I have had many requests recently to provide the Centering Exercise that I use at the beginning of coaching meetings, retreats, and trainings. It is actually different every time, but below is a representative sample. If you e-mail me, I will send it to you as an audio file as well.
Find a place where you can be relaxed and distraction free. Start by just getting comfortable in your chair. Sit up straight, feet flat on the floor, hands wherever you like, and go ahead and close your eyes and just take a few deep breaths. (Pause)
As you breathe, take the air all the way into your body, using your abdomen to breathe with your diaphragm. Feel your belly button going in and out as you breathe.
Now use the physical sensation of breathing to connect you to your body. Open a channel of awareness to that part of us that exists in the three dimensional world. Notice if there is anything you need to be aware of that is going on for you physically or anything that you need to communicate to your body. Scan yourself from head to toe and see if you find any excess energy, any stress or tension that you might be able to release and if you do, see if you can let go of that, perhaps on one of your exhales. If you need to wiggle your neck or shoulders or any part of your body to help with this, go ahead and do that. And just say silently to yourself, “Let go physically.” And keep breathing. (Pause)
Now gently shift your attention from your physical existence to your mental existence, to your mind. Start by just seeing if you can observe the thoughts in your own mind. Is your mind super active or sort of sleepy or something in between? See if you can notice each thought as it arises. Notice it from a place that is separate from your mind. Just as we know we have a body, but we are so much more, we also have a mind, but we are so much more. See if you can find that place where you can be the watcher of your own mind and thoughts. Now gently extend the invitation to your mind to focus its attention on your breath and to let go of the constant stream of thoughts that most of us experience most of the time. Perhaps pick a spot on your body to focus your mind on the sensation of each inhale and each exhale. And when thoughts arise, which they will, see if you can catch them and rather than follow them where they want to lead you, simply thank your mind for that thought and come back to the breath. And just say silently to yourself, “Let go mentally.” And keep breathing. (Pause)
So, welcome in this way of being. Perhaps a little more relaxed, calm, present, centered, aware, or alert. Whatever it is for you, welcome that in. Take a few more deep breaths and when you’re ready, open your eyes.