When was the last time that you felt alive? The type of aliveness when “wow” was the energy coursing through you. The kind of aliveness where curiosity befriends you and the next moment fills with as much mysticism as the one before. Aliveness is your birthright, literally. Yet how frequently is your aliveness eclipsed by obligations of your roles, responsibilities, and the endless stream of technology engagements? Grounding practices remind you that there is a light in you that can’t be extinguished; joy waiting to effervesce from you; hope waiting to inspire you; and kindness ready to embrace you.
Up until recently, mindfulness practices have been primary tools to quiet the mind and invoke self-awareness. The intention is to notice how you are participating in life and make conscious choices about how to show up moment after moment. Mindfulness practices can be challenging when there are so many stressors and pressures in any present moment. While mindfulness practices are grounding by nature, grounding practices go beyond mindfulness to support your physical health, emotional balance, mental clarity, and even your Spiritual and energetic lives.
What is Grounding?
Many people think that grounding practices center around going outside and placing your feet on the ground. This practice is called “earthing”. In fact, this is one type of grounding practice that is beginning to catch the eyes of health researchers. More and more studies are being designed and implemented to understand the physical and emotional health benefits of periods of intentional connection with the Earth.
Grounding practices also include breathing techniques – to help you connect to the present moment; mindfulness practices – to help you establish conscious awareness; movement practices – to help you move energy in your body; Spiritual practices – to support your connection to your wow or to a Higher Power, and energetic practices – to anchor your energy system (think chakras and meridians) and introduce flow and balance to that system. You can use tools like your breath, imagery, visualization exercises, or practices such as yoga, energy healing, meditation, or mindfulness. Some grounding practices may be done alone, while others might be supported by another individual.
Rekindle Your Inner Light
You may have experience with ungrounded people; they are like a small tree in the hurricane of light. They aren’t focused and easily moved in many directions. Also, they talk quickly or in circles. Metaphorically, they might be described as “out of here,” “beside themselves.” Sometimes our lack of grounding isn’t solely situational but can respond to challenges in life that have left you feeling under-resourced and flooded with emotion.
All these ungrounded experiences have one thing in common, the individual has lost sense of themselves. There is an opportunity to stop, rekindle a relationship with yourself (ground yourself), and then choose whatever is coming next from that place. Grounding practices lead you back home to yourself. They slow down the mind, lengthen the breath, begin to re-establish a meaningful relationship with your own precious and sacred self. This is known as coming back home to yourself and finding your light.
Little by little, as you engage in practices that bring you into a relationship with your light, something amazing starts happening. Your compass starts to shift, and your true North is based on alignments with your core beliefs, your essence, and your gifts. Little by little, your boundaries come back, your “no” becomes not just something you say and feel guilty about but a statement of self-worth and self-honoring.
Little by little, you get your light back, and your life follows.
Full-Body Breathing Grounding Practice
Try this grounding practice when you feel disconnected from your light and do something that feels out of alignment with your sacred self. This practice supports you in reconnecting with your walk – literally the steps you take from obligation to obligation and metaphorically the sacred walk you are choosing.
Imagine a traffic director holding up a stop sign in front of you.
Take a few intentional breaths to let the tail end of “whatever you were doing” flutter to stillness. (Sometimes, the mind will want to offer you some commentary on putting a pause on what you are doing. Honor the process of stopping.)
Focus on your feet on the ground, standing or sitting.
Feel the connection between your body, the ground, and the moment.
Breath into your feet.
Allow your inhale to flow to the bottom of your feet.
Exhale from the bottom of your feet all the way back out through the nose.
Repeat this a few times or until your body feels more settled.
Notice what you notice about how you feel, sense, or experience yourself after this exercise.
(Optional) You might ask about the larger why behind what you were doing when you started this practice. Was it for money? Were you trying to make someone else happy? Was it for your children? Allowing yourself an opportunity for grounded reflection on what may seem like it’s on autopilot can lead to new choices about how you spend your time connected to your inner light.