Hello Dear Ones,
I don’t know about you, but I use the expressions “finding my center” or “staying in my center” all the time. Lately I’ve started to wonder what exactly I mean when I’m saying those things. In essence, I think I’m saying that I am trying to live my truth, and not let life derail me from my truth. Or, that I’m looking for my essence, and once found, trying to honor my essence. So why do we call it our center? I know it has something to do with our hearts. But what else? And why is it so important?
In the energy medicine tradition in which I was trained, there is a theory about the importance of what we call midline injuries. The midline roughly follows the spinal column, and it is because of its energetic importance that chiropractors traditionally focus on the spine. Although the spine ends with the sacrum and the sacrum with the coccyx, and even the Shushumna nadi ends just beyond that, the energetic midline flows down to the heels and a bit beyond. Just as it continues to the top of the head and beyond. Therefore, we can feel grounded or ungrounded depending on whether we are truly inhabiting our midline or not.
What I have found in my practice as a healer, is that any energetic disruption or injury along the midline has an exponentially adverse effect on our wellbeing. This disproportionate relationship between midline blocks/ injuries and the severity of symptoms is because of the disruption of the pranic flow (life-force energy) in the main energy channel of the body. Called the Shushumna nadi in the yogic tradition, it is the largest energy channel and the biggest source of light within us. It is where we find balance between the right and the left sides of the body. It is where light meets dark and inner meets outer. It is where the feminine and masculine come into equilibrium and see themselves as one. You could call it the ‘androgynous’ zone ;-). It will light you up physically and spiritually (just like an erogenous zone), and it will turn your lights out when there are blocks or injuries within this main energy channel.
There is another energetic midway point in the body that has a similar role. And injury and imbalance in this part of our body will impact our wellbeing just as dramatically as a midline injury. The physical structure that might delineate it, is the upper ribcage, and it continues out into the arms. You could call it the human horizon. It is the horizontal midline of the human body, the heart of the matter. Our lower and higher selves coalesce here, and from this space we move out into the world through the shoulders, arms and hands, in order to honor our dharma. To live out our life purpose.
The Anahata chakra (energetic heart center) is the meeting place of Divine Masculine Will and Divine Feminine Will. This is the space in which we find alignment and balance between the material and spiritual worlds. We commune with the Divine through this threshold chakra, and we commune with our human nature, with our humanity. If energy is not able to move up into the spiritual realm from our heart, we feel cut off from divine support. If energy is not able to move down from this horizontal midline, we feel paralyzed and disempowered in our lived experiences. Because it makes apparent whether our heart is opened or blocked, we will always feel this alienation more profoundly.
You could say that the energetic spine (the midline) and the energetic heart (the human horizon) form a grand cross within us. This point of intersection is a crossroads, a threshold, the meeting place of who we truly are. It is where we “find our center,” and our essence. And it must be sound, grounded and accessible to enable us to face the ultimate adventure of the human experience: Unconditional Love. Also known as awakening. Unlike traditional crossroads, from this grand cross it is necessary to move out in all directions if we are to truly understand our place as a spiritual being in a human body. We must not only move up toward the Divine, out toward other humans, in toward higher Self or down toward lower self. We must become adept at living in all these realms. We learn to embrace all at once: Divine wisdom, humanity, Self-discovery and material expression.
Being able to find and maintain our center, that place at the crossroads between the midline and the human horizon, is of critical importance. It is the place/ energy from which we tap into our true power. It is from here that we engage with the world in a humane fashion, and we heal ourselves and others. Being in our center is an indication we have become at home in that interstitial space and are ready to move out into the world with sound, grounded humanity. Keeping our essence with us wherever we go. Or stay.
Living from our center is a powerful pathway to our truth, to our health and to our dharma. Living from our center will show us whether we feel whole and valued (loved), or whether we feel inadequate and disregarded. It will ultimately show us our humanity, or our cruelty. A deeply wounded, or vacant center, has difficulty accessing its spirituality and humanity. And it may very well be at the heart of everything that ever causes us to struggle in life.
Staying in our center will be helpful as we talk about freedom and the mechanisms of oppression in the next blog.
Until then, sending lots of centered love,
P.S. Read an article HSE was recently featured in. I am placed with Cyndi Dale, a well-known healer. Pretty cool.
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Tawa Ranes has a very curious mind and has always been interested in the nature of consciousness and the workings of the Universe. Since healing has been a big part of her own personal journey, much of her curiosity focuses on understanding how and why healing occurs or fails to take place.