What's the key to happiness?
Buddha once said happiness is about "wanting what you have". That can be easier said than done, right? Life is full of distractions, full of difficult people, choices, and situations. How would I begin to "want what I have"? The short answer is...grounding! Grounding pulls you into the present, where you can begin to notice the blessings around you! Most of us are not living in the present. We're thinking about what we're going to have for dinner (in the future) or dwelling on something we said or did that wasn't perfect (in the past) therefore we could all benefit from a little grounding! So what is it? It is so simple, literally a child can do it...although they tend to need it less than adults! There are many different ways to ground, and I will lay out a very simple method. Sit comfortably in a chair, with your feet flat on the ground. Begin to tap your feet lightly, just to bring your awareness down to the ground. I like to close my eyes during this process because it helps me focus on the grounding, but you can feel free to keep them open. Take a deep breath in and begin to notice the firmness of the ground under your feet as you tap them. Say to yourself "I feel the ground under my feet gently supporting me" and exhale slowly. Then bring your awareness to the chair beneath your body (whether it's soft or firm, notice the temperature of the chair) and take a deep breath in and say to yourself "I feel the chair beneath my body gently supporting me" and exhale slowly. Next, bring your attention internally, and as you take a deep breath in, notice how the air fills your lungs and expands your lungs as you say to yourself "I feel the air in my lungs expanding my lungs" and exhale slowly. Take one more deep breath in, and say to yourself, "I am fully grounded, I am fully present".
How often should you ground? This is a very individual thing. When you realize you are not in the present moment, ground. If you don't like the thoughts in your head, ground, if you feel overwhelmed and stressed out, ground! In the beginning it may seem as if you could ground every second of the day, but each time you take that moment to ground and pull yourself into the present, you are protecting yourself and teaching your mind and body where you want it to be and how you want to feel! It is very much a learning process, especially if you've been out of the present for many years, so it consistency and repetition in the beginning will pay off huge dividends in the end!