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Finding Clarity Through Grounding Practices: A Leadership Coach's Journey

My journey with grounding techniques has been anything but linear. In January 2022, I was invited, along with hundreds of other coaches, to participate in a 7-week program called Mental Fitness. The name intrigued me, and I was inspired to engage in a program designed to help me manage stress, overwhelm, and burnout—benefits that would extend to my clients as well. At that time, I had just left the most toxic work situation imaginable, still recovering from working with a gaslighting and narcissistic boss. The timing could not have been better.

A major element of the program was to integrate a presencing and grounding practice. Although I had done these exercises before—in yoga classes, on retreats, and often before bed to help my mind rest—I lacked consistent practice.

Grounding techniques became my first step towards self-reflection. I started with simple practices like listening to the birds outside, feeling the warmth of my coffee mug in my hands, really feeling my feet and toes in my shoes when walking and hiking, and taking deep, intentional breaths for example. These moments of connection with my body and the natural world helped me center myself and reduce stress. By focusing on one physical sensation and being in the present moment, I found clarity and a sense of calm that allowed me to approach my work with renewed energy and perspective.

You Cannot Think Your Way Out of Stress

A fellow coach and friend, Loredana Regep, said "You cannot think your way out of stress". I agree. This is one crucial lesson I have learned through this journey. Stress is not just a mental phenomenon; it affects the body and mind in tandem. Trying to outthink stress often leads to overanalyzing and rumination, which can exacerbate anxiety and tension. Instead, grounding techniques provide a direct, physical way to interrupt the cycle of stress. By engaging the senses and connecting with the present moment, grounding helps to break the loop of anxious thoughts, creating space for calm and clarity.

The Impact of Inconsistency

I have also noticed that when I am not consistent with my grounding practices, I become more vulnerable to triggers and reactive behaviors. Without regular grounding, my stress levels tend to rise, making me more prone to overreaction and less capable of maintaining a balanced perspective. When my buttons get pushed, I notice that I can react in a way that is not aligned with how I want to show up and how I want to relate. I have learned that this inconsistency underscores the importance of daily practices for maintaining mental and emotional equilibrium.

The Power of Micro Steps

Incorporating grounding practices into my life consistently has been most successful when I embraced micro steps. Starting by taking just 1-2 minutes several times throughout the day to ground me or jot down a few thoughts has been the best strategy so far. These small, manageable steps made it easier to build a habit without feeling overwhelmed. Over time, these micro steps accumulated, leading to significant improvements in my mental clarity and emotional resilience. It is these small, consistent efforts that have led to bigger results and lasting change.

In addition, when I abandoned my practice, I just started small and built it back up.

Maintaining Mental Energy Throughout the Day

I came to realize the importance of incorporating small doses of grounding techniques throughout the day. It is not unlike maintaining a gas tank; many of us wait until we are at a quarter tank, or some even push it until the red "E" flashes, indicating we are almost empty. For me, keeping my mental energy levels high means keeping my reserves as close to full as possible throughout the day. Waiting until I am nearly empty can lead to trouble, so I prioritize refueling before I reach that point. By incorporating short grounding exercises at various points during my day, I was able to sustain my energy levels and remain more balanced and focused. This approach has proven to be a game-changer in managing stress and maintaining my well-being.

Start Your Retreat Now

If you are looking to start your journey toward personal growth and mental fitness, beginning with grounding practices can be your first step. Start small. Dedicate just a few minutes each day to grounding yourself. Whether it is through mindful breathing, a brief walk in nature, or a quick journaling session, these small steps can set the foundation for profound change. By starting now, you are not just preparing for a retreat; you are beginning a lifelong journey toward a more centered, purposeful, and resilient self.

Incorporating grounding techniques into my life has been transformative. They have not only enriched my personal growth but also empowered me to guide others on their paths to self-discovery and purposeful leadership. Start small, start today, and begin your retreat now.



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