Grounded

Grounding is the sensation where one is certain. standing upon a solid surface, firm. I have been craving this sensation throughout my short adult life. I became a nurse with a solid job and finances. I had a girlfriend who I might have married. I had friends, and parties, and late night conversations that solved the worlds problems. I taught yoga, instructing others to find grounding, to push through their feet or hands into the ground to lift up. I had a vita-mix and juicer, made my own nut butter, ate organic. I rode a bicycle instead of driving to save the environment, and to brag about how tough I was biking through Chicago winters with 10” of snow and -24 windchill. I had a 401K with savings in the bank, investments, I volunteered and donated money from teaching. I had all of this and more like some TV infomercial yet I was still craving something more solid. 

Definitive. 

I wanted to stand upon certainty or safety and know that this is a solid surface. I knew grounding existed. I knew that a solid surface, a still point that I revolved around existed somewhere. I knew that I would find it. I had everything that defined success and grounding, yet I was far from feeling solid.

I left that life, or it left me. Either way, I didn’t know what a solid surface felt like, or what grounding, the still point in the middle was, but I had a dream. And every dream has moments of brilliance and disappointment, of challenges and success.

My WTF moment . . .

I’m living in LA, on a boat, in the marina. 

It’s hard to find some solid surface while living on the water, floating some 10 feet above ground, or 50 feet away from dry land.

Everything feels like it is so far away. The bank, the investments, the friends, the bicycle, the girlfriend, the yoga even. 

When I wake up in the morning and look out of the window the world is moving up and down, sliding back and forth. When a vessel comes along it’s wake sets off a ripple effect that I ride out. 

It’s hard to find grounding while living on the water because everything I thought about grounding was outside of me.

“Push through your hands, draw your navel in, squeeze the knees together, come up” 

Everything external. Everything surface.

Perhaps I didn’t feel grounded before because everything I thought about grounding was outside of me. Everything from the job, to the vita-mix, the savings accounts, volunteering, bragging rights, and organic foods. All surface, all outside, all for show. All supposed to be creating a grounded feeling, a sense of certainty. 

It was all taking me further from my center.

For many people these things do create the feeling of grounding a sense of security, having a house, having the car, the kid** (**Congratulations!!!! I’m so excited for you guys!!!) having a job, with the prestigious title, with the direct deposit, savings accounts, paying off student loans. For many this is grounding. I’m beyond delighted for you to have found it in these! Perhaps these have caused you to focus more internally. Perhaps these are your center.

For myself . . . Grounding, I’m finding is from within but I had to go and distance myself from everything surface, everything secure. The bigger picture, the sense of grounding, the solid feeling I’m finding is not defined by the little storms along the way. The vessels that come along and set off ripples that I ride out. Grounding is not defined for me by what things I have, who I can push against, who I can fall back on.

Grounding is inside me. 

It is actually easier to find my balance, my center point living on the water. I am forced to find my balance before getting out of bed in the morning. I know where my center is and where I am moving forward from.

Finding grounding was my dream. I thought I would find it in having, but it is without, distant from, floating 10 feet above the ground and 50 feet from dry land that I find grounding within. Within me. I had grounding with me all along.

Every dream has moments of brilliance and disappointment, challenges and success. The price we pay, the cost of following a dream . . .

I’m sorry if you got hurt along the way. I’m sorry if you thought I was depressed, unfollowed me, defined me, and judged. I was simply UNFUCKING myself. Finding my center point, my grounding within, removing the external, and riding out the ripple effect to know how to stand.

 

ASSIGNMENT:

GO UNFUCK YOURSELF. I have no idea how to actually do this. I have no idea how to do this without it being painful. I would love to know how because that shit sucks and I’d rather not do it again, but I’m sure I will. Your idea of grounding is different from mine, your center is different. Your path to finding it will be different, your course. 

For me it was following the path that I grew up believing, that everyone told me was leading me to grounding; the job, the savings, the vita-mix, and then being without. My center is my grounding, pushing from inside to lift up. No verbal cue, no yoga text book, no trip to an ashram, silent retreat, church. Those can, and do work for some. I had to go about it floating on a boat on the outskirts of LA. But if it wasn’t for the internal yoga, I may not have made any of these discoveries, or have been daring enough to brave it.