This article is based on our podcast episode, Make Magic: Grounding to Heal Yourself. Listen to the full episode here.
In this article, I am going to share how grounding practices heal our bodies, create greater emotional freedom, and set the stage for larger spiritual development. Additionally, I will share how the root chakra assists with grounding and connecting us to deeper energy medicine practices.
Sometimes I worry about where the world is going. I walk around Target and think, Why do we need so much stuff? It worries me, this gargantuan hunger to buy things that supposedly make us happier. As I pondered this predicament, I marched across the school supplies aisle and scanned the shelves apprehensively. My eyes landed on a flashy, happy looking coloring book: Learn About Your Chakras stood out in bold against the shiny, rainbow cover. It was tilted upward against the wall, like it was meant to be read by everyone passing by. In a sea of unnecessary things, I found myself filled with gratitude. Chakras, and other "wooy" spiritual concepts, are becoming mainstream and ordinary. As more and more people are becoming curious and learning how to take care of their energy bodies better, corporate America is catching on and trying to make a profit off it. But, on the plus side, these are the things I want to walk by in Target. I want spiritual awareness and energy healing to be available to everyone that wants to learn.
Our ability to ground ourselves is deeply connected with our Root Chakra, or the energy center located at the base of our spine. We all have one - this is a not a special thing that only people that do yoga or meditate have, and there are many practices that can help us get in touch with this energy center. But first, let's look more closely at a basic understanding of grounding.
An Introduction to Grounding
Grounding has become a buzzword these days (and for a good reason). It's easy to be ungrounded or disconnected from ourselves as technology and other societal shifts ask us to look outside of ourselves. Some people relate being grounded to feeling present, aware, safe, or calm. Alternately, being ungrounded might result in us feeling unmotivated, apathetic, or unable to access how we feel. Somatically, we might feel flighty or anxious, like a balloon floating up into the sky with no anchor.
To combat feeling ungrounded, there are two types of grounding practices I turn to for support: putting your bare skin onto the earth, which some people call “earthing," and energy healing practices. In this article, I'm going to be focusing on the energy healing piece, but if you want to learn more about earthing, click here.
How Do You Ground & Move Energy Out Of Your Space?
Grounding and releasing energy is much easier than most people think. Growing up, I was taught to work hard at everything, so when I was learning how to ground, I didn't understand that you must allow your mind to be at rest. You must do less and relax. Shifting your energy and grounding your space only requires two things: your imagination and breath. When you imagine something with intention and bring permission energy to it, you can create it. The more you allow energy inside of you to move like a river, without control or constriction, the more you allow your body to release.
By connecting with your breath, you can access more of your conscious awareness in your present time experience. When we live more in the present moment, we are less likely to get stuck in emotions or thoughts that aren't happening anymore. And then, when you close your eyes, breathe deeply into your body to release tension, this energy then releases down the body and through your root chakra into the ground. Again, your breath is literally like an internal river inside you, cleaning and nourishing your blood and muscles, allowing your organs to function without constriction or strain. When you close your eyes and connect to this river, allowing tension and unhelpful energy to flow down through your body, you begin to sense this current within you, and you can release it into your legs and your root chakra, located at the base of the spine within the pelvic bowl. Imagining the lower part of your body like a root system of a tree, you then allow the earth to pull that energy deep into the ground.
Grounding is incredibly important to cleanse and refresh your physical and energetic space. Whether it's a difficult conversation, a tricky traffic incident, or a way you're feeling about yourself, when you learn how to ground yourself and see it as a resource, you begin to identify energy as helpful or unhelpful. When energy is unhelpful, you use your breath and set the intention to release energy that isn't in your highest alignment (aka stress, judgment, anxiety, anger... the list is endless).
When Should You Ground Yourself?
We are always exchanging energy. Every conversation, email, text - we are constantly in connection with other beings, media, and all sorts of technology. When we interact with a lot of people throughout the day, it can be difficult to know what energy is ours, or what energy we scooped up and absorbed. This can be especially true if you live with family members or animals experiencing a lot of physical or emotional pain and you feel impacted by them. A question I often get from clients is, "Well, how do I know what energy is mine?" And my response is normally, "Well, how do you want to feel? If you can identify how you want to feel, then let the rest go. Who cares if it's yours or someone else's? All you need to know is that it's not helpful for how you want to feel in present time."
Why do we want to ground and let other people's energy go? Because holding on to other people's energy doesn't allow us to feel aligned in our true energy. It can be difficult to feel clear, confident, and calm in ourselves if we are holding someone else's energy. It's heavy. The more you practice grounding work, the easier it becomes to differentiate between your energy and someone else's. If you're new to grounding practices and just learning how to release energy, you can begin by doing this: close your eyes, scan your body slowly from your head to your toes, and notice which parts feel heavy, tense, foggy or even painful. Sometimes we disconnect from parts of our bodies that hold the most unhelpful energy, so certain places may feel tricky or even frozen. If this happens, remind yourself that this practice is brand new and bring your attention back to your heart space. Keeping your eyes closed, you can breathe deeply into your heart center, and imagine warmth and space opening within it. Keep breathing and let the heavy energy run down the inside of your body into the ground, almost as if your breath is melting the stagnant spaces.
How Grounding Supports Higher Spiritual Work
When I am helping clients achieve their spiritual goals, we always start with root medicine practices (aka what I call grounding) before opening to bigger spiritual work. Why is this? Because without solid, healthy roots, you cannot stabilize the work. Higher spiritual work will naturally bring up doubt, uncertainty, fear, mistrust and anxiety. If you do not have a system to let go of difficult emotions and old thinking loops, you will feel overwhelmed and unstable. Think of trees. If they are not grounded deeply into the earth and their branches are big, what eventually happens in a storm? They fall over. Or the branches break. Your body and the chakra system can be viewed in the same way. The lower chakras, beginning with your root chakra, are your root system. Learning how to release energy from and into these lower chakras (located in and above your pelvic bowl) will allow for greater spiritual work to be embodied deeper into your system. You must be rooted into the body to be able to sustain spiritual growth.
If you’re working to grow your spirituality but are having a hard time maintaining physical, daily life practices (eating balanced meals, sleeping, self-care), it is unlikely that you will be able to maintain a spiritual practice that you can carry into your daily life. Spiritual work will expand you outward, but root work expands you down and inward. You need both.
Give Your Vessel What It Needs
Want to start building a strong root foundation? Check out my Root Energy Medicine course. You can also book a call with me so we can explore where you want to go and start creating a plan to help you get there.