How to Be Grounded: The Foundation of True Contentment
Monday March 14, 2022

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“You feel completely at home, no matter where you are, because you are at home with yourself.” —Deepak Chopra, Abundance: The Inner Path to Wealth

When the wheels of a jetliner land upon the runway after flying through the air, the feeling to the passengers onboard, at least for me, is one of stability. Movement is still occurring, the plane is still in motion, yet the wheels on on a foundation that is firm. And although I am not the pilot, I nonetheless feel stable as what I do have control over, knowing where I am and how to navigate myself once the doors open, gives me inner calm.

The analogy of being a passenger on a commercial jetliner having landed on the tarmac of the destination parallels with what it means to be grounded in our own lives as we embrace a life of true contentment. The pilot in this scenario is the universe’s hand, and while we don’t have control over anything beyond ourselves, none of our fellow passengers, the weather, the flight staff and certainly not the pilot, we are part of the experience. We have a choice as to how we engage, how we contribute, how we honor ourselves as well as our fellow humans the surround us.

In Deepak Chopra’s new book Abundance he acknowledges that the path to Mind 3, the desired goal for true bliss/fulfillment/inner calm/abundance requires each of us to traverse along an inner journey. Where we arrive, when we do, leaves behind our past, and thus our limitations, and holds us in the present to engage, yet not expect; to savor, yet not cling; to celebrate, yet not expect. It is when we are finally grounded that we enable ourselves to reach this point.

In other words, Mind 3 liberates our mind and brings us home to ourselves. We accept and now know that we are enough and our life becomes richer because we don’t interfere with outcomes we think ‘must’ happen in order to be fulfilled; we simply engage with the world being ourselves, all of ourselves due to the clarity we have gained and the trust we have grounded ourselves in, and dance with what transpires.

I know that to some readers such a perspective may be hard to trust, hard to accept even, but so much of what is described not only in Chopra’s book but also previous books by other authors shared on this blog and on the podcast (The Simple Sophisticate) – David Whyte, Martha Beck, David Richo, Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga and others – involves letting go of what the world must do for us or how we can manipulate the world to suit what we think we need, and instead shifting to taking responsibility to finding what we can uniquely give the world and mind our business doing just and only that. When we take the time to find our Dharma as Jay Shetty and Chopra both put it, we find our bliss and the doors begin to open up. If the door isn’t opening, it isn’t part of your dharma journey. Move to the next door, listen to what Chopra calls your creative intelligence and trust where it leads you.

But back to being grounded which doesn’t just happen and isn’t a place that is unconscious. You will know and feel when you are grounded, and it will feel amazing. You will feel an everyday sense of inner calm, yet clarity and awareness that enables you to relax and respond to the world around you in a way that you are at peace with.

Chopra delineates the six basic signs of being grounded:

  • comfortable in your body
  • feel physically safe
  • not easily swayed by external influences (culture, media, family, friends, colleagues, religious institutions, societal expectations, etc.)
  • find peace in the present moment
  • stable biorhythms (described as regular appetite and good sleep)
  • feel emotionally stable

How exactly does each of us find and live in this state of groundedness as it refers to true contentment? It begins by living consciously, involves letting go and trusting what speaks to you even though it may not make sense or it may be understood by others initially or ever, and when you engage regularly with the previous two practices, you begin to discover what you can uniquely give the world and thus you step forward without a promise because your intuition leads you something that will not stop tickling your mind. Let’s get specific and share some concrete examples (shared by Chopra in Abundance):

  • Prioritize a good night’s sleep – uninterrupted, deep, and long (7-9 hours) – you cannot think clearly or have emotional stability without letting your mind rest well regularly.
  • Become a student of how your mind works, then strengthen your mindfulness practice – meditate and learn the difference between being an observer of your thoughts vs. consumed by your thoughts. Meditation is the exercise that strengthens your ability to be an observer who is then not at the mercy of their thoughts. This will reduce stress, eliminate or reduce worry and help you let go of judgment, comparison and a myriad of other unhelpful habits all of which contribute to unnecessary stress.
  • Exercise regular and make it something you enjoy doing. Exercise cannot be torture or painful or unenjoyable. Walking and paddle boarding and skiing have become my forms of exercise and I sincerely love partaking in each one. Yoga as well is a weekly practice, class attendance is something I look forward to because I witness benefits not only for my body but my mind and state of holding myself more calmly.
  • Become aware of your energy throughout the day and actively bring yourself back to a state of inner calm when negative feelings arise (such as agitation, distraction, worry, restlessness, etc.). Bring yourself back to the present – being physical helps, so take a walk or get up out of your chair if at work and take a break. Also, regular self-care routines are a need to incorporate into your daily and weekly routine. Honor what you need and prioritize them rather than making them additional to-dos.
  • Tend to your physical environment both at work and at home – (what heightens your nervous system in a way that deflates your energy – noise, distraction, multitasking, commotion, clutter, tension). Improve any or all of these situations as much as you can.
  • Spend time with Mother Nature – walks outside, gardening, sitting by water, breathing in fresh air, etc.

