Many of us feel deeply concerned about the state of the world and sincerely wish for beings everywhere to be free from suffering. With the global economy in chaos, the environment of the planet at risk, with war raging, corrupt political agendas, and an immense escalation in the amount of suffering and terror, how is anyone to remain unaffected without being completely disengaged or ignorant? What of those who ARE engaged; taking very seriously their role as healer, mender, advocate, activist, minister and others? How does one rise to “Take the Leap” (Pema Chödron), do whatever we can to help turn things around, and stay sane and healthy at the same time?
“There is only one time when it is essential to awaken. That time is now.” –Gautama Buddha
Awake to the possibilities as well as the truth.
Aware of the potential and the damage.
Able to take action yet stay in gratitude and peace.
It’s virtually impossible these days to be completely ignorant of what is happening in the world around us. I would venture to say that it would take a really concerted effort to “tune out” and remain oblivious. Several years ago (maybe 20 *cough*) there was this very large group of people in the New Age movement who ACTIVELY avoided any and all mention of “negativity”; not reading newspapers or watching the news, not participating in politics – even to vote. They were “too sensitive,” they said. It was “bad vibes,” they said. It hurt their auras, threw off their groove, put them in a bad space, blah blah blah. Most of these people were calling themselves “awakened” or “enlightened”, living spiritual lives with intention, and nearly ALL of them calling themselves healers with sacred contracts to “save the planet.” It was obscene and ridiculous. I mean seriously, of all the people who SHOULD have been witnessing, observing, transforming and making others aware of these atrocities, these folks were at the top of the list! I mean, if not you saviors, healers, activists and peace-promoting energy-wielders then who?
But that was then. Now I believe it is upon all of us living on this planet to at least be awake and aware of our global and planetary situation and it’s suffering. Perhaps we are not all able to do something big about it, but we are all witnesses with the ability to pray, hold space for the highest potential, or HOPE. We can light a candle for world peace, at the very least.
You don’t have to be an empath, intuitive, healer or “enlightened” person to FEEL this pain or become affected by the ugliness in the world. With the rise of social media, we are already inundated with horrific images and news stories without even trying to be. Walking down the street can be a lesson in violence, hatred, ignorance or discrimination. Ingesting all of that, taking it all in and not preparing or taking care of yourself can make you sick. Double this if you ARE a healer, empath, activist, advocate, minister or anyone else doing the work of helping this planet and it’s people and creatures. (Also, bravo.) So I’ve come up with a list of 10 tips and techniques to help you stay strong and healthy (and maybe even happy) despite what is happening out there.
“Embrace the suck and move the fuck forward. What other fucking choice do we have?” — Specialist Coughlin, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Part 1, Grounding
Grounding is essentially the act of connecting with the energetic field of the earth to balance out the spiritual and physical energies in your body. When you are not grounded, you can feel: Shaky, dizzy, “spacey,” forgetful, “out-of-it,” off-balance, overly sensitive, having brilliant ideas that never happen, etc. When you are not grounded, you are not in the present moment, possibly out of body or mind, and you are susceptible to drawing in other people’s bad moods, thoughts, feelings and energy. You are also not in control of YOUR energy, thoughts and emotions. If you are an empath, healer, energy worker, intuitive or medium, you already know all about what this feels like: overwhelming inundation of SUCK. And it hurts. It makes us feel depressed, agitated, terrified, helpless. Hopeless.
In electrical terms, the term “ground” refers to a connection to the earth, which acts as a reservoir of charge. A ground wire provides a conducting path to the earth which is independent of the normal current-carrying path in an electrical appliance.When we talk about grounding ourselves, we are doing the same thing.
So how do I do this grounding thing?
There are several different ways to ground yourself, and not one will work perfectly and comfortably for everyone. So try a few and see what you like.
