How many times have you felt your world turn upside down this year? 2020 is one that most people will never forget − maybe for the wrong reasons. We've suffered so many losses individually and collectively. There were moments some of us felt that we could never stand up again.
Thrashing to stay afloat and fighting the current just to keep going only yields an ever-increasing contingent of forces hell-bent on disrupting your clarity. You may have spat at your problems or prayed in complete despondence for the right solutions. It may have felt like you needed to ‘suck it up,’ compartmentalizing your emotions to keep on living. In reality, it’s just the opposite. In order to keep feeling alive, you need to rediscover yourself. Being present in the body yields the true source of energy, rescuing focus and drive.
The Bigger Picture
Centering, Grounding, and Shielding are key techniques to achieve strength and clarity when the going gets tough. These tactics can help people achieve magical and wondrous things.
Grounding reasserts the connection between the mental/spiritual self and the physical self. The energy that springs form our hearts and minds can get mucked up by its lack of tangibility, creating an inner entanglement. Grounding helps to neutralize excess energy, retaining only what serves. Centering is a cleansing process by which the practitioner regroups after sustained effort, shedding the foreign energies they’ve inadvertently picked up from others while strengthening their own inner force. Shielding means fortifying boundaries, setting us up to move through the next day like teflon when we contend with the mis-expressed pain of another person.
Finding Solid Ground
Finding solid ground means living in the moment and connecting to your authentic inner self.
There are different grounding techniques that will allow you to be your own rock. You can allow yourself to be steady, to become strong amidst all the trials coming your way. You need to realize that you are stronger than all the negative things that are happening around you. Get in touch with yourself by practicing the right grounding techniques.
Get in Touch with Nature
You do not have to go far to enjoy nature. Do you have a backyard at home? Allow your toes to feel the grass in your garden, a literal connection between your roots and the Earth’s. Walking barefoot in your home even suffices. Still, make sure you make it outside to get a daily dose of Vitamin D. There, allow the wind to tousle your hair around your face. Nature reminds us that we’re all children of this planet. We’re all made of iron and water and oxygen, just like the very ground we walk on.
Make Time to Meditate
Give yourself time to sit still. You have gotten accustomed to moving around all the time, working till the wee hours of the morning. You have allowed yourself to get so tired that you barely have time for anything else. Meditation holds space to recognize physical sensations. You are a soul and a mind physically inhabiting a body. Once we honor the fact of living in a body, it’s important to participate in that fact. Add deep breathing to your meditation by inhaling through your nose and feeling your lungs expand. Hold the air there while your body takes what it needs. Release through the mouth and repeat.
Move Your Body
Exercise is perhaps the premier underrated grounding technique. The fitness industry has co-opted and commodified movement, codifying ‘wellness’ as ‘conventional attractiveness.’ Fortunately, your body does not exist to serve other people’s eyeballs. It’s the vessel you were given to explore and achieve your life’s purpose. Dance in your room to the hit songs from middle school sleepovers. Run to catch the bus. Grab a gallon of milk and do a wall sit while on the phone with your colleagues. Exertion hurts at first, but the sensation of your effort, the atoms flooding into a frenzy around your muscles and joints, can reawaken the joyful realization that your body is a vibrating temple and not a prison.
Restrict Screen Time
The many gadgets and devices we rely upon for our livelihoods are unfortunately designed to send our spirits into a tailspin chasing dopamine -- likes and comments and follows -- while plunging us into the depression of constant comparison. You may feel the need to connect with other people on social media all the time. You may feel the need to see what other people are doing. Sometimes you cannot help but compare your own issues with how they are doing.
Save space for an occasional social media detox wherever possible. Put down your phone and do something that will make you feel present. Think of something to do that will unleash your creativity. Your 'me time' will also allow you to focus on your thoughts. Acknowledge the issues that need to be fixed and go to them with compassion. Remember that experiencing some pain will always be necessary so you can recognize moments of bliss.
Indulge in a Relaxing Bath
… or any other self-care ritual that you can reliably practice multiple times a week! Bath time harnesses the best of what’s hopefully free to us -- warm water, quiet time, and maybe a nice candle or some bubbles. Enhance your bathing experience by adding some Epsom or Himalayan salt to your bathwater. You can also add some of your favorite essential oils.
The ritual aspect of the activity you choose is crucial. It allows your body to establish a rhythm that incorporates some measure of healing. When things are difficult, your mind will subconsciously know reprieve is coming. Close your eyes and feel the warmth of the water as it engulfs you. The restorative energy you channel through your own ritual will help cleanse not only your body but also your mind and spirit.
Now Go Forth and Share Your Light!
Once you are done with these different grounding techniques, you will feel like you have come home to your body. Remember to bask in your small victories and sprinkle little bits of peace throughout your day -- a special add-in to your coffee, a dab of rose oil behind your ears, taking the scenic route home. Recognize that negative and positive energies are a constant, coexisting fact of life. Trust yourself to navigate them while staying grounded. Expect that there are going to be days where your whirlwind emotions might win. There will be days when you might feel like giving up, but through implementing your favorite grounding rituals, you can find the right amount of energy to sustain your body and spirit. Leading by example, you'll inspire others to do the same.