On Grounding and Being Untethered

A woman in a flowy dress floats serenely with her arms open wide and her eyes closed amongst stars and nebula

On Grounding

I’ve spent a lot of time in my life, especially the recent years, focusing on grounding myself. I have a long history of picking up other people’s energy and taking it on as my own.

In my twenties, I learned some grounding techniques in order to shut myself off from absorbing people’s energy, especially from toxic people (surprise, I’m naturally attracted to that). And it was a great start to improving my mental and emotional health. Visualizing myself as a huge, old tree with roots extending deep into the earth was a primary tool.

As I have evolved my emotional well being and the tools in my mental wellness toolbox, I have expanded on the concept of grounding. Now it’s no longer a channel for other people’s energy, but it became a tether to which I could always come back to when I felt crazy.

That is, up until I moved onto a boat. Moving onto the boat, my world flipped on its side in many ways. My grounding practice was shaken, and I wasn’t sure that was a good thing. Turns out, it might be one of the key lessons I take from this new way of life.

Untethered as a Natural State

As we moved onto the boat and adjusted to life on the water, I tried to reach for my old grounding tools to stablize my wild emotions. Turns out, selling everything to go cruising fulltime is a bit of an upheaval. When I attempted to ground myself in the old ways, the result was hollow and empty. I couldn’t reach the earth. The ocean is so deep (not that I was out in the ocean at this point). Even the anchoring metaphor falls apart in its resonance. By grounding, I felt like I was bypassing (missing) some piece of ocean wisdom.

I did what an good logical a-theist would do: reach for the stars. I began meditating on floating in space and what it means to be “grounded” on the ocean and out in space. I pondered and reflected: what would grounding look like in these enormous spaces where the concept of “earth” and the “ground” loses meaning?

As I developed this thought-experiment, I discovered that floating in space requires no tether (metaphorically). Physically, I would need sustenance, but for this thought and emotion experiment, the sustenance is absorbed osmotically. Perhaps, being untethered is my natural state.

Whoa. If untethered is my natural state, what has me clinging to my attachment to earth? In fact, I was holding on for dear life. I was so attached to this idea of being connected to the ground that I was risking missing out on ocean wisdom and universal truthes.

What if I don’t need to be grounded so much as being okay with the universe holding me? What if I need to absorb the wisdom that floats through the universe at a quantum level?

Where Do I Land?

Am I right back where I started by absorbing other people’s energy? That is a resounding “Hell no!” What I am finding instead is my place in the universe. It is not one specific piece of land, a mountain, a trail, or a home. It is not a specific position in family, a daughter or a sister. It is not even a specific time, though this is more difficult to explain.

I “land” squarely in the middle of nowhere amongst the stars, planets, and star dust of the universe (amongst which there are many other universes, in theory). That is unsettling to many people, and it was unsettling at first.

But as I adjusted to the idea, and learned that I am safe and have what I need here, I found I can channel into that universal energy and know that I am here. I am safe.

I am exactly where I need to be, and I don’t need to be attached to land or a house or a parent or a human being to be valuable, to be loved, to be accepted, to be safe, to be authentic, to be. I can simply be. After all, I’m a human BEing.

Note: this blog post was written completely by me in the Visual Studio Code text editor. No AI was used in the authoring of text. The associated image was generated by Bing Copilot at my prompt: “a woman floating in space with beautiful stars and nebula”