How To Keep Calm And Stay Balanced In Life (Even When Life Gets Crazy)
There are many ways we can talk about balance in life. In the realms of health, we could talk about eating a balanced diet. We could also talk about balancing the exercise you do with the amount of energy you have. But in this blog post, I want to talk to you about your internal balance, and how centred and calm you are inside.
What does it mean to be balanced on the inside?
When you’re feeling balanced and centred on the inside, you aren’t falling over yourself to please people, and you aren’t toppled over by someone’s attempt to manipulate or intimidate you. Instead you stay in control of your actions, you don’t react. You are able to respond from a calmer, more present place, and not let your head (and your thoughts!) run away with you.
The level-headedness that comes from being in balance allows us not to be thrown around like a leaf in a storm when life gets challenging.
Instead you become like the tree, strong and flexible, with solid roots to ground you.
Unfortunately MOST OF US KEEP OUR SENSE OF SELF IN OUR HEAD
If I asked where you would describe your sense of self and what makes you who you are, I wonder if you would point to your head? In the Western World, we tend to think that we exist in a little spot just behind the eyes, and we control our bodies from a little control room. Sound about right?
When we identify with being in our heads, thoughts and worries that come up can easily take us off to a land full of stress and anxiety.
And in today’s world, it’s even more important that we learn to shift our sense of self from that unbalanced heady state, to a more centred place deeper down in our body.
The essence of you is found in the ‘Hara’
What is the Hara? The Hara is a Japanese word which refers to your ‘vital spirit’, and is located a couple of inches below your belly button and a couple of inches inside your body. This is in fact where your body’s centre of gravity is found.
In martial arts, they emphasise the importance of creating movement from the Hara. Moving our sense of self to a grounded balanced centre, means we don’t get caught up in thoughts and feelings of uncertainty.
How to shift your sense of self (and your ability to stay calm)
If you recognise that you easily get thrown by situations and get carried off by negative thoughts, then it’s time shift your sense of self.
The first step is gaining awareness that you are coming from that heady place.
The second step is to then pause, and remember that you are not your thoughts - they are simply thoughts.
Thoughts will always be there, but you have the choice whether you entertain them or not. So rather than letting them carry you away, recognise what is happening and place your hand on your stomach over your Hara point.
Start to breathe into this deeper more stable place. Continue to breathe into this place until you feel calmer. It may take a few minutes of slow deep breathing to create the shift.
You may also find it helpful to close your eyes and visualise a glowing white light coming from this centre, and as you breathe slowly, just imagine this light growing in intensity as you shift the focus from your head to your Hara point.