Process or Possession?
We are what we do repeatedly.
Will centering ever become automatic? asks the hopeful workshop participant.
Perhaps--if you have a strong enough purpose; if the neural pathways are reinforced often enough; if you're as interested in making it the new go to place as you are currently interested in living the drama of the uncentered state.
Centering Is a Process
If you practice consistently, you know that center isn't a lasting state of being. Centering is a process, not a possession. In a difficult conversation, for example, you'll find yourself re-centering periodically, coming back to purpose, re-focusing on what you really want from the interaction.
This coming back to center gradually changes and improves the quality of life.
Beginning again and again is the actual practice, not a problem to be overcome.
I've written many times over the years about how to notice and come back from the uncentered state. Mostly, it just helps to be interested in this. If you are, you'll practice. Are you happy with your life as it is? If you are, no worries. You're already probably pretty centered most of the time.
On the other hand, if you're often regretful about something you did, said, didn't do or didn't say, if you act out your emotions instead of talking them through, if your general state is anxious, stressed, or overly judgmental, that's another reason you may decide you want to practice something that will change your life incrementally over time.
These previous Ki Moments posts are about making centering automatic:
- Making Centering Automatic (2009) -- practices for choosing the centered state with awareness and consistency.
- Don't Wait. Center. (2008) -- a personal story about how I turned "waiting" into a centering practice.
Enjoy the Process
It's important to have fun with centering and mindfulness practices, and to know that you may not see a difference today or even tomorrow. Keep practicing, and look back in a year or two. You'll see what's changed.
If you have the time, come to my workshop Nov. 12, Managing Conflict in the Workplace, in Portsmouth, NH. Reinforce your centering practice and learn a different approach to conflict, difficult people, and troublesome workplace scenarios by practicing (easy) Aikido.
In my workshops, I ring a centering bell periodically so participants can practice returning to center. So many people have asked me where to find the bell that I put an mp3 file of the sound on every page of my website. You can download the sound and listen to it anytime.
Take a moment now to listen and center.