When we talk about being centered, we just instinctually get what it means. Being centered makes us feel like all parts that make up the Self (and beyond) are in balance. The center is a place we intend to go to when we meditate or practice mindfulness. And of course, it’s a core concept here at Silent Mind.
Is being grounded any different? While we may hold fast to our own individual definitions, being grounded can take things a step further. In fact, centering yourself is necessary for grounding. From the center, we can ground ourselves by maintaining equanimity in the present moment, no matter what’s happening.
Equanimity is basically defined as composure. It’s allowing things to be the way they are. On cultivating equanimity, Pema Chodron says, “Training in equanimity is learning to open the door to all, welcoming all beings, inviting life to come visit.”
Grounding takes courage and practice. It’s never easy to look fear in the face, invite it in, get to know it, and accept it for what it is.
Are You Grounded?
How do we know if we are grounded at any given moment? To start, we can identify the signs that say we aren’t.
The biggest among these is a sort of disorientation. It’s suddenly snapping into the present moment and wondering where the hours have gone. It’s being so busy that we can’t remember if we’re coming or going.
Lack of focus is associated with this. Finding yourself unable to complete tasks or follow through with plans may be a sign you need some grounding. Because your present instinct is to be in constant motion of some sort, it’s hard to stay in one place.
And you collect everything along the way. You may shop compulsively, hold grudges, hang onto every worry, or obsess over making money. While questioning things can be a positive attribute, you find yourself questioning it all, certain of nothing.
Finally, all of this adds up to trouble communicating. You might find it hard to grasp what someone is saying to you, and it’s even harder for you to verbalize your own thoughts and feelings.
How to Get Grounded
Being ungrounded might feel like your default state right now, but it’s by no means a permanent condition. There are dozens of small ways to gradually ground yourself.
It can all start with a singing bowl, naturally. The simple act of carefully remaining present with the ringing of a bowl is a mindfulness moment that’s accessible to anyone.
Many people turn to nature for grounding. A change of pace may be all you need to come back to your center and find the sort of peace that allows you to stay rooted in the moment. This is especially important for people who spend their days at a desk, or are always surrounded by cityscapes.
But grounding is still totally available to those who aren’t feeling outdoorsy. Mind-body activities like yoga can target a grounded way of being. Sometimes, giving your body what it needs is a good way to ground. Let more natural sunlight into your home, prepare your own meals, and eat them slowly. Take small breaks from work, emails, and your phone to sit and do nothing.
You can also carry around an object, like a small piece of quartz, to remind you to stay grounded in the moment.
What does being grounded mean to you? How do you bring yourself back down to earth when things spiral away from the present? Share your own ideas below.