Grounding Down and Growing Your Roots

April 22, 2017

 

The universe has a natural flow, just like a river. We can learn to more easily move with the current through mindfulness, self-care, and surrender. We encounter blocks and barriers when we forcefully thrust ourselves upstream. We fight our feelings, disregard the larger picture, resist change and challenge, and before we know it, we are stuck in an undertow.

 

When our centers are thrown off by the build-up of everyday stresses or we are pummeled by a sudden and unexpected life transition, we frequently find ourselves shaky, confused, lost, and indecisive, drowning in the waves. We find ourselves either locked in the past or frozen with fear of the future. We easily lose access to the present moment, to our lived experience, to our body and its inherent wisdom.

 

While these moments of stress, loss, and shock are extremely difficult and painful, they are also opportunities from the universe to refocus, realign with your values, and find gratitude, grace, and growth. These moments are the universe's awesome method of reminding you to bring yourself back to the here-and-now and reclaim your sense of strength and self-agency.

 

Luckily, the answer to coping is quite simple. The best thing we can do is slow down enough to carefully listen to the whispers of our inner voice and give it space to tell us what we need. While that inner voice may be faint, it is there and we can strengthen its sound with the practices of reflection and grounding. We can begin to cultivate practices to increase the volume of your intuition and strengthen your self-perception.

 

Grounding is the act of bringing awareness and energy back into your body, deepening your physical connection to the earth and your core. Whether you ground before a potentially difficult experience, such as a test or a tense interpersonal interaction, or you ground after an uncomfortable experience, you will benefit from taking the time to root your body and soul, restoring a sense of safety and calm.

 

To ground, we can use images or sounds to sense heaviness and wholeness. You can visualize a peaceful place in nature and sense gravity pulling you magnetically to the surface of the earth.  You can feel a stone in the palm of your hand and bring awareness to its density and weight. You can anchor yourself to the sound of your own voice or breath. The options are endless and, after frequent practice, you will know what resource will work best for you, depending on what you feel you need for a certain situation. 

 

I invite you to take some moments today to ground, to bring more awareness and self-care into your routine. Track yourself and see if you can feel yourself beginning to grow deeper roots of resilience and inner peace. Even in the face of life's mightiest challenges, you can remain poised, firm, integrated, and rooted in power.

 

Try this grounding exercise:

 

Sit comfortably on a chair or cushion in a quiet place. Begin by bringing attention to your breath - simply focusing on the sensation and sound of air coming in and out of your nostrils. Take this moment to bring awareness to your lungs, your heartbeat, and the rhythmic progression of your breathing. Just this can begin to settle your system and help to turn focus inward. 

 

As you sit, imagine your sit bones and sacrum rooted to the earth. Visualize yourself sturdy and strong, like a giant redwood tree. While you root down, also feel a pull toward the sky, feeling a sense of connection and poise moving through from the top of your head, down your core, piercing the ground beneath you.

 

Visualize yourself growing roots, firmly situated and planted, immovable and sturdy, making your way all the way to the earth's core.

 

Actively release and surrender any tension you may be holding, allowing it to flow down your roots and into the earth's core, burning and changing into something you would like to recycle and soak up.

 

Imagine composting pain, anxiety, grief, and taking up new nutrients, such as self-compassion, hope, forgiveness. This is completely up to you. Again, listen to that inner voice and see what it calls you to do. 

 

Repeat these words to yourself, either quietly inside or vocally:

 

"I am grounded. My spirit is grounded deep in the earth. I am calm, strong, centered and peaceful. I am able to let go of fear and trust that I am eternally safe. I am worthy of all things beautiful. I am grounded." 

 

Repeat as many times as you would like. When you feel ready, maintaining this new sense of calm and deeper connection, open your eyes and return to the room. Slowly connect to your environment by scanning the space and bringing awareness to your surroundings.

 

Return to this exercise any time you feel yourself losing your center. It is always available to you. 

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Erica Edwards, LMFT #106656

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