Several things keep me grounded. Some I do on a regular basis. Some are more seldom. Popping up from time to time to keep me in touch with who I am.
The first and most regular I would suggest is physical exercise. Anyone who knows me sees that in or through exercise I find a kind of freedom whilst also enjoying something I am in complete control of. There are both physical as well as mental benefits for me.
I can see the achievement of completing the run on a day I feel tired or making that extra effort with circuits. Physiologically it gives me that lift of adrenalin and endorphins. Making me feel happier, fitter, more capable. Most importantly it’s an achievement that is entirely in my hands to either succeed or fail at.
On a mental front getting out in the fresh air to do something separate from everyday life gives me a little space. Allowing me to switch off or think about things.
Running in the hailstones the other day made me grin from ear to ear. As I jogged a long with the little round ice cubes bouncing off me people must have thought I was mad. That made me smile even more which made me feel better. Not only due to smiling at the absurd situation as I jogged past people hiding under trees. Also, that I was achieving. Making something positive of the hailstorm. Proving again to myself that what many consider to be to harsh a spell of weather is not really that challenging.
Yoga is another area that helps me ground myself. Again, I would argue that it provides a calming period in a hectic life where I can concentrate my mind. Getting away from the hustle bustle of what is really flotsam and jetsam in life’s currents.
I’ll link to yoga mindfulness. Something I discovered while out in Afghanistan last year. It was quite an eye opener when you realise just how little you really see of what is going on around you. Taking time to listen to yourself. To focus on simple objects. To really engage with them and your environment. The harsh contrast of what was effectively a war zone brought into context when concentrating on the shape, colour, feel, texture, size etc of the plum fruit I held in the palm of my hand.
Another peaceful island that gets me away from life is canoeing. To simply Bob along quietly surrounded by nature is almost spiritual. I haven’t been canoeing for several years now. Hopefully with my change in circumstances I will find the time and opportunity to get back out on the water!
Lastly, family keep me grounded. I do not see them often enough but I love that comfortable relaxed feeling of home. Where I belong. I can simply be me. No airs and graces or tipping toeing around others feelings.
I would love to hear about what grounds you.