Updated: May 2
Perhaps you hear the word ‘grounded’ and think of the belligerent teenager kicking against the punitive parental restrictions or maybe the word conjures up the image of hundreds of planes parked up in airports across a Covid ravaged world. When you pause to consider what it means for your own self to be ‘grounded’, what does this mean to you?
I suggest it can be understood on several levels and that it is actually really important for each of us to be grounded in the different areas of our lives. Firstly, there is the physicality of our being and to be grounded physically means to live in the present moment in the time-space location where your two feet (or hands if you’re in Downdog!) are touching the ground. A little mindful practice, (e.g. breath awareness, body scan, or mindful attention to one’s surroundings) can really help one to feel physically grounded which will extend to the inner life.
Inwardly, many of us experience mental monkey minds or unsettled hearts and we can often ignore that quiet voice within that is calling us to a calmer place. This call is to be grounded. Being emotionally-mentally grounded does not mean an absence of troubling thoughts and painful emotions but an appropriate awareness of them, so that they don’t overwhelm us. Acknowledging what is really there, the good, the bad and the ugly, as difficult it can be to really face what's inside, brings acceptance and calm, and so a groundedness to our inner lives. Again, some good mindful practice can bring us to a place of inner groundedness.
If we can be grounded physically and inwardly, then we can also be grounded spiritually. To be spiritually grounded is not a layer above and beyond the other two but rather, I suggest, a layer that infuses our physical and inner life. The philosophical term the ‘ground of our being’ is helpful descriptor of the transcendent or what you might call God describing this Being as something that is like ‘ground’ to our souls. Coming back to the physical experience of the ground, we know that it locates us in the present and that it also holds us. For myself, being spiritually grounded in God is so beautifully (and at times painfully) similar: to be spiritually grounded means to find oneself located within the Divine, to be accepted and held by God and to know inner peace.