brian j plachta
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Find Your Feet---Ground Yourself in Gratitude
by brian j plachta on July 28th, 2020

Remember Tigger?  That lively, hyperactive tiger—who’s bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, and pouncy?

An article in The Guardian  magazine suggests Tigger suffers from attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It manifests itself in his restlessness and impulsiveness.

I often feel like Tigger. I bounce from one thought to another, leap from one project to the next. My inner bouncing sometimes scares me. Maybe I’ve got “Tigger-syndrome”—a dose of ADHD.

At a Wisdom School retreat, I attended several years ago, the leader taught us a simple practice to ground ourselves. She invited us to go outside and rake leaves in a small group. When someone in the group called out, “Find your feet,” we stopped raking, planted our feet on the ground, and drew our attention to the connection we felt with the earth beneath us. We then spoke aloud a word or phrase describing what we were experiencing.

“Joy,” someone called out. “Tingling,” another said. “Grateful.” “Grounded.” “Rooted.” “Peaceful.”  The words and expressions continued for a few moments. Then we’d go back to raking until someone again called out, “Find your feet.”

This practice slowed me and relaxed my body. It pulled me back into the present moment so I could experience it as gift. I connected with my spirit.

Since attending the retreat, I’ve tried to integrate the “find-your-feet” practice into daily life—and added a new twist to it.

When I notice I’m scattered, bouncing like Tigger, or defaulting into stinking-thinking, I stop, place my feet on the ground or floor for a moment, feel the sensations in my body, and name one or two things for which I’m grateful.

Standing with feet flat on the ground, I find myself grateful for my body. Grateful for God’s love and acceptance of me as I am. Grateful for my family and friends. Grateful for health, this moment, this breath. Grateful for the Spirit God has placed within my heart.

The find-your-feet practice stops my inner bouncing. It grounds me in my heart and pulls me out of the Tigger Syndrome. It reconnects me with the stability of the earth and the gift of the present moment.

Brother David Steindl-Rast in Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer, writes that the practice of gratitude is a pathway to inner peace. He says, “What brings fulfillment is gratefulness, the simple response of our heart to this given life in all its fullness.”

I still love Tigger and the Tigger in me. But by stopping and naming something I’m grateful for, I reconnect with something deeper. I experience peace and balance. I rediscover my inner self hidden in God.

As I go back to the day’s tasks, I do so with a positive spirit, a renewed heart, a pure energy. And when I get bouncy, trouncy, and flouncy again, I stop, find my feet, and name something for which I’m grateful.  

Find your feet. Ground yourself in gratitude.

It’s a fun remedy for the Tigger Syndrome.

—brian j plachta

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