Monday, February 15, 2016

Getting back to center

Starting fresh. Getting back on that horse. Brushing yourself off and standing back up. While it's not as daunting as starting over, it still has its fair share of fear associated with it. There's a sense of failure, and even if it's a small sense, it's still tied to the "f" word. A sense that you've veered off your path, if even for a short period of time.

We all go through those times in our lives when we lose our focus. Sometimes it's because of the various events in our lives, other times it's because we didn't quite know what our focus was in the first place. For me, I typically get caught up in what I like to call my Muggle world (thank you J.K. Rowling, for that and soooo much more). The one that includes long hours away from home and pays the bills.

So the issue for me isn't that I get caught up in this world. It's that I get so caught up in this world that I lose sight of what I want to be doing. There's the rub. It might sound familiar to you. If it does, then I've got some thoughts to share that may help you.

When I realize that I'm not where I want to be, which frankly takes more time than I would like to admit, I often turn to tools that help me to go inward. See we all have this inner voice that helps guide us, but I've found that my voice gets drowned out by stress, fear, anger, any negative emotion really.

There are many tools I use that hopefully may be helpful to you.

An easy one is music. I'll pop on my headphones at work so I can focus and listen to any music that really makes me feel good. Of late, this includes some Norah Jones, Christina Perri, Michael Buble and some of Adele's powerful songs. The goal here is just to make me feel good -- the opposite of how I feel when I'm stressed and worried and angry about work. Once I've got that good feeling, I'm more open to thinking about the path I want to set for myself, and I may even start listening to some meditation music with flutes, drums and the like (I love Dave and Steve Gordon's Native American music for this). This will actually help to change more than my mood but my physiology -- my breathing changes and my body relaxes. In this space, I'm much more open to that little voice inside. 

Oracle cards are varied enough that you can
find a deck that resonates with you
Another option is to use oracle cards. If you haven't used these before, or only think of these as fortune telling tools, they've come a long way since the days of a mysterious woman in a dark room with red velvet table clothes and have become valuable personal tools for many people. While I know several people who offer readings for people, and in fact I have done this as well, I think they are most valuable as personal development tools. Think of them as a way to help you listen to your own inner guidance -- like talking to your higher self. They can help you expand your own intuitive skills and give you valuable insight to a situation. The shear variety of cards that exist are pretty amazing. When I was much younger, I started with Tarot cards, moved on to angel and fairy cards by Doreen Virtue but then found cards that aligned more with my connection to nature, e.g., Animal Medicine cards by Jaimie Sams and David Carson. I've found a new deck recently that I love working with by Denise Linn -- Native Spirit Oracle Cards. Each deck will include directions for how to use them, so my advice here is to get centered, focus intently on your question and be open to the insight that comes. Your first reaction (to an image, a color, etc.) is typically the one meant for you, but each card has its own meaning in an accompanying guide book.

Peruvian Chumpi Stones
Here's a third approach you can take. There is always something new to learn on your path, where ever it may lead you. So find something that you've wanted to learn more about. If you're a teacher, is there a new method to connect with your students? If you're in retail, have you considered a new way to reach your customers? If you're a massage therapist, have you considered the importance of your space when you provide your massages and how you could enhance it? In my case, I received some new healing tools that I'm excited to try -- Chumpi Stones. These Peruvian stones are connected to sacred mountains and aligned with each of the seven primary chakras in our bodies. In conjunction with drumming, singing bowls and other tools, they are purported to provide great healing benefits. 

So there you have it, a few ways to help you get back onto your path, or perhaps stay there in the first place. I hope they inspire you to stay true to your path. 

And before I go, yes, I realize that getting lost in the stresses of work and life is actually all a part of my path -- a reminder that while I have an idea of what my path is "supposed" to be that in truth in order to get there, the stresses in fact push me closer to my goal. It's as if my path is actually much wider than I realized, and the goal is to stay in the center of my path for a clearer understanding of where my path leads. 

So that said, from now on, when I get so caught up in things I think are taking me off my path, I'll look at it as not stepping off the path but stepping off-center. Here's to staying true to our center.  

Until next time...