The sign next to the Tenken provides the instructions. “Introduction: 4 hits (loud, medium, soft, loud) Then, a 10 second pause and 1 hit which begins the 1st round. One hit every 50 seconds for 7 minutes, 10 second pause…” Every day at 4:45am the Tenken echoes through the Redwoods at the San Francisco Zen Center. The ritual grounds the people of this Buddhist community. Tenken is a reminder of how so many of us need rituals to activate our best selves each day.
What is the ritual that grounds you to activate your best self?
In Gallup Strengths, there is a strength called Connectedness. People with this strength often have a universal lens on the world. They weave together ideas and people, often towards higher purposes and goals. In addition, Connectedness is one of those strengths that often needs some sort of grounding ritual.
People can be grounded by spirituality, religion, social justice, environmental causes, education, or advocacy. Connectedness is an aspirational strength. People with this strength often do some heavy lifting for communities and businesses.
In order to do this heavy lifting, people with Connectedness tend to have a ritual that grounds them. Once grounded they are able to activate their other strengths and focus on purposeful work. I’ve heard people mention grounding rituals such as:
- A cup of tea on the porch in the morning, watching a sunrise.
- A walk with the dog.
- A candlelit conversation with a spouse.
- Prayer and meditation.
- Yoga, run or swim.
- Read poetry.
If you ask people with Connectedness if they have a ritual, many don’t’ recognize they have a daily practice. Yet, with probing, many will see, that they actually do. People with Connectedness will say things such as….” I did not get my walk in this morning and my day just has not gone how I wanted”. Or, “My kids woke up early and I did not have time for my yoga practice. I’m just not at the top of my game”. They missed their grounding ritual and did not fully activate their strengths for the day.
Every person’s strength needs different grounding rituals in order to be activated.
What do you do to ground yourself to bring your best self to work, family, and community?