In my last blog, I told you that we’d spend some time together to get you into the groove of making your dreams come true with the “Live Your Dream” five-step recipe.

The recipe’s as easy as a store-bought pie. (Couldn’t resist putting in a little Southern saying for y’all down south ;)).

The hard part is when you actually decide it’s time to mix up your own ingredients and do the work yourself because let’s face it, we don’t get to go to the store and buy a ready made life! That involves some work—at least if it’s going to be the kind of life you’re really interested in living.

So, first, we talked about relaxation. And as much as you and I might like to think of relaxation as putting our feet up, hitting the buttons on the remote and letting our wine breathe along with us, that’s not what I was talking about. As I explained, true relaxation really means unplugging; it means stopping and simply being in the moment—completely present in that moment.

The second ingredient (or step 2 for those of you who like numbers) is to get yourself centered.

I fully realize that when I say, “sit down, bring your attention back to center,” you might think I’ve taken a leap off the woowoo bridge but stay with me for a minute here.

Relaxation is about reclaiming your mind and time.

Getting centered is about owning your energy and thoughts.

I work with so many clients who are highly sensitive. People who are highly sensitive sometimes have a hard time with this—okay, a lot of times. Because if you’re highly sensitive you pick up energy like nobody’s business. The good, the bad, the wonderful, the horrendous… well, all of it!

If you’re on social media at all, you’ve probably seen pictures and memes that talk about getting rid of negative people and decluttering negative things from your life. Of course, that’s great advice, but way easier said than done.

When you’re centered, you’re self-aware. You can tell when you’ve taken on someone else’s clutter. You can sense when your own emotions are threatening to hijack the bus and throw you off-kilter.
So the question now becomes “how do you get yourself to that beautifully centered/self aware place?” The quick answer?

You pay attention; you pay attention to yourself.

So let’s say you walked into a shopping mall (even though you usually don’t go anywhere near malls because they’re way too charged for you), excited about finding the perfect gift for your friend’s birthday. You walk in feeling happy, smiling at other shoppers and sales clerks.
You go into your first store and no one offers to help. “That’s okay,” you tell yourself. “I didn’t see anything I liked anyway.”

At the second store, a shopper is arguing about a refund with the manager.

Then, near the food court, a throng of teenagers is hanging out. They’re all on their phones; none of them is actually interacting with each other. You feel sad.

Suddenly, you’re not having so much fun anymore. You walked in feeling great and now all you want to do is crawl under a rock. You hope your friend’ll be okay with the gift card you’re going to grab before you go because that’s about all you’ve got left in you at this point. Your energy has tanked and splattered.

When some of my clients start working with me they can rattle off all kinds of day-to-day scenarios just like this one.

Each one of us has days that are filled with energetic glitches and obstacles (big and small). And to boot, we never really know when they’re going to hit. When you aren’t centered and one of these glitches hits, you slip into reactive mode. And reactive mode isn’t a fun place.

The dread that starts to spread in the pit of your stomach lets you know in no uncertain terms that you’re off-center. And then to make matters worse, if you don’t catch it and start tending to yourself, you start reacting to your reactions. And once you’re reacting to your reactions, you know you’re in trouble. It gets worse and worse and worse until you’re reacting to everything.

So, as soon as you realize what’s happened, you’ve got two choices:

1. Get defensive, defeated and depressed and let the whole process pick up speed and get further out of control.

2. Get centered.

I’d opt for 2 in a heartbeat. Maybe even ½ heartbeat.

Getting centered means that you notice how you’re feeling; you acknowledge it. You realize that you’re in reactive mode. Just notice. No judgement. No self-bashing; just noticing.

Then calm yourself with a few deep breaths. Accept that you have the choice to react or to stay-centered. And then put on your raincoat (not literally of course!).

Now if the first time you’ve ever tried to get centered intentionally is in the middle of a reactive storm, I’ll let you know right up front that that’s going to be hard. It’s way easier to find your way down a well trodden path than it is to forge a new one in the middle of a tsunami.

At its core, staying out of reactive energetic maelstroms is all about getting centered which means preparing yourself for potential bad weather. It turns out there’s something to that old motto of “be prepared.”

This doesn’t mean you run around scared of what might happen at every turn. What it does mean though is that you have a daily practice in place that brings you back to center, over and over again.

Then with time, being centered becomes a familiar state of being. It becomes your homebase.

Sometimes staying on homebase is super easy. You don’t have to work on it at all.

Sometimes, you’re just flowing along in a naturally happy place. You fall in love; have a great weekend; spend time in nature; cannon ball off a dock into a lake. Nothing gets to you when you’re in this kind of flow. These are the “nothing’s gonna get to me” mindset kind of days. It’s a wonderful place to be and by all means revel in it when it happens—roll around in it like a pig in mud and amplify it. It’s good stuff. These are the times that naturally raise your energy. You might get so high that you feel like you’re flying! (Balloon to the Moon, anyone? ☺)

But gravity’s pull is tremendous and so you need to also be able to shape shift your energy on purpose. Intentionally. Being naturally centered because your world is “behaving” is awesome. What’s a little trickier is getting centered when your world (internal and external) is out of whack.

Being centered helps you keep your energy more balanced. It helps you clear your energy when you’ve picked up stuff that’s not yours. It can get you to a place where your energy is up more than it’s down and that’s when you start being able to see your path more clearly and start realizing your dreams.

Energy is everything.

Putting on your raincoat when a storm’s coming is just plain ole smart. You know you can handle the rain. You know you can get through it. Keeping your energy level up is how you handle the emotional storms that strike.

I believe that everyone needs some kind of energy elevation practice.

This is a time in the morning to take your energy temperature, so to speak. Are you cool and managed or hot and heated? Think of things you can do that will help you feel good and get your energy levels up. Don’t overthink this. You can take a walk, say a morning prayer, journal, enjoy a cup of coffee, or spend a few minutes with a spiritual reading or music.

The only job you have during this time is to focus on your energy.

Your homework for this week will help you do that.

1) First, part of getting centered is to shake off the energy that doesn’t belong to you. Literally. Stand up and shake it off. Picture a huge hairy dog like a Saint Bernard who’s just stepped out of the ocean, shaking the water right off her back. It’s a whole body shake. 100% in kind of shake.

Now it’s your turn to do a Saint Bernard shake with the intention of shaking off what’s not yours. Really, I’m serious. Try it.

2) The second step is to sit, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths all the way down to your toes and say a little prayer or mantra. It could be something like, “I’m releasing any energy I’ve picked up that’s not mine and I’m calling any of my energy that I’ve let go back.”

You might even want to imagine a little lamppost in the center of your mind, on your forehead, right behind the spot between your eyes. Breathe deeply and intend to claim your energy. Imagine that lamppost light has gotten very dim and as you clear it and shine it up, the light is getting brighter and brighter.

Try to make this a morning habit. How you start your day sets the tone for the day ahead. If you start off on the wrong foot, it’s almost guaranteed that it’s going to keep going deeper into “wrong foot” territory.

Last week, your assignment was to schedule some relaxation time (even two minutes) in your calendar. Did you do that? What differences did you notice?

And this week, your mission is to catch your energy at least once before it skids off the rails. Catch it as you’re just about to pick up stuff that’s not yours or nosedive into some internal negativity soup and practice getting centered.

These practices, relaxation and getting centered, can bring some pretty major changes. Leave me a comment below and let me know how it’s going.