First Tool: Grounding

Those of us following a spiritual path, or taking yoga classes now and then, or even just exposed to spiritual culture in general, might often hear about the concept of grounded. “I was so grounded!” Is a phrase you might hear people exclaim. Or “Wow, I really need to take some time and just ground.”What does grounding mean?When I first heard about “grounding,” I had a vague sense that it meant somehow chilling out for a few hours or days and letting yourself “settle in.” Usually, grounding referred to settling in to some new situation, life event, or during or after a long stint of travel.

Trying to get “grounded” without understanding the mechanism was like watching women get pregnant when I was six years old — both seemed like something you waited around for and then just happened some day. If you don’t understand the mechanism for achieving a state of being, either energetic or physical, it’s going to be a lot more difficult to get there and to recognize yourself in that state (well, except for pregnancy… I’d imagine you’d notice).

When I started receiving intuitive readings around the age of 20, one of the first feedbacks I almost always received was that I needed to be more grounded. I still had a vague sense of what it meant to attain grounding and what it felt like to be there. Let’s talk about being grounded verses being ungrounded and what the two states mean for operation as a spiritual being on the planet.

Grounding means that we are connecting with the earth. A state of groundedness allows us to recognize, own, and utilize our connection to planet earth. The earth provides us with a solid foundation to literally set foot on — if you’ve ever experienced vertigo or been in an earthquake, you know how important it is to feel the steady earth underneath you. For a moment, think of the main quality of earth — that’s it’s stable or solid. Just like a stable, solid friend will always be with you during hard times, a shoulder to cry on or someone to talk to when things get tough, the earth is always there for us for stability.

The stabilizing quality of the earth provides our foundation for feeling grounded. Grounding to the earth also provides us with a mechanism for releasing energies that aren’t ours, or that aren’t serving us. Just like we might process our troubles with a stable friend, we can continually release energy to the earth, for it has the energetic ability to absorb our energy, recycle it, and make it available to us again in a form we can better use. We see this ability of the earth scientifically through large old growth forest — large, old trees sequester carbon from the atmosphere, pulls it into their bodies, and releases oxygen instead. The earth is a great recycler of nutrients and energy. When we are connected to it, we can process energy more effectively.

What happens when we’re not grounded? Many of us spend most of our lives ungrounded. In an ungrounded state, we lose the capability to release outside energies effectively or efficiently, so we often operate in a muddled energetic space. Because grounding helps to connect our energy bodies to the planet, including all of our chakras, being ungrounded can cause excess or outside energy in our chakras to run all over our aura or to spill outside of our aura.

One of the best and most extreme examples of being ungrounded is when you are drunk. After a few drinks, the light and hot qualities of the alcohol release our grounding the planet. We are unable to make stable decisions based on what is best for us, and we feel uninhibited by the heavier parts of life. Another example is when you’ve worked on the computer or watched TV for too many hours at a time, and when you step away, you feel like you’re in “digital world” — your brain feels foggy, you groggily walk over to the fridge and grab something to sip on unconsciously, or a bag of potato chips to munch on. We also can become ungrounded when we’re thinking creatively. Being ungrounded isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The space of being ungrounded can be a lot of fun — we might have great or creative ideas or be really productive on a project.

So why get grounded? Gathering creative ideas is great, but executing them comes from being grounded. When it comes time to sort the good ideas from the messy ones, grounding is what helps us to achieve that. Watching a marathon of Grey’s Anatomy can be a great stress release, but grounding is what will bring you back to the real world and allow you to release all the emotional ups and downs you felt while watching it. Grounding brings us back to our very exciting reality on earth so that we can create as spirits exactly what we want to create.

Okay, so how do we do it? Grounding can be simple, and it takes some practice. You can keep reading or try this guided video meditation. Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Close your eyes. Imagine all of your energy gathering around you into your aura, which extends from your skin to about an arms length all around you. Feel your energy centering in the center of your head, which is behind your eyes and between your ears. Simple know that your energy is here. Then, visualize a grounding chord forming from your first chakra (which is at the base of your spine) down into the earth beneath you and extending all the way to the center of the planet.

Make sure the grounding chord is as wide as your hips. You can visualize it in any color or shape you want — you can build a skyscraper reaching downward, or use a tree with roots, or use a color or shape you like. Have fun with it! It doesn’t have to be perfect; imagine that you are in kindergarten as you draw your chord. Once it reaches the center of the earth, let it grow roots and stabilize itself there. Then, give your grounding chord a “release” switch. With your psychic finger, turn your grounding chord to “release,” and allow that any energy in your body is heavy and releases from your grounding chord to the center of the earth.

Grounding might feel strange if you haven’t done much of it before, but ultimately your body will like it here much more. By being grounded, you now have a better ability to process and remove energy that’s not yours, freeing your space up to hold more of your vital energy! Like I said, the earth is a great recycler and will know what to do with the energy you give it. Keep releasing and feeling your connection to this great planet we live on!

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