Now that you’ve seen what it feels like to be out of your center, how can you get back into your center?
Before I describe practices for re-centering yourself, let me make two foundational statements about our centers:
First, you must know and remember that you have a center you can return to. For some of you, your situation is such that you don’t realize there’s another way your life could be. You read the list in my previous post (insert link) about what being out of center looks like and thought: “That’s my life, and I’m stuck there forever.”
That was my life several years ago. I was consistently caught up in anxiety and guilt to the point where I thought that that was my normal state of being. I didn’t think I was out of center – I thought that that was the only option available. Yes, I was a Christian at the time. But from where I was, I couldn’t see any other options.
I’m here now to encourage you: If you think that you’re stuck in your situation forever, and especially if you’re a Christian in this situation, you have hope. The good news is that you are not stuck there. Jesus can free you from any situation and bring you into a life of joy and peace.
If you’re not a Christian and you’re reading this while you’re in a place of brokenness, there is hope for you too. Your life does not have to go on this way. If you are willing to follow Jesus and live by everything he teaches, then you too can have joy, peace, and purpose regardless of your life circumstances.
Second, you must be assured that your personal center is strong enough. For me, my center is that at the core of my being, I am united with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. In this place, I have unconditional love, a friendship that lasts through eternity, purpose for my life, and so much more. For you, it is worth asking yourself: when I go into my center, how strong is it? How much power is there to meet and overcome the circumstances before me?
Now that we’ve had this foundational discussion, here are five practices for re-centering yourself:
- Centering Prayer. Find a comfortable place to sit. Start by saying God’s name (e.g., “Lord”, “God”, “Jesus”). Then just sit with God. Whenever a thought comes up, let it go by like a boat floating down a river. If you find yourself attaching to a thought, simply repeat God’s name again and go back to sitting.
- Aikido standing pose. Stand erect, with feet shoulder-width apart. Place one hand two inches below your belly button. Place the other hand in the same spot on your back. Take deep breaths. Imagine your feet are growing roots into the ground and your neck is extending to the sky. Continue to breathe deeply. If it helps, you can press on your abdomen with your hands to cause your mind to focus there (your center) rather than your head.
- Prayer of Recollection. Pray “Lord, at my core, I am united with You. I am fully forgiven and fully accepted by You.” Talk with God about whatever comes up in your soul. Alternatively, you could create a declaration about yourself, such as, “Lord, in Christ I am a worthy, powerful, courageous man.” Again, talk with God about what comes up in your soul.
- Any bodily, flow-based activity that kicks you out of your mind and back into your body. Basically, you want to work out of your body and to stop thinking. Exercise can be a good choice here. I use beatboxing and singing quite a bit. Sometimes improv theater helps me as well.
- Practice solitude. Here’s a link to posts I’ve done on this topic.
Question: What do you do to re-center yourself?
Leave a comment to continue our conversation.