Center Yourself With Tai Chi


How Do You Know If You Are Living Out Of Center?

  • Are you taking on so many tasks that they’re leading your life? 
  • Are you reacting instead of responding to situations – maybe you got triggered by somebody and you’re feeling angry at the moment? 
  • Are you controlled by other emotions, such as fear and shame? 
  • Are you consumed by negative self-talk where you say to yourself: “I’m not enough.” 
  • Are you ruminating about the past? Questioning the decisions you’ve made? Not trusting in yourself? 
  • Do you hold any anxiety for the future? Are you feeling stuck right now? 
  • Do you feel depleted, completely exhausted at the end of each day? 

Well, if you do, then you are living out of center. You’re not in alignment with who you really are. You’re not in harmony with the universe and you’re totally disconnected from any true meaning in your life… 

You’re lost, when you’re not feeling quite right.

What does it feel like to be centered?

  • When you’re in center, you feel inner peace and calm. 
  • You develop a heightened sense of self-awareness, where you can regulate your emotions and truly feel your body. 
  • You charge your mental energy, then have a heightened level of focus and attention. 
  • You release your stress and diffuse any anxiety you may have, thereby giving you moments of relaxation in life that can really lead to clarity. 
  • You activate your superior cognitive function, to avoid mistakes, rarely making them anymore. 
  • You quiet your mind.  You eliminate any distractions you have.

Every time your phone beeps, you ignore it. Every time you have an email popping up in the front of your screen, you ignore it. Because you are really enjoying the moment. 

You’re so focused and so into the moment that nothing can take you away from it. So when you’re in center, you have no resistance. There is only flow.  When you flow, there is no tension in your body. There’s no friction. Everything is nice and smooth.

To find your center means to get to know yourself. 

This is where Tai Chi can really help you –  to practice and get to know yourself, because when you do, you are alive. You’re not only alive, you feel whole. The many parts that make up who you are, are all working together.

When you’re not in center, you feel separated. What does it mean to feel separated?

You feel separated from your parts and you feel lost. You try to put these pieces together and you end up trying to be something you are not. 

When you’re in center, you are just being.

When you’re in center,  it doesn’t mean you’re happy or sad. It doesn’t mean you’re positive or negative. What it really means is that you are in a neutral position.  You are in a dynamic state of equilibrium. This is where you are able to go in and out of happiness or sadness. You’re able to go in and out of positive or negative. You’re just going with the flow in harmony and in balance. 

When you search for happiness, it’s usually a sign that you are not centered, that you don’t trust yourself, that you can’t connect with your feelings and your instincts.

So how do you find your center?

There’s really no one location per se. There’s really no single center that you can find and hold. In fact, there are four centers:

1. Physical.

2. Mental.

3. Emotional.

4. Spiritual.

The physical center is in the lower region of your body called the dantien – the lower dantien. This is where your body stores energy, where it cultivates energy. This is where everything inside of you comes out so that you can start sensing the world with your five senses. When you are centered physically, you know where you are and your place in life.

The mental center is in your brain. The mental center is where you are able to rationalize and analyze situations. The mental center gives rise to your thoughts, both logical and illogical at times.

The emotional center is where your heart lies. In your heart center, you’re able to have real relationships with others. You’re able to feel emotions and really relate to other people. 

The final center is the spiritual center.  There’s some dispute as to the location of the spiritual center. Some think that it’s the third eye. Some think that it’s several inches above the crown of your head. The spiritual center is where you find yourself to be connected with the universe. It’s the center of consciousness where you’re able to have intuition – that everything is going to be okay. 

You need two things to help you find your center. 

  1. An awareness that your center exists.
  2. A method to practice centering because centering is a skill.

Let’s go over some methods for centering yourself (Follow along in the video):

  1. First, consciously breathe. Conscious breathing is about being aware of each breath, which includes your inhale and exhale. Connect with your breath and count the number of times each breath is taking place. Count to 10. Get into the habit of counting breaths, 10 sets at a time, and really begin to feel how the breath is touching your body. 
  1. Second, center yourself with standing meditation. Adopt a posture where your hands are in front of your chest.  The center of your palms are facing your heart, making connection to it. In this position you’re going to observe your body as if it’s being hung from the ceiling, by a cord that is attached to the crown of your head.
  2. Third, feel your feet. Let go and use your breath to sink all the way down to your feet. Feel the soles of your feet. Then focus your attention on your lower dantien. Feel your breath again, expanding and shrinking beneath your palms, as you touch your lower dantien.
  3. Connect with your heart center. Place your palms on your heart. Feel your heart, have gratitude and be grateful that it’s been working for you for all this time. 
  1. Pay attention to your mind center. Simply put our hands in front of our eyes.
  2. Be the observer and put yourself just several inches above the crown of your head – at the spiritual center. Observe what you’re doing, the actions you take, the thoughts you’re having. Are they truly yours, or are they a part of your other sub-personalities? Find your true self in the spiritual center.
  3. Finally, visualize your body as a pyramid. Feel you have a heavy base, a long wide base at the bottom. At the top of the pyramid, there is a lightness that corresponds to your spiritual center – a point of focus, linking your mental, emotional and physical centers. The physical center is found near the base of the pyramid. 

These methods help you to center. And each method is found in the practice of Tai Chi.

How can you remain in center? 

The challenge of meditation is to practice it NOT separated from the rest of your life.  And to remain in center, the reflective state must be made more available to you throughout your day. 

In future posts, I have tips on how you can remain in center. So stay tuned!

Right now, think about how to center yourself with Tai Chi. Start the day calm. And end the day feeling nourished instead of feeling depleted. During the day, feel focused and not scattered. I wish this all for you.

Check out my YouTube channel, and have more ideas on how to center yourself with Tai Chi.

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