Have you ever had one of those frustrating experiences where you searched, tried, and pondered – looking for deep and complicated solutions, only to find the problem was so simple and right in front of your nose? Kind of like, it wasn’t plugged in?
Yup, I’ve had it happen too.
Each spring, we buy yearling heifers to harvest the grass on our place and convert it into natural grass-fed beef. To keep the animals on our land, we use electric fences – one or two smooth wires with a high-voltage electric pulse. Not only does this keep the domestic animals in, it allows for easy and safe migration of the myriad of elk, deer, and moose that cross back and forth through our property – an easy hop for them and they are on their way.
The electric fence – here’s how it works.
Ms. Young Cow walks up to the fence. With four bare feet planted firmly into damp soil, Ms. Cow puts her wet nose against the electrically-charged wire. Guess what? Zap!!
That may sound mean, but it’s not really that bad. I touch it to test it. I don’t like to do it because it’s … shocking, and so I respect the fence. And for Ms. Cow it works the same way.
The secret is this: there must be a circular flow of electricity from the fencing unit, into the fence wire, through the switch (called a cow) into the ground, and back to the fencing unit – pretty simple.
But it wasn’t working. I carefully examined every inch of the wire, checked for broken insulators on the posts, took apart and cleaned every connection. I isolated every length of fence to check for continuity. I dismantled the fencing unit and cleaned it carefully, inspecting and checking every coil, module, and joint. Still no snap – dang!
Carol said, “Did you check your grounding?” She has an amazing way of taking the most difficult problem and making it seem so simple. But, rather than taking her advice, I argued that the ground rod is a steel rod stuck into the ground – it had always worked before so it should still work now. And after ranting for awhile, I pulled the ground rod to find it totally coated with a thick layer of rust and guck. With a few minutes of hammering and grinding, the rod was clean. Once driven back into the soil and the wires reconnected, the fence was snapping again, just like new.
It’s all about grounding. Hmmm? Just like life.
Ever have one of those days where there is one problem after another, distractions and interruptions, and not nearly enough time in the day? And it seems that the deeper you get into the problems and solutions the more complex they get? It may have something to do with road construction, traffic, technology. Or it may be work deadlines, finances, commitments. Or it may be in regard to relationships with your life-partner, kids, or colleagues. And you may feel frustrated, ticked off, and even angry? And dang, those feelings seems to make it worse.
Have you checked your grounding?
There are several simple parts to the circuit:
– what do you want?
– what’s in your control?
– what are you going to do now?
Although I could write a whole book about this, let’s simplify. So my challenge for you, should you choose to accept it, is to check your grounding every morning, before you get out of bed, and keep checking it throughout the day.
1. Set your alarm 10 – 15 minutes early.
2. When the alarm sounds, sit up in bed, in a chair, or on the floor. This will keep you from going back to sleep.
3. Pre-meditate your day. Think about what you appreciate in your life, such as:
– people and relationships – life-partner, friends, children, parents, colleagues, etc.
– material items – home, food, clothing, vehicles, etc
– where you live – location, community, environment, birds, trees, grass, etc
– what you do – profession, parent, partner, involvement in community
– your abilities, talents, and skills
– your core purpose – to feel and experience happiness, joy, abundance, success
4. Think about 2 or 3 things you want to accomplish today. Ensure they are tasks you know you can handle. And ensure the steps to accomplishment are things you can control. If accomplishment depends on the weather, the markets, or someone else’s decision, narrow your focus to the things you can control and commit to those.
5. Determine and commit to your first steps. What are you going to do now? And then get at it.
As your day unfolds, be consciously aware of how you feel. Use your feelings as your navigation system. If you’re not feeling the way you want to feel based upon your grounding, take a slow deep breath and think, say, or do something that will help you to move toward that desired feeling.
I’m not suggesting that you go from feeling helpless or frustrated to exuberance in a single breath. However, it is totally in your control to do what you need to do to choose to feel a wee bit better, and then a wee bit better again. This is totally in your control.
You and I may not be able to keep out the vermin, predators, and raptors with our fences. That may not be in our control. We can allow them to wander in and out of our lives without our reaction, and without them causing destruction and havoc. And we absolutely can choose to fence in what we want, our thoughts and feelings of happiness and joy.
Will they slip away occasionally? They might. Then all we need to do is gather them up again, bring them in close to home, mend the fences, and check our grounding.
Today, have you checked your grounding?
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