Former columnist for the Los Angeles Post Examiner, the Baltimore Post Examiner, and Gatehouse News Service

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Getting to the Core

In a world that is increasingly complex and on-edge, it is hard to maintain your center of balance; that core you draw from to respond to the events in your day as well as events around you.  How do you maintain that "core", that center, which actually determines how you relate to the world?

In our culture we have a lot of things that temporarily fill the anxiety that current times bring us as well as filling the holes - unfulfilled longings, disappointments, malaise or even just spiritual exhaustion - in our own lives.  Food, alcohol, reality TV, obsessive talk radio  - and even "healthy" pursuits like televison sports viewing and computer games sometimes mask our inability to actually take a deep breath and just do nothing; just be. This is how you build and strengthen that core; with the whisperiest, quietest of pursuits. Try it - close your eyes, lean your head back against your seat, and take three good, deep relaxing breaths and exhale.  Doesn't that feel foreign?  Peace of mind, soul and body is a task of self-care; it takes a small commitment from you, for you.

When I do this, I pray.  I take those things that live so deep - long-standing and short-lived concerns, longings, worries, or hopes - and I say to God, I can't carry all this; it's so heavy and my tank is empty.  Would you take them?  I will release them, because you know what?  They drag me down, and there is nothing I can do about these things.  And I know that you know what to do with them.

Others may just take a few minutes of quiet, or pray to their own sources of strength.  It is a little thing, literally taking just moments, but it has really made a difference in how I approach the day, and the happy focus that comes into each day because of this small practice.  It widens your mind and reminds you that you have a core, and that it is real, buried there deep inside you.  It is you.

Just breathe.  Three deep breaths, eyes closed, head back, mind emptied, or alternatively really focused on your source of strength in a trusting, open way.

Feel blessed; if you are here on earth then you already are!

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