For chronic over-thinkers, getting out of our heads and back into our bodies is easier said than done; it’s also the most important challenge we need to overcome to feel well.
Writer and shamanism student, Vanessa Kunderman is sharing these timely and insightful notes on grounding, centering and getting our ultra-active minds in balance…
Have you ever heard of the term grounding? Perhaps you were in a tricky yoga position, and your instructor spoke about finding your center, grounding yourself, pressing your energy into the earth. But what does that mean? Why were you asked to do that?
Grounding is very important for the modern woman, because most of us aren’t, in fact, grounded. Grounding helps reconnect us to vital, strengthening earth energy while bringing us back to the present moment. Finding your center is a return to self-awareness. Our daily habits can sometimes make us feel like we’re running around like a chicken with her head cut off – drinking cold coffee, being squashed by a backlog of important emails, while someone breathes down our necks and deadlines whiz by.
When you aren’t grounded, you may feel dizzy or loopy. You may feel drained, or clumsy. You may drop things or bump into desks and chairs. You may forget important tasks. You may feel like you’re having a hard time focusing, or that you’re super busy (like said chicken). These are all signs that you aren’t connected to your body. Sometimes, we are each so in our heads and caught up in our own worlds that we begin to disconnect from the actual world we live in.
Grounding and finding your center yourself is part of a healthy self-care practice. I always like to envision long roots stemming from my feet and connecting me deep into the earth. I envision them finding other root systems and connecting to them, firmly anchoring me in earth energy. Drinking a glass of cold water, getting fresh air, stretching, and even eating are all good ways to self-ground…
Are You Centering Yourself First?
Centering is the important step before grounding yourself. Centering helps you to detach and disconnect from all the things asking for your attention. It’s one thing to feel lethargic or burdened by busyness, and then think imagining a few roots leaving your feet will cure the foreboding unease. When we hang on to all these things pestering us, and then dive right into a grounding ritual, we bring all those heavy items into the earth with us. It’s important to leave them where they are so you can pick them back up one at a time when you’re ready.
Whether it’s a demanding boss, a crying baby, an endless to-do list or a mountain of dishes, centering can help you shake off all the things vying for your attention when you feel overwhelmed or defeated.
When you center yourself, you consciously pull your awareness inward. It helps to take a few deep breaths and say a personal mantra to prepare you for your personal grounding ritual. When you do this, you take your power back. You shake off all the things weighing on you. I like to imagine my arms and legs growing noodle-y and soft, forcing everything that’s clinging to me to slide off me and out of my energy system. Then I can get grounded.
It’s important to determine where your center is as this shines a light on a lot of things that may motivate you in your life, and consequently, may be making you feel ungrounded. When you identify the things that are affecting your ability to feel grounded and connected, you can begin to handle them accordingly, or even eliminate them all together.
Where Is Your Center?
Is it your belly or womb? Your heart? Your head? When you think of your center, where is it on your body? Try to pick a place on your body that acts as your center before reading ahead.
If You’re A Belly Person… you feel as though your centre is in your belly, you are probably very practical, and possibly outgoing. Your to-do list may also stretch out by the end of the week, and that can be hella stressful. You probably take on a lot of extra tasks as a way of helping others, but these extras probably bog you down. You like to help, but sometimes its at your own expense. You may also be unconsciously snacking or eating as a way to ground yourself! Many of us can self-ground when we eat, but oftentimes we eat mindlessly, shoving food or beverages into our mouths without even realizing it because our bodies are trying to reconnect to us. Maybe you don’t have time for proper meals. Maybe you forget to eat!
Centering Mantra: I am alive and well. I am my top priority.
If You’re A Heart Person… you feel as though your center is in your heart or chest, you are probably very sensitive and in tune to the feelings of others. You may feel strong emotions. People may call you to vent, consequently dumping their emotions on to you to burden, making you feel heavy, sad, tired or even unfocused. You may even pick up stresses from coworkers that don’t belong to you, carrying them as your own. You may find that you forget important tasks or feel overwhelmed by all the things expected of you, and other people’s drama may make you feel lethargic or sad. This affects your ability to direct your energy where you want to. You are someone who may need strict centering and grounding rituals as a way of protecting yourself.
Centering Mantra: I am alive and well. I release what doesn’t belong to me.
If You’re A Head Person… you feel as though your center is in your mind or third eye, you may have a hard time shutting off your brain at night. You may have many projects and be rather studious, or you may sometimes feel too connected to everything around you – or like you have too much to do. A head person will often work themselves up by worrying, going over every possibility to a situation, consequently working themselves into a stressed tizzy. Your mind is always active – always thinking, scheming, planning or brainstorming. You may benefit from scheduled, daily centering and grounding rituals as a “break” from your powerful mind.
Centering Mantra: I am alive and well. I am loved, supported, and in control.
If you catch yourself feeling ungrounded, stop, take a couple deep breaths in, and centre yourself with an empowering personal mantra. Envision all the weight falling off you, and then fulfill whatever grounding ritual you have that matches your life and habits.