Grounding is a buzz word in wellness and spiritual practices. Maybe you've heard it, said it loosely, but don't fully know what it means to ground yourself. Grounding is a practice of bringing balance back into the body, and it's often (though not solely) completed through establishing a connection with the earth. It's about being fully immersed, fully conscious and fully aware of the present. This allows you to grow deeper in your spiritual practice because you can, in a sense, shut off your spiritual side and really live and enjoy the present. That's key to health and wellness, and it's key to spirituality. We all know someone who spends a lot of time up in the clouds or off in La La Land, and I don't mean Los Angeles.
But when you're properly grounded, you haven't actually shut off your spiritual side; you've put it under your control. You've regained ownership of your entire being. Grounding helps you control the flows of energy coursing through you. Because you're the boss.
It's imperative for healers/intuitives/empaths to ground themselves, especially if they're actively doing work with spirit because it can help to anchor them in the present and in the earth plane. There is no time in the spiritual plane, and when we traipse around there it can leave us a little disoriented.
I talk a lot about many of us becoming "too spiritual" and I totally realize this isn't the most eloquent phrasing. But by being "too spiritual," I'm trying to explain that many of us are giving up our personal power, exclaiming that the powers that be will take care of us and our fate, or that we can't make a decision when Mercury is in Retrograde, or we won't do anything until we consult our intuitive healers. Remember: you are the architect of your life, and you always have all the power to make decisions for yourself.
Creating a ritual and practice built around grounding ourselves can help us reclaim our personal power. It can teach us to be fully present and in control of our future, our choices and our lives. Grounding is becoming more and more essential to our modern lives because many of us are becoming sensitive and empathic to the energy of others. We pick up energy and vibrations of other people and places that do not belong to us, and they can make us feel unwell.
Grounding can sometimes be a solution to these sensations, and a preventative measure, because when you're not grounded, you can deplete your energetic resources.
...Did you ever play the Sims? Yeah. Me, too. It took up a lot of my teenage years (OK and my twenties), and I'd like to offer the visual of your energy supplies depleting the way the Sims get tired - or hungry - or bored. Their little green bars of energy deplete, and you, the player, are required to offer them cures to restore themselves, such as rest, food, going to the washroom, reading a book, etc.
And since you're not a simulation game, grounding is what can help you restore your energy supplies, connecting you back to yourself and the earth. Cool!
10 SUPER CHILL
1. FOREST BATHING
Forest bathing comes with a whopper of physical restorative effects, but it is also a wonderful way to spiritually ground yourself. Take a walk in nature, certain that there are either a lot of trees, foliage or a natural resource around you (body of water, the mountains), and spend some time breathing deeply, filling your diaphragm, and observing the setting around you. Imagine yourself connected to all these natural elements outdoors, despite being completely separate from you. Try not to speed through your walk, trying to raise how many calories you burn or to hurry up and finish. It is a practice of slowing down and reconnecting, and bringing your sense of awareness inward, and I always find that marvelling at some of nature's masterpieces totally helps.
2. GREEN THERAPY
Sitting beside an plant or herb you have indoors is a great way to ground. Watering your plants is another great ritual as it connects you to them. Bring your awareness inward as you tend to your indoor garden or plethora of plants, absorbing their healing and grounding powers. This may sound tricky, but by being present and aware of what you are doing while you pour the water into your plants, talking to them and thanking them for being with you, ("Tasty water, huh, little guy?") is all that's needed of you to ground. Green Therapy is spending time around plants, though you may not be outdoors. If you're waiting for an appointment in the doctor's office - your nerves gyrating for some test results - try sitting next to that fiddle leaf fig that's perched by the waiting room door. Slow down; breath deeply, and connect to it. Keep a plant on your desk if work is particularly stressful.
3. GROUNDING SEQUENCE
With your bare feet standing in the grass and absorbing the earth's nutrients, close your eyes and breath deeply. Imagine long roots extending from the soles of your feet, penetrating deep into the ground, soaring deeper and deeper toward the centre of the earth. Feel yourself grow stronger and sturdier, anchoring and rooting you to the earth. If you can't get outdoors, be that it is winter or you're working, sit comfortably with the soles of your feet on the floor, and practice the same visualization sequence through your Mary Janes or socks.
