Monday, June 1, 2015

The Power of Groundedness

Vrksasana or the "tree pose". This pose helps to build groundedness and balance at the same time. There are many such grounding poses in Yoga which we can benefit from.

How does one construct a sturdy, rock solid building? By using good quality materials, employing efficient and sustainable architectural techniques, keeping the local weather in mind (using construction materials and architecture which can withstand any known vagaries of nature in that part of the world), considering the needs and abilities of the potential residents, maybe some latest trends in the building industry, and so on.

But most importantly, a sound foundation is essential. Irrespective of what you build on top of it, if you want a lasting building, you need a solid foundation, a stable, unshakeable ground to stand on.

Likewise in life, emotionally and physically, we all have to have solid ground beneath our feet. That feeling of grounding is what allows us to not worry about survival and instead focus on things that matter, on things that would help us have a better life.

Powerful winds of change, fear of the unknown, too many things happening at the same time, and such bring in a feeling of anxiety, and a sense of “Where am I supposed to go?” “Is my life secure?” thus, a fight or flight feeling – survival mode kicks in. If there is nothing to hold on to, or no one to answer and clear the air, then even feelings of resentment, dissatisfaction, and frustration may seep in. These feelings light up a desire to do something drastic out of the ultimate urge to find a place of solace, a place where the ground is not as shaky.

And yes, sometimes, it does help to make a drastic movement. A seemingly harsh decision or a major upheaval is probably what is truly needed. For some of us, that tough decision is what gives us back our solid ground.

And sometimes, it doesn’t. In fact, that major upheaval may end up doing exactly the opposite of what we desired – we might end up landing on more shaky ground. Or we might end up losing whatever little (albeit shaky) ground we had.

So, is it just the world around us that is colliding, is it just the ground beneath us that is shaking, or is it us who are losing perception of what is around us, and if so, why?

The truth is, we are always “shifting” – always changing – sometimes aspects of us shift and then the other aspects catch up. Sometimes, there are perceptions that don’t seem to match what we think our reality is. The “outer world” is shifting as well; therefore, sometimes our perception of it causes disturbances or clouds our mind. This usually causes feelings of separation and confusion and agitation.

So, what do we do when our intuition is on an overdrive, everything around us is changing faster than we can handle, we feel frustrated but can't figure about what, and all of this makes us lose focus even with the things we're good at?

We always need a solid ground even to be able to fly, like an airplane that covers a huge runway before taking off into the boundless blue skies.

Introspection is a powerful & useful tool which most of us we seldom employ. Even if we do, many of us use it for ourselves in isolation and without keeping context of our surrounding. But we forget that, are we all (tiny but) significant parts of the larger universe!

It is our being a part of this world that makes us capable and able. We all (well, most of us) are householders, and therefore we cannot shy away from our duties in this material world. Just as day follows night, night follows day, one season follows another, in the same way, our lives keep changing. We are governed by both the natural and man made changes triggered in our surroundings. A world without change is unthinkable and impossible. The desire for change is what triggers invention, and invention begets progress. Mankind thrives on this progress. If there were no change, there would be no need to create or innovate, and our magical ability to think would go to waste... and like how unused machines rust, soon our minds too will.

The truth is, change is the only constant in life. The sooner we accept, the better it is – for us and for those around us. And when these changes happen, it is essential to find that stable ground beneath our feet.

Find your groundedness – maybe in the form of a family who you can open your heart to. Or in the form of a great job where you can achieve big things.

Maybe in the form of a favorite hobby that you can indulge in. 

Maybe by just anchoring into your breath.

A solid anchor to the ship of our sanity. To create stable ground beneath our feet. So that we can fly toward the vast blue sky full of beautiful, boundless possibilities...

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