1. HAVING A SECURE FEELING OF BEING IN TOUCH WITH REALITY AND YOUR PERSONAL FEELINGS.
2. A FIRM FOUNDATION TO BE INSPIRED AND INSPIRE OTHERS.
Two weeks ago my Grounded class wrote letters of congratulations to Emily, who had just earned her White Bandana. She’s nine years old and lives in Atlanta. The kids in my class were amazed that at just nine she had achieved this. They were inspired. The letters they wrote were thoughtful, complementary and from the heart.
Let’s refer to the second definition of Grounded. Katie is in my Grounded class and has earned her Red Bandana. She is just 6 and only writes her name, but loves to draw and is quite an artist. She was not disappointed when the others wrote the congratulatory letters, because she sent an amazing piece of art. Let’s move to the very next week’s class. It was the day before Thanksgiving and she brought her friend, and they were the only two in class. After Katie taught her friend the Solid Ground Flow, we got out our gratitude journals. I was over the moon when I watched her write in her journal. I think the picture tells the story!
That’s what Grounded does. Emily in Atlanta was inspired to work hard for her White Bandana, my kids were inspired and wrote her letters of congratulations and Katie was inspired to WRITE. And I just realized I was inspired to write my first blog!
How will you inspire others today?
If you’re grounded and you know it, are you happy? Wait, that’s not the song! We know how it goes – sing along! “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands. If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands. If you’re happy and you know it then your face will really show it. If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands!”
Oh if only it were still that simple; being three years old, clapping your hands and squealing in delight! Those childish squeals, though piercing and impulsive, are actually a level of grounded that we adults seldom revisit. It’s that place of stopping to absorb the sense of being overcome with simple joy. Have you ever watched a toddler eat a lollipop for the first time? They are fully immersed in that moment of a new smell, taste, texture and color. The world around stops spinning so fast. The tot becomes quiet and focused on this one small delicious treat. Suddenly there is nowhere to be except right in that place exploring the new taste of blue raspberry without worry that a raspberry isn’t actually blue or sticky. That’s the grounded I’m talking about. Stopping. Looking. Wondering. Smelling. Tasting. Touching. Delighting! Somewhere along the course of toddler to teen to thirty-something, we lose that sense of simple joyous discovery and decide that having to stop means sacrificing happiness.
But how can being grounded make you happy, particularly if you are 16? Seems we are always seeking happiness with the go-do-have mentality. Let’s ‘go’ to another concert. I’m planning to ‘do’ the Peachtree Road Race. Can’t wait until I ‘have’ those new boots. So really the next verse could translate to “If you’re happy and you know it, buy new boots! If you’re happy and you know then your feet will really show it. If you’re happy and you know it, buy new boots!” No, no, no. We know that’s not the way it works. So what does being grounded mean, if not to lose all “happiness” associated with texting, Facebook, borrowing the car and shopping?
I have a yoga teacher who often suggests we imagine we’ve just been given this new body. Too old to give it go? I think not! Start with Solid Ground Flow. There you are: babies, dark seeds unaware of the light surrounding us. Security. And then we begin to get a little crowded. Let me just stretch out a bit. Wait. What’s that? A leg? Two of them! How do they hold us up? How are they connected? What makes them move? Explore the movement of these new legs. Where can they take me? What’s this flat thing attached to the bottom of each one? Curiosity. And being curious – well that’s YOGA. Oh, wait! Those flat things help me to stand! Well check this out! I am taller now, upright, a strong sturdy mountain. Suddenly there is so much more to look at! Discovery! Now fold forward and look back down at where you started. Geez. How’d everything get upside down? Perspective! What if I lifted up just a little…like a half lift… lengthened my spine and stared straight into the face of what’s in front of me? Courage! One leg back now, one leg forward; a straight leg lunge into possibility. I can do this! Empowerment! Both legs now- plank– I’m stronger than I thought! Straight lines of energy, nothing standing in my way! Stick my tongue out and roar! Share my voice. Confidence! LAUGHTER! Now this is a good feeling. Let me take a moment to thank this new body of mine, and the ground below supporting all of this – gently though, one knee-chest and chin at a time. Gratitude! Open the heart now into snake, fill up with joy and take in what is there. Radiate light from my center and share it with others! Compassion! Look back again for a moment in Down Dog. Rest there. Look how far I’ve come and how I was helped along the way. Deep breath. Surrender. Now, one step forward, straight leg lunge, firmly rooted back. Perseverance. And lifting halfway up to stare once again into what lies ahead. Hope. Forward Fold, did I do it? Am I ready for more? Can I continue moving through the hours of days, months of years, the circle of this life? YES! I can! Inhale and rise up, reach for sky and sing out from the top of this tall mountain. ELEVATION!
That’s what being grounded is all about. It’s not losing something or stopping completely. It’s not going or doing or getting. It’s about slowing down to notice how the world works and how we work within it. When we set our clocks back just enough to explore the sheer delight of simplicity, we are grounded and happy! So if you’re grounded and you know it, downward dog! If you’re grounded and you know it, flat like a pancake! If you’re grounded and you know it, laughter milkshake! And if you’re grounded and you know it, for goodness sake, NO WHINING! If you’re grounded and you know it then your life will really show it. If you’re grounded and you know it, Namaste.
So there you have it. Be Grounded. Feel Happy. Explore Yoga. Seek Laughter. Notice your own Elevation….and every once in awhile – get those new boots.