The Experience Of Grounding
© Don Shetterly 12/14/08
Grounding is so important in our lives and yet many of us are fragments in the wind during our days. Think about the lightning rod on a house that stands above the highest point waiting for that moment when lightning would strike. It has no other purpose than to ground the house when a massive supply of electricity hits. When lightning hits, the electricity generated travels the shortest path to the earth where it is discharged.
So too with us, we take in so many things in our lives, from new information, to stress, to worries and pain among other things. The lightning strikes we take in are numerous and if we are not connected to the grounding nature of the earth, we most likely will experience power surges, tripped breakers and extra jolts and buzzes in our days. However, it is just not about lightning strikes. There are stray sources of electricity all around us in our day that can be felt directly or indirectly. Without grounding, one would feel the buzz and jolt of this stray electricity.
But what does it really mean to be grounded, as this can sometimes be a buzz word in new age healing circles? Grounding encompasses being at home within your body. It is about knowing what is true and pure and connected. It is about being so comfortable with who you are that you can evaluate what is going on around you, knowing that your evaluation is a source of truth in your life. It is a place of refuge from the deluge of all that we experience in life, knowing that this is a steady place built up on an unshakable foundation of support in our lives. Grounding is when you do not accept everything you see, hear, feel or are told at face value, but you find a way that you can give it credibility against something that is unshakable. Seeing numerous confirmations from many different unrelated sources can help to display the connectedness of the grounding in our lives.
So many times in our lives, we are brought information by those who mean well, but the connection to the source of the information is lacking. Sure, we can choose to accept these pieces of information by faith, and trust that the person bringing them to us has a connection to the source of them. However, what if they don’t? How can we evaluate where the truth or the awareness lies? I would suggest that accepting information by faith and trust in what someone says is possibly the beginning of the journey, but without some evidence to back it up, one needs to proceed with utmost caution or until it can be evaluated and confirmed at some future point.
Have you ever had that gut feeling about something? Have you made a decision based upon what your gut tells you to do? I believe many in our culture have done this. Sometimes the gut can be a good barometer of where we are headed. This is one way to stay grounded within ourselves to evaluate what information we receive or what our daily path throws at our feet. It is a visceral connection in the body, and the more we are truly connected to our body in awareness, the more we can do the evaluations. Of course this connection invites us to become more aware of ourselves and fully integrate our mind and our bodies as one.
If we are so busy in our lives that we can not stop to take a moment to breathe but are running from one task to the next, it will be difficult for us to stay grounded. We need to give our bodies and our minds and our spirit time to experience the fullness of all that is around us instead of hurriedly rushing to and fro. I remember when I was paralyzed and the very first weekend I got to sit out in the sun and nature, I heard the birds sing for the first time in a long time in my life. Here were the birds singing and chirping around me as they do every day and yet, I had become so busy in my life to even notice. I was not grounded in myself, my body or life and I was missing out on some of the greatest music one could ever hear – the sounds of nature.
We can also become so busy exploring new spiritual paths of healing and enlightenment that we short change ourselves to the true essence of walking down our path. Healing, spiritual enlightenment and personal growth are fabulous things to focus on but without grounding they can almost become like an out of tune instrument in a band. While the instrument plays the music, it is out of tune and fails to resonate with the rest of the band, thereby providing an entirely different dimension to the rest of the band. However if we tune our instrument to that of the frequency of the rest of the band, then we add to not only our experience as an instrument but to the overall experience of the band for the further experience of all who receive the sounds. Let us be all that we can be by tuning and grounding our instruments so that we can not only grow in our own awareness, but so that we can give much more to so many others.
Learning how to ground one’s self can be a difficult pathway or it can also be one that is simpler than we realize. What if for a moment or maybe even 30 seconds, you just stopped and focused on your breath. Notice the rise and the fall. Notice how far the breath goes through your body. Notice the restrictions or difficult places your breath may come up against. Notice how it feels to breathe and just focus on it. This brings you back into the present moment, the now, and it brings you back into a place of grounding. If one was to do this every day, it would most likely have a major impact upon your life. If you continued to allow this grounding to take place, it would lead you to further awareness and choices in your life ahead. It would give you so much information and would so connect you to yourself and the power within yourself, which is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves.
For being grounded does not come from other people. It comes from within us and being completely connected to the power, the truth and the awareness we have about ourselves. It is a somatic connection between our mind, our body and our spirits.
Consider another example of grounding that you can do without too much effort. Find a quiet place, preferably outside, where you can sit comfortably. Place your feet on the ground and just allow yourself to be still, to be in the moment. Imagine whatever it is that you are experiencing in your day to just come down through a funnel in your head and travel all the way down through to your feet exiting into the ground. As it exits into the ground, know that the earth will transmute all that you give it as it gives you strength, support and a strong foundation to go about the remainder of your day.
Another example of grounding is to sit or lie down, and then place your hands on your abdomen. Allow your breathing to slow and your mind to still as you notice whatever your body feels in the moment. Allow whatever it is to come through and acknowledge the fears in whatever way they show up. As you do this, allow the resistance to go giving away to a greater sense of freedom, peace, and grounding.
Part of being grounded, though, requires us to be at home within our bodies where we can grow to love ourselves without condition or prejudice or judgment. The more we follow ourselves into the deep dark recesses of our mind-body connection, the more we are able to release the things that we may no longer need, providing space for joy, happiness, love and grounding in our lives. The more we give to ourselves through awareness of ourselves, the more we will truly be able to proclaim the power of who we are, which will keep us more grounded for each moment of each and every day.