragedy.
So, there is not one particular "centering activity" that aligns everything. Some of this is just getting to know yourself a little better. For me, I have to acknowledge that I am a "domestic chic" at heart. My heart is homeward and family-ward.. (if that is even a word). So, I tend to be able to sort out the issues of my heart while my heart is clearing the table and countertops of stuff. While I'm doing the dishes, I am reminded of unmet expectations, unrealistic goals, fragmented relationships and forgotten priorities. I know. I know. There's a lot going on up there. It's hard for me to imagine people actually doing the dishes and thinking about the dishes at the same time.
But I digress. Centering also involves a level of acceptance. I'm a pilates teacher and a massage therapist. When I get a physical ailment, my physical works halts. That's a bummer for me because that's what I like to do. Nevertheless, I am human. I have to accept physical limitations.
But that is O.K. because I can focus on the other parts of my life that have been neglected. Like this weekend. All of a sudden, I wanted my physical spaces cleaned and organized. I wanted to bust out the sewing machine. And throw stuff out. And give a neighbor a call. And guess what? I felt great.
In other words, standing there in a yoga pose might not be my centering ticket this time. That's O.K. Don't let someone else define what you need to be centered. Listen to your body, mind and spirit to figure out what that is. And keep striving for it.