So there I was in Pilates class last week, trying, for the umpteenth time to put myself into the Neutral Spine position. Put simply, it’s the perfect alignment of the natural curves of the spine and forms the basis of most of the exercises you do. Upright as well as prone. Everything flows from this alignment.
As I lay there, it came to me: I’ve heard this somewhere before! In Ignatian spirituality, when discerning the path through our inner movements: our emotions and moods, we talk about coming to a place of stillness and balance, to the still centre of our soul. Retreat leader and author Margaret Silf calls it our True North and uses the image of an inner compass. Then when we come to this place of stillness, through the practice of reflection and prayer, we’ll be better able to get our bearings and let God show us the movements of our heart.
This needs practice (just like finding neutral spine!) It needs trust in the process as we go through false starts, conflicts and movement from we think to sitting with the more daunting what we feel.
The following day, would you know it, there I was in an aromatherapy session when, during rather a lot of kneading and unknotting of my shoulders, neck and spine, the therapist mentioned the still point. Aha! I thought! Doesn’t this sound familiar?! Return to the still point, to neutral spine, to true north; the still centre.
At the still point of the turning world…there the dance is. (T.S.Eliot)
Is your inner compass pointing to true north?