Why I No Longer Use the Word ‘Grounded’ in My Practice
The term no longer serves me, but I found one that did.
It’s come to my attention that the word “grounded” no longer serves me. It’s not because I’ve felt stable, settled, and connected to a foundation. In fact, my life has been quite the opposite. I’ve been traveling and mobile (or homeless, as my girlfriend so eloquently puts it) since January 15, 2016. That’s over nine months.
I’ve taken trains, planes, automobiles, and boats. I’ve been to two countries, 15 states, 30+ cities, and four national parks, staying in each place for no longer than two weeks at a time. With all of this bouncing around, I absolutely have felt the need to feel stable, settled, and connected. The word “grounded” is thrown around a lot in the yoga and personal development community, so naturally I thought that was the thing I needed.
In the beginning of my journey, I used my knowledge as a holistic health coach and would eat things that grounded me, like root veggies and heavier proteins. I would visualize rooting my feet down wherever I landed. My yoga practice mirrored poses that were grounding, like triangle pose. But just as I was getting settled, I’d need to pick up and move again. It was like my body, mind, and heart were being tossed back and forth from needing and wanting to fly but also needing and wanting to be rooted down.
For me using the word “grounded” meant that I had to look outside of myself for what I needed rather than realizing all I need was already within me.
This yo-yo effect was exhausting, going from one extreme to the other. Therefore I asked myself, how could I be open, free, fly, and leap while also honoring my need to feel steady, settled, and connected to something stronger than my bouncing energy?
The answer came from deep inside my inner knowing: Be centered.
Being grounded is a zoomed in, narrower version of being centered. Think about it from the perspective of our planet: Ultimately, what is the ground a part of? The earth, which is round and doesn’t really have an up or down. From the moon’s perspective, “being grounded” is being pulled towards the center of the earth. Its connection is to the earth’s core, the center of its mass. As you zoom out, the whole universe is like this.
I know at my center I have a soul that houses a great divine inner knowing. Here is where I find stability, support, and feel steady. Words have a lot of power, and for me using the word “grounded” meant that I had to look outside of myself for what I needed rather than realizing all I need was already within me. I just had to connect back to my center.
This is why I no longer use the word “grounded” for my own self or when I teach or coach. Instead, I connect back to my center, my inner wise and divine self. By connecting back to my center through meditation, self-love, yoga, and other tools I usually give my clients, I create trust and support.
To all my fellow travelers, mobile entrepreneurs, gypsies, vagabonds, and explorers, I invite you to try out the word “centered” instead of “grounded.” Do things that gravitate you back to your stable center, soul, and divine inner support and trust.
5 Ways to Feel Centered Amid the Stress
- Breathe. Take 10 deep breaths, feeling your torso expand and contract to the center. Focus only on that. If your mind wanders, don’t judge, get mad, or beat yourself up. Just say, OK, now back to my breath and refocus. Breath is always in an ebb and flow and focusing on this does two things: 1) Reminds us that life is like this too, in a constant ebb and flow, and that’s just nature. 2) Helps quiet all the noise so that we can listen to our inner wise self and take inspired action.
- Repeat these mantras:
- “All I need is within me now.”
- “I’m exactly where I need to be, surrounded by everything I need.”
- “I am open to experiencing the full range of emotions this miraculous experience brings.”
- “I expand in uncertainty and am available for ease and unexpected solutions.”
- “Nature and life is always in flux and I choose to flow freely through it.”
- Let yourself go a little crazy. I love to dance, so one of my favorite ways to do this is to throw on a jammin’ song, stomp around, thrash, yell, sing at the top of my lungs, and jump around. I always feel so much better after I let it all out.
- Nourish yourself with colorful, vibrant foods. If your body is going to have the energy to keep going in the craziness, it’s important that it has nourishing fuel.
- Be grateful. When things get crazy and stressful, it’s really easy to focus on not having the time, money, and resources to “do it all.” When I find myself focusing on the lack or limit, I shift into what I already have and know and I say or write what I am grateful for. It’s like sending a thank you note out into the universe, where the universe is much more likely to give to those who are thankful for what they already have.
Katarina L. Arneric is a certified Holistic Health Coach and yoga instructor. As a former dancer, she struggled with anxiety, perfectionism, different digestive disorders, and used food as a distraction. After learning to love and trust her body, she now helps women experience confidence, ease, and vitality in their own physical and mental health. Katarina travels to lead workshops and trainings and has taught at five Wanderlust Festivals. She loves being in nature, going on adventures, and loves a good dance party.