Eating is a great way to ground and anchor yourself! And actually, many of us can overeat or become "emotional eaters" as a way of unknowingly trying to ground ourselves. Sometimes when we eat without intention, we can overeat, trying to fill a void we are unaware of; that void being a sense of disconnect and mindlessness. But by mindfully eating and treating the meal as an experience; savouring the flavours and eating slowly, we can help ground ourselves. You can't crush that Big Mac and expect to suddenly be grounded. Your awareness and mindfulness is required to re-attune yourself, stepping back into your power. Eating a fluffy, luxuriously decadent chocolate cake while slowly sipping a bold glass of cabernet sauvignon? Yeah. That can absolutely become a slow, sensual, mindful grounding experience.
5. CARRYING CRYSTALS
Crystals carry with them a plethora of attributes and properties, many of them touting grounding capabilities. And while many crystals' strength is amplified through meditation practices and intentional awareness, simply carrying them in your pocket is a great way to ground yourself throughout the day. You can thumb one in your pocket as a reminder. Here are some my my favourite grounding stones:
6. CUDDLING A PET
I'm not sure if you're sensing a pattern here, but a lot of restorative, feel-good rituals have grounding effects. Cuddling your furry BFF is one of the ultimate best grounding practices. Stroking your cat or dog has a therapeutic effect on your brain, and also establishes that sense of connection that is required in the grounding process. Animals (Animal Kingdom energy) are strongly connected to grounding earth energy, and anything that has you interacting with animals will have a grounding effect on you; walking your dog; riding a horse, volunteering at a shelter. The next time you cuddle your dog, remember that the experience can help to reconnect you to the earth, and bring that awareness with you as you scratch her ears and neck. Know you're doing something good for your pal, and for your spiritual side, too.
Spending an afternoon with the sun against your neck and your hands submerged in the earth is a great way to ground yourself and recharge. It will have similar physical effects on you the way forest bathing does, and the sewing of seeds and pulling weeds while you tend to the earth helps to establish the earth connection. If you're lucky, you'll work up a sweat and have some beautiful blooms to show for it; a gift from the nature spirits.
8. EXERTING YOUR PHYSICAL SIDE: SPORTS
Anything that requires you to exert intense physical force - like running after a soccer ball or chasing a puck around on the rink - is a powerful way to ignite your physical energy, grounding yourself in your body. Using the body with all your might and capability is very powerful and invigorating, and it instantly roots you back into the earth, pulling you down out of the sleepy, feminine waves of spirit. Playing sports is an exception with the mindfulness approach, because it usually requires intense focus and cooperation, and no time to step out of your own little world to be mindful and thankful for the present moment. But you are exerting the same level of focused energy, which anchors you to the earth plane. Yoga, Tai Chi, and Pilates are all very grounding practices as well.
9. EXPERIENCE ORGASM
Having sex can be a very spiritual experience. Having sex can also not be a very spiritual experience. So here's how it can be grounding: having sex has the same sort of intense focus that playing sports does, offering the ability to anchor you in the "moment". Some of us out there can run away mentally, folding the laundry and making lists of things we need to do while we're being sexual. This is an indicator that you're actually not grounded. If this happens to you and you catch yourself, use the weightlessness of orgasm to reroot you back into the earth plane, allowing yourself to be completely wrapped up in the sexual moment, rather than your mind. You do not need a sexual partner to reach orgasm, obvi, but now you have an excuse to orgasm every time.
10. DRINK WATER
Crushing a jug of water because you're super dehydrated doesn't seem really grounding, does it? But you know that big gasp you take after you've swallowed so many mouthfuls without breathing properly? That's super grounding. Filling up your body with one of nature's best resources is a quick way to ground yourself. Taking it a step further by bringing your awareness into the equation; feeling the water flow down your throat and sink into your stomach, is a way to root you even deeper, supercharging your sense of being grounded.
SIGNS THAT YOU'RE NOT GROUNDED
Feeling anxious can be a sign that your body is housing too much energy, and isn't very grounded. Grounding yourself with one of the rituals above can actually help reduce your feelings of anxiousness.
Another sign of being ungrounded, a headache can signify a build up of energy as well, and in this case it needs an outlet. Rerooting yourself into the earth with a glass of water, orgasm, eating or forest bathing can help quell this energetic build up.
Clumsiness can be a sign of energy that is unfocused or out of control. If you find yourself bumping into things, stubbing your toes, not being mindful or aware of your body and the space it takes up, try one of the grounding rituals above and see how you feel after.
If you find yourself unable to focus, or that your mind is constantly wandering, try a grounding ritual to anchor yourself back into your body and the earth plane. This can be a sign you're busy in other realms and not in total control of your own energies.
*though signs of being ungrounded, these can also be indicators of other health issues. Always trust your body and visit a health practitioner if you're concerned.