3 Simple Tips on Keeping Grounded
If you are a highly mobile person, there is no greater daily priority than the practice of grounding yourself.
Nomadic entrepreneurs, travellers and third culture kids and adults all share one thing in common—rootlessness. It is part of our identity that is undefined, transient and often changes to accommodate the culture we currently live in.
We all know that being a highly mobile person, or experiencing a multi-cultured childhood (as I have) can lead to the feeling of 'loneliness’ or ‘lost-ness' in older life, and when we become entrepreneurs, partners or parents, it can leave us feeling dismembered from the roots that keep us centered, connected and aligned with purpose.
I want to share my ideas about being grounded because it relates to our identities. To be grounded is to know who we are and what we are grounded to.
As a TCK (third culture kid) or TCA (third culture adult), identity can often be an elusive idea that is undefined. We are usually a beautiful amalgamation of many different experiences that make up our characters. I believe that this can be truly unique and empowering state of existence, but only if you can come back to your source.
The word 'source' can be translated into many meanings, such as a God, our Higher Selves, our true natures, our souls or spirits. I believe that coming back to this energy through being grounded can become the difference between succeeding and thriving in freedom or surviving and suffering in instability.
Being grounded is the ultimate act of self-empowerment, and I have developed the following simple practices that may resonate with those of us who seek to live a nomadic life with more purpose.
1. Start the day with a ‘grounding’ ritual.
The way you start your day is how you will get through your day. I begin with the goal of staying true to myself, being authentic to who I am, and aim to maintain this throughout the day. The consciousness within me is the unwavering, stable and rooted element of my identity. I connect to my consciousness (and therefore my identity) as soon as I wake up, an important first step in my day.
This ritual of connecting to our consciousness (and our identities) can be different for everyone. For me, a way to find this connection is through 10 minutes of meditation. As I wake up, my mind is quiet, pure and calm, so I sit down, close my eyes and focus on the feeling of being myself. This is a practice that should be made as individual as you are, so whether you feel most connected to your source through music, through mindfulness meditation or through the earthy smells of incense and oils, make this practice your own. Keep your attention on your inner-roots; the wholeness of who you are and all the differences that consolidate you into a unique individual. This is not a space or time to be creative, to find inspiration or get motivated but to be calm, centered, connected and grounded.
2. Use your breath to anchor you.
There are many times throughout the day that require creativity, spontaneity and hustle. This goes for all of us, from untethered nomads to TCA parents, but when we feel resistant emotions such as fear, self-doubt and uncertainty creep in, anchoring ourselves through breathing consistently really helps.
Whenever I lose myself to overthinking or emotional stress, I rely on my breath to guide me back to an awareness of the present moment. Being mindful of where I am, what I am doing and how I am feeling in the moment is a way of becoming conscious of the often automated reactions that negatively dominate my day. Using the breath as an anchor is another way of taking a moment to come back to the present moment with mindful awareness.
A simple breathing technique is to inhale deeply for 5 seconds, hold it for 5 seconds, and let go of it again for 5 seconds. Do this 5 times in a row, and use it as a tool to counteract anxiety and panic attacks.
3. Be authentic throughout the day by using your emotions to guide you.
Our emotions guide us towards our authentic selves. What feels off is our body’s way of telling us we’re not on the correct path. Sometimes, being highly mobile people means our environments demand we act a certain way. For instance, working in a culture that expects certain behaviors of us might feel conflicting with who we truly are. I use this feeling of conflict to guide myself back to my authentic state by acknowledging it is not the way I want to do things. This conflict can also arise, and has many times in my case, when living as TCA parents in a new culture that expects us to parent in a certain way. If you feel that the cultural expectations are not what you agree with, keep to your own values and beliefs as a way to stay grounded to who you are, while being sensitive to the local culture.
As a 'sponge' of different cultures, experiences and past lives, we are afforded the ability to choose what we keep from a culture and what we let go of because it doesn’t serve us. It is a privilege and an empowerment found by keeping to our own emotional guidance.
Our unique lives allow us to be free, creative and spontaneous which could lead to incredible successes in both our business and personal lives—but only once we have found stability and grounding within. I find that is when true growth occurs and true fulfilment flourishes.