Staying Centered and Grounded

When life is overwhelming beyond expectation and all that we have learned to be resilient still is not enough, it is important to know how to reset into being centered and grounded. Being centered is related to being grounded but the two are slightly different, as they support each other. When you can find a practice to achieve the combination of the two, you create a safety net that you can reach whenever needed and when all other means are not available or practical.

For many years I have worked in the corporate world in very stressful situations, where I was held responsible for keeping projects on time and on budget. I was expected to be the mediator in smoothing out conflicts. I needed to be able to balance the tension between those doing the work of the projects and those demanding the results from the projects. At times I would get yelled at by those doing the work or those demanding that I hold a line for people to work harder. 

At times the threat of being fired for not meeting expectations loomed over me. 

Despite all the support I had in place with meditations, spiritual practice, spiritual leaders, therapists, and support groups it still could get terrifying and overwhelming. In those times I needed a reset button.

I slowly learned — that reset button was grounding into tangible reality.

The best way to ground into tangible reality is to look for simple, solid objects to see, touch, feel, breath, smell and hear. These are non-electronic, low-technology things like a wooden chair, the floor, the sky, dirt, trees, plants, sounds of birds, rain, thunder, wind, sun, stone, cold and hot. The means to do this exists in every real-life thing you can touch in this world that exists in nature. And when you ground in nature and the Earth you also become centered in Divinity and Purpose. 

That place of grounding is the place of those vulnerable parts you have come to trust emotionally that feels like home. Symbolically grounding is about connections with the physical ground of our home base Mother Earth.

Meditation and prayer are definitely quite good to help you center, but often they can reach out-of-body kinds of centering rather than solid physical and tactile grounding. If you do choose to meditate or pray: try to do it on the ground in a way that you can physically feel the ground. Also, take time to open your eyes slightly during your meditation. These things help keep your meditation and prayer grounded.

The more you are exposed to the natural dirt, stone or rocks of the Earth the better. Choose things made out of wood, stone, or concrete over things made out of glass, metal or plastic. The less synthetic and more natural the material the better for grounding. If you’re inside a room then feel your feet on the ground. If there’s a carpet scrunch it with your feet. If you’re seated in a chair feel the chair pressing against you. Look at the walls for any features, imperfections or cracks. Listen for any sounds. Notice any smells.

Imagine you are just a rock with nothing to do but just observe. As a rock you have all the time in the world. As a rock there is no danger, no fear, no hunger, just existence and nothing more. Creatures and weather will come and go thousands of times and you will still be there. For long periods of time nothing comes by. Now listen to sounds in the distance, perhaps a clock ticking or a refrigerator sound. Listen to sounds in the distance outside your window. Feel textures. Listen to birds in the distance.  Cars, people.  Look at the clouds and the sun. Allow yourself to get bored and feel time like it’s going on forever. You have all the time in the world, no urgency at all, and nothing to do but just exist.

An excellent way to ground is to go take a walk in nature.  Find a nice big tree and lean against it with your back or face the tree and touch it with both your hands. The bigger the tree the better the grounding. Trees are very much the epitome of what it means to be grounded. And so, they emanate the energy of grounded-ness. Large trees are living forms that have existed long before you were born and will likely live long after you leave Earth. These large trees may have witnessed multiple generations of change. They emanate timelessness and the idea of firmness and dependability that has stood the test of time.  Stand next to and touch the tree with your hands or stand with your back against the tree. Feel the tree and what it feels like to be this tree. Feel into the tree and down into its roots.  Feel how massive the tree is above you, and how deep it goes into the Earth. Imagine you feel sprouting roots deep into the Earth just like this tree.

If you are in the middle of the city with no access to nature, then look for solid concrete, brick or rock structures and sit, lean or touch them as you would have with a tree. Become aware and of how firm they sink into the ground below the concrete and asphalt surfaces.

You are big, and firm and nothing can push you over. Events of chaos and turmoil from a storm may come by but you will be there long when it’s gone. And many other events of chaos and turmoil will come and go.  You will still be there standing as always.  And all smaller creatures that seek safe haven will gather around you because they know you are the “rock” of stability.  You are the ground. 

To assist you, watch this video

Now come back. Notice how you feel. Take time to notice how life is. And when you have time again come back to exercises of grounding, do so and it will also induce centering along with it. It will organically allow Divine hard solid reality to achieve complete center and grounding.