My life has been one long journey from flighty to grounded. Left unattended I have a tendency to float – a trait born of illness in my family as a child. In those days I never knew what each day might bring – so becoming uber sensitive and ‘floating above’ were fine traits for observing and preparing to react. Survival skills.
These same skills were helpful in long years of hospice work. The sensitivity would resonate with subtle changes in my patients as they were detaching from their bodies. It allowed a sort of companionship and reduced their fears. I learned it was important to intentionally ground myself when they transitioned so that I would stay put and not float away.
Eventually when I became emotionally exhausted with waves of loss in my family I found comfort in gardening which for me was “playing in the dirt” – one’s hands on the ground feeling the earth’s stability. This passion remains important to me.
My horse helps ground me also. She demands undivided attention, total “being in the moment.” If I approach her in flighty mode, anxious about something else going on and distracted, she will stomp her feet, swing around and think about kicking me. She demands I have my feet squarely on the ground so we can tune in to each other. Then we both relax.
- In the dictionary ground, grounded, or groundedness speaks to
- A solid, firm surface
- A foundation or basis of belief
- A conducting connection between an electric surface and the earth
- To put out of action
- To be steadfast
- I like the notion of “energy connected to the earth” as it implies tapping into something so much bigger for strength. “To put out of action” seems to invite stillness which for me is an essential ingredient for appreciating kairos.
I expect I will forever have to reinforce groundedness because flightyness results almost instantly when I am frightened or at all anxious. For now I restrict floating to my dreams. It is there that I can fly easily and am certain that I was a bird in another life!