If this year has taught us anything, it’s the importance of centering oneself. With political madness, black lives (evidently not) mattering, the advent of social distancing, and excessive Zoom meetings, we’ve encountered a chaos unprecedented in our cultural landscape. Even the most spiritual among us have found it challenging to get grounded during these trying times.
But here’s the thing I’ve learned: I cannot solely rely on my practice to save me. While it’s easy to prescribe my arsenal of spiritual tools to myself in grounded times, it’s harder to put those tools into practice when the outer world and my own ego are at odds with my soul’s intention.
In plain English? When I’m acting out of character because the world is fucked up, an hour of yoga probably won’t happen.
So I’ve found that I have to simplify my spirituality when times are complicated. I’m hopeful that at least one of the following three tools may be of service to you as well:
Don’t Meditate…Just Breathe – Sitting in stillness can be a daunting task for some, including me. Full disclosure: I’ve gone whole weeks (including last week) without meditating for a myriad of reasons. Between time constraints and avoiding the ongoing hamster wheel of emotions, thoughts, and hormones spinning through my mind and body, meditation is sometimes the last thing I want to do when my world’s going apeshit. When it’s hectic like that, I just come back to my breath. Unlike my meditation practice, it’s accessible to me at even the most busiest of times: driving on the highway, sitting in a virtual work meeting, shelving books, helping my kids with homework, or doing my nightly skincare routine. No pillows, candles, crystals, or vibes – hell, no seat since I can do it standing up. If the thought of meditation seems like a woo-woo bridge too far for you, try just working with the breath you’ve been given.
Go On a Rampage – Another lowkey way I get grounded is to grab a pen, a slip of paper, and start writing. Not a novel, a blog post, or a grocery list (because writing those particular things make me cry a little). I write out what my spiritual shero Gabby Bernstein calls a Rampage of Appreciation list. It’s so simple and equally as effective: I write down every single thing I am grateful for in that present moment. That’s it! What this quick and easy activity does is gets my head out of spaces of regret (the past) and worry (the future) by planting me firmly in the present. As I write the list, I am reminded of every gift I have at my fingertips. Being thankful is a key component of being grounded, especially now when it seems like every thing and one is falling apart. You’d be surprised how fast your list fills up!
Get You a Crew – As a proud and (reasonably) loud extrovert, no one misses chatty brunches (sans booze for me) and friendly get-togethers as much as I do. But did I let Miss Rona stop me from seeing my sisterfriends? Never. In fact, I wouldn’t be able to tell you a damn thing about being grounded without my girls (and a few platonic boypals) holding me down. Whenever I get caught up in the antics of this seemingly-imploding world, I am eternally grateful to have friends who will listen to me vent, cry, laugh, or scream into the void. My crew is small but mighty, able to bring me back down to earth when my ego threatens to leap to tall conclusions in a single bound. If you are fortunate enough to have even one person who is there for you on that level, call them right now. Like, I deadass need you to close this browser window and contact this person. Not now, but right now. They are probably low-key waiting to hear from you, too. Remember, life is short and death is random. (…hmmm, that took a rather morbid tone but IYKYK – call your friend, fool!)
Will 2020 continue to be the clusterfuck it is despite these three tips?
Absofuckinglutely, but that’s out of your control, my friend. Keep in mind that acceptance is not approval. Therefore, for your own sanity, you need to accept the following: you cannot control elderly white male politicians vying for your vote with their incoherent sentences, members of law enforcement killing Black and Brown people in these streets, or the dude in WalMart with no fucking mask on (and why TF are you in that cesspool anyway when Target is far superior?).
What is under your control, however, is you: your thoughts, actions, words, and deeds are 100% your responsibility to manage. Focusing on your mental health during this ridiculous moment in history is challenging but you’re not alone.
Breathe, get grateful, and be a friend.
And remember: the ground never left you.