As we find ourselves in these uncertain times, I feel our call to action right now is to embrace ‘groundless-ness.’ I was introduced to this phrase by the Buddhist nun Pema Chodron, and have continued to work with it to help me navigate my way through life, particularly during the tougher moments. Since moving to London thirteen years ago, feeling un-grounded has been a domintant struggle for me whether that be with living circumstances, work or relationships. So let’s just say ‘groundless-ness’ and I have had a close friendship that has been building for a while.
If you want a life of certainty, then you're on the wrong planet.
This was something else I remember Pema saying. I paraphrase, but that was the essence that remained with me. I remember when she expressed this, I smiled to myself and thought, she’s right, I need to get comfortable with the uncomfortable aspects of life, like it’s certain uncertainty.
Ever heard yourself or others saying, “I’ll be happy when…”, “I’ll feel complete when…”, “I’ll feel comfortable when…”, “I’ll feel fulfilled when…”, “I’ll feel grounded when…”, “I’ll feel worthy when…”? When we feel like this, it highlights we are in a place of discontentment, dis-ease, or similar, and would rather the situation to be different to better our experience of life. This is understandable and normal human behavior; however, if we attribute our levels of satisfaction and happiness to how ‘good’ our current circumstances are, then we are signing up to a life of perpetual and uncontrollable highs and lows.
The path out of this cycle is getting comfortable with ‘groundless-ness’ and as we don’t know what lies around the corner we have to work towards accepting what is presented to us in each moment. That is why our spiritual work of inner growth and expansion is so beneficial as it’s helping us learn not only to survive through those unpleasant or unwanted moments but possibly, in some cases, to even thrive from them. It’s not uncommon for certain folk following a challenging experience to come out the other side emotionally stronger, wiser and more compassionate.
I believe the foundation of this personal work lies in building up our soulful strength of self-love, self-belief, self-worth, courage, and resilience. Therefore, when facing ‘groundless-ness’, whether that be from a loss of a job, loss of a loved one, or amidst the outbreak of a highly contagious, life threatening virus, we are more able to meet it with an open heart and open mind, with, calmness, clarity and courage.
So if you’re feeling overwhelmed and un-grounded in this unknown territory that we are exploring globally, then keep taking long deep breaths, keep focused on the “Now” and what’s right in front of you. It’s easy for the mind to worry during times of ‘groundedless-ness’ and get ravelled up in negative thinking, so do your best in those moments to catch yourself before you go too deep down the rabbit hole. Redirect your thoughts and actions to something more positive, productive or helpful. Even if it’s just a shift to accepting any anxious thoughts…no need to resist, just witness, and let go. As we face considerable uncertainty, stay mindful, stay present, and dive into the unknown with confident consciousness. And keep working with your yoga, meditation and mindful practices, as they will help with all of the above.
Yes we are in a health, social and economic crisis and many of you may be feeling fearful and stressed as a result, but please consider the following…
Fear has two meanings. FORGET EVERYTHING AND RUN OR FACE EVERYTHING AND RISE... The choice is yours.
If individually we look after ourselves, accept ‘groundless-ness’, stay safe and stay optimistic then collectively we can support one another and get through these challenging times. And in a few months rise strong from it with more appreciation for community, resources, good health and our freedom. Like with anything, this too shall pass.
Wishing you and your loved ones health and wellness,
Enjoyed reading this? Check out my blog post “I Can Do Hard Things.”
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