I wish I could say that I have always been a well-grounded person. I am actually quite the opposite. Funny story, I was such a wiggle worm as a child that my parents invested in a trampoline for me to release energy. When I would visit the doctor, I would have to sit on my hands or else I’d be running around in circles like a wild child. When I would visit my older sister, she would feed me peanut butter by the spoonful because she thought it ‘mellowed’ me out. Thanks mom and dad for never putting me on ADHD medication.
I quickly learned to use my high energy to my advantage where I danced from the young age of 4, transitioned into martial arts where I earned my black belt in Tae Kwon Do at the early age of 13, and was captain of the cheerleading team in high school for nearly 4 years. It took a village of people to keep me busy. Deep bows and gratitude to my parents and siblings for taking me to endless rehearsals, practices, tournaments, games and competitions. No wonder one of my nick names these days is “show time”.
Not only was I hyperactive, we also moved A LOT throughout my upbringing. We moved to Oregon from California when I was 2, my parents divorced when I was 9, and after that we moved houses nearly every year and I was bouncing back and forth from my mom and dads during the week/weekends/holidays. They did the best they could with the tools they had (no judgement). Fortunately, they kept me in the same school district throughout the years so that I could have some consistency, but it all makes sense now why I still get the uprooted/ungrounded feeling.
It wasn’t until I began my yoga journey 5 years ago where my teacher pointed out that I needed to slow down, even though my dad told me this for years. Sorry for not listening, Dad. I have always been a busy body and on the go. Even as I write this blog post, I am in Boise, ID for a Yoga Teacher Training. Always learning, always growing. However, I don’t think it is necessarily healthy/beneficial to always be on the run. More and more I crave being at home with a routine. I no longer glorify being busy. I actually glorify the slowness and softness of life these days, believe it or not.
I have received some incredible energy work in the past couple of years and my mentor stressed to me that I need to get grounded. It took me some time to figure out what that really meant and how to practice it on a daily basis. I’m learning that I haven’t spent much time in my physical body and reflecting on that it is likely due to me avoiding negative emotions from my past. Well, the last 5 years I have learned more about myself than ever and this has been the biggest growth for me emotionally. Still learning, still growing. It never ends, and that’s what makes life so meaningful and fun!
Here are some tools that I currently use to get grounded in my physical body so that I can be still, present, and mindful. Please let me know if this resonates or if you have additional tools that you use:
1. Get outside.
First thing in the morning I like to get outside and take in some sunshine. I also put my bare feet in the ground to take in energy and connect to the earth. Connecting to the earth with bare feet is so important and healthy for the human body. Hiking and going out into nature is also a must for me. Once I’m at the top, I take my shoes off and practice some meditation.
Focusing on my breath bridges the gap between the mind and body. Deep breathing brings us into the present moment and directly into our bodies. Place your feet on the ground, lengthen the spine, and breathe deeply in through the nose into the belly. As you exhale, soften the body and contract the belly. One minute is effective enough to ground you into your body.
3. Practice yoga.
There is nothing that will bring you into your body more than practicing yoga postures. They are challenging, humbling and require your full attention in the moment. The postures are intended to open your body and subtle energetic system, therefore allowing energy to flow and releasing blockages in the body. If you have yet to experience the challenge of a hatha or vinyasa class, I suggest you give it a try, and enjoy the bliss of shavasana at the end.
4. Sit near/swim in fresh running water.
The ocean, a waterfall, the river, a stream, hot springs all count! Flowing water emits negative ions which are very healthy for our cells and necessary for our human meat suit (cue lady gaga).
5. Tune into the physical body.
I close my eyes and attune to the present moment: I feel my clothes on my body, my feet on the floor, my spine long, and the breath going in and out of my nose. I do this often throughout the day and this helps me a ton to get grounded into my body, and then I ask myself how I am feeling.
I enjoy meditating the most before bed because it helps me sleep. My mind tends to be more active at night, so I practice meditation for 10-20 minutes. Meditation helps me to get grounded before bed and I sleep so much better!
7. Spend quality time with an animal.
I lay on the floor with my dogs and snuggle them. Animals really help to bring us into the present moment and bring so much joy to our lives! Anything that helps bring me into here and now is also grounding for me (out of my head and into my body).
8. Drink herbal tea.
I enjoy my morning tea and sit quietly while staring out the window. This helps to slow me down and nourishes my soul. Right outside my window I can see squirrels and birds, which bring me joy and calms me.
9. Carry around a crystal or sit quietly with a crystal in hand.
Crystals all emit different frequencies and help keep us connected to earth energy. I love to travel with a crystal in my bra or pocket to keep me grounded.
10. Essential oils.
Oils are a great way to get us out of our heads and into the present moment. I use oils like cedarwood, vetiver and sandalwood to help ground me. Just a few drops in my hand and some deep breaths with my hands cupped over my face does the trick. You can also put grounding oils like these directly around the area of the lower back/tail bone to help activate and ground the root chakra.
11. Practice a mantra.
I use the mantra, “I am grounded, I am safe” to help ground myself. Remember, our thoughts are extremely powerful. Instead of the thought “I’m not a grounded person” instead use “I am well balanced and well-grounded in my life”. Affirmations make a big difference.
Getting outside and into my garden is an unreal experience to not only ground and work with the earth, but to eat the food that we grow! Preparing healthy food is a creative and mindful outlet for me that helps me feel balanced and centered.
I hope this helps! Please share any feedback you may have below.
All my love,