I’m on a recurring quest, a quest to find my center.
A disclaimer: I’m writing this to share my own journey as a person, and if you glean anything from reading this then great! But please don’t think I’m opening up a shop in a cave on top of Mt. Guru or trying to get you to join The Cult of Dan. I would need a much bigger ego in order to do that.
The center is the nursery of happiness, and the place where reflection and inspiration springs forth to flow into wonderful things. Finding my center means focusing on my core being and by emptying my mind and listening to the world around me. Shaking off the taint of our man made existence in order to achieve calm, and clarity.
We all live in a crazy world of heinous information that’s mostly really misinformation. As fowled as it may be I get my information delivered daily via the morning paper that is waiting in a box by my door every morning. The comic section is my favorite, and I sip on my cup of coffee -with a little milk- while skimming the news of the day. I stop occasionally to read a story of interest, but most of the time the news is full of murder, stupidity, and craziness. My main reason for doing this is to read about local newsworthy events and of course find out what Dilbert’s Pointy-Haired Boss has been up to.
The rest of my news comes from stopping by Google and reading the news in its sections to help me to get a quick look at what’s going on in the world around me. I read news about the things that interest me, like changing technology but most the information tells me how bad we are treating each other. But to keep me centered after reading these so-called bits of news depends on how I react to reading them.
I don’t like to allow myself to get emotionally involved with the news that I read. I like to know what is happening, and I have my opinions about what I’ve read but there’s too much bad energy. There are a lot of good things happening in our communities, and in the rest of the world, but we usually don’t get to hear about those things in earnest. It’s the bad that screams for our attention and is put front and center in our information streams.
Imagine being in the center of a circling hurricane of bad information swirling around you. When I imagine this I find myself in the eye of the storm. I know the hurricane of information is there but if I step into it I will get swept in and will turn into one of those crazy lunatics that screams angrily about everything they hear about in the news. I doubt I would ever go to that place but we all know people who do. Angry and screaming about whatever they feel is wrong, and some going to the point of declaring violence against their foes who don’t see things the way they do. But I don’t have to go that far to start not feeling right about the world, this is when I get crabby, and I don’t like being crabby. When I’m crabby it usually means I’m not in tune with my center and my happiness.
Experiencing the world has a way of interrupting my center also. Sometimes this happens with work when sustained stressful situations start to take their toll. Sometimes family circumstances can throw me off. What throws you off depends on the world you have built around yourself. Family traditions, conflict with your beliefs, or situations out of your control can throw anyone off of their center. If only we could find a desert island to live on with no cares in the world, but I think we would still have to deal with real hurricanes, and the fear of coconuts falling on our heads. In order to regain some of that peace that comes from being centered you sometimes need to take a break and remove yourself from the thing that’s keeping you from that calm spot. I recently took a week off from work to reconnect with my center and I felt great relief removing myself from my sources of stress, and luckily no coconuts hit me in the head.
I have things that I do to pull me back into the center away from the swirling wind of taint around me, that help me to keep my center when I feel that I’m touching the wall of the storm. One thing that I found that helps is to get out into nature. Sitting amongst trees with nobody around and listening to the sounds of birds and the absence of human activity helps me to melt away those things that really aren’t important. Even just a few minutes alone with the world will do a great deal of healing of my inner self.
Having interests that I pursue is another way of finding my center. I enjoy throwing clay on a wheel and enjoy feeling of it between my fingers as it spins around. Using the skills that I have acquired over the years in order to pull the clay up to create something new is gratifying for my soul. All of my thoughts are on that thin layer of wet stoneware and nothing else in the world. It helps me to empty my head, and to flush the unwanted from my being. I’m not sure what my creations say about me or my mental state, but when I’m truly letting go of the world my creations take on a life of their own.
Look around you right now and take note of what you see. Isn’t it amazing, to see what is right in front of your face at this moment in time. Getting pleasure from making a bowl of oatmeal, taking a close up picture of an ant, or finding an old tube of Shoe Goo to fix that hole in your hiking boot, add to the simple pleasures that draw me into my center.
Yes, anyone can live out their life concerned with the trivial, obsessed with the absurd, and become angry about everything they see. But those same people can find that eye of the storm and enjoy the life that they have if they would just stop and be quiet for a while, and listen without thinking. Life is too short not to be enjoying every breath, go find your center and breath deeply of the silence. At that time you will find your happiness.
About the Author: Dan LaFollette
I would describe myself as a father first, and married to a wonderfully supportive spouse that works her butt off for the family. I'm also a writer, techno nerd, potter, and humorist. I always have more things to do than I have time to do them, and have many interests. br> View My ProfileAs far as my writing goes I consider myself an observer of human nature, and a lifelong writing student.