The ebbs and flows of life are what make it truly magical. What I mean by that is, the falling, failing, learning, growing, and happiness we experience are all elements of this continuously changing life that brings us an array of emotions. But what is it that keeps us from going crazy during the highs and lows of life? It is the patterned consistencies that we naturally come back to that serve as a baseline for grounding.
What are some things in your life that have been consistent for years? Maybe it’s not something you do every day, but rather some actions you can regularly choose that offer you a good feeling. There are three rituals that always bring me back down to Earth in the midst of chaos and are crucial parts of a support system for my soul whenever I need them.
YOGA / STRETCHING
Doing something, like holding a pose in yoga, for a long time reminds you of where you are, where you’ve been, and where you know you can be. For example, I can always measure my current state of flexibility and strength by getting into a downward facing dog. I know what it feels like when I’ve practiced yoga every day for months versus if I haven’t stretched a pinky in weeks. When I practice yoga, I am reminded that my worth isn’t tied to my flexibility or how advanced I am in my practice; I have worth because I am here, breathing, in this moment. Taking the time to implement yoga into my life helps reconnect with myself no matter what chaotic phase of life I am in at a given moment.
Similarly, my spirituality is a consistent tool I use to stay level-headed and full. This isn’t the case for everyone, but the way I achieve a spiritual life is through religion. No matter how much time passes between services offer me what I need to hear. I have a new perspective each time I listen to a reading. Attending church usually reminds me that we are all love, and we should work to help this world embrace that truth. Spirituality can be practiced in a variety of different ways. Some seek spirituality through meditation, travel, movement, writing, art, and community. Regardless how one interprets spirituality, it can serve as a reminder that we all serve a purpose greater than ourselves, whatever that purpose is to you.
Let me preface this by saying, I am not a singer. Although, if you have ever lived with me, you very well know that this has never stopped me. It is nearly impossible for me to shower without playing my current music favorites and belting my heart out with the shampoo bottle in hand as a microphone. This is my form of meditation. It resets my mind, relieves stress, and brings joy to my life. Using the body as a vessel for art expression, whether it’s through your voice, performance, or design, is important for the creative human experience. Don’t let your perception of what is good or bad keep you from doing what you love to do. Singing keeps me grounded on a daily basis. It’s fun to see what our bodies can do. Who knows, maybe you’ll impress yourself!
The previous examples are consistent tools I use in my grounding practice, however they might not directly apply to your lifestyle. And that is okay. Find what works best for you. I’ve listed a few more ideas below to get the creative juices flowing.
Options for Grounding
Making a chicken noodle soup from scratch
Kicking around a soccer ball
Running a mile
Catching up with a loved one you don’t get to see often
Listening to a favorite album
Reading a daily book of guidance i.e. Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie
There is value in learning and adopting new calming habits when we feel overwhelmed, but there is also just as much value in repeatedly coming back to the habits that feel familiar and helpful to us. When your head is spinning and you feel lost in the chaos, start with a deep breath and begin your journey back down to earth. A sense of familiarity can be the little bit of comfort we need to keep going.