Terms such as “grounded” and “centered” get thrown around in the metaphysical communities so frequently and flippantly, it’s easy to forget that some people may not know exactly what it means. It was described to me years ago as our energy floating upwards instead of staying evenly distributed within our bodies and chakra systems from head to sacrum. Anxiety is one of the first signs of being un-grounded – felt as our energy crowding around our stomachs, chest, and face. When we are un-grounded we feel flighty, scattered, un-focused, and, again, anxious. We use words and phrases such as “off-kilter”, “scattered”, “knocked off my square”, “taken by surprise.” So, what do we do?
Learning to recognize when our energies have become scattered allows us to intervene with various grounding techniques and help us cope and “bring ourselves back down.” However, waiting to address the issue once it has peaked takes significantly more energy than addressing it before it happens. Before we can prophylacticly ground our energy we need to know our triggers – the things that un-ground us. This is done with simple observation or awareness. Reflect back on times you felt most anxious or scattered. Which type of situations jump out to you – a meeting with the boss, sleeping in the house alone, visiting the in-laws? The list of possibilities are infinite and as individual as we are.
For me, I can easily become scattered and un-grounded while shopping, especially during busy times of the day or year. My prophylactic grounding techniques include carrying a variety of stones, dabbing essential oils on my wrists and ankles, or dropping Bach Flower Essences under my tongue. The first thing I do before leaving is check-in with my energy and know my limits for that day – can I visit four to five stores or do I need get in and get out with just a couple? I will also give myself physical energy by eating a small snack such as a protein bar, earthy vegetables, or handful of nuts. I try to never go into a situation that is likely to scatter my energy without some food in my body; eating is a common way of grounding and mindfulness if often needed to not over-indulge. If I found myself feeling anxious despite my best efforts, I take a deep breath and feel my feet on the ground. I ask the Earth to ground me into it’s center and imagine a beautiful gold cord from my root chakra traveling down to the deepest parts of the earth, exhale, and carry on. If no specific moments come to you right now, be aware this next week or so and take note of your surroundings and thoughts the next time you find yourself feeling anything less solid and focused.
Taking just a moment of mindfulness and giving ourselves what we need can bring us back to center rather quickly. Maybe we need to step outside, or say something we’ve been holding back. It could be that we need to sit on a bench in the mall beside the water fountain while someone else looks around or excuse ourselves from a conversation. The Earth grounds us, often referred to as Mother Earth, she gives us all our basic needs – food, shelter, oxygen, and water – an endless supply of nurturing and support. She is always happy to connect and nourish us. In return, we could pick up that piece of trash blowing across the parking lot or decline a bag for our items we could carry easily – two simple examples among hundreds we could use to help take care of the source that takes care of us every day.