That is the question as we start to come into our own and evolve. How do we stay centered as human beings who are constantly going back and forth between our spirituality with our meditation practice, spiritual circles, connecting with our Spirit Guides and having to do the everyday things like, paying the bills, cooking, doing laundry and dealing with the myriad different little things in life that can so easily set us off in a different, less centered, direction.
It's interesting that today, when I had decided to sit down and write about staying centered that it seemed that, no matter what, I was being distracted by the dogs (driving me crazy with unusual high energy and craving my attention, especially when I would sit down to write). I didn't get a good sleep so I woke up a little cranky...and I'm a morning person!!! But I am very determined so, here I am still writing away and looking for my center.
What do I mean by finding my center? It means that I am looking to find that place within myself where I can sit, quiet myself and allow the world to keep swirling around me while I focus on the stillness within that is my true self and the place where my creativity is. It means quieting my mind and the thoughts that keep racing around in circles. It means coming back to the present which is where the calm resides.
To me, it also means knowing where my boundaries are and keeping them. I have long had the bad habit of allowing the needs of others take priority over my own needs. Yes, sometimes that has to be the case. My children needed my attention and I had jobs where I was not the boss. But it went beyond that for me. I bent over backwards to make other people "comfortable" in order to maintain order (or that was my intent anyway) and to keep the peace.
The reality is, the peace was never maintained because something else would come up. More demands would take my attention and, in the end, I lost a little bit of myself in trying to make others happy. And, if the truth is told, others were never truly happy because they didn't respect my boundaries and the demands were never ending because I didn't respect my boundaries.
Well, my children are now grown and wonderful, respectful people. I am branching out into new and exciting endeavors. It's been a long road but I am finally in a place where I am making time for ME. And, after a bit of a ramble, back to how this relates to finding your center.
Your boundaries define your center. On the outskirts of those boundaries are the things that always have to be done, the chores, the bills, the obligations to family and friends.
But, in that center of the circle is always you. You are the defining center of that circle. When you use a compass to draw a circle there is that one point that stays firmly in place while the pencil at the end draws that perfect circle. The center is the fixed point that never moves. Without that center point the circle drawn around it gets a bit wonky. If you are creating a design nothing quite falls into place. If you were using that design to design a machine, that machine would not work correctly without the centers, or cogs, being aligned, defined and structurally in place.
That is the same with your center. If you are solid and steady in the center of your space with your circle, or boundaries, clearly defined around you the other "circles" or people around you will work together more efficiently with everyone knowing what their part is and how to interact with each other.
Below are a few simple ways for you to find your center - and help maintain your sanity.
Make time to do things that you enjoy just for the enjoyment of it.
Learn to say NO. This can be a hard one of some of us but it's absolutely necessary to say it without feeling guilty about it. Even perfectly nice people will push your boundaries if you don't let them know where they are. Saying "no" is your way of letting people know what your limits are. What I've also found for myself is that saying "no" can be a gift for other people because it forces them to find their own internal resources instead of relying on you.
Find time to meditate. Meditation is simply sitting, or being, quiet. Stilling your mind and focusing on one thing such as your breathing or a flickering candle. This doesn't have to take long. 10 minutes a day can help you to slow your mind from running in circles and helping you to feel more focused and centered. Don't worry about the thoughts that will inevitably pop up. That's normal. Just notice them and let them go. It'll become easier with practice.
Give yourself a break. Nobody is perfect and accepting that fact is actually liberating! It's okay to make mistakes. Give yourself the same benefit of the doubt you would to a friend. Mistakes are a learning tool so learn from them, make amends if you have to, and move on.
"Keeping the peace" is an illusion that never works. Keeping the peace within yourself does. Staying firmly in your center is necessary for your spiritual, mental and emotional state of mind.