When you’re feeling grounded, you’re like a big, strong tree rooted firmly into the earth.
Fierce winds may ruffle your crown, and you might even lose a few leaves and branches.
But still, you remain standing – and your life force helps you to recover quickly from any setbacks.
On the other hand, when you’re not grounded… those same winds can knock you off balance or take you in any direction, whether you want to go or not!
We naturally develop our own ways to help us ground, even if we don’t realise that’s what we are doing. The practice of grounding is so important in our daily lives.
Whether you love going to the beach, walking, planting flowers or hanging the laundry, these are all activities that help us return to the present moment.
Inevitably though, there are times when the winds are unrelenting. Sometimes we forget what works for us, and other times it’s simply no longer enough.
In these times, we need to place a particular focus on our grounding, so that we can once more find balance. Other times, it is equally important that we consciously ground ourselves as part of our everyday.
Here are some easy tools that will help.
Find a quiet spot, where you will be undisturbed for the next 10-20 minutes.
Sit or stand comfortably with your feet firmly planted on the floor and take a few deep breaths. Imagine that there are strong roots growing from your feet deep down into the ground. Watch them tunnel through the ground, the soil, rock and through the earth’s crust. Your roots grow deeper and deeper until you reach the molten, red centre of the Earth. Next, feel the gentle, warm, loving, motherly Earth energy, starts arising through your roots and filling your body.
You are loved, connected and supported. Stay with this feeling for as long as it feels good.
‘Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.’ – That Nich Hanh
A walking meditation can amplify the feeling of peace. As you walk, become completely aware of your body. Become present in this simple task. Notice how your foot leaves the ground and moves through the air to meet the footpath once again. Notice the gentle sway of your arms backward and forward. Feel the heaviness of your feet on Mother Earth, and feel how you are always totally supported.
Explore the world around you. What colours are catching your attention? What sounds are around you? What smells? Give yourself 10-15 minutes to walk and be truly present.
Use a Mantra
A mantra is a word or a phrase which can be repeat to help you concentrate while meditating. You can also use a mantra without formal meditation to give your mind an opportunity to focus on something other than what is causing you distress.
Any phrase can be a mantra. Choose something that feels good and true, so that your mind doesn’t try arguing back. Your mantra can be as simple as ‘I am’ or ‘I let go’. It can also focus on a feeling or quality that you would like more of, for example; ‘I am open to inspiration.’
Move your body
Walk, swim, throw the ball around with your kids. Put some music on and dance, while listening closely to your body and moving the way it would like to move. Any physical movement will help you get out of your head and into your body, which will instantly help you feel more grounded.
Through yoga we can become fully present by connecting to the present through our senses, getting out of our heads and enhancing a deeper connection with our physical body – our vehicle for life. It’s all about connecting to our deeper selves, with gentle movements and grounding postures to help find stability, balance and peacefulness of the mind… as we surrender to the gravity of Mother Earth. Try Yin Yoga, or for a start, simply try child’s pose for a few minutes!
Connect to Nature
The natural world can give us perspective, and tends to remind us that beyond our stresses, life goes on. Connecting with nature makes a wonderful practice for grounding and balance.
If possible, try and walk bare feet outside or on grass. Gardening, bushwalking and swimming in the ocean – all work wonders for bringing us back down to earth.
One study found that a ninety-minute walk in nature decreased brain activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex, a space that is highly active when dwelling on negative thoughts.
For the opportunity to re-connect with nature in the gorgeous Blue Mountains, as well as plenty of other grounding exercises (such as meditation classes, yoga and drum circles)… you’re always more than welcome to visit us at Happy Buddha.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2017… but we’ve added to it!
Tatiana is a freelance writer and a mum of three living in Sydney. After a 10-years’ break, she has just returned to full-time work. She is still finding time for yoga, meditation and mindfulness, which is making a huge difference to her sanity and her enjoyment of life.