One of my jobs as a coach is to help you discover ways to recuperate, allowing time to nurture both yourself and others appropriately so you both can thrive. Too much self-nurture, too much serving without self-care, and we’re out of the unique balance we each need in order to live fully, healthy in spirit, mind, and body. We reach for “healthy boundaries” to help us flesh this out, and rightfully so; but how do we know what boundaries are truly appropriate for us? Even scripture seems to offer different boundaries for different people and occasions.
I’ve found that a vital key to knowing just what boundaries are healthy to maintain is learning to center yourself. I’m not referring to self-centeredness, but something inward that’s akin to mindfulness with a broad perspective. My idea of “centering” engages your knowledge, awareness, analysis, honesty, and commitment.
Centering yourself involves….
…knowing your own values, spiritual truths, gifts & passions, keys to your unique design
…commitment to living according to your own values, spiritual truths, gifts & passions
…commitment to balanced life over time
…commitment to bringing healing instead of harm to others
It’s a good day to begin! 4 Tiny Steps to Centering
- Be aware and alert to feeling off center, unbalanced, “out of kilter”, not living out of your unique design (*the terms “being present in the moment” and “mindfulness” are often used instead)
- Analyze what’s up: Discern between external and internal disruptions to your peace of mind and spirit
- Be honest with yourself, acknowledging when you’re not living according to your values, spiritual truths, gifts and passions, are living out of healthy balance, or are at risk of discouraging others for your own interest.
- Make one tiny tweak to live more in line with your values, spiritual truths, gifts and passions
You generate enough of your own stress and worry in this life, just as I do. But you also possess vital information as to how you can best respond to and thrive in the world around you. Your values, spiritual truths, passions and gifts tell you much about mitigating stress and provide a patch of solid ground at your “center” where you’ll find perspective and respite. Centering just means giving yourself the time to find and rest on that solid ground. We deeply need to carve out time to recuperate and readjust in the midst of our busy lives.
This need, when overlooked or denied, is one of hungers that lingers in our psyche and tend to get misread as anger, frustration, sadness, or a need for dark chocolate. Allow yourself just three minutes each day to turn off the stress and worry that comes at you. Try it on your lunch break, or any time you find yourself upset by an external source for whatever reason.
There is peace to be found, received or created in this private centering space. But only you can ensure your access to it. You’ll find that just a few centering moments shelter you, calming, healing, and restorative. And seriously, a steaming cup of green tea or ice cold glass of water won’t hurt, either. You’ll long for this centering more and more, so it only becomes easier after just a little prompting. And you’ll also find yourself more naturally engaging “healthy boundaries” by protect the internal maintenance you need to thrive.
Have you captured moments of calm for yourself? I’d love to hear how you carve out some mental/spiritual respite and restoration in your day! Be sure to let me know in the comments below. – Laurie