Centering is an important skill for everyone, especially when feeling out of control or experiencing strong emotions. Persons who deal with daily stress or violence are often scattered and unable to focus. Breath work or abdominal breathing can be used to reconnect with the center. Normally energy flows in the left side of the body, circulates and then flows out the right side. With violence or conflict, one’s energy can be easily scattered or drained. Many times when listening to a needy person, being in a negative environment or participating in a conflictive meeting or situation, energy can be drained. Often the other person feels better after the exchange, while the listener has absorbed their problem, feeling “burnt out” or exhausted by the experience.
To protect yourself, to create boundaries, and to better focus and contain your energy, sit with crossed ankles and put your fingertips together. Or you can rest your hands lightly on your abdomen imagining that you feel your breath going into a center deep within your abdomen. With this position, you can be present in your center while listening deeply to another person. Centering can help those who accompany others to be present as a witness to their pain, rather than being a “sponge” absorbing their problems.
The following meditation can be done in silence or with music. Be seated in a comfortable position, cross your ankles and put your fingertips together. Breathe slowly and deeply. Imagine that you are able to breathe in and rest in a safe place deep within yourself. Rest within your center and feel a deep sense of peace and relaxation. Enjoy this place for a few minutes, fully alive to yourself, focused and aware of all that is happen- ing around you. Try to stay centered in your daily life, and when challenges arise, use deep breathing to return to your center.