We all encounter situations in the course of our daily lives that throw us off balance. It could be an accident in traffic on the way to work that starts us off late, or an encounter with a colleague that is less than pleasant, or spilling something on yourself and having a spot that won’t come off, or some other thing that gets into our psyches and nests there. And as other things happen during the day,all of those little less-than-extraordinary mishaps seem to build up and acquire some energy of their own, and by the end of the day, one can feel not only exhausted but weighted down. Thinking back over the day it seemed like an ordinary day; however,those little stresses do gradually weigh us down and distract us.
And that is the issue: distraction. Think of a time when you were feeling really good about yourself and something that you had accomplished or an encounter that went well, or how you felt you looked. And in those times when you are at your best and most confident space, you are grounded in your body, aware of yourself and your surroundings, and grounded. So what happens when there is an accident on the street in front of you? Your heart starts pounding, you figure out quickly that you are unharmed, and as you drive away, you start to think – about what could have happened, or how the participants of the accident are, or an accident that you were in, etc. And where does your head go? It goes into emotions such as fear, or anger, or anxiety as you process thoughts through your emotional body.
When we are operating from our emotions, it becomes easier to disconnect from what is actually occurring and become distracted. The fear that we encounter at a near miss may take us into another situation with similar feelings of fear, and from there into something else. And at that point, we are disconnected and distracted. Have you ever noticed that when you are particularly angry or fearful you aren’t able to get a good feeling for your body? Perhaps it is because being in those emotions allows you to go into your feelings and disengage for a few seconds from the current reality.
So what do I mean by grounding? Grounding is a process that helps the body to connect to earth energies and thus place us firmly in our physical bodies. Because we are first and foremost spiritual beings the physical body sometimes gets neglected. It is important to respect and care for the "container" that houses our spirit. So how does one ground?
Here are some examples of grounding exercises that can be done easily and relatively effortlessly anywhere.
* Sit or stand with your feet on the floor. Close your eyes, and imagine that there is a cord, a tap root, that runs from the top of your head all the way down your spine, out through your tailbone, down between your knees and ankles and into the ground. Imagine that there is a bright glowing crystal star at the very center of the earth, and send your cord all the way down into that star, feeling the end of it root into it. Once it is firmly rooted, imagine red and gold and white light coming back up the cord, easily working its way up through each of your chakras one by one and out the top of your head, showering down like a fountain and back into the earth. Do this for at least a minute, sensing the energy moving up through your body and then bathing it on the way back into the earth. Now, starting at either end of your body – either your head or the soles of your feet - do a very simple scan of yourself, feeling each part of your physical body and recognizing its current state. Take a deep breath, and see how you feel. You are likely to feel more relaxed and centered and be aware of how your body actually is feeling in the moment.
* Do something physical. Take a few minutes and move – perhaps to walk up and down a flight of stairs in your office building, or go out and pull a few weeds in the garden, or go and look out your window and really look at what is outside, focusing intently on what you are seeing. Any physical movement causes different parts of our brains to activate, so doing so, reengages us physically.
* Use tapping or other centering techniques. EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique – is a wonderful way to bring yourself quickly into your body in the present and out of headspace that may be distracting you and causing you unpleasant emotional responses. Basic tapping information is available on the Web, and a good site is http://www.eftzone.com
How can you tell if you are grounded? You are aware of the physical sensations of your body and the environment in which you are located.You feel your own sense of self and recognize strengths within you. If you close your eyes, you can feel that you are able to focus using your rational mind as well as your emotional one. If you want to quickly test, close your eyes and think/feel/sense the color red. Red is the color of our root chakras that support us from our hips, legs, and feet, and secures us to the earth so that we are stable. If that red comes in loud and clear, the likelihood is that you are grounded. If you have some difficulty imagining, sensing, tasting, feeling, seeing red, take a moment with your feet firmly on the floor and use your strongest senses and imagination to get to red. As you do this, you are likely to feel your feet root to the ground, and just go with that flow, allowing the red to move through your body. When you open your eyes, you are most likely to feel more stable and at least a little more aware of your body.
Try it. I’d be interested in hearing how these exercises work for you. All of us let go of reality from time to time, and sometimes when we wish we hadn’t. Grounding can help you remedy this, bringing you back into yourself where you have the capacity to fully function, feel and act. All brought to you by Mother Earth. Happy Earth Day!