Finding one’s centre – to be at home with oneself – is the basis of a happy and fulfilled life. There is nowhere we have to go physically in order to find it. We are rarely in the wrong place; it is the mind, or rather our awareness, that is focused elsewhere. The wonderful Thich Nhat Hanh once said that there is no path to happiness. Happiness is the path. Once we find our centre, everything else naturally falls into place.
Coming back home
What does finding one’s centre mean in everyday life? We might hear someone say, “I need to find myself,” when what they really mean is that they are not happy and feel something has to change. When we feel like that, it is because our attention and awareness have become fragmented, resulting in feelings of fatigue and a general sense of dissatisfaction. Our energy, if not our essence itself, is scattered and depleted. On the outside, we may look much the same but, like a cracked vase, we can hold very little.
Go with the season
The winter is a particularly good time to do something about it because nature also tends to move inwards. Even the qi of the body is said to gravitate towards the bones in the colder months, as though consolidating and strengthening us before extending outwards in the spring. Going with the season’s flow of energy, it can be easier to allow the attention to settle so that we are more “at home” with ourselves.
The trouble with moths
Our sense of wellbeing depends on our mind and energy. These are influenced greatly by our environment, of course. The human being is not a closed system and we are not immune from modern life, which has little respect for our natural biorhythms, persistently clamouring to distract us. So many of us are drawn out of ourselves and into the world of electronic screens and the media, like moths fluttering around a light or a flame. Craving for the unreachable never ends well.
Time to stop
Inevitably, sometimes it all becomes too much. When it does, we need to take our attention off the busy world for a while. It won’t fall apart without us, so just stop. This is the crucial first step to being centred. Stop and breathe. It sounds simple, and it is. Enjoy the rhythm of the breath, feeling the belly rise and fall. Standing, sitting or lying down, enjoy just being as you are, where you are. To paraphrase Thich Nhat Hanh, there is nowhere you need to go because you have already arrived. This is being centred.
I wish you a very happy, healthy and fulfilled 2022!