A 7-Step Practice to Help us Return to Center during Times of Uncertainty

Any event that shows up in life with uncertainty brings with it a surge of energy.

As mammals, we have used this extra energy to survive and ultimately evolve throughout history.

It can be felt as creative energy, but can quickly build up and begin to feel like pressure expressed as agitation, anger, and an overall sensation of stress and anxiety. This yang energy has an upward-moving flow and is the same energy that helps sprouts move up and out of the ground.

Although this energy has proven to be beneficial to survival in the past, today this excess energy immediately moves us out of a place of familiarity and shifts our energy out of balance.

During the past months, each one of us has been dealt circumstances that have tested our balancing skills. Notice for yourself if you have been able to successfully flow with, redirect, or transform this excess energy as you’ve come into contact with it. For many, the past few months have been a series of ups and downs, bringing in deep fatigue and unclear communication. There has been little clarity, and our entire being has been put to the test.

Whether we are feeling the crunch of a transition from one meeting to another, a tough phase in life, or a seasonal shift, we ought to notice how our energy is affected and how we can begin to support ourselves.

Throughout time, nature, movement, and breath have been simple, free, and accessible ways to soothe and balance the overwhelming and sometimes paralyzing effect of life’s unexpected challenges that inevitably arise. Chi gung, tai chi, and meditation offer beautiful practices inspired by the ways of nature. The key is taking time to slow down to begin to notice nature’s teachings.

Think of the rhythmic pulse of how each day seamlessly moves into night, and how each season transitions from one to the next without interruption. During any transition into a new reality, the passive yin energy of the existing routine gives way to the active yang energy of the arising new reality. With the bubbling up of this powerful energy, thoughts and emotions tend to become more active, and the inner pace of processing and thinking begins to pick up.

With the disruption of the existing daily routine and way of being, the mind automatically goes into a state of problem-solving, creating the sensation of “overdrive.” In an effort to “keep up,” it is common to feel overwhelmed. It is in these challenging moments of overwhelm that the ancient practices extend the most healing and accessible support. 

I have leaned on the below practice of returning to my center too many times to count, and I have found, time and time again, a pleasant and quick shift to balance and clarity.

I offer this tool to you as a way to receive support in making your way back to your center—the place where you feel at home and most like yourself.

Take a moment to create a quiet and uninterrupted space for yourself. Take a deep breath, and settle your energy and calm your mind with this simple chi gung practice below:

Return to Your Center.

1. Practice settling your energy. Feet hip-distance apart, relax your arms by your side. With a soft gaze, take slow, steady breaths until your energy settles.

2. Inhale, and let your arms flow out to the side and overhead, with palms to the sky.

3. Turn your palms as you slowly exhale your hands down the front of your body. Allow the passing of your hands to clear your mind, and feel a wave of calm wash over you.

4. Repeat with slow and steady breaths three times.

5. At the bottom of the third exhalation, pause with your arms by your side, and feel your energy settle.

6. Inhale hands to your heart center in Anjali mudra (prayer pose) and relax your chin to your chest.

7. Take a moment to connect with the part of yourself committed to your personal healing and offer deep gratitude.

I hope you enjoy this practice and benefit from its simplicity and immediate sensation of relief as I do.

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