Why calm + grounded DOESN’T = nice

Be calm. Be groundedI root I Rise: grounding yoga in Southampton and Eastleigh. But don’t feel you have to be nice!

Grounding into the support of the strong earth beneath.  Living in the present moment. Accessing inner peace.  Releasing that which no longer serves me with my breath and my awareness.

For me, these are all vital practices within my life every day.

But please, don’t mistake being grounded and calm for being a nice, good girl, or a push-over!

What’s wrong with nice?

If, like me, you’re sensitive to the emotions of others and their moods and energies, you may find it all too easy to ignore and suppress your own needs and feelings.

We can become a people-pleaser through fear of feeling in the raw the disapproval of others if we don’t do what they want – we literally feel their disapproval as our nervous systems pick up on the vibes they give out and we get overwhelmed with shame and guilt and anxiety at this physically-perceived disapproval.

This need to avoid overwhelm can lead us to want to say the “right thing” all the time and do the “right thing”. It can feel easier than dealing with not meeting the expectations of others.

I’ll be honest, when yoga teachers like me go on about being calm, and letting go, and just being with whatever arises, well, this can almost feed the need to fit in.  Maybe you’ve had this thought: I won’t disagree with that idiot talking offensive nonsense, no, I’ll just ground, breathe out and let my need to disagree release joyfully.

And again, I’ll be honest, I’ve been there and done that all too frequently.

But within me, something is shifting. A fire has been lit.

I’m bored of being nice and the good girl and saying and doing the right thing.  No, I’m not playing that game anymore.

NICE: Nasty Interior Cheerful Exterior. My first yoga teacher Mary shared that thought, frequently, and it always made me chuckle as it struck a chord.

Be true – be you

There’s nothing wrong with being amenable, courteous, and helping others.

But if, by being “nice” and calm and Zen, we’re stifling words which need to come out or we’re going along with actions or ways of being which aren’t in accord with our own needs and our true selves, then we’re just lying to ourselves.

We’re oppressing ourselves. We’re creating conflict and tension and resistance within ourselves. We’re not honouring our own needs.

We’re creating stress within our bodies through the actions of our minds.

Where’s the yoga in that?!

Being sensitive can bring an internal driver to want to fit in because going against the grain is too over-stimulating. Yet being sensitive, intuitive and empathetic has already marked us out as different to the majority of the population, so we may as well rise up and claim our soulful natures and express our truth.

Because what’s pushed down will eventually come up and burst out – whether through anger or illness. I don’t want to be a push over. But I don’t want to be angry or ill either!

Ground to be still and strong

Which, for me, is where the practice of grounding and calming and relaxation comes in.

Grounding and being calm, not to be nice and floaty and eager to please but, to be present, still and strong.

When you’re grounded you notice the anxiety but can know you can let it go.

You can learn to see what’s causing it. Maybe it’s an over-stimulating loud and busy work environment. Maybe it’s because you’re pushing yourself to conform to having a full social life when what you really crave is some peaceful, quiet me-time. Maybe you’re picking up on the moods of others causing you to feel anxious for no reason.

And when you’re grounded you can see when something needs to change and can move beyond the fear of what reaction you might get should you choose to express your needs.

Stand your ground

So, stand or sit in stillness and ground yourself.

I ground and feel the physical strength in my legs and core and my spine.

I ground and access the support of the strong, stable, nourishing Earth beneath me.

I ground and allow my inner strength, resolve, courage and creativity to arise within me.

I ground and let go of excess nervous tension and anxiety to be calm and endeavour to act with awareness, rather than react from habit or having my buttons pressed.

I stand my ground and give myself what I need: quiet-time, space to think, time to breathe and release and allow and receive.

I ground myself and calm my nervous system and quieten my busy mind to allow the voice of my intuition, my higher self to whisper her teachings.

Because my higher self knows the way forward. She knows what is good for me.

She knows who I really am. Bright and sparkly and joyful. Serious, intuitive and soulful.

A gentle soul with a wish to help others accept and love themselves.

And a fierce goddess here to empower other sensitive souls to be themselves and fearlessly swim against the tide of a culture which prizes being loud and out there all the bloody time and a patriarchal society which discounts intuition, emotions and looking inwards.

This. Just this.

Ground. Breathe. Root.

Listen to your own needs. Let your voice speak.

Rise up to shine your unique light to the world.

I root. I rise.


{Huge thanks to Lisa Lister / The Sassy SHE whose SHE Flow Chocolate Experience I went to recently has lit a fire within me – fanned the flames of the glowing embers. I am lit up and ready. I am a called woman! I am here to empower sensitive souls who feel overwhelmed and anxious to accept and love themselves. This is my calling. Watch this space!}

 What next?

In the Southampton area? Come to a weekly class for regular calming mindful movement and relaxation in a supportive atmosphere. I teach several public classes a week and monthly workshops – check out my yoga class timetable and workshops schedule to find out more and make a booking enquiry.

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