“Sometimes we have to travel to the edge of ourselves to find our center.” –Anonymous
This message intrigued me, partially because it seemed to make sense on a very deep level, and partially because I wasn’t sure exactly what it meant. It occurred to me that the energy of God, or the Source, is said to travel outward from a central point in waves until it hits a far point and then the energy waves return to the center. Souls who are in the physical world can catch these return waves back to the Heart of God.
It seems to me that my center is Soul the real me. Some would call it my Higher Self. It’s the eternal me. In this physical lifetime, I am having emotional, mental, physical and causal experiences, and I can take any of these to the “edge.”
If I take myself to the edge, emotionally, I can experience extreme fear, grief, or anger and other negative emotions of varying intensities. I can also experience love, joy, and bliss, or excitement, and every other positive emotion of varying intensities. My experience tells me that it’s best to maintain an emotional balance.
Physically, we can also experience the edge. Neither starving nor overeating is pleasant. It’s best to feel satisfied, but not too full. It’s best to get enough sleep, but not too much. It’s best to be in a place that’s neither too hot nor too cold. It’s best to maintain a weight that allows proper development of muscles while keeping body fat to a minimum. It’s best to get some exercise every day, but not overdo it at any one time.
Mentally, we need to have problems to find solutions to and we need to read, do puzzles and play games in order to keep our minds sharp and focused. We also need to learn to relax and let our minds wander a bit now and then, to avoid going into overdrive.
In causal terms, we need to own up to and balance our negative karma from the past, while avoiding the creation of more negative karma for the future. When problems come up in our lives, it’s an opportunity for us to achieve balance karmically, as well as to work on balancing our emotions, our minds and our physical health.
Going to the edge of ourselves represents being in a state of imbalance. Going back to our center means being in a state of balance and harmony.
Meditation or contemplation, done on a regular basis for 20 minutes a day can help us find our center more easily. Wayne Dyer says that we can get as much “rest” as eight hours of sleep during a 20 minute meditation session. Another regular practice that promotes centering is yoga.
Sometimes, we need to be able to center ourselves quickly during the day, when we can’t just take the time to meditate. Here are some things you can do to find your center:
1) Breathe slowly. Inhale for a count of 3, exhale slowly for a count of 3, and inhale again for a count of 3. Do this for a a minute and notice how calm you feel.
2) Visualize a way to stop a negative thought. You can visualize a stop sign, a closed door, or a wall. You could also visualize stepping through a special force field that will allow you to enter but keep your negative thoughts out. You may have to practice this for a while.
3) 5 senses x 5. Stop and list five things you are experiencing right now for the senses of touch, smell, hearing and sight. For taste, drink a glass of cold water, then perhaps you can recall some tastes from your most recent meal.
4) Root yourself to the ground. If you can, go outside, take your shoes off and stand on the natural earth, feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Focus your attention on your core, and scan down your body until you reach your feet. Then notice the ground beneath your feet. Imagine that your feet are your roots in the ground. Feel the strength of your body, and notice that you don’t feel so scattered anymore.
5) Stop and sing HU (pronounced like “hue”), either outwardly or inwardly. Take a deep breath and sing HU as you let your breath out slowly. If you can, close your eyes first and keep your attention on your “third eye” in the center of your head, just behind the eyebrows.
6) Try a mantra: This will pass. There’s no emergency. It will all get done. Experiment to find one that works for you, and repeat it often.
7) If you have more time, try listening to some classical music, even if it’s only one song.
It’s OK to travel to the edge. It’s an important experience in this physical place. But it’s good to know how to return to your center. 🙂