Return to Center – Mindfulness Focus Words

Posted by on Aug 7, 2017 in Mindfulness | 2 Comments
Goji Berry - Return to Center

Goji Berry Sprig



Return to Center – this week’s mindfulness focus was inspired by my tiny goji berry plant that is not actually dead. Denver was brutally hot the weeks I was away.  And when I returned all the leaves had shriveled and fallen off.  I chalked it up to one more sad thing.

But this week I discovered tiny green shoots at the base of the plant. So even though it appeared dead, it is still alive and regenerating from the roots.  The goji reminded me of what plants do when faced with assaults – conserve energy, sacrifice the top of the plant if needed, and try to keep the the core alive.  It’s  a kind of hunkering down, a return to center.

Returning to Center During Difficult Times

There has been an avalanche of bad news the last few weeks… many deaths in my circle of friends and family, and other losses and challenges.  While life is usually a balance of good and bad, the scales lately have tipped very much to the negative side.

Grief has taken a toll on both energy and focus. So I’ve been thinking about “return to center” from my human perspective.  What might it mean to conserve energy, hunker down and return to the core of being?  The focus this week is on being mindful of the center of my being and what is needed to sustain it.  As a start, it seems wise to attend to the most basic practices, like awareness of breath throughout the day.  But I also want to be mindful of the things I need to let go of for the time being, sacrificing some leaves to keep the roots alive…returning to center.

For more information on my weekly mindfulness focus words experiment click here.

More information on goji berries

Goji Berries, Lycium barbarum, also known as wolfberries – are native to China, but can be grown in most parts of the US. The berries have been used as liver, kidney, and blood tonic in traditional Chinese Medicine.  Lycium has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol, strengthen capillaries, and lower blood sugar levels. The dried berries can be used like raisins (I put them in my oatmeal.) (Source: Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief, by David Winston and Steven Maimes)

Additional info on Goji berries from the Institute of Traditional Medicine Online



  1. Brook
    August 7, 2017

    Yes Joann and in that breath I find that if I let grief flow through me that I am able to find that center. I am sorry about your loss.

    • Joann Calabrese
      August 7, 2017

      Thanks Brook! It works when we work it. I know that. 🙂


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