Sunday, March 8, 2009

Getting Yourself Grounded

Dante, the Florentine poet of the Middle Ages, knocked at the door of a Franciscan monastery at Lunigiana. He was asked, "What do you want?"

Dante replied, "Peace." I think that maybe he was speaking for a lot of us – especially these days. But how do you find peace?

If you’re not ready for a stay in the monastery, I think one way to find peace is to look within. Get yourself grounded. Let me explain.

One winter morning I drove down the steep mountain roadway leading from my home. I was traveling slowly, actually just inching forward down the icy road. But the car had no traction. It was all I could do to keep it pointed downhill as I slipped and slid on the ice. Then I lost control and gravity took over. The car began a slow motion spin as it slid on its own down to the bottom of the hill. When it finally came to a stop, I was thankfully still on the roadway, but now facing the wrong direction.

My problem was traction. What had separated me from the ground’s surface was just a thin sheet of ice. If I could have only made contact with the ground, I'd have remained in control. I needed to be grounded.

I think life is like that. People who are not grounded lose control of the direction they are heading. It is easy to slip and slide, hoping to grasp onto something real. Or just hoping for a safe landing.

Nancy SantoPietro wrote a book called Feng Shui: Harmony by Design. In it she says, “In your lifetime the most sacred space you will ever need to create is the space within yourself -- the place deep within your soul where you go to find peace and serenity….” She’s talking about being grounded.

Finding the peace we need is really a spiritual issue. Get yourself grounded and you can navigate even the stormiest roads in peace.

-- Steve Goodier

Image: FreeImages/Michael Faes


Anonymous said...

Grounding is a subject like self-love. Good advice; now, how do you do it?
Best, Bobbo

Anonymous said...

I have plugged myself into God and Jesus Christ. Both have kept my life grounded and taught me humbleness and peace. A wonderful post! Thanks!

CurtisZaerr said...

I agree, and welcomed the blog today. Something I have learned over time is the necessity of being grounded if you are going to live a good life. There are always storms and wind to blow you of course, and sometimes from the most unlikely places. This is why the importance of finding it within yourself is so important, and not someone else or something. It is probably the biggest lesson I have ever learned in my life, and I am extremely grateful for having a little more understanding about it. Great Post....

Anonymous said...

Don't Hope, Friend.... Decide!
by Michael D. Hargrove

While waiting to pick up a friend at the airport in Portland, Oregon, I had one of those life changing experiences that you hear other people talk about. You know, the kind that sneaks up on you unexpectedly? Well, this one occurred a mere two feet away from me!

Straining to locate my friend among the passengers deplaning through the jetway, I noticed a man coming toward me carrying two light bags. He stopped right next to me to greet his family.

First, he motioned to his youngest son (maybe six years old) as he laid down his bags. They gave each other a long, and movingly loving hug. As they separated enough to look in each other's face, I heard the father say, "It's so good to see you, son. I missed you so much!" His son smiled somewhat shyly, diverted his eyes, and replied softly, "Me too, Dad!"

Then the man stood up, gazed in the eyes of his oldest son (maybe 9 or 10) and while cupping his son's face in his hands he said, "You're already quite the young man. I love you very much Zach!" They too hugged a most loving, tender hug. His son said nothing. No reply was necessary.

While this was happening, a baby girl (perhaps one or one and a half) was squirming excitedly in her mother's arms, never once taking her little eyes off the wonderful sight of her returning father. The man said, "Hi babygirl!" as he gently took the child from her mother. He quickly kissed her face all over and then held her close to his chest while rocking her from side to side. The little girl instantly relaxed and simply laid her head on his shoulder and remained motionless in total pure contentment.

After several moments, he handed his daughter to his oldest son and declared, "I've saved the best for last!" and proceeded to give his wife the longest, most passionate kiss I ever remember seeing. He gazed into her eyes for several seconds and then silently mouthed, "I love you so much!." They stared into each other's eyes, beaming big smiles at one another, while holding both hands. For an instant, they reminded me of newlyweds but I knew by the age of their kids that they couldn't be. I puzzled about it for a moment, then realized how totally engrossed I was in the wonderful display of unconditional love not more than an arm's length away from me. I suddenly felt uncomfortable, as if I were invading something sacred, but was amazed to hear my own voice nervously ask, "Wow! How long have you two been married?"

"Been together fourteen years total, married twelve of those." he replied without breaking his gaze from his lovely wife's face. "Well then, how long have you been away?" I asked. The man finally looked at me, still beaming his joyous smile and told me, "Two whole days!"

Two days?! I was stunned! I was certain by the intensity of the greeting I just witnessed that he'd been gone for at least several weeks, if not months, and I know my expression betrayed me. So I said almost offhandedly, hoping to end my intrusion with some semblance of grace (and to get back to searching for my friend), "I hope my marriage is still that passionate after twelve years!"

The man suddenly stopped smiling. He looked me straight in the eye, and with an intensity that burned right into my soul, he told me something that left me a different person. He told me, "Don't hope friend...decide." Then he flashed me his wonderful smile again, shook my hand and said, "God bless!." With that, he and his family turned and energetically strode away together.

I was still watching that exceptional man and his special family walk just out of sight when my friend came up to me and asked, "What'cha looking at?" Without hesitating, and with a curious sense of certainty, I replied, "My future!"