Our definition of being grounded is being in control of your Body, Mind, and Spirit. This manifests in different ways as each realm of YOU shows different indicators of being grounded.
Being grounded is the flow state: a state of existence that humanity has been aware of for thousands of years, of which the past few decades was resurrected by Miyhaly Csikszentmihalyi (09/24/1934 – 10/20/21), A Hungarian-American psychologist who authored the book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. You should read this book.
Grounding, mindfulness, and the flow state are all synonyms for true neutral. Just being in the world as it is. Flat. This is the nirvana state. It can be achieved by anyone.
When you’re grounded you are in control of your consciousness.
Consciousness is a gift that most of us do not understand how to control. The mind is a wonderful employee, but a terrible boss; if you let your thoughts control your life you will forever be controlled by your emotions which do not proceed down a path, but tend to repeat the same circle.
Letting emotions lead doesn’t get you anywhere.
Because you cannot measure consciousness, like you cannot measure God, you need to rely on faith and authenticity to determine if you are in the grounded state. Once you know, you know. Being grounded is not telling people how mindful you are, but not needing to share your perceived identity because your identity just is and you are okay with everything happening in this moment.
If you have experienced prolonged lows, you understand how beautiful neutrality is. Being in control of your emotions and your thoughts instead of being burdened by them. Situations that occur do not affect your mind or your emotions, but your reactions and perceptions to situations.
There are many components and indicators of being grounded and they will manifest in unique ways for each individual. These manifestations depend on genetics and your conscious and unconscious investments into the three pillars of Body, Mind, and Spirit.
We have identified six components of being grounded that commonly appear in those who are. Your experience will vary.
Six Components of Being Grounded
- Conscious breathing
- Deep breathing
- Increased breath distance
- Manual thinking
- Body stillness
- Regulated emotions
Use these components to determine if you are grounded or not.
Our Philosophy prescribes grounding first thing in the morning and maintaining it throughout the day.
Grounded Component No. 1 – Conscious Breathing
For most animals, breathing is unconscious. They don’t think about it. They follow their natural instinct to inhale and exhale without mind.
Humans are the same way.
Some species breathe consciously; dolphins and whales are known to be conscious breathers. They have to manually and consciously go to the surface for air. Both of these species are known for their intelligence, which makes one wonder if higher levels of consciousness and intelligence are linked to suffering, or at the minimum the understanding of suffering.
Animals and insects with low levels of consciousness do not kill themselves. At least not on purpose.
Rick Barry is an animal rights activist. In the 1960s, he captured five dolphins from the wild to use as actors for the television show, Flipper. The show was about the Ricks Family and their Dolphin, flipper. The family, along with Flipper, protect the Coral Key Park and Reserve from trouble while finding adventure throughout the series.
When the show concluded in 1967, one of the dolphins who played Flipper, a dolphin named Kathy, was no longer needed and was put into a tank much too small for a dolphin. Depressed, alone, and sick, Kathy killed herself by refusing to breathe, drowning in the process.
Kathy the Dolphin died in Barry’s arms.
Consciousness is a gift with poor side effects. Many cannot handle it, not because they are weak, but because God, or our parents, never taught us how to manage our consciousness. Even then, obstacles can be so great that death is viewed as a release from pain.
Consciousness that is not controlled leads to unnecessary suffering.
Emotions invade the conscious mind and poison the water that must maintain its purity through grounding. Switching from unconscious breathing to conscious breathing will allow you to control your Body, Mind, and Spirit more effectively. As high-functioning primates, we need to ensure that we are in control of our minds.
This is difficult to do in practice.
To be above a common animal means to address your first need, the breath, and control it. Respiration is the foundation that all other needs rest upon. Without respiration, you die within a minute or two.
By becoming aware of your breathing you become connected to your experiences. The unconscious breath is shallow, panicked, and unfulfilling.
Grounded Component No. 2 – Deep Breathing
Deep, manual breathing brings DEPTH to life. The deeper you breathe, the deeper your connection to the present.
Deep breathing and conscious breathing are closely related because no one consciously takes shallow breaths. If you’re aware of your breathing, you are aware of a cup that needs to be filled from an infinite water source, and only a fool would fill the lower tenth of the glass. Deep breathing is filling your glass all the way, accepting as much wine as the King will give you.
Deep breathing is a sign of being grounded because a grounded person would not live, or breathe, shallow.
Grounded Component No. 3 – Increased Breath Distance
You do not need to breathe often if you take deep breaths because you are filling your body with more in one deep pull than in 5-20 shallow breaths that put you in a panic like a man suffering from dehydration relying on an enemy to give him water.
Manual breathing gives you all the water and keeps your body and mind calm. Manual breathing puts you in control of your Body, Mind, and Spirit like how a manual car is closer to driving than an automatic.
