This week on my Facebook page we are exploring “Self-Care’ and I thought that I would write the next instalment as a blog rather than a post, seeing as I’ve been neglecting this site due to book writing.
So far we have been concentrating on the self-care skill of centring. Todays theme is grounding. Grounding is quite similar to centring. They both involve slowing down and being more present in your body and the moment. Both skills are excellent remedies for anxiety, hyperactivity and stress.
Centring has a circular, spherical feeling to it. We might find the centre of our being and draw our energy back into this centre from all directions. Or we might tap into our centre and radiate peace and calm outwards from it, in all directions. If you could ‘see’ your centre, it might look like a ball of light.
Grounding is more about the flow of energy (or the relationship) between our spirit and our body, and our body and the earth. It’s the anchoring of the ‘above’ into the ‘below’ and the nourishment that flows between the two. Here are some interesting ways of looking at grounding:
When you are grounded, your spirit is properly and fully anchored into your body, and present with this physical experience. Which is, after all, what you came here to do! When we are grounded, we are happy to be here, having this physical experience, in this body and this life. When we are grounded we are fully engaged with the juiciness of having a physical body, a physical experience. Sex becomes great fun, so does food and all of the other sensory delights that come with being embodied.
Another way of thinking about grounding is to think of it as your physical body’s connection with its larger body, the earth. Our physical body and the earth are both made out of the same ‘stuff’. During healing work, one of the things I check is a clients ‘grounding lines’. These are the energy lines in the aura that connect our body to the earth. The can run directly from the base chakra at the bottom of our spine into the earth, or via our legs and feet into the earth. Sometimes these energy lines are blocked, frayed, tangled, congested or even missing altogether! My job as the healer is to repair this connection with the earth and teach the client new skills so the pattern doesn’t recreate itself.
We all have ungrounded moments or go through ungrounded phases from time to time. When I’m ungrounded, it’s usually because I’m rushing and trying to do too much at once, or because I haven’t had enough sleep, or because I’ve had too much caffeine or refined sugar.
How can you tell when you are ungrounded?
Ungroundedness expresses itself in a variety of ways:
*Being rushed, speedy and making mistakes. When we are ungrounded in this way, our thoughts, speech and actions are very fast. City people can sometimes seem a bit like this to country people and young people can seem like this to older people. For me, when I’m like this, I’m trying to think, do and/or say five different things at once. I might leap about from one thing to the next without finishing things or making any steady progress. This kind of ungroundedness can lead to burn-out and a frazzled nervous system! If you are suffering from this kind of ungroundedness, it’s important to ‘earth’ all that excess energy into the earth. Imagine the energy running through your nervous system is like lightening or electricity and there is too much of it: it’s important to let the excess charge release itself via our base chakra (or legs and feet) into the earth. As you go about your day, discipline yourself to think, speak and move a little slower. Do less. Say less. Think Less (or think one thing at a time!) Finish what you start before moving onto the next thing.
*Feeling vague, floaty, dreamy. Sometimes when I first wake up in the morning it takes me a while to fully ‘come to’… which is exactly the same kind of disorientated, vague, foggy feeling you can get when you aren’t properly in your body (i.e. ungrounded). This is also the kind of thing that can happen to people after a healing, because it takes a while to come out of the altered/relaxed state back to a normal waking state. People who are prone to this kind of ungroundedness have energy fields that are over-developed in the upper chakras (crown and brow) but underdeveloped in the base chakra. They might be very spiritual and sensitive, but they have trouble being fully present in the physical body and the physical world. To remedy this pattern, you might imagine stepping into an elevator in your mind and lowering back down into your body, or you could visualise tree roots stretching down from your base chakra or through your feet and into the earth and then imagine your root drinking earthy, stabilising energy back up into your body.
*Not wanting to be here. If I hear a client saying “I hope this is my last lifetime” or “I wish I was somewhere/someone else”, I know they are having trouble with their grounding. When we are grounded, we are happy to be here, what or whereever ‘here’ is…. or at the very least, we accept the reality we are in and getting on with making the best of what we have! ‘Not wanting to be here’ can manifest as chronic discontent, or or it might simply be a tendency to get caught up in your head rather than staying anchored into the present moment via your physical senses. To remedy this pattern, practise being fully present during a daily mundane activity, like walking or watering the garden. Use your physical sense to keep you anchored into your environment and your now-moment.
*Being unrealistic, romantic, etc can be an extension of the last two patterns. When we are ungrounded in this way seem a bit lost and unmoored, floating about amongst dreams and ideas that don’t have much substance in ‘the real world’. This might be because the idea was unrealistic in the first place, or as so often happens when we are ungrounded, the idea is simply ahead of its time and the world isn’t ready for it yet. Another challenge we can can face when ungrounded is that we can’t ground our ideas into reality because we love the idea of something more than the practical work needed to make it real.
Can you relate to any of these pattern? There are many more ways ungroundedness can express itself, but these are some of the main ones. Here are some recent examples I was working with in clinic:
This client had damaged and missing ‘grounding lines’. I repaired the damage and regenerate the missing lines. Then, with some counselling, I found out that she felt disconnected with her family of origin and still hadn’t put down roots in her life: she didn’t know where she fits and who she was. She hadn’t found the people, the place or the work that would nourish her, so I taught her some mindfulness healing skills to rewire these old wounds so she can create a new truth, a new experience. I asked her to practise a new mood/truth/belief and to start looking for tangible evidence in her life on a daily basis, that this new belief could be (or become) true for her.
This client was having trouble with anxiety and panic attacks. He is prone to what I call ‘hioking up’ where all the muscles clench and drawn upwards, rather than relaxing and letting go. He had a lot of tension in his solar plexus area (upper abdomen) and shoulders. His thoughts would very quickly spin out of control, creating “what if” dramas that weren’t real, and he drinks too much coffee. I asked this client to start substituting some of his coffees for chamomile teas and I taught him how to consciously relax. The relaxation process is a grounding process: when our muscles relax, our energy drops downwards. I combined the relaxation with creative visualisation to help with the ‘downwards’ movement of energy: he imagines a waterfall running down over him, washing away the stressful thoughts and feelings.