Feeling Grounded in the Midst of a Storm

Just like trees, we are grounded with the capacity to bend and sway in response to life’s events

The pressures of today’s society can leave us feeling overwhelmed and exhausted as we juggle work, family and social lives. Sometimes we simply can’t keep those plates spinning and it feels like the world is falling apart around us. Specific events can impact us too; the death of a loved one; job loss or illness. For children, trauma can impact on their ability to regulate and process their thoughts in a healthy way. Again, this might be the death of someone close to them, a form of abuse or difficult relationships.

When we are faced with such adversity or overwhelm in our lives, it can be hard to feel grounded, especially when our busy mind is whirring around like a beachball on an Apple Mac. We feel stuck. We don’t how to move forward and we can end up lashing out at those around us. With that said, there are some people who seem to have the ability to remain grounded and focused in the worst of moments. So, what’s different about them? How can they be so calm in the midst of chaos? What gifts do they possess to be able to handle the lows with more ease and grace?

The truth is we ALL have the capacity to be grounded. In fact, more accurately, being grounded is our default. The only thing that can take us away from that sense of peace and wellbeing is a busy mind. You might think it’s the other way around and that calmness is the exception rather than the rule, but that’s not the case. And if you want to prove that point, just look at a new-born baby. There’s no busy mind there!

Just like trees are firmly rooted in the ground, we are firmly rooted in life. At our core, we have the capacity to stand strong and weather any storm. In the same way that the branches on a tree sway and bend and the leaves shake and shiver in response to strong winds, we too are built to navigate hard times. A tree knows not to resist forces outside of itself because if it does, its branches would break. And that’s how life feels for us at times. When we have so much coming at us, we just freeze. We don’t know what to do for the best. We don’t know how to move forward.

But whilst things may appear rough as we look up at the canopy, down on the woodland floor, the trunk stands strong and firmly rooted in the soil. The tree is built to survive whatever external forces it encounters. When we look to the canopy, in other words, our psychology (thoughts and feelings) for stability we simply won’t find it, because that’s all temporary stuff. That’s energy moving through. It’s not solid. We just end up fuelling the storm by adding more thinking to an already busy mind. Our thoughts whirling around in our heads like a tornado.

In these moments, if we could just see that what we’re actually up against is our own thinking and not the circumstances of the world, things start to look different. The winds can still be howling and the branches swaying, maybe even violently, but if we know that at our core, we are grounded and unbreakable, we’re able to live through our difficult experiences, with the surety of knowing we’re going to be absolutely ok, no matter what.

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