These are exciting times. Turbulent, chaotic, surprising and, yes, even joyful. The overall effect of living through the multi-layered experience of the Earth walk can leave one feeling unsettled and even a bit anxious. But if you choose to be awake for it, the question then becomes: How can I bear witness to all of it and not lose myself?
The only way that I have been able to prevent not getting swept up in the chaotic forces at play is to stay grounded. We hear about the importance of staying grounded a lot these days but what does it really mean? First of all, grounding yourself is a daily practice; it is not a one-and-done scenario. Because we are a species who decides what is “right” for us according to our values and beliefs, we can get really triggered and fearful if we are exposed to things, people and opinions that don’t jive with our values and beliefs. Although the frequency of the triggering-response matrix seems to be especially palpable right now, this has always been the case in human history.
About a month ago, I found myself reeling in my own reactions that were essentially my ego’s response to triggers. I know I am not the only one who is struggling with managing a more compassionate response to the ills of the world. I had to ask myself: Where is your center? I had unwittingly dissolved my energy and power by taking too much in and had to be reminded that the New York Times, Facebook, and NPR were not the only means of experiencing this world! I felt inner conflict about being perceived as irresponsible if I “ignored” the news. This drama was allowed to play out to extremes because I was not practicing grounding myself.
Everyone’s practice will look different, and if I were to break it down to its bare essence, grounding would be defined as simply staying in your body. There are a number of ways to stay in the body, including yoga, exercise (preferably outside), meditation, mindful walking. Dancing is also a wonderful and fun way to return to the forces within. Although it is very subtle, making something with your hands is grounding because it returns you to the mind/body connection and brings you back to the present moment. We are all creators! Winter is also a perfect time to re-ignite the flames of creativity.
If awareness of the body is grounding, awareness of the emotional body is also grounding. Grounding means staying connected to Source, to the I AM presence within. I believe we are a manifestation of Spirit, no more, no less than the Oak, the Grizzly Bear, the rainbow, the ocean. Because we possess consciousness, we can choose to amplify that Spirit within. A natural side effect of this recognition is feeling centered. Prayer, allowing yourself a good cry, feeling gratitude and even writing your dreams down are all potent practices which align us with the Spirit of All That Is. By your choice to amplify your connection to Spirit, you model the gift of being alive for others to witness.
This Yule season, take a few minutes (hours?) to sit quietly, light a candle and ask for guidance as to the best practice of grounding for you, something you can easily incorporate into your life. I believe there is an unknown, mysterious purpose behind the perceived chaos of the world. At the end of the day, the only deciding factor that ultimately creates your reality is how you experienced it all.