Centering refers to a relaxed yet focused state of mind that allows you to remain in your calm center amidst the busyness and stress of everyday life, which eases your path to greater clarity, focus, peace, flow and balance.
“It’s a transformative experience to simply pause instead of immediately filling up space.”~ Pema Chodron
Shelly, a client, is a person of action. Her brain is constantly whirling, and she always has something to say, which often causes her to superficially listen to others. And while she gets a lot done personally, she tends to either micromanage or shift between projects so fast it makes her team scratch their heads wondering what’s going on. To bring more balance to her life, together we worked out that she needed to engage The Power Of Pause to be more mindfully aware and present, thereby keeping her team in step with her. As a result, now they’re working cohesively and are accomplishing the goals they’ve set for themselves.
Could you benefit from using The Power Of Pause more often? Well, if you feel stressed (Who doesn’t?) or have said or done something you regret, then the answer is “Yes!” I think we all feel better when we mindfully learn to use this superpower more often.
Do you ever read or hear something that speaks to you deeply? It happened again to me recently and I wish to share it with you in the hopes that it brings you as much inner peace, softness and joy as it did for me. I’m sure you’ll agree that now, more than ever, finding inner peace is something we can all use.
Because we live in such strange and harsh times, we do well to seek solace from within. When the world around us is not a soft and nourishing place, we must be able to rely on our own inner resources of gentleness, kindness, equanimity and peace.
“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
This pandemic doesn’t seem like it’s going away any time soon. As the days turn into weeks, and the weeks turn into months, our patience may begin to run thin. Since we know this, it will be helpful to review how you can become more lovingly patient with yourself.
While you may plan to use the stay-at-home order to feverishly clean your home, write a book, or work on increasing your mastery of a new skill, you might find yourself feeling too down to do so. And that might lead you to feeling worthless or unproductive.
Now is not the time to put such undue pressure on yourself. The stress and worry of trying to make sense of these unpredictable times, is hard on us, whether we admit it or not. It can’t help but change us, as it changes the very world around us.
Do you remember that time when you “got up from the wrong side of bed” and the bad mood persisted all day long? You felt like you should go back to bed and stay there, right? And then there are other days where good things just keep rolling in, like you’re a magnet for all the good in the Universe. Why can two days be so different? You’re the same person, aren’t you? Actually, you’re not.
Every day we put ourselves in a different emotional and mental state. For example, you go to bed fired up about tomorrow’s project, so you wake early, eager to jump out of bed. If, on the other hand, you go to bed worn out, grumpy, and anxious, the chances are the next day isn’t going to go so well.
What you do and how you feel is determined by the state you’re in. Your emotions and attitudes control everything in your life — your mood, your decisions, your actions. So the big question is: if you start the day in a negative state, how do you switch over to a positive state?
I love the Emotional Triad that Tony Robbins came up with. It helps us visualize how to become grounded and achieve our center. The idea is to try to keep the three sides of your Emotional Triangle in balance. The good news is that we can learn to mindfully change and manage each pattern or behavior that throws us off balance.
What is the Emotional Triad? Visualize a triangle that has these three sides printed on it…
Emotional Triad Side 1: What are you doing with your body? Tony names this side “Physiology.”
We are somatic creatures – our emotions affect our bodies and vice versa. If you improve your posture, you’ll experience a feeling of confidence and alertness. If you slump, your mood will slump. Try it right now. Stand up straight and breathe deeply. Reach your arm in an upwardly sweeping motion. Smile. Dance in place. Observe how this body movement changes your emotions. This knowledge is powerful!
Emotional Triad Side 2: What are you focusing on or believing? Tony names this side “Focus.”
As Tony Robbins says, “Where focus goes, energy flows.” Focus on the positive and set your intention on what’s important to you. Don’t let your mind wonder to the “what if,” or the “I can’t,” or the “I’m not.” Visualize the powerful and competent person you are and want to be. By setting your focus on the positive, your mental and emotional state will shift.
