In Part ONE of this new blog series, I discussed this dynamism that exists within our environment. We as conscious humans are part of an instinctual energy that is everything. For thousands of years people have tried to put their finger on this source of energy. The definition of GOD is muddled with dogma and for many we live our lives just trying to keep our heads above water. In places like Staten Island people are probably questioning their faith – how can something like this happen to good people?

It is all pretty confusing and it can be easier to just tune out the static of this controlled chaos we call life and eat or drink our sorrows away. The Television becomes this escape from the mundane – and who can blame you – such vices bring immediate relief and respite. For many right now, they do not even have electricity to watch the idiot box.

But there is something we can do about it in the short-term and long-term.  It involves mindfulness. We must all strive to remain centered. Our thoughts and energy need to be firmly anchored in the present, away from thoughts of fear and fantasy; sans of ego and false-self. Earlier I asked you to imagine a circle. In the center of this circle is your True Nature – the source of self-actualization. On the edges of this circle prowls suffering born from our ego and its social trappings. Now, rooting your thoughts in the present is not going to bring immediate relief to the people suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. But such proactive thought processes will lessen the suffering. When we are centered, there is an acute level of clarity and awareness that allows us to find positivity and action even amidst challenges and suffering.  Being mindful of the present allows our inner voice to speak wisdom. Remaining centered is a constant journey that does not end until we exhale our last breath of oxygen from our lungs. Being conscious of where we are in our circle and working toward being centered is an extremely rewarding journey, even in early adulthood – even during times of hardship.

To be centered is to be relaxed and confident in one’s self. It requires each of us to stop what we are doing for as long as it takes to find our centers. It means focusing on something that comforts and relaxes us and allowing our bodies to accept positive energy from the environment, ridding us of the stresses and negative issues that plague our situations. Often times, focusing on our centers acts as a meditative diversion from the hectic world we live in. It may sound bizarre, but try to focus on a geological or scenic form in nature. It could be the group of trees that line your hometown, or a small stream that looks dazzling in the afternoon sun. Perhaps it is a far off mountain or an ocean, a lake or an endless horizon. It could even be the smell of pine trees or sage from a nearby field. The colors of Autumn? It could be a soothing melody or the memory of an intriguing conversation with someone. The idea is to take in this positive energy and let it course through your body and mind. Regulate your breathing so that you take continuous deep relaxing breaths and exhale all of the stress and negativity that looks you in the face every day. Try this several times a day for just a few minutes, and you will soon discover you have a fresher outlook on life. Once you are relaxed, confident, and centered, you can make better decisions in life that move you further and further from the edge of your circle. By focusing on being centered on a daily basis, you are creating a new sequence of events – Positive actions and thoughts that will return as positive reactions.

Being centered is a long road with a rewarding destination—Self-Actualization. You first must strip your mind of all preconceptions buried in the billions of neurons in your brain. Preconceptions and preoccupations are any number of issues that lurk in your mind and frequently cause you stress. Temporarily push aside these worries—your day at work, Hurricane Sandy; all the static around you. Visualize yourself alone, free of concern. Take your time; this needs to be a moment that is not rushed. Let your mind journey to the beginning of time. Establish faith in what you believe in and in what feels right to you as an individual. Praise yourself for the positive things that have transpired over the last few days or weeks. Think of those around you who have affected you in a positive way. If you get mentally sidetracked, be patient and start again. Once you feel comfortable, relaxed and centered, try to dissect the various elements of stress and unhappiness in your life and figure out why happiness sometimes eludes you. Certain aspects of this journey will take time.  Deep inner thinking is difficult and is a measured process that can be exhausting. But by performing these mental exercises, you will evolve as a human being and come closer to a new, meaningful way of living. With continued mindfulness in your own personal and emotional health, you will begin to better understand yourself and the world around you. Understanding why we are being dragged to the edge of the circle, will allow us to determine the best ways to tackle stressful and negative issues in our daily life. Once you put your finger on the source of negativity, you can make constructive changes to find your center again. By opening yourself to the healing qualities of positive energy, you are creating a positive medium for the future. Even in the busy world we live; complicated by career, family and personal issues, it is critical that we reserve time to find our centers and focus on being relaxed and satiated with positive mental and physical patterns of thought and actions.

My energy and thoughts go out those suffering from Sandy. The sun will shine again….


John C. Bader

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