Grateful for the Ground
When we stay in the same place too long—energetically, physically or emotionally, we can begin to feel stuck, bored, under-stimulated and lethargic. If we are overworking ourselves, say, in an office without windows or spending too much time in the city or on our cell phones, our energy becomes detached from the earth and our brains feel floaty, like a balloon on a thread, disconnected from our bodies.
This “stuck” energy can also manifest as feeling edgy, antsy and anxious. This is usually when we begin over-eating, drinking or indulging in any other reaching-outside-of-ourselves activity in order to feel better. Most of the time, we are simply attempting to re-balance our blocked or backed up energy.
I’ve realized that when I feel this way, it is my body telling me to get up, move around, shake it up and GO OUTSIDE.
Travel wherever you are by putting on your comfies (or stylish walking clothes), cute boots or dirty sneakers, and hat and gloves. Stash your wallet in your back pocket and your phone and keys in your coat and you’re good to go. Some disagree with the bringing-of-the-phone, but as an artist and photographer, documenting and sharing my journey is a part of my process. I do turn the ringer off.
Don’t weigh yourself down with “unnecessaries”. I usually carry cash for coffee if I come across it and a debit card in case I end up far away from home. The point is to travel lightly, in order to focus on the traveling, not the junk you’re hauling around. I mean this literally and figuratively.
This is a time for observation, encouraged interaction with your environment and neighbors and awe at the place in which you inhabit. Notice the little things around you—that bright red front door with the art deco address letters, the overgrown garden in the corner lot, the broken bus with what seems to be someone living inside, the way the trash merges with the concrete to create a shape or color combo that you feel obligated to take a moment to appreciate.
When we get lost in our heads and untethered from the ground, we can easily forget that there is always something to be thankful for. By focusing on simple pleasures like sights and sounds while we raise our heartbeat, it brings our head out of the clouds and our energy back into our body. Our energy, naturally flowing forward, buoyant and resilient, comes back to the breath and re-balances itself. Our blood lifts to a healthy rhythm and we forget the troubles of the day. Joy has space to fill us up and we come back to a resting place of peace.
This practice allows you not only to honor and participate in your immediate environment but aides in sleeping soundly and waking refreshed, as well as bringing a spontaneity and inspiration to your daily experience.
Next time you feel “ugh” or “blah”, take a walk, and either make a mental note or document each small thing you see, smell, hear or feel that you connect to. Allow yourself to feel deep gratitude for these small things. Extend this feeling to your neighborhood, community, trees, nature and most of all, your body, for graciously giving you the gift of being outside.