Everyday we are rushing.
Everyday there is a fire to put out.
Everyday we find ourselves exhausted with our minds going a million miles an hour.
We wear ourselves out with nothing left to give us or our loved ones.
Everyday and every moment that we do this, we experience un-grounding.
I know that when I'm becoming un-grounded (or, "twirly" as I loving call this experience) I can literally feel my body racing. My heart beats faster, my face becomes flushed, my thoughts are jumbled, and I feel like I want to jump out of my skin. My anxiety ramps up and my Inner Critic makes its appearance adding insult to injury.
We know that being un-grounded isn't helpful for us, so what can we do to become grounded?
Jon Kabat-Zinn best describes mindfulness in his book, Mindfulness for Beginners, as “paying attention in a particular way; on purpose in the present moment and nonjudgmentally.”
This is one way to get in touch with your body and how you’re feeling in that very moment.
Taking a moment to acknowledge that you’re having a “twirly”experience and breathe.
I encourage my clients to practice breathing techniques when they’re already calm so the body and the brain can “record” this. If you practice when you’re stressed your body and brain won’t be able to “record” or utilize this method effectively and you’ll wind up more stressed. When you’re “twirly,” breathing becomes less effort because the brain knows what the body already feels like when it’s calm because of all the practicing you’ve done. Keep breathing and focus on the air entering and leaving your nostrils. Listen to the sound it makes as you inhale and exhale. Let yourself fall into that moment of peace. If your mind wanders, bring it back to focus on the breath. Most of all, be kind to yourself. The idea is not to eliminate your thoughts, but to notice them and return to your activity. Try this for 1 minute.
HOLDING AN OBJECT:
When I’m feeling un-grounded I like to hold things that connect me to the earth. Most recently I brought back rocks from Skull Rock at the Joshua Tree National Park and hold them in my hands. When my mind wanders, I hold the rocks, breathe, and look at them.
Try the above breathing exercise. Then open your eyes to look at your object.
• observe every detail in a non-discursive way
• notice how light falls on the object - does it induce any changes in its texture or color
• how sharp are the lines of its edges
• is the object's surface rough or smooth
• simply observe and refrain from putting labels on what you see
Plant your feet firmly on the ground and imagine in your mind’s eye that there are strong, healthy roots rooting your feet to the earth. Feel the connection your feet have to the earth and allow the energy to course through the feet all the way up the legs and to the rest of your body. Sometimes I like to imagine the energy having a color to help direct it.
Breathe through this process.
You can do this barefoot or with socks and/or with shoes on.
Practice these techniques and keep them in your back pocket when the “twirly” experience arises.
Keep breathing, keep calm, and know that this moment will pass.
Our “twirly” experience is, at best, a temporary one.