What are your views about 'being centered?

Canada
May 27, 2008 10:36pm CST
The term "centerdness" or being centered is bantered around and I have often wondered what people think about the concept. Then while doing research for an article I am writing I came across some information on the concept that I though I would share with fellow Mylotters and see if there is interest in discussing it. So here goes. Thomas Crum author of the book, Journey to Center puts it this way: "There is not true path without center. With center the mind, body and spirit merge and passion and commitment unlease in a force that cannot be contained." [b][/b]. Central to his approach he states that Centeredness is a true psychophysiological phenomenon that affects everything in your environment." When I read the information Crum is putting forth most of it fits with what I have learned about the importance of finding one's center in both my personal and professional lives. In the training I have had it is evident that being centered is a mind/body/spiritual experience that occurs when one's attention and awareness form a bridge between the outer experiences and the inner core of your being. From this place it is easier to ..."live in this world but not of it" and maintain a sense of balance while going through the most daunting experiences. Having presented the above I am curious about your views on this topic. Do you have ways of 'centering' yourself when things become chaotic. If so...what are they. Do you think the idea is unfounded? Have you thought about it before or not? It is a fascinating concept and if you want to read more about it Thomas F. Crum has written the book Journey to the Center and the Magic of Conflict. When I find myself feeling ungrounded or off-center I use breathing techniques, meditation, energy work, yoga, movement and prayer to help me move back into a more centered place. I welcome your input and of course...perspectives! Cheers, Raia
6 people like this
14 responses
• United States
28 May 08
Ummm, I don't actually think about it in those terms too much, although I do use my breathing to help me focus on the now when I feel scattered, dispersed, unbalanced. Mostly I just pay attention to the way I feel, and when I catch myself thinking about things that don't make me feel good, I look for a more harmonious approach to the subject at hand, or I simply change the direction of my thoughts to a topic that gives me greater pleasure, in some cases I have to physically remove my body from certain environments! One of my favorite 'mantras' is a bit from Louise Hay's 'You Can Heal Your Life' CDs which is just 'All is well in my world'. It's AMAZING how that one sentence can change my perception of life! On the other hand, when I was living in a motor home in California, with cops knocking on my door at all hours of the night to tell me I had to move my vehicle, that I was not allowed to sleep in it on city streets, and I had no money to get back home and no idea what I was going to do, it was a little harder to believe that all was well! I look back now and I can see how it was all part of the adventure, and helped me tremendously to identify what I wanted, but then I was too caught up in the drama of the moment, and definitely not 'centered'. Hehehe. It also is important for me to have nature around me - flowing water, trees, fresh air. Living in a city I can become very out of balance, with all the commotion and noise of traffic and other people's thoughts floating thick in the air, and such limited physical space.
2 people like this
• Canada
30 May 08
Sunset in our little town - Love rural life...this photo was taken just outside of town.
It is good to hear more about your adventures and how you have arrived at the level of awareness you live by now...you have a memoir in the making! I appreciate that attempting to apply definers to what are expansive concepts never do them justice...but I still enjoy the process and hearing how people see things. I enjoy Louise Hay's material. That affirmation is one I have also used. Another one that has served me well is.."Everything is working towards my highest and greatest good beyond the appearance of all outer circumstances." Either of those shift my focus from concern about the outer into the core of my being where I can begin to accept the divine order that is then felt...even though I may not be able to see it in the moment. As you said through your own experiences in hindsight it becomes more evident that everything is "well" in the big picture. Your views of the city mirror ours completely. I am sitting here this evening listening to the birds chirping in their bird houses under the eves of my office window...fresh air filling my nostrils and we never had any of that when we lived in the city either. I have included a photo I took while walking with my friend last night. I'd never get a shot like this in the big city. Oh yes, I am such a country gal too!. Rural life is very 'centering!' Glad you have identified more of what you are looking for...and I trust that will continue because of the clarity and discernment you have developed along your discovery trails. I enjoy our chats. Raia
• United States
30 May 08
HAHAHAHA! Memoir in the making! That explains why I failed when I tried to write my 'memoirs' at the age of 26 or so... they were still in the making! Hehehe. And on the subject of Louise Hay affirmations, another one that I especially resonate with is 'Everything I need comes to me in the perfect time/space sequence'. Yeah, I don't get caught up in a lot of drama so much these days. The last few 'dramas' I had playing out in my life I went inward and found the thought patterns that matched the emotional context of the situation, and changed those thoughts to ones that felt consistently better. I've gotten so good at doing that that I usually spot, and get cleaned up, negative energy before it even has a chance to manifest. But again, when it does I now see it as an opportunity to clean even more junk out, and my life just keeps getting better and better. The last few years I lived in cities I always somehow managed to have large wilderness areas nearby where I could walk myself and my dog. And when I drove to my accounts (I was a plant lady for many years) I always picked the most scenic and rural routes, no matter if it took me a whole lot of extra time, it was worth it for the calm state of mind that the pleasant drive encouraged. I enjoy our chats here too... there is nobody else that I know here on mylot that I can not only talk this way to, but be understood as well! It's wonderful!
