Step 5 – Grounding
Nourishing the roots of our being is naturally and directly related to grounding. When our roots are down we feel more anchored in daily life and more able to partner our wishes, hopes and dreams. It is one thing to think and daydream about change, yet action on the things we think about constantly is what lands the shift in our lives. The things we regularly daydream about are signals from our soul, the deeper knowing part of ourselves that is forever trying to guide us in life.
Approaching change step by step is a wise way to manage the instability of change. During times of change we can feel wobbly, uncertain and insecure. At these times it’s the simple things like cleaning our house, eating regularly, time connecting with friends which help us to stay grounded in present time reality. Transforming through change is simpler when we approach it step by step and day by day. Slowing down helps.
Zoe’s story on Grounding
Grounding, grounding, grounding! It’s so powerful! This is because I believe grounding creates the sustainable, transformational change. By this, I mean, the type of transformation that is an unshakable connection that not only allows the shift and change to happen but also provides the platform to move forward. In the Nourishing Roots teachings from Cameron, she describes, that there are three important keys to grounding – transformation, transition, and step-by-step. This is my personal experience of how I used grounding to create the necessary change I have recently experienced.
To transform, I did need all the steps 1 -7 plus a constant reminder to slow down and to let go to be able to step forward. It may sound simple to walk away from a ‘bad’ relationship but it’s not when you are in love with the man of your dreams who is subjecting you to abuse. So, what transformed in me? I had thought Luke & I were transforming and growing in our relationship, but we weren’t – our relationship would go through a cycle of flourishing, growing and then the abuse or the impact of the abuse would arise, and it would feel like we were at the start again – a cycle, just like the cycle of abuse.
What I realised is that the transformation was not happening within our relationship. I thought (or was hoping) it was but when I stopped and accepted, I realised it wasn’t – the abuse remained. So, I then knew I had to transform OR I had to transform the relationship somehow. I’d hit my limit of counselling sessions, arguments, low self-esteem, being called names, having my things damaged, being put down and being confused. Because I’d hit this limit I knew the transformation I needed – it was for me to leave and the relationship to end, and for good (this time).
The shift from transform to transition was initially not too bad. Actually, what I mean is, it was horrifying, heart wrenching, grief stricken, like I’d physically lost Luke. But when I look back now, those few months after leaving Luke where ‘easy’ compared to the following few months. Big changes ignite vulnerability – and for me this change did in all aspects of my life. I changed everything – work, home, where I lived and leaving my partner. The vulnerabilities I had were intense. I was confused, shocked and unsure of what relationship I’d just be in, I was now a female approaching 40, single, no children; and chose to leave the man that I adored, that my whanau loved, the same man that subjected me to abuse so I had all the stigma that goes with that.
The reason why I found the first few months easier was because I was on the road, I could move around and spend my time with people I wanted to and do the things I wanted to and then when it didn’t serve me I’d move on or do something different. I was deliberate on who I spent time my time with and focused on whanau who were compassionate, naturally warm, open and don’t get uncomfortable when someone is upset or try to stop others from feeling what they feel and/or that they had had experience or knowledge in abuse.
However, after I stopped ‘roaming’ and I started to think about settling somewhere again, I started to spin. I struggled to know who I was, what I was to do, who I wanted to connect with and spend time with. What I realise now is, it was like I was shaking off all the things that didn’t serve me anymore and reviewing what I wanted when moving forward. Whilst I was reviewing and moving away from my intimate relationship with Luke, I was doing the same with my friendships, connections and all aspects of my life. There was so much change I was spinning.
In some respects, that spinning was a good thing as it forced me to stop. It forced me to stop and just think okay, what can I do, what next, what’s that first step I need to do. Then from there I just worked out what the second step was. I started to look for my new town to live, then I found a house that I could call home, nurtured friendships and connections, worked out what type of work and people I wanted to work with, search for a job, got a job, looked after myself better, and bit by bit everything started to fall into place and I started to feel more alive and strong in my own presence. It came down to focusing on the now and grounding myself.
Question for Grounding – How are your individual shifts and changes/transformations also reflected in the life of the collective right now?
For me, I believe my individual shifts are being reflected back to me by the people I want to spend time with and the activities I want to do. This is because as I’ve been on this journey over the last 10 months, and there have been a small select group of people that I have deeply opened up to. What I realise is that these were people that had compassion, compassion to me, my situation AND Luke and his situation. I connected with how they responded – it just felt so easy. I couldn’t connect with ‘but you can’t leave, you two are awesome together’, or ‘no, you don’t deserve that (DV), you can do better (which I translate to, ‘kick him to the curb he is not worth it’), or ‘don’t call it violence, that is too strong a word’. I believe DV Is a collective issue and therefore a collective solution is needed. I see this in talks from the CEO of Aviva (a domestic violence agency) and the language and approach she uses, refer to her ted talks here. I see this in my DV counsellor, when she says to me ‘Luke can and may re-learn new behaviors based around equality so how would you feel about that? How would you feel and what would you do if one of you wanted to connect again in some way?’. I see this from Jacinda Ardern, our NZ Prime Minister when she spoke at the UN see here and she talks about kindness, compassion and refers to the #metoo movement as the #wetoo movement.
There were a couple of approaches I took to really ground me in relation to the experience of Domestic Violence. Firstly, I wrapped people around me that gave me the support I needed and if you are not sure where to start, start with a DV agency or DV support services. Secondly, understand and gain knowledge on DV from these agencies, and finally, stop, reflect and take stock. This was one of the quotes from the 19 week DV programme I attended:
‘When a relationship is changing, whether this is because your or your partner have initiated change, it is useful to stand back on a regular basis and evaluate what is taking place. Because a form of abuse may be replaced by another, it is important to look at the overall pattern of control’
This quote not only helped give me knowledge on DV, it also helped me to stop, reflect and be in the now, a key component of grounding.