You will notice your breathing rate, or breaths per minute slows. An ungrounded person is breathing with constant, shallow breaths in an unconscious breathing state.
Grounded individuals have fewer breath cycles per minute, or an increase in breath distance, the space between each breath cycle.
Focusing on breath distance is a great way to ground yourself first thing when you wake up. Open your eyes when you see the light from your sunlight alarm clock.
- Exhale all of your breath out.
- Hold it as long as you can comfortably, or maybe a little discomfort if that’s what you want.
- Breathe all of the air in, and hold your inhale in the same fashion.
Grounded Component No. 4 – Manual Thinking
When your breath becomes manual–through your awareness and management–you also become the Ruler of your thoughts. You’re running the show. You are aware of what thoughts come in and what thoughts are leaving, as well as how useful each thought is.
We have to remember we are not our uncontrolled thoughts.
The ungrounded have no idea what is entering their mind. Being ungrounded is the same as having a front door to your mind without a deadbolt; anything can get in whether it’s good for you or not. Being grounded allows you to let the good thoughts in while keeping the bad thoughts outside of your home.
People who believe in Determinism believe that all things that happen occur outside of human will. They are partially right. The believers of determinism are ungrounded so they have no available will to use to influence the world.
Followers of determinism believe they have no control over what happens to them; they’re right. Instead of managing their minds, they are managed by their minds like children governing their parents.
It’s known to not believe everything you think because often what you think is wrong, created from fear, or some kind of false expectation, a transitory thought with no meaning. This is how children think and behave.
Determinism is babysitting belief for adults who refuse responsibility over their minds.
You don’t get intrusive thoughts when you’re grounded. Intrusive thoughts are an endless stream of door-to-door salespeople banging on your door one after the other. Intrusive thoughts are relentless.
Being grounded is like having a fence around your house. Some thoughts get through without an invitation. But most of them are great. Most of your thoughts are manual and are manually invited inside.
Manual thinking can be accessed through meditation(including breathwork) and manually filtering your thoughts. Being able to control your mind without meditation is not available to all and tends to be a skill acquired along the path.
Grounded Component No. 5 – Body Stillness
Shallow breathing creates nervous, shaking energy. It’s almost like when you’re fidgeting, your body is trying to tell you something is wrong. When you’re grounded, your body is still. Your hands are still.
The ungrounded cannot keep their hands still.
It’s curious to think about whether the state of being bored is what it is, or if the feeling of boredom could be a symptom of being in an ungrounded state.
Body stillness, like other components of being grounded, reinforce each other. So by being as still as you can from your head to your toes, including your eyes, you may also observe better control over your thoughts.
You can stop yourself from thinking by not moving your eyes.
The creator of EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing), Francine Shapiro, founded the therapy when she caught herself remembering old memories while walking through the woods, observing the thoughts coming to the forefront of her mind as she moved her eyes about.
It’s difficult to think while your eyes aren’t moving.
Look at this picture of the brain. The eyes are the brain. By keeping your eyes still, you are keeping your mind still.
You should try and be still at all times for the simple purpose of mastery. Keeping still is training to control your Body, Mind, and Spirit with more totality. Of course, this mastery path will help you stay grounded while bringing all of the benefits of being grounded.
Grounded Component No. 6 – Regulated Emotions
When you are grounded, your emotions are still. Your thoughts(mind), your body, and your emotions(spirit). This doesn’t mean you’re emotionless. You’re simply not excited. If emotion is a vase full of sand and water, being grounded means the sand is still. Even though the chaotic sand may look like it takes up more space in the water–and is therefore more–the amount of sand is the same.
The Spanish word for excited is Emocianado. Like emotional.
When you’re grounded you become a filter for your emotions. They no longer control you. Instead of being in a state where, when something bad happens to you it ruins your entire day and you can’t be productive, the grounded individual can decide what to care about, how to respond to negative stimuli, and create a plan to deal with it, even if that plan is to disregard the painful emotion.
The ungrounded will use something as trivial as a stranger yelling at them on the highway as a reason to have their entire day ruined so they can take another rest day, skip the gym, accumulate more debt with retail therapy, eat ice cream, and watch movies instead of being on the path.
All of these things (except debt) are fine when they are earned.
Being grounded means you–not the world–have control over your emotions.
We believe you should be in charge of yourself. Not the world, not your parents; you run the show. The way to get there is to ground yourself every morning and maintain your grounding throughout the day.
Use these indicators to determine if you are grounded. If you are struggling to ground, continue trying the same methods longer, or try alternative methods. Understand that there will be days when you operate more efficiently, and less efficiently. That’s okay.
Days when you are less efficient have an important purpose: they remind you to be vigilantly committed to the path and your pursuit of mastery.
Good days are good days.