Grounded

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“You are very grounded lately!” my friend Jennie remarked while we were texting about something mutually frustrating. It was nice to hear. I feel it, but it’s always good when someone else notices it, too.

I am grounded. Even with lots of complicated stuff going on in my life that could easily knock me off balance — and sometimes does — I feel pretty solid. I know that no matter what happens, I can handle it. I’ll be okay. Maybe even more than okay.

Here’s the thing I’ve learned about being grounded: It’s not as much of an effort as you think. Some effort and engagement are required, sure. But more than that, you just have to let it happen. It’s counterintuitive (like so much of life): You actually need to do some opening up and letting go in order to root down and find your grounding.

Here’s the best way I can describe it, courtesy of my yoga practice today and every day. When I lie on my back at the end of class in that final resting pose we call savasana, I always take note of my lower back, which more often than not is curved slightly up and away from the floor. I take note of it, and then I forget about it. I concentrate on my breath, noticing as it enters and leaves my chest. I feel the up and down motion, and I feel the support of the floor underneath me.

A few minutes later, when we start to come back to ourselves, I take note of my lower back again. Always, it has moved gently down to the floor, nice and flat against it. It doesn’t feel like an effort, and there’s no arching or straining at all. My breath and the support of the ground (gravity!) have helped it to release.

That’s being grounded. It doesn’t have to be forced: If you just slow down, let go, and breathe, it can happen.

Easier said than done? Yes. But still easier than you’d expect. And how comforting to know that just by breathing you can support yourself.

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