Leading on from my popular post, earlier this week on the Sacred Art of Being a Parent, I want to explore in more practical detail the two parts:
Finding your Centre and Holding the Space
over the course of a couple of posts, to bring them down from airy fairy concepts into practical, doable actions. When we have clear acts that we feel are within our grasp we no longer feel powerless, react badly and then suck up the guilt afterwards.
What is "finding your centre"? I mean being rooted in a place of calm balance, where we stand in our own power, able to clearly give our yes and no. Where we feel unshaken, energised and respons-able, rather than reactive.When we find our centre, we are aware of our inner voice, as clearly as the outer voices around us. We can be guided by both. We honour ourselves, and the other, allowing a deeply nourishing relationship which does not place another's needs above our own, or vice versa.
Finding your centre, means, in its simplest form, coming back to relaxed (that means slow, from your deep chest/ belly) breathing, your heart rate is lowered, the stress hormones are not being released, your muscles are relaxed and your brainwaves are in their slower alpha rate rather than the faster, everyday beta brain waves.
How often are the words "finding your centre", or "centre yourself", accompanied by "meditate" or "do yoga"? Which is great if:
a) these are your thing
b) you have an established practice - which
c) you can sustain when you have children.
But I have found that neither works for me with lots of little people around. And if I try and get interrupted I feel double frustrated. So, I need acts that promote the same state of relaxation and flow, that change my brain waves, like meditation, but that can be done with children or when they are in the other room. (I go into the concept of flow and finding your centre in great detail in my book, The Rainbow Way)
So, ways that we have found, and regained our centres this week are...
Colouring mandalas ( I do this with my 4 year old a lot)
Drawing celtic knotwork (which I do by myself in my journal)
Lighting fires (which my husband and son particularly love)
Drawing (which my two girls love)
Making pots (which we all love, that's me making one there! It literally requires you to find your centre, as you stop the clay flying round the wheel and bring it under control).
Listening to music
Watching candles flicker
Slow, relaxing, soothing cooking
Walking slowly, meditatively in nature
A talking circle
How do you find YOUR centre? By yourself, or as a family? Do share your practices with us all, in the comments below.