Image copyright daily Oracle Card, from the Earth Magic Oracle Card deck, by Stephen D Farmer: Tree ~ Grounding
Sit in a chair with your feet on the ground, or sit on the ground with your tailbone and root chakra aligned, also on the ground. Being outside will enhance your experience, but is not necessary. Being under a large tree will also enhance your experience (and give you a buddy).Close your eyes and slow your breathing, making sure that you are breathing from your belly i.e., when you breathe in and out, your lower belly moves and not just your chest. Imagine you have roots that start from your tailbone, go down your legs, out through your feet and into the earth, or straight from your tailbone into the earth. If you are familiar with your chakra system, imagine they come from your root chakra and are red or brown. Keep breathing and stretching your roots deep into the earth, farther and farther, until you feel solidly rooted, like a tree, and you reach the earth’s core.
Once you are there, you can breathe up grounding energy/light through your roots and up into your body. Feel the stability, safety and peace that comes with the earth’s energy. You can also use this technique to release any unwanted stress, anxiety or energy that is in your body. Visualize it moving through you like a mass – a ball, that you have gathered together from straggly bits free-roaming in your mind, body and spirit.Send it down through your roots to the earth’s core to be vaporized by the intense heat there. Say a prayer of thanks and an affirmation.
Mother earth, thank you for surrounding and strengthening me with your loving energy, and allowing my roots to plant firmly in your soil. My energy flows through me to you and from you to me through every breath; cleansed, renewed and solidly present. Amen/namaste/with harm to none and good for all/so it is.
Eating reminds us that we have a physical body, and moves our attention away from our heads (or out further beyond) and down into our digestive system. Root veggies are great for this, because they grow under the earth and intensely hold that energy. Some folks prefer to eat meat or chocolate to ground themselves. Whatever works with your body and your preferences. Eating is especially helpful after doing readings, energy work, or spell crafting.
C. Anoint or rub your feet with oils
The simple act of rubbing your feet can bring you back into your body, the present moment and create an intention to be on the ground by bringing focus to the part of you that’s touching it! Good oils for this are: Cedarwood, sandalwood, rosemary (promotes mental clarity – bonus!), patchouli, and my favorite, ylang ylang.
D. Work with or carry specially cleansed and charged crystals
Crystals and special rocks can be cleansed (salt water, aromatherapy oils) and charged (moon-bathing, sun-bathing) with your express intention for grounding built into the charge and then carried in a pouch, pocket or worn in jewelry. Because of the unique symmetrical patterns of their atoms, crystals can and do hold and emit electromagnetic charges, and not unlike batteries, need to be recharged routinely. Good grounding crystals are: Black Tourmaline, hematite, obsidian. When charging your crystals with intent, keep in mind that each different crystal is part of a collective that is guarded over by a specific Deva. Devas are beings of light (fae) that are special emissaries of the Mineral Kingdom. They want to communicate with you and help you achieve your greatest potential especially if that helps their planet heal too. Have a conversation and make your intentions clear, with humility, gratitude and respect, and you will have an entire collective of Hematite (or whatever crystal you choose) behind you, not to mention a new friend of light.
E. Make direct contact with the Earth/Earthing, Gardening, Walking, etc.
Walk barefoot outside in the grass or mud or soil. Place the palms of your hands on the ground while sitting outside. Hug a tree. Play in your garden. Hike a mountain path. Breathe in the stillness, strength and solidity that the earth offers you.
F. Human Grounding/Touch
We can be influenced by others. Being around grounded people, people we call “down to earth,” can also have grounding effects on us. If we have relationships with people who also practice grounding, or are just naturally grounded (Capricorn, Taurus people, you know who you are!) we can do exercises with them, or just have them touch us – hands, shoulders, feet.
Also, animals can be very grounding. What’s more grounded than a dog, horse, cow, or pig? (NB: I’m sure there are plenty, I’m just using them to illustrate the point.)
Exercising – yoga, biking, weight lifting, walking, etc. really tunes you into your body and breath. Yoga, in particular, has the ability to be incredibly grounding and there are even poses that are specifically for grounding. Sukhasana (easy pose), trikonasana (triangle pose), tadasana (mountain pose), vrksasana (tree pose) and, my favorite, virabhadrasana II (warrior II) are all excellent grounding poses.
This is part one of an ongoing series that I am going to devote to this topic, because it is so important and the sheer amount of information would just make it too long. I hope these help you. In the next post, I’ll talk about Self-Care, and what a critical role that plays in your overall state of wellness and happiness.