~ Keanu Reeves
A tree fell in my yard yesterday. It was a tall one—at least thirty feet tall. Luckily, it is leaning on two other trees that somehow hold its weight. It was a resilient soul, growing from a rotted out stump that held it’s sibling who fell over twelve years ago. This sentinel held true through various storms of wind, snow and rain, but today it lost its stronghold and I will soon have to say goodbye.
One of the most frequently asked questions by clients is “How can I stay grounded when the world around me seems to be falling apart?” Our accessibility to news, the current political climate, changing weather patterns, ongoing violence, natural disasters, Hollywood crime, pandemic health concerns, a fluctuating stock market and so much more can leave us feeling unsettled and lacking the solid hold we wished we had on life. Unless we actively work on staying grounded, we will undoubtedly remain unsettled and unable to comfortably manage day-to-day concerns.
Our soul—the essence of who we are—tells us when our human condition overwhelms and misaligns us by creating a sensation of stress, anxiety, depression or another mental health concern. As a modern society, we are still taught that these are “bad” reactions to unsettling events, but in reality, these are messages from our soul that something needs attention—something needs to be grounded in order for us to lift our spirits and fly.
Getting grounded means to make a conscious connection between your self and the source of your life force energy. Nothing outside of you can fully ground you, it must come from within. No job, significant other, child, hobby, alcohol or anything else external to us can realign our lives. We must allow our souls to guide us back to center to continue on our evolutionary path.
Groundedness is always a part of the soul’s evolution. Following are several tips to help you stay spiritual and grounded even when the world around you seems unsettled.
- Breathe! The simple act of focusing on your breath can not only slow it down, it can send signals to the brain to help you relax. Try this: Take a slow, deep breath in as you count to four, hold the breath for a count of four, then release slowly while counting backwards from eight to zero. Repeat this as many times as you need to feel more connected with your inner ally.
- Focus on the present. Research indicates that only 10% of us think about the present, while nearly 40% percent worry about the past and approximately 50% worry about the future. By practicing presence, we can more realistically assess our situation at hand and respond to events rather than react to them. This presence paves the path of the soul and ensures alignment along the way—especially when the human condition is trying to get you down.
- Spend less time watching the news. The very last thing we need to do is listen to more news. Social media has created an urgency to receive information as fast as we can, but it doesn’t always fact check what is real. It also often dramatizes In order to stay informed about life, all you really need to do is read or listen to the headlines. In most cases, the details are only peripherally helpful in building the big picture, but they are often immensely draining if over-indulged.
- Hug a tree. While it might not be necessary for you to actually hug a tree, doing something in nature always soothes the soul. Digging in the dirt, cleaning out a garden, trimming some bushes, even simply taking a short walk will help you feel more grounded and balanced.
- Ask yourself, “What can I learn from feeling unsettled?” As mentioned in my book Soul Health, I point out that emotions are cues for us to discover what is unbalanced or misaligned in our lives. We wouldn’t be uncomfortable unless there was something to address and this discomfort is our sign that we could consciously evolve if we take the time and effort to do so.
The best way to remain afloat in any life challenge is to determine what you can learn from your situation. When we feel we are gaining something, our souls relax. However, in many unsettling situations, we get mired in our thoughts and worries rather than step into an observant role which would help us identify what is stirring within. Take a moment to explore what needs work as well as any resistance to changing your life.
- Do something that feeds your soul. This year clients know that I am pushing them to find what brings them joy and also to intentionally set time aside to participate. All work and no play really does take a toll on our soul health. In many ways, we have come to value exhaustion over joy. Because modern living has disconnected us from our souls, we have also forgotten that its most natural state is that of joy, itself!
When was the last time you did something fun, creative, or enjoyable just for the sake of doing it?
There are many things to learn from those unsettled thoughts and feelings. Our soul health depends on our willingness and ability to become conscious of what our inner ally needs in order to thrive. See what you can discover.