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Moving from our Center

Did you know the fern is considered one, if not the, oldest plant forms on our planet? The fern is pre-historic. I saw this beautiful fern (pictured) nestled in rocks near a beautiful waterfall in North Carolina and took a picture.

I was, of course, impressed that this fern was growing out of rocks beside a waterfall. It all felt very balanced of life on earth - in that moment. The fern was perfectly centered.

I sat there in a meditative state listening to the waterfall, breathing the cool air that rises from where water falling meets the deeper pools of water and earth underneath. The cloud and mists this creates gives the cleanest smelling air. What I feel like must be the purest air to breathe anywhere on the planet. So clean.

Taking the time to sit and breathe, eyes closed and just feel into this place of earth elements helps me understand and find my center. Center is both a physical place in us, our center of gravity, and it is also a state of being - one of calm and peace we hold within ourselves even in the midst of what goes on around us. Often in our yoga practice on the mat we speak of finding this center.

And yet how do we get centered? What does it mean to get centered? I like Gary Simmons definition of what it means to be centered in his book "The I of the Storm"; " being centered is a mind body experience that occurs when your attention and awareness form a bridge between the experience and your center."

In this story I am sharing with you, I am sitting beside the waterfall, on the rocks beside the attention and awareness are on what I see and feel as I sit, what I smell as I breathe, what I hear with the water and birds, etc. I am becoming more aware of what is in the immediate surroundings as I breathe. My attention and awareness (of the experience) begin to connect to my center. The experience is brought in through my senses. I become calmer, the breath steady and slower. Breath becomes the bridge of the experience to my center. Both centers...the physical center of gravity and the centering of my mind and physiological body move towards harmony and balance.

Even just a few minutes of this finding my center is of incredible value! Not only is it extremely healing in the moment but I am also able to tap in to this place again through my memory. I can bring this experience with me to my mat no matter where I am. I can recall all of the sensations and feels. This is an amazing cognitive ability we have! To experience and then recall the experience (from memory) as if we were in that place again even if not physically there.

We can use this very technique with our cognition to bring in good, safe and healing experiences! Bring to mind a time where you've felt safe, happy, etc. and use those to connect and find center. Practicing this in the calm (on our mats) is one way we develop the ability to bring forth our calm or centered place out in the world; in our daily lives when things can feel hectic, scary, and uncomfortable.

See you on the mat! :)

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