In times of personal and collective distress, it’s important to have ways to re-center ourselves as we move through daily life, as we hear news reports of terrible things happening to people and the planet, and as we face the ordinary challenges and stresses of everyday life. One of the things I do each morning is take time to settle myself, even if I don’t have time to meditate or do my regular attunement process. Each of us may have a different way to settle ourselves. The practice that follows organizes itself around what I think is the fundamental importance of not only having a reliable way to ground yourself but also to have a commitment to do so each day.
One of the reasons I feel it’s so important to re-center and settle ourselves each day is because of the powerful impact of collective consciousness on all of us. What we think and feel feeds into our human collective consciousness, even as what others think and feel touches us. We swim in an ocean of connection and shared energy and consciousness, so our individual process and choices matter on a much wider scale than many of us are taught to consider.
Here’s a settling process I use with myself and others on a regular basis. If it works as a resource for you, great, and if you find a way to change it so that it fits your experience more effectively, that’s even better. This may be done sitting or standing, although sitting might allow you to concentrate on it a bit more:
- Begin by bringing your awareness to the surface supporting you and notice your experience of receiving that support. Notice how your body takes it in…
- Shift your awareness now to that place inside you that you identify as your “core presence”. It’s the place where you can internally “take your stand” and feel into the steadiness that is always there.
- This internal steadiness is never disturbed.Whatever arises in your life or in you doesn’t touch this steadiness. It is always there, just as it is—a steady place that internally supports you.
- Imagine, if it works for you, that your “inner feet” are actually standing on a solid surface within this internal home base, within your steady core presence.
- Take some time to absorb what it feels like to stand on and in this inner place of steadiness.
- Now, imagine what it would be like if, as you move through your daily activities, you remember to come back to your core steadiness whenever you need to, whenever you feel stressed or overwhelmed. I often feel into my solidly-planted internal feet in a steady stance that resonates from the bottoms of my feet all the way up through my body.
- You carry this steadiness in you always, even when you are unable to be aware of it.
- It is never disturbed, never thrown off.
- Just as clouds may hide the blue sky from you on a rainy day, the blue sky is still there, always, unchanged and undisturbed, behind whatever storms may move through.
Another practice I include in my daily settling-in time is something that Peter Levine, the developer of Somatic Experiencing(r), has taught for many years. It involves making the sound “voo”, described by Peter as “sounding like a fog horn”, so that the sound reverberates throughout the abdomen, all the way down to the bottom. Recent articles on the vagal part of the nervous system have called this “toning the Vagus nerve” and describe many benefits from doing this. Other ways to tone the vagal system include sounding the “Om”, humming, and other activities. Here’s a link to one of those articles: https://upliftconnect.com/toning-vagus-nerve-heals-pain/
When doing the “voo”, take a regular breath and make the sound until the breath is complete. Be sure not to push for a long breath. Just have a normal breath and when the breath is complete allow the next natural inhalation. Make the sound three times and then check in to see how your body feels. If you feel a shift in the direction of being more settled, perhaps quieter physically, take a few moments to enjoy that shift. If you still feel tense, do the “voo” three more times and then see what you feel. I have found that I use the “voo” throughout the day if I find myself in stressful situations. It has become a lovely companion along the way, a quick and easy way to re-center and settle myself in the steadiness in my core.
As you explore this practice, please bring along curiosity as your companion on this journey, as it will help you discover the particular ways of re-centering that work best for you.