Recently, I found myself listening to Deepak Chopra’s “Becoming Present” on the Chopra app, and just by listening, I realized how much we are pulled away from the universal flow—that unfolding—the magic of every moment. Deepak’s words were saying, “You must be present to give and receive love.” Those words rang so true inside. It went deep into the core: I heard that to embrace life—I must be grounded—I must be present.
What Does It Mean to Be Grounded?
By the time I was formally studying Vedanta, I realized that grounding meant different things. One aspect of the practice involved touching the earth, which has dynamic energy and can allow you to center. Another aspect involved getting in touch with your essential nature.
I wanted to know more about both these practices. What I found out was that those people who seemed unaffected by life’s circumstances weren’t disconnected; rather, they had found ways to align with the parts of themselves that were unshaken. Maybe their interest grew out of a stressful event that created a disruption in their lives or maybe they were connecting to that mysterious unfolding. Either way, they were “letting things roll off their back.”
Getting Grounded Gives You Permission to Breathe
A stressful situation can be scary, but it can also be a doorway into spirituality. This year was filled with uncertainty. Understandably, many of us faced anxiety.
Leaning into Primordial Sound Meditation opened a new portal into understanding myself. When someone asked me what made me so calm, I was reminded that my self-care practices helped me remember the essence and unfolding of this experience. Whatever is in your field of experience is here to teach you how to return to yourself. Each moment presented me with a choice to become stressed out or surrender to the unknown mystery that permeates the universe. I chose the latter.
I have come to think that each of us has that special something inside that makes you curious … that makes you seek transformation and become present. Throughout the year, I heard from moms who found themselves in a unique position—working from one room in the house while kids were yelling in another—finding balance took on a whole new meaning. They wanted to become aware of how to be present for themselves and their families while at the same time cope with stress and overwhelm. As strange as this sounds, difficult moments can remind you of opportunities to:
- Perceive uncontrollable circumstances as part of a learning experience
- Embrace the preciousness of life
- Learn to embody reverence while going through massive stress
- Create the space for self-care practices and become more diligent about it being a nonnegotiable
Although becoming grounded makes sense, it hasn’t seemed clear cut. What I have come to remember is that the essential part of who you are is calm, even when an experience doesn’t illicit calm feelings. If you can stay open to the idea that calm is your essential nature, it becomes possible to reach for it, rather than resist it. Becoming grounded allows the opportunity to return to yourself. The way to be present to the moment is to simply think about the times you’ve surprised yourself by responding to stressful situations with creativity, loving-kindness, and compassion.
Building each of these moments opens you up to the possibility so that you can allow yourself to become grounded. As a therapist, these self-care practices have become a natural outcome of healing but talking about it to other therapists was considered “out there.” And as a woman of color, it seemed that speaking of eastern spirituality was a natural outcome—intriguing, yet not practical. When you are programmed to move from one activity to another and when you are taught to get things done, the idea of pivoting from conventional to conscious seems crazy. However, I’ve been firmly rooted in the idea that these self-care practices can not only save your sanity, but it is the missing piece that you’ve been searching for all this time.
How Getting Grounded Is Impacted by Making Conscious Choices
You might be asking how can you get grounded with so much going on? To answer the question means considering conscious choices. Although you may want to become grounded, you might not be thinking about conscious choices. Conscious choices are directly linked to becoming grounded. It requires conscious choice to realize what you can or cannot control from a place of compassion. It requires conscious choice to preserve your peace of mind. And it requires conscious choice to choose positive thoughts over negative ones.
Although it can take a bit of discipline, the rewards are mighty. Grounding yourself allows you to tune into what aligns with you and your highest good. That becomes clear when you start to lean into making conscious choices. It allows you to become present to your power in the here and now, rather than becoming fixed to the antics of the mind that leave you without choice about the past or future. Just the act of noticing makes you become aware of the experience, such as cooking or running. It allows this moment to be the single most significant moment. By doing so, it makes you acutely sensitive to the present as it shifts from moment to moment. You become the witness of that shift and the shift itself.
When you move away from the very act of trying to figure it all out or juggle a million different things, you become open to the possibility of something greater. Yet, the act of surrendering and granting yourself permission to let go can be challenging, especially when undergoing stress.
Each time you choose to return to the moment and whatever that moment might be presenting, you are choosing to be in the here and now and not become distracted by the past or future. This is not to say that you don’t consider your actions and the consequences on your future; rather, you become more tuned in to what is present in the now. Choosing the present moment allows you to have greater clarity. It is the practice of tuning into what each and every moment holds and unfolds for you.
Choosing the Present Moment
You can try it now: whatever you were thinking about from earlier in the day or evening is not in awareness in exactly the same way. Just leaning into the fact creates the space to become present here and now. Simply notice how many thoughts and ideas and emotions rise and fall. All the while you are still the one having all the experiences and are simply a container of it.
When I have offered this simple lesson, oftentimes, a student becomes aware that they are aware of being in flow and, at the same time, being in a state of rest. My hope is that you can lean into that which is innately your birthright—to be grounded no matter what is going on around you. And that you remember that you are grounded and in flow much as the universe is.
Begin your journey to becoming grounded today. Download the Chopra App for personalized well-being guidance you can access anywhere.