Overcoming Overwhelm

It’s as if an invisible force is taking over our civilization. A novel virus that can only be seen under a microscope has caused the human species to work together to ensure the health and survival of even its weakest members. In order to meet this challenge, we are rapidly restructuring the systems we depend on for our needs.

It may seem as if the earth is shifting beneath our feet, and it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the influx of confusing information. But if we take a moment to step back and look beyond our man-made systems at nature itself, we can see that everything tends toward harmony and balance, even amid rapid change.

Human beings are also part of nature, and when we connect with our own inner nature, we can make harmony and balance within us in any circumstance. Then, whether it’s an ordinary day or the middle of a crisis, we can remember the purpose of our lives and move toward that guiding light, in both small and large ways.

There’s a strong “pole” of energy running through the center of our bodies that connects to everything else in the universe. With our feeling and awareness, we can hold onto this pole and stay steadily centered within ourselves as circumstances change around us. However, it’s difficult to hold onto this pole when it’s covered with the grease of our preconceived ideas and pent-up emotions. When we see inside ourselves only through the eyes of our ego, we may not even realize we have a center to hold onto.

Energy Line Through Three Energy Centers
Energy Line Through Three Energy Centers

But by steadily washing away this “grease,” we can return to a state of “nothingness,” a zero point of calm from which we can see clearly. That clarity lets us watch the anxiety, sadness, and fear that may be inside and around us without being overwhelmed by them. Instead of floundering in thoughts and emotions, we can surf them like waves, keeping our heads above water. And we can hear our inner voice beneath those waves. That voice can lead us out of any crisis if we act on what it tells us.

That’s why I ask people to trust themselves, to trust their brains. That doesn’t mean trusting their thoughts, but means trusting their awareness of the central part of themselves and its connection to the greater universe. This awareness comes from their brain, and wisdom comes from this connection to themselves and all life. We all have brains, and we all have this wisdom.

How can we train our brains to be aware of our center line (pole) and keep it clear? How can we develop the ability to see the changeless amid changes? Although the answer involves our brain, it doesn’t involve thinking about it. We can change our brains through mindful physical training.

“Brain” Training for Staying Centered

Along the energy line through the middle of our bodies are three main energy centers. One in the lower abdomen, about two inches below the navel, relates to our physical power. One in the center of the chest relates to our heart power and emotional balance, and one in the center of the brain, around the pineal gland, relates to our brain power. Clearing and strengthening these three energy centers gives us a strong energy line and greater connection to ourselves.

Try these mind-body exercises for each energy center:

Lower Energy Center

exercises for the lower energy center
Stimulating the area on the front of our body near the energy center creates vibrations, and vibrations stir up any energy that isn’t moving freely—important for keeping the centers clear and strong. The vibrations also allow our brain to focus on that area. Energy concentrates wherever our awareness does, so if we want to give energy to something, all we need to do is focus on it. We can stimulate the abdomen below the navel by tapping on it with our fists or palms (Abdominal Tapping), by pressing on our navel with our three middle fingers or a tool (Belly Button Healing), or by pulling the abdominal muscles below our belly button in toward the spine and then out again (Intestinal Exercise). Abdominal Breathing—breathing so that our lower abdomen rises with each inhale and falls with each exhale—also concentrates our mind and energy in the lower energy center.

Middle Energy Center

exercises for the middle energy center
Tapping on the center of the sternum with our fingertips or knuckles creates similar vibrations we can focus on. The sound, “Ah,” also stimulates and vibrates the middle energy center (similar to the heart/fourth chakra). While tapping and saying, “Ah” with each exhale, listen to the sound and feel the vibration of your voice. Focusing on the sound will connect you more deeply to your inner essence.

Upper Energy Center

exercises for the upper energy center
Tapping all around the head with our fingertips stimulates the upper energy center. In addition to focusing on the vibrations this makes, add visualization and affirmations to the exercise. Imagine bright, golden light entering your brain from the crown of the head and filling every crevice of the brain, making it brighter and brighter. Say to yourself, “I love my brain. I trust my brain. I connect to my brain.”

Then draw a golden line of energy in your mind, seeing it go from the top of the head to the base of the trunk. Visualize it growing wider and brighter until it forms a column over your entire body. Imagine you are in a cocoon of love and support. Finish the meditation by sweeping your hands down the front of your body and then taking three deep breaths.


My heart goes out to all those overwhelmed by the current global pandemic, and to those working to recover from the illness and those caring for them. I send all of you LifeParticles, energy to help you move forward to health and happiness.


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