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Monday, July 21, 2014

Being Grounded

Disclaimer: Today's post is brief; I just let the day go by in "grounded-ness".

One of the things I really enjoy about participating in various LinkedIn Groups are the questions people post.  I like that people actually want the answers to the questions.  I like that other group members take the time to post thoughtful answers.  I especially like that other group members take the time to read the answers others have posted.

There has been a question circulating for a while now, and I've wanted to respond to it, I just keep getting side tracked.

A simple definition:

The question asked is "What does being grounded mean to  you"?  There is, of course, the "dictionary definition" of being grounded and I think the following explains it quite nicely:  Being grounded means being fully conscious and fully present in the NOW moment.

My opinion is that although the definition is simple, the actual method or methods of keeping oneself grounded takes focus and definitely takes care. By care, I mean taking responsibility for your own "grounded-ness".  It's easy to read a few trips and ideas and adapt them as your own, but becoming grounded means you need to have a real conversation with your "soul self" to know what it is you need to actually be grounded.  

How do you know what you need unless you examine that which is keeping you from grounding yourself?

What keeps me grounded:

  1. Taking time first thing in the morning to look out my window and absorb the sunlight, or to watch the raindrops falling from the sky.  Some days it is just an acknowledgment that the night has ended, and it's overcast and humid outside.  It the placing of my presence in the day.
  2. Believe it or not, the aroma of freshly brewing coffee.  That alerts me to the upcoming day in the way a buzzing alarm clock never could.  That distinctive aroma makes me aware of how I am moving, if I am experiencing pain, if I am still sleepy and that the day is most definitely beginning for me.
  3. Our dog Mollie.  You have to be in the present when you care for an animal.  Every day begins the same for your pet, every pet has it's own wake-up ritual.  Once you are made aware of the ritual, it varies little.  No matter what you do, what you wear, how you feel, your pet needs your attention, and that never changes.  Our pets' rituals become added to our own.  I am especially aware of this because my husband is the one who deals with Mollie's morning rituals, unless for some reason he is unable to do so, and then it becomes a ritual I need to add to my own.  Believe me when I tell you how grateful I am that he is her #1 person!
  4. Prayer.  Prayer is a wonderful tool for keeping grounded.  You cannot pray without being in the moment.  
  5. Nature.  Birds singing, sun shining, rain falling, seeing my breath on a chilly morning, the scent of coming rain, the sound of the wind rustling the leaves, the feel of snowflakes on my eyelashes:  you need to be aware in order to hear or feel these things.
  6. Simple, minor but necessary chores:  making the bed, washing dishes, folding laundry.  I call them mindless, but these little chores are a mental break in a stressful day, and a chance to connect with the world around me.  
There are innumerable occurrences throughout the day that will take my focus, when I find myself totally unobservant of anything other than what I am thinking or doing for work.  When minutes and hours disappear into the endless void of busy-ness, when I feel flattened by stress or frustration, when the day suddenly seems to grind is when I know I need a "ground check".

It is when I "surface" for air, and I feel disoriented because I have been so focused on a single task; when I have to unbend in stages to rise from my

desk chair...that is when I know I need to feel grounded in order to go on.

I know I feel like a complete person when I take the time to be in the moment.  Being grounded, and grounding myself is what allows me to continue day after day.  Taking the time to become grounded each day is what gives me hope and inspiration.  

Call to action:

What is it that keeps you grounded?  I would very much enjoy reading your comments.