December 6 2005

December 6 2005
February 13, 2006 Ann Weiser Cornell

The Fastest Way to Get Back to Myself

All day long I encounter situations that need me to be in touch with myself. I need to be centered for a conversation with my daughter. Or I’m making a business decision–shall I offer a new type of workshop? Or someone I don’t know well asks me for a favor.

I want to be in touch with myself for such situations–knowing how I feel, what I want, how the other person or circumstance is impacting me.

I’ve found that the fastest, surest way to get back to myself, no matter what is going on, is to feel my body’s contact with what I’m sitting on. “Where’s the chair? — Ah, yes.” (If I’m standing, that would be my feet on the floor.) Next comes a deeper breath, a sense of being more deeply “in” myself. From there, it’s much easier to sense how I feel.

Finding the Chair

This “finding the chair” is also a great way to start a full Focusing session. You’re sitting down at a quiet time, either alone or with a partner. You’re getting ready to spend time with something problematic, maybe a tight stomach connected to an issue at work. Do you go directly to the tight stomach?

You could… but I’d recommend doing something else first. Before going to the issue you want to Focus on, first sense your arms and hands… what your hands are touching… your legs and feet… what your feet are touching… and the contact of your body on the chair (or sofa, or bed, or floor…)

As you take time to sense your body’s contact on what you’re sitting on, notice if that feels good. Usually, it will. Now, when you bring awareness to what feels difficult in your life, in your body, you’re coming “from” that larger sense of feeling connected, grounded, in touch. It helps the whole process go well.

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