In your next breath…Come back to center!

On the aikido mat, when describing how to respond to an attack, our instructor reminded us that “center is the safest place.”  Throughout the day we can get triggered by conversations, by email(!), by deadlines, by traffic, by our coworkers, our children, or our spouse.  And suddenly we’re not our best selves.  Most likely we are taken off center in those moments.  In the face of our challengers, both internal and external, moving from center is a great resource.  I find that coming back to center for me begins with awareness and taking one breath.
So take a breath.  Be aware of your breath filling your belly and extending  your energy up and out like the branches of a tree.  And on your exhale notice your breath, like a ribbon of light, slowly circling through you and connecting you to the earth.  Notice the space above and below you and to either side of you.  Notice your center—a space just below your belly button.  This is base camp, this is home.  Practice asking yourself the question, what would it be like if I could have just a little more center in  my day?