Centering, a variation on the Soul Matters theme, is the focus of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair, New Jersey. A very important topic, one that we need reminders about often or even a reintroduction.
If you are not centered, everything can seem out of whack. If you are off center, you are off balance. You may even feel lightheaded or dizzy. Stress will often cause this along with a host of other circumstances. Once you are centered, you can see more clearly and focus on the solution, not the problem.
Over the last five months, there would be days, weeks even, when I was way off center. Until I recognized how to correct it, it would just get worse and worse, until I would get sick.
When I was a cashier, 20 years ago, I didn’t realize that I was not grounded. I was just beginning my studies in Paganism and learning the importance of grounding and centering. I ended up short circuiting three scan guns and one register keyboard in a single shift! Freezers in grocery stores were, um shockingly, “fun” and the same with the button for the elevator.
If you can’t get yourself grounded, you can’t be centered. The two go hand in hand. This is necessary in order to function properly. It is an extremely important step to prepare for ritual and for spell workings. The more grounded and centered you are the more you can keep focus on the desired outcome. It is difficult, if not impossible, to do a proper spell working if you are stressing out. The same applies to test taking or performing any job.
There are so many ways to find your center. Meditation is often a favorite one. However, if you can’t sit still, as I have yet to master, there are many other ways to do so. I do urge you to try a guided meditation though. Sometimes hearing another’s voice is soothing, or it can give you something to focus on. This is one way to help you find your center. Additionally, there are many with a musical background and some that are just sounds alone.
Sound baths work, as I mentioned in a previous blog. See: A sound bath can help ground you deeply when meditation is not enough. However, when you’re off center at work or a public function, this tool and some others are not readily available. This is when you improvise.
There are ways to ground and center in public without outing that you are a Pagan. Maybe wander off and listen to a song on your phone if you have a headset. Escape to the restroom and run your hands under the sink faucet. Wash that stress down the drain and any built up unnecessary energy. Maybe do something mundane and repetitive where it doesn’t require any conscious thought. Cleaning, laundry folding and dishes are all good options. This is also a form of meditation and allows yourself to become more grounded and centered.
Grounding and centering were the first lessons my elder, the Rev. Foxxy (Sher) Pullen in Three Fires Grove taught us. First we learned about grounding and then how to center. We went through the same guided meditation twice adding to it the second time. We first went through half the tree meditation focusing on grounding. The next lesson was a full tree meditation, which included centering.
If you are able to get a way, the beach — the ocean with its waves can be very grounding. Finding your center there could be very easy. Well, easy if you are a water baby like me that is. Another way is just walking around barefoot in your backyard. Working in your garden can do the trick as well.
These are my ways that I learned and know firsthand that they work. The way to do it doesn’t matter, what matters is that you find a way that works for you. There are many ways to ground and center. These are just a few of them.
Remember too, familiarity makes it quicker initially, but if your method becomes too automatic, it may not serve. This is the point at which you may need to try a different method a few times. Alternatively, deliberately take yourself though your usual method at the speed at which you learned it. Making grounding a conscious process again will often give you a better result than the ‘auto-grounding’ you had been doing.
It is important to do something daily, maybe twice a day, to keep yourself grounded and centered. You will feel much better and easily be able to take on more tasks, with far less stress. Additionally, if you do it before bed you should be able to sleep better.
See also: A clear concise intention is vital for spells and life