• Canada
2 Jun 08
Hi again... Thanks for your kudos on our like-minded ability to chat so openly...and with such genuineness. Yes, it doesn't come along that easily...and I often feel somewhat guarded about my beliefs and way of life within energy realms. Not something everyone gets alright...so I am thankful for you as well. I'd love to meet and hang out...we'd have such great chats and fun doing...whatever! I am sincere in talking about writing your memoir...I wrote mine and it was amazingly cathartic and helped give me additional closure to a lot of old baggage. I am not sure if it will ever be published. I haven't actively pursued the marketing of it although many have encouraged me to do so. I trust the outworking of that and like you do not push the river with unrealistic expectations or wishing for outcomes...yep that old attachment thing we have discussed before. Well it is getting late and time to sign off. I made some inroads in my responses. I look forward to sharing more 'respectful dialogs' as time goes on. Good to know you are out there...spreading your lovely energy far and wide...I can feel it whenever we touch in and share our unique perspectives. So long...and enjoy your week. Hope you had a good weekend...we did...lots of time in the garden...gotta love it...and I do! Raia
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
28 May 08
Never thought of it before I guess I am always centered to get through all things I should write more but dont know what to say more about it hugs and blessings
2 people like this
• Canada
29 May 08
Hi friend.. You do not have to say much because your life is a living testimony to what true centeredness is about. You have remained calm in the eye of all your storms. You also are able to keep drawing from your connection to Source and All-That-Is within this One-Song we call life. So yes, dear one I would absolutely agree that you do not have to add more other than offering your life path as an example to others. You lead by your own example...and that is the best way in my view! Big hugs from your two pals up North who are enjoying a cool, but lovely Spring. Raia
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
30 May 08
thanks good thing to know that I am centered. But I seem to take things as they come my way with one thought to get it gone or get thru it hugs and blessing to you both
• Canada
2 Jun 08
Maybe you don't call it that...but it is what you do and who you are. Signing off shortly...so goodnight and hope your week goes well. I intend to spend some time here tomorrow and continue catching up and hopefully dropping by to visit you and share in your topics the way you always do mine. And I so appreciate it! Hugs...and sleep well. Raia
@kalav56 (11503)
• India
28 May 08
‘Being centered’ essentially looks like being ‘focused’,’ never lose your objective’ to me. At first this is what came to mind. This is far as getting along with one’s own duties and goals in life. This is a real in-depth topic and normally whenever I read some of your topics and I start responding I do it with a bit of diffidence because I doubt if I can bring absolute clarity to such a complex topic.Anyhow,I do try and then at the end of it I feel happy. As I read through your topic twice I just tried to grasp the central idea and what struck me was the theme to balance oneself, never get muddled by clouded prejudices or biased emotional thinking. Even in a work environment, in a career growth path this is easier said than done because one’s desires come to play and desires make a person take wrong decisions. Objectivity is what is called for in any situation. Now, .soon after I read your topic I was only reminded of Vivekananda’s detachment to the effect’ and ‘work for the sake of work’ [From his discourse on Bhagavad-Gita]This is most relevant in a work scenario. This I guess is what is also elaborated by Thomas Crum .From what I understand—essentially it is the case of Arjuna [from the famous Indian epic Mahabharata’— -Once Arjuna was given lessons in archery. All other students were there and the guru pointed out to a parrot on a tree and the student had to shoot it with an arrow... Each student was summoned and asked GURU What can you see? ’Now each of them answered in the following way STUDENT 1, I can see the sky, the tree, the, parrot. STUDENT 2 I can see the blue sky, the parrot. STUDENT 3 I can see the branches and the parrot. STUDENT4 I can see the leaves and the Parrot. STUDENT5 I can see the parrot. Next came Arjuna— Here is the conversation GURU Arjuna, can you see the sky? ARJUNA-No respected sir. GURU-Can you see the tree? ARJUNA- No respected sir. GURU-Can you see the branches? ARJUNA- No respected sir. GURU. Can you see the leaves? ARJUNA- No respected sir GURU-Can you see the parrot? ARJUNA- No respected sir GURU Then what are you able to see? ARJUNA—I can see ONLY the parrot’s eye sir. It is legendary that Arjuna is the greatest warrior and an expert archer. known for his dedication and non-deviation from his objective This is focus of the first order. “With center the mind, body and spirit merge and passion and commitment unleash in a force that cannot be contained.” Thomas Crum essentially means that when a person is focused like Arjuna [the focus on the ultimate object/objective] all his thoughts, deeds, decisions, are all towards this without losing the central idea whatsoever. The determination within him drives him to achieve his goal and no obstacles can come in his way. [My son would love reading this book I am sure] Secondly when you have mentioned that this is a spiritual experience,’ ‘that occurs when one's attention and awareness form a bridge between the outer experiences and the inner core of your being. From this place it is easier to ..."live in this world but not of it" and maintain a sense of balance while going through the most daunting experiences.’ you are talking about the ‘objectivity’ in any situation that arises out of logical thinking. You look at everything with a detached eye as a spectator would do with no other personal involvement. You watch a game and you admire or criticize a player for an admirable or wrong stroke Life is an ongoing game and we are all players. We should look at all the events that come and go as different scenes. While it is easy to understand all this, let me tell you, Raia, it is very difficult for us, emotional human beings. I know you have gone through a lot and this would have hardened you a lot. Being exposed to a lot of trauma and hurt hardens a person and brings this objectivity automatically in a few cases. I myself feel this way these days though I have a long way to go. But one thing that I have seen is that people do achieve it [even with fewer traumas] and these are less emotional beings and they have had that sort of upbringing. these people have very limited desires and expectations from life. They are like yogis with a lot of detachment, just going through the motions of life with no great expectations, but have firm faith in God There are others who have had a fairly simple and uncomplicated life who are unable to live ‘off’ this world. I personally feel, a lot of all this is directly proportional to the level of attachment one has, to one’s desires and expectations from life. Ultimately we come to the same conclusion—to find the centre one must lose all attachment. This attachment is not only to people but to one’s desires, emotions, expectations, this is what you say ‘..."live in this world but not of it". This is as far as maintaining your mental equilibrium [which you had mentioned by that resorting to yoga, meditation etc.]. Your concluding paragraph is propounded as the remedy to all ills by any sensible person. I hope to get it. in fact you won’t believe it ,I was telling my husband a few days back that the day I get rid of my emotional thinking and answer in a cool , objective way to a person , would be the day I have achieved success in life. While I elaborated I am a bit unsure of the ‘centre’ which Thomas Crum has elaborated. Is it with relevance to one’s goal in life or one’s emotional and spiritual well being? I guess it is a combination [like what it is given in the Bhagavad-Gita?]-only reading the whole book can throw light on this, I guess. So, these are my thoughts on your topic and I am happy that I wrote something to my satisfaction today.
2 people like this
@Aussies2007 (5339)
• Australia
28 May 08
Well... you could look at it this way... Each one of us build our own life around values we believe in and cherish. We also have a set idea about our likes and dislikes. All of those form a building block. Almost like a fortress. It makes us individuals... different from everybody else... and we won't allow anyone else in unless they agree with and respect who we are. So yes... we are all centered around our particular believes and values. And when someone attempt to attack our fortress... you have war, argument, fight and divorce.
2 people like this
• Australia
29 May 08
When people are able to push buttons many do not pause long enough to ask themselves why they are reacting the way they do. They often make the other person the object of what they believe is the problem rather than considering that their reaction contains a more important 'message.' The reason for this... is that we are selfish... and we react according to what we know... which is very little... rather than looking at the big picture with an open mind.
3 people like this
• Canada
29 May 08
No argument from me on this one...I think that theme is carried through a lot on the various discussions here...and why there are such interesting 'perspectives.' Cheers, Raia
@kenzie45230 (3561)
• United States
28 May 08
No matter what faith you embrace, I think this is a problem with today's society. I'm an oldster here, I guess. When I was kid, the focus was always supposed to be God first, family second, and everything else after that. Even for those who don't believe in God, the importance of latching onto something beyond one's self seemed to be the most important thing. We were taught that to get into a good college, one had to show balance in life - a balance of family, church, school activities. It's not surprising to me that centering and balance are terms that are used frequently in self-help books and seminars. In today's busy world, everyone needs to learn to slow down and take some time for him/herself.
