I need to take a sacred pause, as if I were a sun-warmed rock in the center of a rushing river.
- Dawna Markova
I woke this morning, and for the past few mornings, unhinged, ungrounded, and untethered.
For you see, I've worked hard for years to prevent my day from beginning from this place.
It is a sucky place to be.
Nevermind no center, I had no ground.
I felt like I was sinking. My arms flailing to reach the surface. I fell back on old habits, like numbing, as I went through motions of my busy day. Those who know me, would probably recognize the vacant look in my eyes. A space I don't go to often. Like I've said before, I choose to dwell in joy (don't we all, but not easy as you're going through lots of transitions and growth). But as I've gotten more in tune with myself, I know how to meet my own emotional needs.
But nothing was working.
I just had to ride it out, surrender, and trust that new growth was taking place.
I was 23 years old in my first yoga classes when I heard the terms "finding your center" and "being grounded," and admittedly, at that time, I had absolutely no idea what that meant. But it took a running injury in my mid-20's (plantar fasciitis) for me to spend an enormous amount of time (a year and half before it healed) at Heartsong Yoga, (a lovely place in my hometown) learning what I needed to get grounded. It wasn't just my foot that was off center. I recognized my whole spirit needed an anchor. The yoga healed my mind and body, and it has been a big part of my life ever since. Of course, yoga is not the only way I find my center, nor does it always re-focus me. Much of my life "stuff" has needed more than just a yoga class, but like a big, deep exhale….it's always available. In truth, going to my edge has been the only way for me to find my true center.
We all find our center our own way, and it means different things to different people. When I'm grounded and centered despite what is going on, I am focused, I am light, and I am joyful. I'm just me, without all the extra layers of myself. No titles, no definitions. I'm just a loving person, that's it. I know who I am. That person is the most purposeful, so when I tap into her, everyone benefits. It's inner work that is the most valuable, especially as I start my day and go about living my life.
I titled this post 100 ways to get grounded, because some days I feel like I need A HUNDRED. I love lists, but I can't write that many. At this time, I can't separate my self-care list from my soul care list. For me, they go hand in hand. Of course, if we did all the self-care rituals we know, we could spend the entire day implementing them. Here, are some of my favorites, that I do regularly.
It's All about Finding Calm in the Choas." Donna Karan
Quiet | This includes journaling, meditating, or just putting my legs up the wall and breathing. It is probably the most difficult for me, and probably the one I need the most.
Clean | I clean and clean. If I am feeling particularly uncentered, I am cleaning like a madwoman. Nothing like clearing away the physical clutter to help the mental clutter.
Sisters | Seek support from my inner circle. Having the support of wise and wonderful women is my lifeline. As a friend reminded me, "A woman's medicine is another woman." (Sobonfu Somé)
Space | We all have very full calendars. I have started to schedule time with nothing. It is so liberating to know that we have a choice with what to do with our time.
Yoga | Of course, yoga can be placed in 1 or 2, but it needs it own space. Lately, I have been craving Yin Yoga. It is a more centering, quiet, meditative type of yoga that is very balancing when I feel too overwhelmed, too extroverted, and too disconnected (from my sacred space).
Pema | I have 3 copies of my little yellow book on my bedside, in my car, and in handbag. She is a like having the wisest, most loving mother always available. Pick up her books. They are deep, profound, and simple guides.
Root Veggies | This one I picked up from my dear friend, Janelle, who is a fellow Ayurvedic lover and educator. Ayurveda ("the science of life") is the sister science to yoga in India. It is an amazing body, mind, and spirit system that takes into account our constitutions, the seasons, and daily living. One day, when I was particularly ungrounded (they call it vata- deranged), she suggested roasting a whole pan of Root Veggies. It just makes common sense. Root veggies can ground us. It helps to have friends who remind us of the basics, when we're taking care of everyone and forgetting about ourselves.
Music | I listen to a soulful, heart lifting playlist. Snatum Kaur is my favorite. I also love Ajeet Kaur, Simrit, White Sun, Jai-jagdeesh, and so many others.
The Ocean | Really, is there any better place?
What does being grounded mean to you?