The Importance Of Being Centered In Times Of Chaos And Discord
The importance of being centered in times of chaos and discord
Energies seem to be swirling around at an unprecedented pace…relationships, health, community, work, political, social, local, global. If you are not feeling them, you are either very, very fortunate or very isolated. I honestly do not know anyone who isn’t feeling upended in one or more aspects of their life.
As we have just passed a marriage milestone…10 years as of 7/18/18…Leonardo and I were recently talking about how much we have weathered as a couple…and while we have made it through (with flying colors, I might add) situations that could have torn our relationship apart, they did not. So, with that backdrop, we had a good conversation about the pace and nature of current circumstances and how to navigate most gracefully and effectively.
I read to him a few passages from a book I have been reading (a few pages most nights) for a couple of years. It is the diary of a saint, Maria Faustina Kowalska, who lived in the early 1900s. While her words are couched in the language of Christianity, if that is not your path, I think there is still value in considering their wisdom within the context of a power greater than our human selves…whether that is your higher self, The Universe, Nature, Source, Fate or any other divine, spiritual or supernatural ideology you subscribe to.
Here are some of her thoughts, as captured in her diary in the spring of 1938, shortly before her death.
O Christ, if You Yourself did not support the soul, how much could it do of itself? We are strong, but with Your strength we are holy…
And…The enemy’s greatest efforts will not thwart the smallest detail of what the Lord has decreed. No matter if there are times when the work seems to be completely destroyed; it is then that the work is being all the more consolidated.
I personally have felt torn apart by the misery and inhumanity of the treatment of those seeking asylum at our southern border. I was really struggling with the images and the feelings and reality of what was happening to these unfortunate parents and children. Reading and meditating upon her words “it is then that the work is being all the more consolidated” restored my sense of centeredness. This, in turn, allowed me to address, with renewed energy and purpose, my day to day responsibilities, as well as my broader responsibility to my fellow humans, and the treatment and condition of the Earth and all of her beings.
What does being centered mean? And, importantly, why does it help us “regroup” and renew our sense of purpose and hope? Interestingly, one of our students, Linda C., explored this in her Level 1 certification paper on Fir, Balsam (it is included in our book, Voices of Light, Voices of Love…Messages from the Plants and Trees). Here is a brief excerpt from what she shared:
Another time, while sitting with her [Fir, Balsam], she let me feel how it feels to have roots that go into the ground. This, too, was an amazing and new feeing for me. In many circles, one hears the words, “ground yourself.” Or, “you need to be grounded for this, so center your self and get grounded. By quieting myself, I thought I had been grounding myself. But all I really had been was internally less frenetic.
I felt, with Fir, Balsam, what it was truly like to be grounded. I felt connected to the earth, tightly connected to the earth, which was also providing food to me. I was separate, but I was not separate from the earth. I was held firmly and strongly to one place on the planet. There was no here or there to go to, or to wonder or worry about . This was my place to be and to know. No questions, no insecurities, just steadfastly anchored to this place on the planted. It was a strong, safe, contented feeling.
I had grown up in one town, moved to another for school, moved to another after graduation to look for a job, then back to another to look for another job. I had no idea what it felt like to be part of one place on earth. What a feeling of belonging.
So, from this perspective…from the perspective of a tree…being centered is about not being separate, about belonging. It is about not worrying, questioning or being insecure, but being accepting of what is and putting your heart and energy into doing and being your best in the situation at hand. It is also about trusting that the Universe is unfolding exactly as it should…which does not mean that you sit back and let things “happen” to you, but that you exercise your free will…one of the most important aspects of human existence…and become the player you were meant to be in the situation that is occurring within and around you.
As Linda C. profoundly experienced, tree essences are incredible at helping us to get grounded/centered…and to stand tall and find strength in our holiness and sovereignty. So essences like Fir, Balsam; Pine, Red; Spruce, White and Pine, Ponderosa can support us in finding our center (clarify beliefs; reaffirm core values, etc.) and acting purposefully from it. Root essences such as Spikenard, Vetiver and Angelica Root, are helpful, as well. Spikenard has the additional property of helping us tune into the unseen world, while Vetiver helps purify…releasing those beliefs or patterns that do not serve purposeful, centered living. And, finally, Angelica Root (botanical name, angelica archangelica…that gives you a clue), brings in the wisdom, protection and inspiration of the angelic realm.
So, let the current chaos and discord be the impetus to claim your divine purpose, and allow the essences to support you in meeting, and shaping, the challenges of these times with clarity and courage.
With Love, Audre