Wanting to be Centred All the time - good game, good game!

When I started training that both CE and aikido I wanted to get to that centred state and just stay there. I rather quickly found that I couldn't. I thought that this was because there was something wrong with me and if I just trained a bit harder, practiced for longer then I'd get there.

O Sensei, the founder of Aikido, is reputed to have said:
     "It's not that I never lose my centre, it's just that I recover it so fast no one ever notices"

I'd heard this and not really taken it in until Wendy Palmer connected some rather vital dots a few years into my aikido training...

Our bodies react to stress by firing the fight / flight / freeze response. This is done by the limbic system and is entirely automatic. It's like the blink reflex when something comes towards our eyes. This will cause us to tense up, in our very own unique pattern that we've learnt over the years and seems appropriate to now. If it wasn't automatic I guess we wouldn't react quick enough to genuine physical threat.

Although we have a favourite pattern in fight/flight/freeze, its not manatory! Sometime we might run even if we usually have a freeze response. My favourite is the freeze - not going back or forward, but staying on the spot trying to manage the incoming energy.

Under low level stress, such as someone's disapproval perhaps, the same brain system goes into play. Our muscles will tighten ready for action. We're into our stress response - we can't stop it happening.... Guess what - that means we don't get a choice about activating that pattern.

What we DO have choice over is how long we stay in that state.

As soon as we realise that we're stressed, we can use 4-part centring to come back to centre. Relax and come back home.

The 'as soon as you realise' here is the crucial part! For me in the past that has taken days and weeks!

A simple rule of thumb is centre every time you remember about centre, then centre! You are probably off-centre - no one has become over-centred yet! And it's such a lovely experince, relaxed, balanced and at home in our own bodies and space that why wouldn't we want to hang out there much more?