Finding Our Way Again

A question: What is it that grounds you?

Not long ago, I wrote out some things for me: Walking in the morning and hot tea afterwards, finding an expanse of sky to look at – day or night, listening to the women of old jazz.

I made this list one afternoon when I felt clear-eyed and sure-footed. But I turn to it when I feel neither. Since when I feel neither, I also don’t feel like coming up with a list of things to ground me.

As someone once suggested to me, you do the work in the sunlight so it will be ready waiting for you when the rain comes.

The list is a living, breathing draft that I’m always adding to (recently: easy crosswords, hot showers) and subtracting from. But all that editing happens when I’m feeling grounded. Then, the only thing I need to do when I’m feeling groundless is go to my list.

And nearly always, it’s helped me to find my way again.

So, perhaps someday, when you’re feeling well and steady, make a list. Fill it with those things that help hold you in place. Walking with the dog, jigsaw puzzles or solitaire, cooking alone in the kitchen, graphic novels, sleep.

I think of it as a gift our grounded selves give our ungrounded selves. So we can find our way again.

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