My coach, the late Doug Silsbee, was a big fan of what he called “centering practices.”
While I had been a long-time meditator when I came to Doug’s Presence-Based Coach training, other than occasional yoga, I had not done any body-based practices.
Doug and his partner Bebe Hanson taught this practice, based on Doug’s learnings from a qi gung master, to everyone in their advanced coach certification program. I now share this practice with all my clients, as well as shorter practices that you can do at your desk or in a meeting.
I find that a consistent centering practice enables me to come into the present moment more powerfully than anything else I have tried.
The full practice
Here’s the full practice—
A version you can do at your desk
If you just have a couple minutes and you find yourself going into a stressful meeting or phone call, try the following:
First, sit straight and yet relaxed. If you can, close your eyes but this is not required.
Inhale through your mouth and into your belly. Visualize energy coming up through your feet, seat, and spine and out through the top of your head. If you are alone, you may want to use your hands to “lift” the energy much as Doug does in the full practice above.
Exhale through your nose. Visualize energy going from the top of your head down you spine and seat and feet deep into the earth below you (even if you are in an office building and the earth is several floors beneath you). Again, if you are alone, you may want to use your hands to “push” the energy down into the earth.
Do this for even a minute and I promise you will feel different. You will actually be different, because you will have begun to deactivate the sympathetic nervous system, where we all go when we are under stress. And the less we are in “fight or flight,” the more present and connected and creative we can be.