Emotional Triad Side 3: What are you saying to yourself? Tony names this side “Language.”
Name calling, second guessing, doubting, criticizing, blaming – these do not build good relationships with other people, so why would you talk to yourself that way and destroy your relationship with yourself? Cultivate greater awareness of the words and tone you use when you engage in self-talk. Do you see patterns of self-hatred or self-abuse? Then switch out that word, phrase or tone to one that shows self-compassion and self-love.
Get into the habit of mindfully assessing your Emotional Triad and change what isn’t promoting the positive emotional and mental state you desire. If one side of your Emotional Triad isn’t as strong as you want it to be, I’d love to work with you to strengthen it! Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype).
“You seem like you’re miles away.” It happens to all of us, doesn’t it? Your body is there but you’re mind is somewhere else. Conversely, it’s also easy to be engaged mentally, but not physically. You know (the brain function) how to do something (lose weight, quit smoking, run a business, be a parent) but you don’t do (the body function) what is required to follow through.
If this only happens occasionally, that’s not a problem. However, if that’s your continual state of being, it’s a sign that you’re not fully connected with yourself or others. Not being fully present causes great strain on your relationships. And even more damaging, it makes it impossible for you to listen to what your own body is saying. It prevents your parts from being fully integrated.
There is great value in paying attention to your whole body as a source of wisdom and learning. You can learn to minimize distraction and become more fully present by incorporating somatic practices in you day-to-day activities.
What are somatic practices?
Somatic practices create an elevated level of self-awareness. Rather than focusing solely on thoughts and emotions, somatic coaching incorporates your entire body. The word somatic comes from the Greek root word “soma”, which means “the living body in its wholeness.” The body, mind, emotions and spirit influence each other constantly, even when you’re not aware of it.
Our society teaches us to concentrate on doing brain work. In school we memorize facts and pass tests, but we’re not taught how to live as a wholly integrated person. In business we sit at computers and strain our brains to the limits. But by the end of the day we’re exhausted mentally and just want to “veg out”. However, the body hasn’t been stretched or worked, so it’s too keyed up to settle down, therefore sleepless nights ensue.
By integrating simple somatic practices, you will get your work done, plus feel more centered and less tired. By bringing your whole integrated self to the table, your head is not doing all the work, and you’re not fighting with the parts of you that are distracted.
What are some basic somatic practices you can do to create deeper mind/body awareness?
Mindfulness. Daily make a practice of noticing your body sensations and emotional responses.
Monitor and become more aware of your breathing patterns. Here are some resources for you:
Grounding. After you’ve centered yourself, connect yourself to the ground. Move your attention from your head down the length of your body – your heart center, belly, legs, and feet. Feel yourself connected to the ground. Think about the time someone pushed you before you were aware that they would. You almost toppled over, didn’t you? Then think about how being aware ahead of time makes you able to hold your ground. You instinctively use your awareness to drop your energy and settle more into your body to ground yourself.
The Feldenkrais Method®. Create a daily practice of body awareness through movement. I continually use this method to resource my back and make my body more resilient to stress.
Visualization. Mindfully use the power of your thoughts to your advantage and engage your body in the new awareness.
Reframing exercises. Rewire your brain to handle any negative event in a positive way and anchor the new action into your body.
Anchoring techniques. Preset your response to specific situations by choosing positive somatic states.
These are just some of the somatic practices I use to help my clients feel more resourceful and excel in life. It’s empowering to know that you can mindfully choose to respond in a way that leaves you feeling whole and at peace. It just takes practice. With practice, your body will become more flexible and resourceful and you will become the person you want to be.
I’d love to explain further how you can use these and other powerful somatic practices. Please feel free to contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype).
I invite you to learn more about me and my coaching and counseling services. Please contact me to schedule an “It starts with you!” 30-minute complimentary consultation with me, in-person, by phone or via video consultation, so we can explore our partnership.