2 people like this
• Canada
29 May 08
Greetings to both...and how enjoyable to be reading your dialog with each other...I love when that happens here. It is interesting to read your divergent views on the topic. Kenzie's does sound more outwardly directed...whereas Kitty's is coming from the inner and then flowing outward from that point. Either way this site is called 'perspectives' for that reason...and all are welcome. I appreciate hearing both of yours. Thanks to both of you for your input. Raia
• Canada
28 May 08
I love the statement that "it is easier to live in this world but not of it" when you come from a place of centerdness. This is very true and what I am striving for at the moment. One way that I center myself is by living in the now. Sometimes it takes a little practice but when I am in a chaotic situation or a stressful one nothing helps me more than taking a deep breath and just being in the now and accepting it for what it is and then moving on to the next moment. It doesn't take a lot of time and effort but seems to help me out a lot.
• Canada
29 May 08
Hello my new friend...and thanks for adding your views here. Glad you liked the statement...I use it to remind myself of that larger truth when my outer world feels chaotic. Your decision to stay present is also one of the best ways I have found to stay connected to my inner strength as well. Distraction moves me away from that point...but with breathing techniques and seeking that 'still small Voice Within' it truly does become easier to stay in the NOW. Then I am more able to feel a sense of connection so something larger than the outer appearance of things. It is a pleasure to get to know new friends here and I look forward to future chats. Best regards, Raia
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
28 May 08
Hi Raia, You always start such interesting discussions! I'm not sure if I really understand the concept of 'centeredness', or 'being centered', but after reading your discussion a couple of times, I felt that I wanted to comment. To "live in this world but not of it" speaks to me, of living an experience, but at the same time being able to observe that you are having the experience. I think that centeredness must come from within, so in the same sense we are always aware of what is happening. Connecting with our inner self would help bring balance into every situation. Blessings.
2 people like this
• Canada
29 May 08
Hi Pose...and Kitty. Thank you both for chatting about this concept and sharing your views...love reading interesting threads! I value your kudos about the discussion Pose...as well as reading about your understanding of centeredness. Kitty your additions elaborate more and from what I am reading in all the responses so far those who are pursing a spiritual path view centeredness in similar ways. Most religious/spiritual teachings state that our connection to Source and All-That-Is within the One-song of life comes from within. I may post what others find interesting discussions...but the responses and unique perspectives from each of you make this site what it is. Your participation is greatly appreciated! Raia
28 May 08
as a practising witch we centre before casting our circle for spells and also for relaxation too. I use my crystals/stones, music and meditation and deep breathing. I think it is important to do this as our lives are increasingly very hectic.
2 people like this
• Canada
29 May 08
Hi Witchywillow...nice to chat with you. I have incorporated many principles from Wicca and agree with the value of crystals/stones and the other techniques you use to center yourself. Breathing is also key...and the beauty of using our breathe to ground ourselves is we can do anywhere, anytime under any circumstance. I appreciate knowing that you have joined this community and I look forward to sharing more ideas with you. Raia
28 May 08
I have been puzzling over this all morning and I keep coming back to balance. I think for me that is the key to remaining centred. I believe that we are body mind and spirit and that to remain centred it is important not to concentrate too much on one area at the expense of others. Generally I try to keep focus as much as possible through the bad times as well as the good. I try not to dwell on the negative aspects of a bad situation but rather remember the good things I still have such as family and health. I was recently given a prayer card with a picture of a rose and the words "Some people complain that roses have thorns. I am thankful that thorns have roses" I think this is a view that I have generally held throughout my life and thinking about it helps to keep me focused and centred. Similarly I do not take the good times for granted either. I try to live in the moment and absorb everything I can from it so that I can draw on it in times of need to remind me that there are good times to be had too. I suppose for me life is something of a see saw that I try to keep stable but when one side tips I do my best to bring my side back into balance through prayer, positive thinking and positive action.
