Are you centered?
If you’re a centered person, you’re probably physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually well-aligned. As a result, you have clarity, make authentic choices, and are able to get what you really want. But, maybe this doesn’t resonate with you. Instead, you make bad choices, and navigating your life is difficult. Maybe sometimes you just don’t feel like you. If so, you might want to learn how to get centered!
At this point, you may be wondering what “centered” means. For some people, it’s interchangeable with “grounded.” Others link the two words together to suggest a kind of joint effect as in “ground and center.”
From my experience as an energy healer, embodied practitioner, meditator, and life coach I see important differences as well as overlap and complementarity.
For example, centering facilitates grounding and vice versa. Simply put, being grounded is possessing deep roots and an anchor while being centered is having a great navigational system.
Basically, it doesn’t really matter which word you use. What’s more important is to understand and appreciate what each can contribute to your state of being as a whole.
What Is Centering
According to Merriam-Webster, centered means to be emotionally stable and secure or to fix (as one’s attention) steadily toward a central objective. Other sources include clarity of mind.
Spiritually and energetically, it relates to alignment. Regarding the former, it’s the mind and body aligned with the spirit. For energy healers, the alignment relates to the subtle energy centers, e.g., chakras and dantians, which, of course, shape an individual’s mind, body, and spirit.
To understand in more concrete terms, consider what this means in everyday life. If you’re one of the many people who maintain a fitness program, dance, or practice yoga, liken centering to engaging your core. Maintaining this posture focuses your energy. You’re more aligned, integrated, balanced, and able to gracefully and efficiently execute a wide range of motion and change.
Alternatively, assume you’re the kind of person who knows your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. You make choices and build your life around this knowledge. In this case, your alignment results in clear mental and emotional awareness and focus, an excellent vantage point for personal reflection and decision making.
Benefits of Centering
The benefits of centering are enumerable, partly because many are difficult to directly perceive, ineffable, or unmeasurable. Nevertheless, some notable benefits include:
- Greater ability to focus and concentrate
- More clarity of thought and beliefs
- Greater emotional intelligence and awareness
- Easier access to embodied wisdom
- Greater authenticity in reflection, choices, and actions
- Greater self-confidence
- Enhanced ability to achieve and restore grounding and balance
- Enhanced capacity to cultivate presence and flow
- Improved energetic flow and spiritual connection
- More mind-body-spirit integration and wellness
- Improved posture and breath
- More flexible, graceful, and efficient movement
- Reduction of pain associated with poor posture and body mechanics
The Challenge To Balance and Alignment
Like all bodily and energetic states, balance and alignment are allusive and once attained only temporary. In actuality, the aim is to attune to this dynamic and foster resilience. In other words, being centered is an ongoing fluid process. Having the tools to realign and balance is thus key.
Ways to Center
You have many tools to help you stay aligned and centered. Most don’t cost you a cent. Consider these and explore others on your own.
- Breathwork with or without accompanying guided meditation that aims to activate and clear the central light column and chakras, release energy blocks, and create flow
- Energy healing and attunements
- Journal writing, particularly reflective and automatic (stream of consciousness) writing
- Balancing exercises
- Thought work to clear limiting beliefs
- Inner work such as Focusing and Internal Family Systems
- Gratitude practices
- Listening without judgment of yourself and others
A good practice to draw upon at any time is to listen inside yourself and, in particular, listen to your heart center. This is not a cognitive or thinking process. It’s sensing: noticing and discovering the sensations within.
When you sense greater openness and ease, move into it. When you sense tightening, discomfort, or dis-ease, move away. It may not be possible to take action immediately. However, even the act of noticing brings you closer to new opportunities and change.
Patricia Bonnard, PhD, ACC is an integrated life coach, embodied practitioner, and energy healer. She offers virtual and in-person sessions, numerous short workshops on personal growth, natural healing, and wellness, and writes extensively. For more about Patricia, visit her website Starchaser Healing Arts.