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Finding Ease with Grounding
How to ground yourself, here and now
In Chinese Medicine, earth is the most prevalent element during the transition from summer to fall, so it’s an especially significant time of the year to practice grounding. But what does “grounding” even mean?
Before I started doing it intentionally, grounding always seemed like a vague concept.
How do I know if I’m grounded? What does it look like? What does it feel like in my mind and body?
For me, grounding is the practice of bringing awareness to where my physical body is, with my feet or hips on a surface (floor, bed, couch, etc.), and feeling a subtle to profound connection to the earth below me.
In the intuitive meditation style that I practice, we imagine a grounding cord from our tailbone (1st chakra) connecting all the way down to the center of the earth. Other traditions, lineages, and cultures have their own way of practicing grounding, which might include meditation, movement, music, and performing rituals.
Grounding is one of those tools that I wish we learned in school. Grounding is often challenging for me because I am always in my head (— can you relate?). I’m really good at thinking, planning, and analyzing to the point where it is no longer helpful or productive. For example, my new job is a temporary position and so I’ve been thinking and stressing a lot about what I might do long term, which inevitably leads to a tailspin of more thinking and stressing…
Will my position become permanent? Do I want it to become permanent? Will a different opportunity open up? Should I be looking at jobs outside of librarianship? Should I start teaching yoga again? What do I want to be doing in 5 years? What will the world even be like in 5 years?
But when I’m grounded, my mind clears and I get a bit more space from all the nagging worries, most of which are out of my control. Grounding allows me to act from a place of intention rather than reaction. I try to do it at least in the morning after I wake up and in the evening before going to sleep. Sometimes I’ll ground myself during meetings, in the car, or watching TV. I highly recommend grounding when you’re preparing for a big presentation or a difficult conversation, going through health issues, navigating tricky relationships, or moving across the country.
Earthing, a type of grounding, where you connect your bare skin to the earth, has been scientifically proven to help us heal. In the 2015 article, “The effects of grounding (earthing) on inflammation, the immune response, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases,” in the Journal of Inflammation Research, the authors state, “Grounding reduces pain and alters the numbers of circulating neutrophils and lymphocytes, and also affects various circulating chemical factors related to inflammation.” How amazing is that? I’m definitely going to putting my bare feet on the earth more often.
Here are some quick, easy tips for grounding anytime, anywhere:
Find a comfortable seated position, with your feet on the floor.
Close your eyes or softly gaze towards the floor.
Take a few deep breaths.
Feel your hips, thighs, and feet anchoring into the floor.
Imagine a line of energy connect from the base of your spine to the center of the Earth.
You can choose to say there for a few seconds to several minutes. The hard part, at least for me, is remembering to do it!
What’s your experience with grounding? I’d love to hear.
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