What is your work in the world? I notice many people asking this question in different ways. Some are literally looking for a job. Some are feeling the need to re-focus their work within a current job in a way that it is responsive to the changing environment. Others are responding to a sense that there is work to be done for our sisters and brothers and the planet, and trying to create their own job description in this larger work.
A common theme is people feeling stretched and challenged in our complex, intense and urgent times. Iâ€™m excited to see how many of us are risking thinking about ourselves and the world in a new way. I see people rising to engage with the world in a way that is more meaningful and effective.
It is also very easy to be overwhelmed by all the work there is to do. The enormity of the collective work to be done is profound.
How do you find the line between the collective work and our personal work?
Building on my recent post about the spiritual humility required to help us focus, I want to talk about how we return to our own selves in these times.
I have learned from my practice of Spring Forest Qigong that overwhelm is a sign that I need to strengthen my core. This area behind the navel, the lower heart center, is called the lower tan tien. It is the seat of our vitality.
Imagine that there is a light shining behind your navel. This is your lower tan tien. Breathe into it and picture it expanding. With each breath the ball of light grows until it is a glowing ball encircling your entire body. This image is how I remember the sphere of my being.
Sometimes I can be so off my center breathing and imagery donâ€™t get very far. This is when I find it very powerful to literally move my body to activate my core. Any dancing which celebrates the hips is great for this: African dance, hula, salsa, Middle Eastern, as well as many of the Romani (Gypsy) dances I teach.
There is an immediate benefit that comes from returning to your core. I experience it as feeling more grounded and a healthy differentiation from the environment around me.
It gets even better.
The lower tan tien is also the energetic seat for your life purpose. Master Chunyi Lin calls it the blueprint for your life. It is where we remember the questions that are the guiding themes of our lives.
Strengthening your lower tan tien helps you remember and activate your life purpose. As this inner intelligence is awakened you are guided into greater integrity. It may help guide you through the changes you might need to make so you are not repeatedly thrown off center.
This kind of attunement takes practice and is ever evolving. As we get more and more into alignment it gets easier. We will never arrive at a place where there is nothing left to discern or figure out â€“ thatâ€™s the adventure of it.
Can you feel what is yours to do?
When you take up your next task, do you feel clarity about what is yours to do? Can you sense yourself a single unit or cell of work that is in relationship to others? If you feel pulled outside of yourself or overrun, its time to pay attention to your center.
Tending our core vitality is some of the most important work for each of us to do because it makes us available for everything else. It will help you experience less overwhelm and more meaning in your engagement with the world.
I invite you to take three breaths into your belly right now. Do you notice the shift already beginning to happen?
Support for discerning how you want to engage during these transformational times.
I invite you to join me for a powerful deep dive to attune to your purpose and vision for your work in these times. Rising to Meet What’s Next half-day workshop on Saturday April 15. Read more and register.
Spiritual practices to nurture your core vitality.
Drop in any week to the Healing Waters Qigong practice group or Living Wisdom dance practice.