Be grounded: on being right where you are (poem)

What does it mean for you to come home to yourself? What does it mean to feel grounded?

I can still remember where I was when I wrote this poem, standing in my living room in the breaks between handstands. For much of my life, I’ve often written this way – in the gaps and spaces between everyday life living, when my brain is half preoccupied with another task and somehow phrases slip in effortlessly when I’m not thinking about it.

I’ve felt called to share this poem a lot lately. I wrote it at a time in my life when I was going through a lot of upheaval and change, and I didn’t quite know where I was headed. My words served as an anchor then, and maybe they can do the same for you now.

Be grounded

“Be grounded,”
I told myself
One foggy Thursday evening
When it felt as though
Gravity had slipped from the room
And left me floating
Far from the ground.
With no way to tell
Up from
Down,
I inhaled deeply
And exhaled
Without making a sound.
How often we let ourselves drown
In problems that don’t exist
I wonder,
Wandering down old avenues
Littered with memories
Moments imprinted
Like footsteps on the moon
Instead, cover the surface of my mind.
My mind is a body of water
That likes to think it can swallow me whole
And make me forget
I learned (how) to swim
Long ago.

So I tried:
“Be still,”
I tried
But
What is a life
Without movement?
Siting still felt like
Wasted time.
Only when
Fatigue + heartbreak
Combined,
Slowing down
Gave me a new appreciation
For Life.
She whispered in my ear,

“Hey,
Things don’t always go
According to plan
But
Sometimes
The most beautiful things happen
When we let go
And hold out our hands.”

I look down at my hands
The hands that heal
The hands that held me
When I couldn’t find the strength to stand.
These hands have been held
By others, too.
By past loves
And close friends
And the family that always remains.
These hands remind me of my strength
That swimming is a skill
And the past
Is in the past
But the future is mine
To create.

Then I remember that fatigue
That comes when we cling to things
No longer meant for us
That letting go is a skill also
And the magic lies
In knowing when to use it.

Some things are meant to be held.
Some things are not.
The choice is not always ours
But we always,
Always
Always
Have the power to choose
How we respond.
These hands are ours
So how will we use them?
I know (now) how I would like to use mine.

I stand at the edge of my mind
With my hands at my side.
The water ripples with a thought
But the current is calm
For now.
I feel the corners of my lips
Slip slowly into
A soft smile.
This moment just
Feels so right.
I pause and
(Truly) exhale
As if
For the
First time
In my life.

An original poem by Maia Thom.

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This poem is an excerpt from my first full-length collection, Kitchen Table Talks: Simple Reminders + Thoughts on Life. Inspired by the conversations we have around the kitchen table when we’re just figuring life out, this book is a space for you to breathe and come home to yourself. My hope is that it provides some solace in amidst the waves of chaos of this time. You can find out more here. Sending you love xx

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