05 Mar The Importance of Being Centered
“Grounding is most effective when you have some place to go. When you know where you are going, grounding brings strength and confidence, when you’re stagnant you get caught in the past.”- Tony Curl
Clarity regarding your end goal is essential to the process of being centered. If there is a cloud of confusion hovering above your head, all you think about is how your past actions have led you to this place. It is only when you know where you are going, that you can truly ground yourself and move towards your objective without any disruption. Imagine a tree with its branches reaching for the sky. The bigger it gets, the stronger its roots need to be, otherwise, the tree would fall to the ground. Similarly, as we expand our horizons and reach new heights in our life, there is a chance we might feel alienated from society and reality on a whole. We might feel like there is a wall surrounding us at all times that prevents us from forming a connection with the rest of the world. Being centered allows the body to use all our talents and gifts, to realize their value in the world and to give birth to our visions and goals.
Why Stay Centered?
“Never abandon your personal message. No matter what comes your way, remain dedicated to that which you hold close to your heart”- Jerry Gladstone
When we feel the sense of disconnect, we stop assessing a situation in an objective manner. We start losing our sense of clarity and form a distorted image of the world. We become cynical and judge everyone based on our distorted world view. Our every decision is influenced by the delusion of grandeur, and although we feel like we have placed ourselves on higher ground, ironically enough, we start getting influenced by external factors.
Being centered allows us to control our energy. We know exactly how much energy we should spend and at what rate. We know everything about our strengths and weaknesses and as a result, we can balance our life well. Being centered prevents success from going to our head and allows us to live in the present, rather than being obsessed with the past or the future.
What Being Centered Means?
“It is only by grounding our awareness in the living sensation of our bodies that the ‘I Am,’ our real presence, can awaken.”-George Ivanovich Gurdjieff
Being centered is not only about stopping, but knowing when to stop. It is about appreciating the small things in life, and not letting your energy go haywire. It is a battle you must wage with yourself, where there are no good or evil, only different perspectives. Hence, we need to understand these perspectives to establish a connection with your deeper self.
I like to imagine myself as a kite soaring high in the sky. But to survive and not get swept away by the wind, I must be tethered somewhere. And surprisingly enough, this tethering allows us to reach heights and to face our problems instead of running away from them. I firmly believe that our greatest adversary lives within our minds and unless we face it with complete clarity and self-awareness, our energy could be wasted. This energy could be spent elsewhere, in another time, in another place, for better things.
How to Stay Centered?
“Strong roots can make you stand or stumble depending on your relation to them.”- Curtis Tyrone Jones
There are several exercises and routines one can follow to make themselves centered. The most basic amongst these is the breathing exercise. It is a go-to to exercise whenever you feel stressed or slightly overwhelmed. Breathe in, hold it for a few seconds, and then breathe out. Repeat this a few times and this helps me calm down and make clear decisions.
Another exercise that helps is walking barefoot on grass. While this might be difficult for some people, and has no solid scientific basis, there is a theory that it helps neutralize your body since it builds up positive charges over time that leave you drained. The earth’s mildly negative charge cancels out the positive charges.
Meditation is one of the foremost ways to bring oneself back to reality. Sometimes I close my eyes, even if it’s only for a few minutes, and imagine myself sitting by the seashore. Waves after waves come and hit my body but I still sit there, unmoved, just breathing slowly. At times, especially during the winter, it’s hard to imagine this scenario without feeling a little bit of chill, so I think of myself as a tree, with my feet firmly planted to the ground. The energy travels down my body and into the very cores of earth, as a result of which I feel lighter and more at ease with who I really am.
The Power That Comes with Staying Centered
Once, the famous Bill Gates was at an airport. He didn’t have money at that time and nobody knew him. A newspaper seller took pity on him and gave him a newspaper free of charge. Many years passed, and Bill Gates grew to be the richest person in the world. He was at that airport again, when he recalled that incident with the newspaper seller. He went looking for him and there he was, still selling his newspapers.
Bill Gates wanted to repay the person and asked him what he wanted for himself. He said he would give him anything he wanted. But the person replied that he could never repay him, as he helped Mr. Gates in spite of being poor himself. And now, he wishes to return the favor since he is a rich man. The position from which the helping hand was extended was not the same for him and Bill Gates, and because of this, his debt could not be repaid in this manner.
I think there is a whole lot to be learned from this story. The fact that the newspaper seller stood his ground even when faced with temptation such as this, goes to show how deeply centered he was. He wasn’t willing to throw away his individuality for the promise of riches.
At the end of the day, each person has different ways of grounding themselves, different ways of coming back to reality. What might work for someone might not work for anyone else. It is important to seek within for the answers, find where the roots are and work to strengthen them so that better control over the emotions and thoughts can be achieved and the energy can be channeled in an effective manner.