Centering (related words: to center oneself, to be centered; opposite: scattered)
To “center” means to come to a middle ground, to come to focus or to concentrate, or to cluster or collect around something. In the mind-body sense, centering is similar to grounding in that you use your imagination and focus to bring your awareness into the body. However, in centering, you bring all the aspects of the self – body, emotions, mind, and spirit – into a central focus. In that sense, you are looking to regain a sense of your core – who you are, what you love.
How do you do this?
You start with your mind!
Centering is a form of spiritual introspection – looking inside. Another word for spiritual introspection is meditation. In meditation, you focus the mind on something in order to calm it. For example, in yoga classes, you may be asked to direct your attention toward the breath. When the mind wanders, you bring your attention back to your breathing.
In centering, the idea is to focus the mind so that you come to your own spiritual center. The central point of the chakra system is in the heart. Yet it’s not enough to say that you should just bring awareness to your heart in order to center yourself. You can be emotionally distraught with all of your attention on your heart and not be centered at all! No, in order to be centered, you must first be grounded. You also have to be open to your spirit – your visionary self, your intuition.
Once you are grounded in the physical body and the mind and emotions are at ease, bring your awareness to your heart center and just feel what it feels like to be you. Be open to any feelings or thoughts of inspiration. In yoga, the final resting pose, called shavasana, is an opportunity to become centered.
How do you know if you are centered?
Well, if you feel calm and collected and ready to take action, then you are centered. If you feel scattered, or you are upset or obsessing about a situation or other people, then you are not centered. It’s that simple.
See also: grounding