I am beginning to think that my running practice allows for a space to create and reflect. It is often during a run when I consciously choose to think, (as a form of distraction) and with these thoughts ideas about work or creating/changing come to the forefront.
My route is very familiar to me as I choose to run a circuit around and along the river. I prefer to mix the manmade path with the natural as I find it better for my body (low impact) and mind (interesting).
I take the path close to the river and there is a place where I often see small gatherings of people, usually buying, selling, consuming what I would assume some form of illicit substances or alcohol. I pass this spot with my attention on my run. When there is no-one there as I run past, out of my peripheral vision I glimpse a dark shape and name it a person although I know its something else. The other day when passing and having this experience I looked behind me to see the base of the uprooted tree, the trunk being the place that provides a seat for people.
I made a connection in my mind of the gathering of uprooted people meeting in a place with an uprooted tree. My observation here is not one of judgement. I am noticing behaviours with compassion as I understand there is so much more beneath.
I refer in my mindfulness and wellbeing groups to the importance of feeling grounded and rooted in our lives. It is a discussion point and most people me included have experienced what it feels like to be grounded and ungrounded.
An invitation to Practice
A very simple way to experience what it feels like to be grounded is to place your attention in your feet flat on the floor, on the ground. You could imagine the print of your feet as if standing on soft damp sand, the weight of your body being drawn down to this area and leaving an impression. Notice perhaps the spread of your toes, the heel and sides of your feet. Notice the sensation of footwear or the absence of this. Perhaps the awareness of temperature sensations of warmth or coolness. You may become aware of the sense of being supported by the floor, the ground, the building and ultimately the earth beneath you. Spend as much or as little time here, maybe practice this regularly and build on this experience of being grounded and supported. Perhaps introduce this when you first get up as you move your feet out of the bed and place them on the floor before you stand, then stand.
Placing your attention even for a moment in your body is a way of coming out of auto-pilot and connecting to the present moment.