856th Week: Returning to Steadiness
For quite a long while now, I have invited myself and others to find the fundamental and ever-present steadiness that is an inherent part of our core presence. Within this living presence of centered and grounded awareness, there is always a steadiness that is undisturbed by anything that may be happening in our lives. It’s a practice I’ve cultivated and returned to again and again, and the habit of orienting to the steadiness that cannot be disturbed has proven to be a powerful and useful resource.
One example of the benefits of settling into the underlying steadiness we all carry at the core of our being is a mundane one, but one that has had particular importance to me. As the child in my family who felt responsible for caring for my mother’s happiness (definitely a child’s perspective!), I developed an underlying anxiety around caregiving. Needless to say, this anxiety was readily present over the years whenever animal members of my family needed medication or some other challenging treatment. Inevitably, I would be anxious—anything but calm—and that never helped. What I discovered in recent weeks, when three feline members of my household had medical issues come up, is that my practice of orienting to my internal steadiness has offered an opportunity to meet these medical needs with a calm presence that I didn’t know was possible.
For this week’s practice in conscious living, I invite you to explore the following practice to see what it might offer to you.
- Begin by finding a place where you can sit down and feel supported and comfortable. If that’s not possible for you, find support for your body in whatever way is available to you.
- Gently follow your next out-breath down into your body, into yourself, finding the place inside where you naturally settle. There’s nothing to “do”. Simply notice your natural internal landing place and notice what it feels like to settle there.
- Now, notice that in this place of settling there is a steadiness that is always there. If you find that you don’t easily notice it, ask yourself what it would feel like if you could experience its presence.
- In whatever way makes sense to you, notice the quality of this steadiness that is always undisturbed. It’s like the deep currents in the ocean that are undisturbed by storms that may occur on the surface.
- You may notice how your body responds to the presence of this steadiness, and perhaps also notice the quality of your thoughts and feelings as you touch into this internal “home base”.
- Drawing on last week’s practice of choosing a frequency, notice your experience if you choose to resonate with steadiness today. Notice even more closely any shifts in your body, thoughts, and feelings as you take some time to touch into the qualities of this ever-present steadiness.
- Also, remember the foreground/background dynamic that is part of your underlying wholeness. Even when you can’t experience the steadiness directly, it’s there in the background. You can invite it forward by orienting to it, by again choosing to resonate with its frequency.
- Spend whatever time you’d like with your core steadiness and please remember not to make this into any kind of “doing”. It’s an invitation to being, to resonating with an aspect of your core presence that can support you through experiences life brings your way.
- When you’re ready, reorient yourself to the environment around you, perhaps wiggle your fingers and toes, and come all the way back, even as you continue to resonate with the frequency and qualities of your core steadiness.
As with all these practices, please remember to bring along curiosity as your constant companion. Curiosity opens us to receive new experiences. And, also please remember to pat gently on the head any judgments that may arise, allowing them to move on through. Judgments tend to close us off from new experiences. And, most of all, allow yourself to engage this practice in the way that suits you best, perhaps using what I’ve shared as a jumping-off place for a deeper exploration in your inner journey.