As I sit down to write this I’m laughing inside. Why? I suspect that someone may read the title and assume it’s written by some meditating hippie with flowers in her hair, bare feet planted on the earth, and a blissed out smile on her face. While this may have fit my description when I was about two years old, it doesn’t fit anymore (at least not all of the time).
I have ups and downs. I feel frustration, anger and sadness. I feel tension and stress. I’m human.
One of the human experiences I appreciate that helps me deal with all of the intricacies of being in a human body is being in connection with the earth. It seems really earthy (go figure), and maybe too simple, but grounding into the earth (even when I’m in the house) can make a huge difference in how I feel without trying to fade or fix my feelings away. Over the years of being a mom I’ve also noticed that time spent in connection with the earth can make a difference for the kids, too, which is a large part of why I share these insights about the benefits of grounding into the earth for relaxation and renewal.
We live in a world that is really outer focused. Some of us habitually seek sustenance and revitalization outside of ourselves. We look to things, stories and experiences to make us feel differently. I’m not saying these tendencies are inherently bad. They are what they are. We live in an interactive world. Sometimes, though, we need to focus within — within ourselves, our families, our homes, our communities — so we can consciously choose the ripple effect we produce in our world.
Grounding into the earth, as simple as it is, can help us do that from the inside. There’s something very unique about feeling our feet on the ground and breathing into the earth while knowing we are supported and inner balance is only a few moments away. It may not be an instantaneous night and day difference, yet grounding can certainly transform the momentum of reaction into an opportunity to choose our response.
We can ground anywhere — even inside as building structures are supported by the ground also — and it doesn’t cost us anything. I invite you to follow along and begin right now. Then, as you’ve practiced some, take it outside and into your parenting, work and relationships. See what the earth has to offer you in moments of stress, appreciation, grief or exaltation without asking for anything in return.
Bring your attention to your body. The mind is always assessing information and it may continue to do so while you ground. That’s okay. As you notice how it feels to breathe and feel your body from the inside, feel your feet on the ground. If this isn’t possible for you right now either imagine your feet on the ground or make contact with another part of your body. Feel the bottoms of your feet and how they feel on the ground. Notice the sense of support and balance you feel simply paying attention to the soles of your feet (or other contact point).
As you breathe and feel your feet, notice the center of your body. This may be in the stomach or lower abdomen area. Feel from the inside and either direct attention down into the earth like roots, or draw energy up from the earth into your body. Sometimes you may want to do it one way, and other times another — or both. Whatever works is fine. The point is to notice how you feel when you stop to sense the center of your body and the ground that always supports you.
Breathe for a few moments and allow the ground to absorb any discordant energy or tension in your body. Imagine it draining out the soles of your feet into the earth for renewal and reuse in some other beneficial way or meet it in your body with gentle attention. Close your eyes if it helps, or keep them open to witness how grounding changes the way you view yourself, your family, and the world. Rest here for as long as is helpful.
Grounding can be done anywhere, and you can share it with others, too. Notice how your family responds when you choose to get a little space to ground. What can you change or create in your parenting and family experience through grounding into the earth for relaxation and renewal?