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How to stay centered

Chiemseemorgen I

In the classic 1944 mystery film Laura, the detective was constantly fidgeting with one of those games where you try to get a bead into a hole. He seemed to do it as much to annoy the suspects as to center himself. I love those games. The only problem is that once you get the bead in place, even the slightest movement sends it rolling off in all directions again.

Hate to admit it, but for the last few months I’ve been a lot like those beads … unable to hold center. I’ll roll aimlessly around the board trying to regroup, find my way back for a day or two, then suddenly get jarred loose and start rolling again.

We can’t always control what happens around us. Storms blow up when we least expect them, and if we’re not centered within ourselves, those events can take us so far off course it seems almost impossible to find the way back. So it’s probably a good idea for me—and anyone else having similar issues—to give some thought to methods of keeping steady no matter what’s happening around us. Here are a few that come to mind …

• Find your anchor. Imagine being lost in the pitch black of your own living room. You’re stumbling and bumbling around, bruising your shins and clutching at air, until you finally grab hold of a sturdy piece of furniture that tells you where you are. Aha, you think, I am here! I am safe!

Your life anchor is like that piece of furniture, the something you can grab in the dark that tells you you’re here and you’re safe. For me, that anchor is my faith. Whatever it is for you, if you’re rolling around aimlessly, chances are you’ve experienced some kind of disconnect. Focus on strengthening those ties.

• Bolster your support. Ever done any flower arranging? You can’t just drop a rose into a large-mouth vase and expect it to stand up straight. You have to provide some support. Perhaps you’ll fill the bottom of the vase with pebbles so you can showcase the rose on its own. Or perhaps you’ll surround the rose with other flowers and greenery for stability. Those pebbles, flowers, and greenery are the people in your life who provide steadying hands when you begin to lose your way.

Unfortunately, if you’re anything like me, when you begin to struggle, you may cut yourself off from the people you need most, figuring you can work it all out on your own. Uh-huh … just like a rose can self-levitate in a vase.

• Steer your course. Sleep deprivation is a chief cause of traffic accidents, and falling asleep at the wheel of life is one way to ensure you wind up off-course. It’s easy to allow ourselves to be swept along by events when we should be taking the wheel, focusing on where we want to go, and making sure we stay on the desired path despite the distractions. It only takes a few seconds of looking away to send the car careening into a ditch. And it’s a lot harder to dig out after a crash than it would have been to maintain focus in the first place.

 

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I'm Deborah, survivor of everything from multiple cancer battles to major business setbacks. Join my search for ways to move the mountains, big & small, that block your path to success.
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