“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”

~ Carl Jung

Monday, December 5, 2011

Finding Myself at My Center

Recently I attended a workshop.  One of the exercises we participated in went something like this (or at least, this is how I experienced the exercise):

Imagine a beautiful scene in nature.  It might be somewhere you have been before or it might be a beautiful place in your imagination.  As you allow yourself to be in that scene notice that you are feeling peace but at the same time you are feeling excitement.   The scene that comes to mind for me is an actual scene that I am fortunate to experience fairly often.  It is sitting on a boat, floating on a lake in North Georgia.  The sun is beginning to drop behind the mountains surrounding the lake.  The surface of the lake is shimmering with the reflected sunset.  It is truly a magical place and a magical time.  It always stirs those feelings of peace and excitement in me no matter what else may be happening in my life.

That state of peacefulness and excitement that you experience as you imagine your scene is who you are at the center of your being.  It is your true self.  Beneath all the reactionary emotions, under the everyday stress of life, this is you. 

Years ago I did a guided imagery with my therapist.  She led me in some relaxation breathing and then she suggested that I imagine a circular staircase.  As I descend down this staircase, I would sink deeper and deeper into myself, into my center.  What I found that day at the bottom of that staircase was a beautiful meadow.  At the meadow's edge in the shade of a tree was a bench.  As I sat on the bench, I was surrounded by light and I felt connected to something larger than myself.  I felt peaceful, safe, and contented.  That time in my life was not peaceful, so I used that imagery often to find a quiet refuge away from my sometimes intense feelings of fear, sadness, and anger. 

I have gotten pretty good at going to my center.  After much practice, I can pretty much access that place inside me whenever I have the need to do so.  I would encourage you to find that place in yourself.  Practice finding yourself at your center and spend some time getting to know yourself underneath all the stuff of everyday life.  I think and hope that you will find, as I do, that this is a journey worth taking regularly.   

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