To be honest, there are a lot of definitions and thoughts out there around what it means to be centered or even what the practice of centering looks like. I am not going to attempt to address or reflect on those thoughts, I am simply going to tell you about how I am seeing and using the phrase as of late.
To start with, the opposite of centered is scattered or distracted. Think for a second about all the times and ways that you feel like you are scattered or distracted during any given day? What practices do you participate in that help you become scattered and distracted? Before your feet hit the floor, what are you thinking about?
This is not everyone’s world, but I will share what happens in my mind with the hopes of giving you words for you world of thoughts.
So, I awake with a few things rolling in my head and heart.
I think of all that needs to be done for the day. Where I need to be, who I need to meet with, what I need to get done. I usually record these items in my phone so that I can quit thinking about these tasks.
I hate to admit what happens next. I get on to Facebook. I somehow need to check in on the world and my friends and make sure I am up-to-date on what is happening. I need to see what someone is eating, doing, or who they are supporting or better yet demeaning the the presidential campaign.
And in this I am scattered and distracted.
My heart is running 10 different ways all at once. I go from: That is stupid. That is funny. That is cool. I wish I had that. I would never have shared that. I wish I had that person’s life. I will never be like that person. That person is smarter than I. How did that person show up on my feed?
Scattered and distracted.
And sometimes I jump into my work from that place and it is not a good place at all.
We all have our own patterns of being scattered and distracted. I encourage you to think on how you get to this place. What patterns and practices that help you to remain scattered and distracted throughout the day?
So that is our reality now let’s talk about how to live a centered life.
Living centered is being focused on that which is most important to you.
So, the practice of centering are simply activities and patterns that help us focus on things that are of the utmost importance.
For me, it has taken on a few expressions in the past few weeks. Again, I am naming mine in hopes that it helps you figure out what your practice of centering looks like.
Disclaimer: You do not have to practice centering the way that I do to be good or right.
I have taken the Facebook application and email application from my phone. These are the two places I go to early and often when things get still. I have simply removed them. It has slowed life down for me – feeling less scattered and distracted
I have started most mornings finding time to center myself through spending time in the Bible. This is the place I go to get wisdom and guidance. To glean hope and grace. It is the place that defines the river banks of my life. It helps to define the whys of life in a deep and meaningful way.
This reading usually leads to some writing in some form or fashion. Sometimes this takes on the form of journaling – by the way there is nothing like writing in a good Moleskine. Sometimes this takes on the form of writing this blog. Sometimes it leads to be jotting some ideas down in Evernote to return to later.
There are a few other practices I am adding throughout the day, week and month to be centered, but I have already typed more than I normally do. If you are interested, let me know and I will tell you more.
I hope you see the places and things that are distracting and scattering you.
I hope today you find ways to practice centering.