“Every moment of our lives can be the beginning of great things.” Joseph Pilates
If you notice above the date is not a Monday. I had high hopes that these blogs would be posted every Monday, but ahhh life. Transition and change seem to be all around me. This time the news is good but the anxiety is still high. Several months back I applied for affordable housing, Tuesday I was approved, Wednesday I signed my lease and Monday I will move. I have lived at my current apartment on and off for 21 years. My daughter, now 10, has only known this apartment. I have so much to sort and pack and yet I can not seem to motivate. And so I breathe deep.
I know I am not alone in this. Sometimes amazing opportunities, especially when we have dreamed about them for so long, can effect us the same as daunting and unwanted opportunities. The body does not always discern the difference. What I have found (as hard as it is to master) is that our approach to extreme change in our life needs to be conscious action. I will force myself to move, to meditate and to write. I find I repeat throughout the day “breathe” and “get grounded” because when I am faced with fear my mind races, my heart pounds and I tend to drink too much caffeine which makes it all worse. In these moments I am not in my body (or my right mind) and as soon as I can get grounded I can also get focused and deal with life.
And so whether you choose to face your big life transitions head on, close your eyes and duck or allow it to hit you in the head life happens and the best defense is to get grounded.
- Body: Centering is a Pilates Principle. It refers to our “powerhouse” center which incorporates the abdomen, low back, hips and glutes and is the core of where energy for each exercise originates. Having a strong center will support and release tension in your spine. When this happens we can also find calm.
- Mind: Grounding brings our attention into our body. When we do this we immediate feel connected to our earth and our self. In times of stress I often feel disconnect and light headed. It is in these times I know I need to ground myself or fly away.
- Spirit: Grounding into our body connects our conscious and unconscious. When this happens we can feel more energized but also we can see clearly and achieve perspective on life. When we feel this connection it is easier to Be in life and to make a difference in the life we have chosen. Today I have chosen to include a meditation and talk with Tara Brach. It is long but even if you simply follow the opening meditation I believe it will help you find a deeper presence in your body. Tara Brach “Presence”
Today I have several grounding tips. The main point is to take a moment to connect to your body.
Pilates grounding and centering before beginning a workout:
- Lie on you back with knees bent, eyes closed
- Bring your attention to your spine, visualize each vertebrae beginning at the skull and working downward to the tailbone. As you breathe visualize each vertebrae releasing into the mat.
- Feel the mat, feel the spine and continue to concentrate on your breath as you visualize each vertebrae dropping down
- Once you reach your tailbone, allow your attention to move to your skull, feel the back of your head on the mat. Begin to bring your attention down each part of your body following the line of the spine and allow your mind to also follow each limb as you move your attention downward.
Daily Actions: these can help you ground during the day when you feel yourself floating away (sometimes this will arise as frustration, tension or flightiness)
- Drink water
- get outside on the grass without shoes
- hug a tree (for real)
- press your feet into the floor
- lightly tap your legs and arms while bringing your attention to these areas