One of the things that has always made sense to me is an awareness that, at the core of us, we are whole. We may not feel all the aspects of ourselves at any given moment but, just as a kaleidoscope doesn’t reveal all the pieces of glass in any one design it creates, all the pieces are still there, even when they aren’t visible. For me, this reflects a powerful dynamic that operates in all of us: there is a foreground-background process that offers a continual opportunity to shift from one state to another, from one mood to another, from one way of being to another.
I wrote last week about the benefit of having an awareness of the underlying steadiness that exists in the core of each person. It’s a place where we can feel grounded even when something happens that causes some kind of upset or disruption in our everyday ways of being. Because I’m committed to wholeness, to not leaving out any parts of ourselves, I teach my clients to become aware of the shifts of emotional, mental, and physical states as a process of some things coming into the foreground while others drop into the background, rather than trying to get rid of any aspect of our wholeness.
For this week’s experiment, I’d like to offer a brief process that points to the steadiness that’s already in you, and to offer a way to access and then return to it. As with all processes of reorienting awareness, this one works best when it is practiced with some regularity. From the perspective of hypnosis, this practice allows you to build in an awareness (no doubt building a neural network in your brain) that allows you to drop into your steadiness more and more easily and reliably.
To begin, settle yourself physically with enough support under your body that you can depend on its doing the work for you right now, as you turn your attention inward. On the next out-breath, allow yourself to follow that out-breath down into your body and notice where you settle. There’s no right place to be. Each person has a different internal landing place, so simply notice where you land when you follow the out-breath down into your body. Then, notice whatever sensations of settling that emerge. Call to mind the fact that the oceans have deep currents in them that are unaffected by whatever storms or events happen up on the surface. In you, too, there are deep currents of steadiness that are unaffected by the upsets and distractions that move into and through your daily life.
As you continue to settle into your internal landing place, your “home base”, allow yourself to get a sense of the steadiness that resides in the core of you. You might only get a flicker, and that’s fine. Be open to experiencing the settledness that is yours, that is always right there, deep inside you. If you find it isn’t easy for you to experience this core aspect of your body-mind being, ask yourself the following question: If I could experience this steadiness, what would I notice? After you ask yourself this, simply notice whatever drops into your awareness.
Then, spend time with the sensations and the experience that arise when you settle into your core steadiness. Notice how your body responds to what you experience. Notice the quality of your thoughts and feelings as you hang out with your internal steadiness. As you become more and more familiar with it, and with where it resides in your body, it becomes a place you can return to even when you are upset. It has the capacity to stay present even as you process activation in whatever form it may come – upsetting emotional responses, thoughts that are frightening or oppressive, physical discomfort. Both can be held at the same time, orienting yourself to steadiness even as you ride waves of activation.
Remember, there’s no right way to do this exercise. The key is to find what works for you, so that you have one more tool to access when you need to stabilize yourself as you move through daily life. It also helps to remember that curiosity is a very helpful companion along the way, and I encourage you to invite it to be with you as you play with this experiment.