Hello, lovelies! I’ve taken a bit of a break from writing these past few weeks. Why? Well, everything happens all at once in my life, it seems and sometimes, all these different things dominate my time. Sometimes, things spiral and go completely sideways (if you want the alternative definition, feel free to click here – language warning!).
However, I’m back today with a post about Grounding Yourself – because that’s what I do when things go sideways.
What is Grounding?
You may have a general idea of what it means just by simple context and definition. As a Pagan, the term can also be commonly interchanged with “Earthing.” It is the practice of reconnecting with the Earth by means of physical touch. See, all things have energy, and that energy is transferable through touch. So, when you walk barefoot across the grass, or across a beach, or you stretch out under your favorite Willow Tree or spend time in your Garden tending plants, appreciating bumble bees and dragon flies… this is grounding. It’s reconnecting to the world of which you are part of.
Grounding is nothing new. Pagans worshiped for centuries in nature because of the genuine effects of natural settings. But today, we spend much of our time indoors, under artificial lights, surrounded by fake plants, with recirculated air and all sorts of electronics. Some of us even attend churches that are the exact same combination – artificial everything. That alone can wreck your body and mind. Add to that a healthy dose of worrying about scheduling, time management, finances, and all these other daily things we stress about and you’ve set yourself up for a pretty unhealthy and often unhappy existence. If you don’t already, you’ll end up eating antacids and drinking copious amounts of caffeine to stay awake.
Humans are part of the world around them, so we need to remember that. That’s where Grounding comes in!
How Grounding Helps
Grounding helps you because more often than not, the intentional act of interacting with a natural setting slows you down. It is a conscious decision to take a moment to center yourself and reconnect with the world around you.
You have to consciously decide to walk across the grass, barefoot. Your body processes the sensation of grass underfoot and the coolness or warmth of the soil. You process the sunshine on your skin, the heat or coolness of the air. You see the leaves on the trees or feel them crunch under foot in the fall. You can smell the soil after the rain, and the freshness of flower blooms in the spring. You hear the chirp of birds and the chirping of grasshoppers and crickets. If you’re lucky, you see the glow of fireflies at dusk.
Feeling it yet?
The act of reconnecting with the Earth helps you feel more stable – the ground underfoot is sturdy, but has just enough give to cushion your step. If you stretch out on the grass, you feel full body support. You connect to the ground beneath you because your senses are momentarily pulled into overdrive. Sure, you may still have all those worries and thoughts rambling around in your mind, but by intentionally pausing and focusing on just the sensations around you? You can quiet the storm, calm the chaos. It gives you a chance to breathe.
But what happens if you don’t have access to a natural location? You don’t have time to head out and over to a park – where there are likely to be loads of people and you just don’t need more people in your world right now! What do you do?
Grounding is definitely best in a natural setting so, if at all possible, at least step outside your home or your work and get a breath of fresh air, a dose of sunlight, a sensation of wind on your skin. Take a quick walk outside. Even if it’s in the parking lot at work, the act of being outside will alone help! However, if you can’t do that because, let’s say it’s 1 am and you’re dealing with all sorts of crazy drama?
I ground with rocks.
You read that correctly. I keep rocks in my pockets. Not big ones. Not even a bunch. Sometimes just a singular tumbled piece of petrified wood or a piece of amethyst for my dad. Sometimes, I carry a piece of rose quartz to remind me to do everything with love and kindness. Yes, you can pick up any rock that you find and use it. It doesn’t have to be fancy.
Why rocks? Because the act of holding a piece of cool stone in my hand helps me focus on a few things. One: it’s usually cool to the touch. Second: how long did it take the earth to make this little natural pebble? Three: if I need to, I can always throw it at someone (joking, calm down!). So yes, rocks. They’re an element of nature that’s easily portable and pretty to collect and generally accessible to anyone.
How to Ground
I ground in different ways.
First, I’m not a huge fan of sunlight. Not going to lie. I went through that Goth thing in High School and 20 years later, I’m still pretty much of the same mentality: black clothes rule, the sun is evil, and long live eyeliner! So, grounding for me normally happens at night. My favorite method? A comfy camp chair and a bonfire or a firepit. Yes, that’s not the same as what I put up above but you know why? Because I don’t want to sit in the grass in the dark. Why?
I LIVE WHERE THERE BE MONSTERS.
So, I’m also terrified of those things. I live in an area where Hobo Spiders (right) and Brown Recluses (left) are very, very common. I don’t do spiders. So, I’ll stick to my sitting outside in my comfy camp chair, watching a fire burn, and listening to crickets and frogs and watching fireflies. That’s my preferred method of relaxing and centering.
During daylight hours, I do occasionally venture forth. I enjoy doing yard work and playing about with my dogs. It gives me a chance to be part of the natural element in which I live and it takes my mind off all the other things I “need to do.” That’s the key, focusing your thoughts on the energy you pull in from the natural surrounding; it will clear your mind and help you focus more astutely on those things “you need to do.”
Grounding at work? I work in a call center. I’m around computers and electronics and people and recirculated air and all sorts of negativity all day long. I keep rocks at work. I haven’t braved the potted plant yet because it’s frowned upon at work. I keep one of those wax warmer packs (just the wax, not the warmer), and keep it opened at my desk. Scents that are earthy – pine or flowers or rainstorms – are pretty common. I have a “Witches’ Blend” that’s a lot of spice and clove and it’s wonderful for bringing me back to a centered, energized place.
Meditation and Formal Grounding has a time and place, too. I used to be very diligent to ground before rituals. I wanted to make sure I was in the right frame of mind to do magick or speak with the Gods and Goddesses. I would sit outside, monitor my breathing, focus on the feel of the earth under me… and inevitably, I would focus on how uncomfortable my position was, or how the mosquitoes were biting, or that loud car that went by. But, I did sometimes come away feeling more energized. For me, this wasn’t as effective as more impromptu grounding sessions, but it definitely has it’s place! A formal practice, if you have a space where you’re comfortable and it’s quiet and you can really focus on the activity, can give you a sense of routine. It can help you create a mental routine whereby even if you’re not able to go to your specific place, your mind can go back and the memories alone can help to center and calm you. It’s good for trance work, too (more on that later).
Whatever works for you, works. Use it. It’s a process to be learned! The benefits of grounding will definitely help you clear your head when anxiety kicks in or life throws you for a loop.