Grounding 101

I am a very practical person.  I don’t like doing things unless I see a real purpose behind them.  I also will try just about any practice no matter how nuanced or weird it is as long as it doesn’t hurt myself or others.

I’m continuously exploring natural ways to relieve stress, anxiety, and basically live as the bravest, most authentic version of myself.

I’m always looking to answer the question: what really works to decrease suffering?

One of the main reasons I got into EarthWork is because I was having a whole slew of issues.  I was having difficulty taking care of basic things in my life and earning a living.  I was a yoga teacher at the time and a holistic healer. I was trying really hard to make a go of it all.  It was my dream to become a professional and earn a living doing what I loved—but it wasn’t working.  I was broke and constantly spending energy trying to figure out how I was going to pay for my basic needs.

I also was sick with Lyme Disease.  My body hurt almost all the time and my energy was very, very low.  I was at rock bottom.  When i began to work with the Earth things slowly (that’s how the Earth usually works), began to shift.  

Over time I began to open to the love or presence from the Earth through simple practices such as grounding (which you can learn today via the audio recording below.

Grounding helped me in so many interesting and surprising ways.  I was able to see that I needed to be more practical about my business and that teaching and healing can be a part, but not the whole thing (right now).  I learned how to ask for help.  Take time off.  

I got a job as a nanny and I began to tutor math and chemistry as a freelancer.  I asked for the kind of pay I would need to feel abundant and would help me grow my business comfortably.  I was able to take risks in my teaching and healing work, because I wasn’t dependent on it to make a living.  I began to feel genuinely happy.

To me, this is an illustration of moving from living from the head to the heart—which is what connecting to the Earth (or grounding) creates space for.  In my early(er) days as a teacher and healer, I wanted things to look a certain way—I wanted to teach 10 classes per week all full of students. I wanted to teach sold-out workshops and lead popular retreats around the world. I had ideas, but they were not working.  They were not working because they were not aligned with my experience, my skills, and my natural flow.

So, this grounding happens on an energetic level.  It’s an energetic connection to the Earth.  Through this energetic connection the way we orient ourselves in the world shifts. This ripples out to shift our thoughts, feelings, actions, and decisions.

It’s difficult to say what exactly happens when we ground, but it does a few things.  It brings us into the present moment.  It creates a sense of safety.  And it’s a way of remembering that there is love all around.

Here’s a basic grounding practice to strengthen your root connection.  An interesting experiment to do might be to do this every day for 40 days and see what happens.

Living in an ungrounded culture:

Western culture is predominantly ungrounded. I believe that we will reach a point where people will be so unhappy that this will shift over time.

There are symptoms that we’re living in an ungrounded culture all around.  One that I see all the time is people being obsessed with technology even in a social situation.  It’s not like technology isn’t beneficial in some cases—for sure it is.  BUT, sometimes technology is used as an escape (even a subtle escape), from being with what’s right in front of you, or feeling what you feel.

Another symptom of an ungrounded culture is disconnection to the food we eat. Often times we don’t know where the food we are eating comes from or how it was produced.  This is why I love CSA’s.  Have you heard of them?  Community Supported Agriculture.  You buy a “share” and eat week or every other week you get a box of what is produced from the farm that week.  You get a real feel for what is being grown at the time and in the area you live in.  Plus it’s more nutritious and you can visit the farm and learn about the farming practices. 

One last symptom of an ungrounded culture is that we value thought/thinking/intellect like no other.  Science, reasoning, and logic are prized above feeling, experiencing, and being.  It is difficult to see this.  Like a fish in water, it can be difficult to realize we’re in the water.  The drawbacks of overvaluing of intellect is that gifts and skills that are creative or artistic are diminished.  The drawback of overvaluing thinking, is that thinking often cannot solve the deepest problems we face—the solutions need to come from the heart.  We face enormous issues from racism, income inequality, sexism, global climate change that all stem from heart dis-ease, so the solutions need to come from the heart.

There isn’t one “right” way to ground or connect to the Earth. The more you play, the more organic the process will feel. Grounding can come in many forms—it can be simply connecting to the moment.  Connecting to the body.  Connecting to the food you eat.  Creating a beautiful space in your home.