Saturday, August 6, 2011

Your Toolbox for Centering

You guys have been shy in the past, with comments or answers.... but I KNOW you know some pretty deep stuff, and I am going to coax you out with a question of the week:

First, let me grease the wheels, and get you thinking:

Very recently, my life changed totally, almost overnight. (I know I know, this is a blog that began with a cancer diagnosis, isn't that life changing enough....apparently not, when you are truly trying to heal completely).

This recent event, had to do with things I cannot, nor do not think are appropriate to talk about here. And it doesn't' matter, one trauma is the same as another to someones body. Trauma It doesn't differentiate. daughter and I have had all this life changing, life challenging circumstances, that can make me feel at times I have to have all the answers NOW, or said trauma will occur again. This, is ...silly. However, sometimes it feels like running from a tidal wave with your kid in tow. You run, in survival mode.

While I try to remind myself that particular tidal wave is behind me, I will sometimes wake up forgetting this. Sometimes, it can be triggered be a very real dream where I am reliving the running from the wall of water, that makes me wake up with that "I can't catch my breath" feeling.

Now, here is some interesting Health Psychology babble: When we don't breathe, for whatever reason, our physiology changes, our blood acidifies from lack of oxygen, and in turn, creates more anxiety. That anxiety, tightens our diaphragm, which makes it harder to breathe, which makes the blood more acidic, which heightens the feeling of anxiety...and the loop goes on and on. (end Health Psych lecture)., I woke up running from the wall of water like dream, with aforementioned feeling of lacking oxygen. Now, I know where this can go and would prefer a better start to my day. So, I popped open this website, passed along by one of the most brilliant people I know. Do As One. This site is dedicated to the practice of conscious breathing.

Instead of starting my day in an instant state of anxiety, I instead turn the running from the tidal wave feeling into a gentle walk next to a brook and so my day goes....knock on wood...oh so peacefully, challenges and all.

Now, this is my question for you:
What is one resource you can share here, to help others. Someone shared the Breathe As One website with me. It has helped me so many times. Now it will help you. So pay it forward...

What is ONE tip, trick,or tool you use for grounding yourself when your emotions start to go beyond informative, and useful?
How do you CENTER, when your life pulls you to be emotionally wobbly?


Willo said...

Good question Jenna. I am 56 and have had many traumas in my life all long lasting.
My response is to depth dive. Some people hold their breath underwater but I have learnt I can breath like a fish.
I know from experience that even though traumatized we continue to live and I believe this goes beyond the moment of so called death. This is a journey and all things pass.
I do not hold my emotional breath but let all feelings flow and I honour them all, painful or pleasurable.
Life to me is about experience, not happiness. I am learning how to accept where my power really making conscious loving choices. This does not mean I have control of the outcomes.
But underlying all this is my commitment to the belief that Creation is purposive and that the most powerful and compelling impulse that it expresses is Love.
This response to a very difficult life arises from the depth of my being and it is not helpful to others in the way physical breathwork is. But perhaps the knowledge that we need to respond to the needs of our inner beings with as much care as our physical selves may be of help.

Pollyanna said...

hello Jenna--
I turn to my touchstones - my dear friends who know me - to find my center and remind me of who I am when I feel as though I'm lost in whatever situation has befallen me. :) And, sometimes chocolate chip cookies or comfort food calms me - cooking allows me to focus on something other than the anxiety and stress for a period of time. My thoughts are clearer and the chest crushing feelings seem to go away long enough to have a rational thought again!
<3 me

Robo said...

I recommend the weekend empowerment seminar, The Landmark Forum. I did it in 1990 and revisit it now and then to keep up with new transformative life technology they've continuously developed over the years.

It has locations in most major cities and worldwide but rarely advertises since millions of people like me loved our results and spread the word.

Attendees engage in looking at their lives and relationships, expose disempowering myths they didn't realize they have lived by; learn how to handle personal challenges or "breakdowns"; learn to distinguish decisions from choices, distinguish what happens in our lives from the story we tell ourselves about what happens, distinguishing the illusion of "someday"; examining our relationship with anxiety and learning how to make it disappear, replaced with a new sense of power; learning that what we think we need to fix may be something missing instead that we need to fill (or re-fill).

You learn to distinguish personal identity, and change vs. transformation.

Powerful, powerful stuff.

Or just check out its website:

Robo said...

I also recommend radio host Dennis Prager's hour on "happiness". He's a highly respected intellectual who is generous with callers. For the last couple of years he has set aside the 11:00 am hour of his 3-hour program each Friday program to dedicate to the subject.

He also has a website:

I think you can download past programs from archives for a small fee (well worth it, I think). You can sample him on YouTube.

Here in Los Angeles he's on KABC but he's syndicated nationwide.

Jenna said...

Thank you eveeryone who shared! It is very interesting for me to learn a little more about who is reading this blog and where they are coming from! I am going to have to do more to make this interactive. Thanks for those who have posted thus far! Hope more of you will feel free to add to this!