Take a Couple Deep Breaths
I never thought I’d say this, but part of our Sunday evening routine as a family is to watch American Idol together. Throughout the show, we’re all taking turns making comments and jokes and wiping our eyes. It’s strange how things we find ourselves doing together as a family I’d never do on my own.
In this week’s episode, there were a few participants whose nerves were getting the better of them. “Take a deep breath” was Katy Perry’s coaching. So they took a deep breath.
Taking a couple deep breaths is one way to ground ourselves - stabilizing ourselves on solid ground, feeling our way down to planted feet, remembering that despite the feeling of dizziness and swirling up in our heads, we’re actually always firmly on Earth. In my last post, Get Grounded Before Taking Off, I described the process of checking in, which is also a practice of grounding ourselves.
Most of us probably have some intuitive sense of the value of getting grounded. We have this intuitive sense because we know what it’s like to be dizzy or to misstep or to trip physically. And most of us have an intuitive sense of what it is to be standing solidly on firm ground. Both of these intuitions demonstrate a physiological understanding.
Getting grounded, then, is really just becoming aware of our physiological state and settling down out of the seeming swirl of a stressed or preoccupied mental state. Integrating the physiological and the intellectual in schools, then, can drastically impact students’ long-term health and well-being, the physical, mental, and spiritual kind.
By getting good at getting grounded, we have more time before reacting, more space to heal, and more quiet in which to hear the whispers of our inner wisdom (or God, if you’re a believer).
In that American Idol episode the other night, we saw three different reactions to Katy’s “take a deep breath” suggestion. One singer took the breaths, calmed down, and sang even better - their true voice came through. A second singer took the breaths, didn’t calm down, and sang about the same as they had before. A third singer also couldn’t calm down, but they got more nervous and freaked out in a feedback circle of stress, frustration, and disappointment; they could barely finish their performance.
Developing a practice of getting grounded is a practice in relaxing into our inner wisdom and doing our best.
Thanks for reading ❤️.
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