The dictionary defines the word GROUNDED as being well balanced and sensible.
This word slipped into my life a few years ago when I was introduced to a study focused on human behaviour patterns.
The tendency of my habitual behaviour pattern leans naturally towards the exact opposite.
OPPOSITE OF GROUNDED:
I knew the destructive effect of a life which steers in a certain direction and then suddenly becomes FLIGHTY, changing course impulsively only to end up SCATTERED, CHAOTIC and DISTRACTED.
I felt the need for groundedness on a very deep level and therefore l decided to chase it, capture it and rigidly maintain it.
Yet personal experience taught me that being well balanced does not imply standing rigidly with both feet equally stable on solid ground. The only way to maintain this type of balance in life is through CONTROL. Controlling time, circumstances, people and day-to-day events is not only strenuous, but also constantly under threat of disruption.
Yes, being disciplined and structured forms the backbone of a well balanced life, but without SENSIBILITY the application of structure may cause more harm than good.
Sensibility invites the unknown, relationships, and events to flow freely through schedules.
Sensibility takes the time to sift through options and new ways to be disciplined, taking those around us into account.
Sensibility sometimes says yes and sometimes no.
Sensibility always keeps groundedness in view. It asks the right questions. Will interrupting my plans be of benefit to me, others and the world?
A yes to all three normally leads to groundedness.
Scatteredness, chaos and distraction often hide behind one beneficiary. Saying yes to spending time with a friend might greatly benefit her, but if it leads to personal deficit because I needed that time to rest after giving energy to others, then it is a yes to one out of three. It will have a negative effect on me and a depleted me will have little to give to the world.
On the other hand, if time spent with a friend will draw me away from too long working hours and feed not only her soul but also mine (which will have a positive impact on the world) then it is a yes to all three.
Sensibility is fluid. It’s a great teacher that guides your feet to find a grip on uneven surfaces and maintain balance.
Sensibility enabled me to enjoy (sometimes endure) a 3-week island hopping family vacation in the Philippines. Travelling sure sounds romantic but we don’t always share the challenges. Physical discomfort during long hours in aeroplanes or even by boat. Lack of sleep because of terrible mattresses and noisy cities. Strange food. Different cultures and hygienic rules. Being in close community as a family every waking hour of the day when we are all used to some private space and individual activities.
My outdated rigid rules for groundedness (must get so many hours of sleep, must only eat certain foods, must be comfortable, must at all costs get value for my money, must have enough me-time, must must must – with a lot of structure to feel grounded) would have turned this privileged experience into a war field.
Sensibility said, “Allow today to show up. Allow discomfort and see where it takes you. Allow strange food, people and habits. Let it flow through your structure. It’s not permanent. As you allow, you will be less stressed, rest easier, enjoy more. It will be a yes to you, the people around you and the world you are travelling in.”
Without the counterpart of sensibility, a life focused on being grounded at all costs can turn out to be self centered. A yes to one out of the three.
A well balanced life should often wander off into the unknown… even if just for the sake of testing its ability to be sensible.