Mind & Body: Center Yourself...

How do you stay chill when it seems the earth is spinning so fast you might just fly off? I have my methods for staying centered. Do you? I'm not always successful at maintaining my cool, but with consistent practice you can channel a keen sense of zen even when the world seems to have gone mad all around you. 

Obviously I'm a huge proponent of exercise. All that oxygen to the cells and the brain? No doubt, your stress will be replaced with a feeling of euphoria soon enough. But that's a temporary fix, right? Or is it? I can tell you first hand that when I'm fit and healthy I am better able to handle the surprises life tosses my way. A healthy body lends itself to a healthy mind. There's no doubt about that. 

But let's talk quiet time. No... I don't mean you in a rocker humming to yourself. Think yoga, long walks or even a hefty dose of deep cleaning your house on a cold afternoon. I often find that my mind does the best "decluttering" when I'm fully engaged in a physical activity. Suddenly my thoughts are free to present themselves to me and I'm finally able to edit those random ideas as they come to the surface. My yoga teacher calls it moving meditation and it's such an apt name for it. It frees you to examine your worries or concerns one by one and address them logically - all while your body is completely engaged in a blood pumping workout. It's something I relish and do as often as possible.  

The key here is simple: you need time to filter your thoughts. For you it might be knitting or raking leaves or walking your dog. For me it's a vigorous walk on a hilly trail, deep cleaning something in my house or an intense yoga session.  The body becomes so deeply engaged in the activity that the mind suddenly needs something different to do. As an efficiency enthusiast, this is a special state of bliss: beautiful body & calm mind simultaneously being achieved. 

How does this help in the goal of being centered? A fit body absolutely gives you confidence. A clear mind gives you the freedom to truly relate to those around you and engage more fully in your relationships. Trust me, this is a pillar of being a fully activated human being. 

How do you begin? Grab a sweater, a dog leash and head out for a sweat-inducing walk. Or clean out your freezer. Or roll out your mat and do some asanas. Just do something today that is so physically intense that it sets your mind free to do a close examination of all the loose ends it needs to tie up. Trust me, your busy brain needs some time to do this. Otherwise those tiny tidbits and bigger concerns take over and result in a stressed state of being. 

Healthy body + clear mind = centered life. Believe me. 

{Editor tip: try this great yoga workout. It's my favorite.}