When you regularly and intentionally prioritize each of these practices in your life, it becomes far easier to know where your intuition is nudging you to go, nudging you to explore and thus leading you to eventually reveal what your true dharma is. I cannot tell you what your dharma is. All I can say is that when you find it you might just say, How is this possible? Can this be real? But it indeed is because you are contributing positively to the world AND you are doing something that brings you joy, and thus your days are filled with true contentment.

You have landed, yet are still in motion, dancing with what will cross your path, tickle your curiosity because you have arrived at your desired destination with the tools to remain grounded no matter what the world introduces. Enjoy and savor, savor, savor.

copyright September 2021-4

Explore and read about my own journey to True Contentment and find inspiration for each day of the year to travel and find your own true contentment in your everydays when you read TSLL’s new book The Road to Le Papillon: Daily Meditations on True Contentment.

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15 thoughts on “How to Be Grounded: The Foundation of True Contentment

  1. Thank you so much for such an impactful post to start off the week. I feel like you have transitioned to being a teacher of life, of how to approach it from the standpoint of what will lead us to a life of true contentment. Thank you for bringing my mind such peace on. Monday morning!

    1. Thank you for stopping by as you begin your week Shauna. 🙂 Your words are incredibly kind. Always a student aren’t we? Happy to be able to share any small morsel I learn along the way. Have a wonderful week. xo

  2. Hi Shannon,

    Thank you so much for this thoughtful essay. It is spot on and particularly meaningful in these troubling times. I also wanted to mention that I just received your lovely bookmark, note pad, and signed book plate. The added note on the book plate means a great deal to me.

    Thank you so much!

    Carole.

    1. Carole, So glad to hear the envelope arrived with all of the gifts. 🙂 Thank you for your words and grateful to know the gifts were well received. I do so hope you enjoy the book. Have a beautiful week. xo

  3. Great read this morning as we come more and more out of the pandemic but recognize the chaos in our world.

  4. Shannon~
    I so enjoyed today’s post and the reminder to just sit back and take it all in so we can realize what actually does bring us contentment. Your analogy of the passenger in the airplane is spot on as that is how I have felt of late. Not quite in control, yet I can tell the landing gear has lowered and I will soon be on stable ground.
    Have a great week!
    ~Michelle

  5. Great post Shannon. Feeling grounded is deepening our connection with our own experiences. To be ‘awake’. In the 70’s I was exploring the approach to a higher consciousness and I studied with like minded people the teachings of an Armenian( late 19th to mid 20th century) influential mystic, philosopher, spiritual teacher and composer. Gurdjieff. He lists 82 commandments to simply progress on your journey towards ‘waking up’ to a higher consciousness . The first commandment is ” GROUND your attention in yourself, be conscious at every moment of what you are thinking, sensing, feeling and doing ‘. Incidentally the enneagram( not the personality types is credited to him. If you’re interested you can find the list of commandments http://www.gaia.com. Some have been mentioned on TSLL! Frank Lloyd Wright, Keith Jarrett and many others were influenced by him . You’ll be pleased to.hear that the US is now on France’s green list for travel. Have a good week. Kameela 😊

    1. Hello Kameela ,
      Thank you for the reminder about Gurdjieff and his teachings I have collected some of his philosophical sayings over the years, along with those Rumi , Kahlil Gibran ,Hafiz and many others 🙂
      I started attending yoga classes in the late 60’s , it was the beginning of a wonderful journey of exploration which continues to deepen my understanding every day.
      Have a lovely day 🤗
      Anne

    2. Kameela,

      I want to thank you for the introduction to Gurdieff and all of the information to explore further. I most definitely will! 🙂

      And that IS good news about making the Green List! Wahoo!
      Have a lovely weekend and week as well Kameela. 🙂

  6. Very interesting article – 🙂 sorry, Shannon, but this text is really rich, deep and well written – I can’t call it a “post”…

    Great for reflection for people of all ages but especially great for young people building their adult life, to get a right solid foundation. Well, I would have liked very much if someone has discussed these points with me on my 20’s…

    Reader Shauna might be right, you know? – once an educator, always an educator… Believe me, I know. 😉

  7. Thank you Shannon, I really enjoyed reading this , such a good reminder of how to we can ground ourselves each day as it unfolds and we explore all it has to offer .
    I particularly liked the comparison to a flight , because it conveyed all the excitement we feel when arriving in a new place , with new horizons, and different things to explore and discover .
    Have a lovely day 🙂
    Anne

  8. Another wonderful post on one of my favourite topics you cover here Shannon. I’m constantly trying to practice presence, and I guess working on finding my dharma. I try to remember daily to live in “Full screen mode” as Leo Babuta called it. No more multi-tasking where I can help it.
    Sarah

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