Have you ever wondered why people are learning how to “get grounded” and why people are bothering to use sage and other herbs to smudge, or clear their space? I believe that there are actually a number of reasons contributing to the recent uptick in the awareness and regular use of these old rituals. I will describe some issues that may be causing people to feel ungrounded, and offer some tips to use that can be helpful for both grounding and clearing a space.
- Media We are experiencing a lot of information coming at us in record ways, thanks to the constant stream of media that is now available to us–both a blessing and a curse. It is easy to get swept up, overwhelmed and lost into the troubles of the world.
- Nature Deficiency Most of us are simply not spending enough time outdoors, in nature. Being in nature is one of the most grounding practices available. In recent years, the pendulum has started to swing back, with people practicing “earthing”, or walking barefoot outside for several minutes a day, and using the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku, or “Forest Bathing” that is spending a time around trees, as well as simply hiking or walking in nature.
- Lost in Thought With all of the media and lack of being outdoors, it is very easy to become lost in thought. When we are lost in our thoughts, we can become anxious if focusing too much on the future, or have depressed thoughts if we dwell too much in the past. The popularity of Mindfulness practice is also growing in recent years to our western culture in reaction to our modern conundrum.
How do you know if you need to get grounded? Well, if you feel lost in thought, are anxious, worried, or are feeling a depressed mood, you can certainly benefit by using grounding practices.
By using grounding practices, we can begin to feel more connected with our bodies and the earth. Some of these practices include:
- Get outside Go for a walk, take off your shoes and walk barefoot in the grass, touch trees, go hiking. This is incredibly beneficial for the central nervous system, and can heal many ails.
- Meditate Practice a meditation where you visualize roots coming out of your feet, or your tailbone (if sitting) and growing into the ground. Feel your connection to the earth (even if you are inside), and breathe deeply for even just a few moments.
- Practice yoga Yoga is a wonderful grounding practice that offers a variety of ranges for any level of practicioner
- Exercise Exercise can be very grounding, especially if you can do it outside. It gets you in your body, and helps you to focus on your breath.
- Eat Grounding Foods Grounding foods can be things that are literally grown in the earth, such as potatoes, turnips, radishes, and other root vegetables. Dark chocolate can also be a very grounding food.
Clearing exercises can also be very helpful to keeping your home, office or even car clear. How do you know if you need to clear yourself or your space? If there has been an argument in a space, or there has been a period of sadness. If you have brought in objects from a thrift store into your home, or simply if you feel that your space just needs it.
Here are some rituals that can be used in your space or on yourself.
- Smudging The use of burning dried herbs, woods, or resins is an old practice that has been used in many cultures. They include the use of sage, juniper, lavender, marigold, palo santo, and even tobacco. They may be used loosely in a fireproof bowl, or in a bundle, or “smudge stick”. These can be purchased at shops, online, or even made by bundling and drying fresh herbs.
- Smudge or Essential Oil Sprays Some people are sensitive to smoke, or may prefer the ease of using a spray in a shared space, such as an work space or in a car. These can be purchased or made at home with essential oils and water.
- Sound Vibration Another way to clear a space is by using singing bowls, bells, chanting or singing, and even clapping. This is an effective way to remove stagnant energy in a space.
- Declutter The simple act of decluttering your space is amazingly powerful to clear the energy. Too many things can really clutter up your thinking and energy flow.
It is good to experiment with these practices, (safely when smudging) to know what suits you, as they can be highly personal. Take some time to bring them into your life and you should notice a real difference in feeling both grounded and clear.