2 people like this
• Canada
29 May 08
Interesting to hear that your 'thinker' was puzzling all morning. I love discussions like these because the responses I receive from thoughtful friends like you and others who have replied similarly get my thinker going too. Your interpretation is aligned to my view as well. When we think about the divine order within the Universe researchers confirm that everyone has a center...but so does every-thing. It is the center point in space where the activity of matter and energy are in perfect equilibrium. So your idea of balance being the key to centering is right on! I also am of a similar mind about living in the NOW of experience and not becoming too fixated or attached to outcomes anymore. As I live in the present there is less resistance and consequently I have increasing joy. Your approach to regaining balance works for me too...and it is a pleasure sharing these ideas with you. Raia
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@dodoguy (1297)
• Australia
28 May 08
Hi Perspectives, This subject is bound to be limited by ambiguity in the absence of definitions. As for harmony of mind, body and spirit, it seems to me that the three are intimately and unavoidably layered around the core essence of being, so IMO the notion of centrality loses something when referenced to that framework. I would think that our place in the world, or our understanding of it, has a bearing on our ability to accomplish whatever purpose we set ourselves. Moreover, where we perceive ourselves to be may also influence where we desire to go. So I'd be inclined to regard the concept of "centrality" as a metaphor for recognizing our position relative to our ambitions, and our faculties for dealing with it, at any point on our path through life. The closer the correlation between perception, reality and our abilities to deal with it, the more "centered" one's life may be.
@skinnychick (6907)
• United States
29 May 08
I have to say that whenever life gets to be too much and it has lately in some respects, I meditate. If I don't meditate or miss a day, I seem to be way off instead of just a little off. So that is really important to me. I also write in my journal or write anything anywhere just to point my mind in a different direction or take some of the stress or hurt away. Those 2 things have always worked for me and continue to do so. Without them, I would be a mess. :)
1 person likes this
• Canada
30 May 08
Hi...good to be back in touch. I guess with your new job and adjusting to that things are more hectic. I appreciate what you are saying about meditation and journaling as great ways to ground and center. I use those methods too. Getting thoughts out of the busy-brain and onto paper really frees up energies around whatever challenge I am facing and defuses my attachment to it. With your level of awareness I know you will always find your answers and come to a calm place because from we we have shared you have a lot in place. Continue to take care of yourself and your special guy. Glad we are all enjoying our lives. I like to hear that my friends are happy...makes me happy too! Blessing and hugs.. Raia
@jcj_111776 (3221)
• Philippines
29 May 08
Hello Raia. I'm glad that you're back Mylotting. Ok, first things first. I'll try to share my views on this topic. Yet again, another challenging one. Though, I'm feeling a little out of my depth here because I'm not sure if I have the right words.Oh, and I liked the conversation you've had with Kalav. It was very informative. My family is experiencing our own emotional storms. But we all do our best to not be swept away. For me, being "centered" simply means to not lose focus. And yes, you're right, it's not an easy thing to do. There are times though that when we "stray" from that center, it can be damaging. I'm saying this based on what my family are going through right now. Sometimes, when I feel that I'm so close to being away from my "center", I do two things. Pray and give myself a little "pep talk". I pray when I feel I can't bear it anymore. The feeling of being a stranger to myself. As if I don't know who I am anymore and sometimes questioning myself, why am I still breathing and what is my purpose? When I pray, I usually do the second one afterwards. I tell myself that there will always be problems, and no living creature doesn't have one. And that my problems may be just a minor thing compared to others. And most of all, I tell myself that if I had survived the other problems before, what reasons do I have for giving up now? Those two things help me pull back on track. I'm happy to say that despite what my family's going through right now, I'm still at my center. At peace. I'm at the eye of the raging storm.
@figjam00 (1450)
• India
28 May 08
I have read your post and got myself thinking about being centered. I think being centred is about sticking to your core values that you learn over the time in your life. Most people think centred as creating the balance but its about sticking to your values.
1 person likes this
• Canada
30 May 08
Yes sticking to core values is certainly part of it. Living from that place is also much more 'authentic' than trying to measure up to anyone else's standards. If you read over the other comments here it is clear that different people associate the concept with different meanings..and that is fine with me...all perspectives welcome. I appreciate your input...and yours too...Kitty2! Raia
• United States
31 May 08
The word centered comes up in politics here a lot.so for me Centered means to me that you are neither far right or far left.In other words right down the middle. I never really thought of it as a character trait. i know there are people who care calm during a crisis.And there are others who Never get too excited or depressed but I never thought of them as centered. But I guess they are.I am not. I have a hair trigger temper. And I love it.i wouldn't want to be too centered that I couldn't be happy or angry.
• Canada
2 Jun 08
Your views are interesting. You raise some good ones when you reference the word back to politics...never thought about it when I posted the discussion but it is true. I think centering in terms of character traits can be taken to the extreme..and your present another good view when you say that too much of a good thing could leave a person feeling flat. Sounds as though you don't have that problem...and that you know who you are and live life on your own terms. You go girl! Raia
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Jun 08
Thanks.
• Canada
3 Jun 08
You are welcome...talk somewhere else soon and I will look forward to it! Cheers, Raia
1 person likes this