Friday, January 18, 2013

Finding Our Centres - Tried and Tested Techniques for Family Sanity

Leading on from my popular post, earlier this week on the Sacred Art of Being a Parent, I want to explore in more practical detail the two parts:

Finding your Centre and Holding the Space 

over the course of a couple of posts, to bring them down from airy fairy concepts into practical, doable actions. When we have clear acts that we feel are within our grasp we no longer feel powerless, react badly and then suck up the guilt afterwards. 

What is "finding your centre"? I mean being rooted in a place of calm balance, where we stand in our own power, able to clearly give our yes and no. Where we feel unshaken, energised and respons-able, rather than reactive.When we find our centre, we are aware of our inner voice, as clearly as the outer voices around us. We can be guided by both. We honour ourselves, and the other, allowing a deeply nourishing relationship which does not place another's needs above our own, or vice versa.

Finding your centre, means, in its simplest form, coming back to relaxed (that means slow, from your deep chest/ belly) breathing, your heart rate is lowered, the stress hormones are not being released, your muscles are relaxed and your brainwaves are in their slower alpha rate rather than the faster, everyday beta brain waves.

How often are the words "finding your centre", or "centre yourself", accompanied by "meditate" or "do yoga"? Which is great if:
a) these are your thing
b) you have an established practice - which
c) you can sustain when you have children.

But I have found that neither works for me with lots of little people around. And if I try and get interrupted I feel double frustrated. So, I need acts that promote the same state of relaxation and flow, that change my brain waves, like meditation, but that can be done with children or when they are in the other room. (I go into the concept of flow and finding your centre in great detail in my book, The Rainbow Way)

So, ways that we have found, and regained our centres this week are...

Colouring mandalas ( I do this with my 4 year old a lot)
Drawing celtic knotwork (which I do by myself in my journal)
Lighting fires (which my husband and son particularly love)
Drawing (which my two girls love)
Making pots (which we all love, that's me making one there! It literally requires you to find your centre, as you stop the clay flying round the wheel and bring it under control).
Listening to music
Watching candles flicker
Slow, relaxing, soothing cooking
Walking slowly, meditatively in nature
A talking circle
Reading stories

How do you find YOUR centre? By yourself, or as a family? Do share your practices with us all, in the comments below.


  1. This is so important. My children love nothing more than us all drawing together.

  2. Fabulous post. Thanks Lucy x
    I colour in with my two little girls sometimes, and fined it soooo relaxing. I really must do it more often. I find that if i sit down and start something they will come and join in too, rather than say "Right lets do......!" Today I made a crocehted fish for my story telling bag. My two little girls watched in wonder as the yarn became the shape of the body, and the fins were added, and looked in in awe as I stuffed it with coloured wool, and they helped me choose which sequins would be best for eyes. They didnt interupt, they didnt hassle, they just watched. It was very nice to sit and do that with them around, instead of waiting to do it and getting frustrated by no doing it.

    I have some colouring mandalas on here somewhere, so will print some of those off tomorrow! even my 12 year old likes colouring those in!

    Love and blessings to you and yours


    1. Thanks Mrs T - love the sound of your storytelling bag! The colouring mandalas seem to be inspiring everyone!! I got them from

      Blessings back atcha!

  3. Lovely post! When you are truly centred, you can handle anything. It's also the most challenging thing, in my opinion, because it is the most central to our well-being.
    I loved your note on the pot-making. Great idea. The clay adds a very earthy element, too!

    I was raised by two parents who did Healing, Reading and Lightworker's work and we called it "grounding". They always taught me to visualise deep roots, like those of a tree, connecting my feet and first chakra with the earth. I've found it particularly helpful to visualise also clearing my aura, marking my boundaries with many roses, allowing my inner light to shine through, and gathering my own energy around me that I've lost to other people. It's a quick revitalisation visualisation that I do and it always leaves me feeling more refreshed and together.

    As a relatively new reader I would just like to say hello, too :) Thank you for all that you share! I found you through your wonderful articles on tinybuddah, and have since purchased "Moon Time" (a signed copy through the amazon marketplace, which I am really happy with!) which could not have come to me at a better time; and I proceeded to read and learn so much more on your blog and the inspiring women you link to! Your warm, mother-like and female energy is very empowering. All the inspiration has led me to jump in myself and start sharing more deeply and voice my thoughts on my own blog, which is something I've wanted to do for a time. My profound thanks for your being here. :)

    1. Oh Iris, Iris,
      Your comment popped up just at the end of a very long, very hard day and it brought me to tears - thank you for taking the time and sharing your genuine appreciation of my work. I am glad to have inspired you... am heading over to your blog now to see your work.

      Big blessings

      And note to readers - YOUR comments really can make someone's day, change their lives, share the love - so SHARE YOUR VOICE!!

  4. I love this! Did you know I wrote a whole series on this topic?
    here's something similar:
    - with kids:
    - herbs and supplements for moms who suffer on a permanent basis:
    - self care:

    Did you know I started a journalling group? Since you're already journalling, you might want to join us? We do it every friday... Maybe we can discuss a guest post in this series, for you to share your experience

  5. I had no idea, am heading over to check them out right now. Thanks for the Journalling invite, I saw it mentioned on the parenting bloggers group and it piqued my interest, but I am SOOOO over committed to stuff right now. Let's talk guest posts soon. X



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