DINK #283 Going To Your Center

Posted on : 02-01-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Well, really your center is already “there” so it’s more about remembering your center.  I Interviewed Life Coach, Public Speaker and Author Mark Susnow today (www.blogtalkradio.com/Hope42day) about his new book, “Dancing on the River: Navigating Life’s Changes”.  It’s always nice when I’m interviewing someone on the radio and I can feel and hear that they are all “there”. Mark definitely is one of those people.  We talked about many things today but my take away was one of the lessons he learned at the age of 13 when he had a near death experience while rafting down a river in Colorado with his uncle.

As best as I can recall, Mark was swimming alongside of his raft and then noticed that the raft was getting further and further away from him so he started swimming diagonally to the front of the raft so that then he could hopefully be pulled in by his Uncle when he suddenly got caught up in some rapids and knew that he was not going to make it close enough to the raft to be pulled in.  What he “heard” was to go to his center (which I marvel that he heard at the age of 13!).  Eventually, of course, he was able to get close enough to grab his uncle’s extended oar and to be pulled in to safety.

I’ve been trying to remember when I had my big near death experience at 21 when I drove my car off an overpass if I “heard” any words of wisdom.  The only thing I can recall for sure was hearing “tuck your chin” before my car went off and then being given instructions on how to care for myself and escape from my car once it had landed.  I didn’t hear “go to your center” but I did feel it.  It was as if someone or something took over and pushed me into my center so that I would not only survive but I would be calm, for the most part, in the moment.

As Mark conveyed in the interview, going to our center is the most important action we can take to help us live a life in balance and with joy.  From our center, all things are possible.  This reminds me of lessons I have learned since I began practicing yoga in 1996.  My teacher, Blaine “Murti” Hower used to always talk about going to our center and breathing from our center. He would stress using our inner core to find the strength we needed for any pose we were doing.  When we’d go into a balance pose like the Crow’s pose (Bakasana) he’d say to use our “moola bandas” or our core muscles, that our strength comes out of our core/center rather than our arms. It has taken me awhile to believe this for myself, so consequently the Crow pose has been a very difficult pose for me to balance in completely.  I have watched Murti and several of the yogis who practiced with us who seemed to go up effortlessly into all kinds of balancing poses so it is easy to believe that they are reaching into their center for strength.

When someone reaches into their center for strength, it is a beautiful transition to behold.

I always love watching Murti take the Crow pose deeper and while balancing on his arms, throw his legs behind him and upwards.  I mean, I’m pretty impressed with myself when I can go up into a full wheel pose and hold it for five breaths (one of my party tricks in addition to being able to win at leg wrestling) and I almost say to myself, “well, I can’t go up into the Crow pose much less the advanced Crow because of my age” until I remember that Murti and I are the same age.  My ego will try anything!

Mark talked about his daily morning practice of meditation and going to his center.  I know this is true in my life as well.  Every day that I begin with a morning meditation always runs smoother than if I just hit the ground running and take what evil/good this way blows.  For me, it’s about getting grounded and centered as well as connected to the higher power of my understanding.  I certainly notice the good that is all around me in my life much more when I begin my day this way.  During my run this afternoon, I passed by a neighbor and his little boy as they were helping a friend with his trailer. The daddy waved at me and his son watched my dog and me run by them. I always do a second lap around their block and was pleased to see that the little boy had come around from behind the trailer and was waiting for me and Paul on our run. As we ran by them, he began waving at us as only a 3 year old can with his little hand opening and closing and a big smile on his face.  Even though it was drizzling and I was listening to some really good music on my IPod, I saw him waving at me with such innocence and happiness which I was able to “take in” as I waved back at him.  Just a little example of what being centered does for me.

Whether your days this week hold the expectation of joy or the anxiety of the unknown, tomorrow morning  take 30 minutes to meditate or just to get quiet and see what it feels like for you to go to your center. Don’t worry about the noises in your head. If you have them, just let them float by and keep going back to your center.  Follow your breath in and out, relax your back and any stress that you are holding in your body and find your center.  You may find it helpful while sitting to place both your hands with the palms towards your belly, onto your stomach.   Go to your center and “be”.

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