Editor’s Desk: Thoughts on Staying Calm and Centered

 

Even if I limit my check-in with the news, a barrage of reporting creeps into my life through invisible corridors. It seeps under my doorsill and through the open window. It resides in my heart as a low-grade anxiety. I feel it impacting the way I’m responding to others as a heightened sensitivity and quickness to take offense. I get frustrated more easily. In general, the pervading cultural scenario is akin to a “shock and awe” bombardment to my senses. I feel a constant tension in my belly. And, I know I’m not alone.

I ask myself, “What can I do to best move with grace and equanimity in the face of this extraordinary pandemic? What does it feel like in my body to be centered? When, in my life, have I been centered or moving from my center? How do I get to that feeling again? How do I best center and ground myself in what will lead to the best outcome for me and others?”

I invite you to join me as I go through a personal exercise in pondering what centering signifies.

When I imagine a time I felt “centered” the image that came was when I was riding my horse over a course of fences. When it was going well, I was in my center, a state of alert yet relaxed presence and concentration. My breath was deep and steady, my energy was high but not frantic, and my mind was clear and sharp. It feels good; I’m more productive when I’m centered. I’m certainly more kind. My life is sweeter when my I’m acting from a balance of head and heart.

Being centered is a state of being open to all the directions while feeling rooted in the earth, held not only by the power of gravity but also by the power the Earth has that is constantly nourishing my five senses: seeing, tasting, touching, hearing, smelling.

To be centered is not only a physical thing, it’s a vibrant connection to the invisible world as well. In that place of relaxed concentration, I feel spiritual well-being pouring down on me. I’m connected to all the prayers that are being sent around the world. I’m connected to our ancestors on whose shoulders we stand and am part of the river of spiritual wisdom in which all traditions flow. Being centered is to stand in both the physical world and the invisible world.

I asked myself, “Where in my body do I most feel this place of center?” Quickly I know the answer: It is in my heart. The heart is where intelligence and passion reside. Passion without intelligence is undirected and without purpose, intelligence without passion is lacking in enthusiasm. The two are needed and when they are in balance, I feel calm, present, curious, open. I feel love.

A friend, Leslie Lanes, wrote, “I am struck by the ‘pause’ that is upon us. The frenzy in the world has come to an abrupt halt and is being orchestrated by the smallest of creatures among us, the COVID-19 virus. It has done something for humanity that we were not willing to do for ourselves: stop the massive activity of emissions that have been choking our precious planet and all the Beings on it. China is seeing blue skies for the first time in years.

My heart goes out to all those for whom this uncertainty is a major stressor in their lives right now. Some of us have been practicing our whole lives – learning to accept what is, trusting life’s emergence and finding the inner resources that calls for the calm in the center of the inner and outer storm. Economic chaos and medical overwhelm is now a reality. May we connect through our love for each other,  for our friends and families,  for this amazing earth and all her inhabitants and feel the invisible arms that hold and support us.”

I’m reminded of the New Dimensions theme that you hear each week at the beginning of the program: “It is only through a change in human consciousness that the world will be transformed. The personal and the planetary are connected. As we expand our awareness of mind, body, psyche, and spirit and bring that awareness actively into the world, so also will the world be changed. This is our quest as we explore New Dimensions.”

We have surely entered a “new dimension” of consciousness . I thank you all for being such loving and wise support for me and for all.

Love,
Justine