Grounding and Centering
Learning how to ground and center will be one of the most powerful and fundamental tools of your spiritual practice. It is the foundation upon which all other actions can rest. You may have seen reference to this in your explorations of earth-centered religions but still, wonder how to achieve it. Let’s break it down to basics.
What is Grounding?
Simply put, grounding is our connection to Mother Earth. The easiest and fastest way to reconnect is to stand barefoot on the ground – grass, dirt, sand, etc. Remember that feeling you had playing barefoot as a child? It’s that connection to the aliveness of the Earth that we reinforce when we are grounded.
When we become overwhelmed with the fast pace of our modern lives and get disconnected from being in touch with the Earth, several things can start to happen. Apathy, loneliness, lack of energy, feeling lost or a general longing for something that you cannot name are all a result of being out of touch.
How to Get Grounded
- In addition to standing barefoot on the Earth, you can lay your body down on the grass (or dirt or sand) and close your eyes. Feel yourself start to sink into the ground and draw the energy back up into your body. Focus on deep, slow breaths and tell yourself “I am one with Nature”.
- Eat something wholesome and plant-based. Keep it as close to its natural state as possible and if it can be organic, even better! Pay attention to the life-giving energy of this gift from the Earth as it fills your body with nutrition.
- Smudge your space with incense. Traditionally sage is used, but you can also try palo santo, sandalwood or the deep, musky scents of patchouli or vetiver. If smoke is irritating to you, use essential oils instead.
- Hold onto your crystals! Seriously though, certain crystals are potent grounding stones (such as hematite, smoky quartz, or jasper) and when they touch your skin you feel more balanced and centered.
Every morning I take a nature walk meditation with the dogs in order to help ground myself and prepare for whatever the day may bring. If this is out of the question for you, try this simple exercise instead:
- Sit or stand in a quiet place (it doesn’t have to be outside)
- Visualize sending energy down through the bottoms of your feet, like roots sinking deep into the center of the Earth.
- Take deep, slow breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- Release any stress or negativity through the roots of your energy to dissolve into Mother Earth.
- Now draw upon the healing energy of our Earth and picture it as light coming up through the soles of your feet, pulsating through your legs and reaching your heart chakra, filling you with love and vitality and healing energy.
What is Centering?
Centering is another visualization technique that teaches you to focus on the present moment, turning away from outside distractions or negative thoughts and redirecting your energy to the center of your body.
If you are not centered you run the risk of letting racing thoughts, confusion or nervous energy take control. Disrupted sleep, emotional outbursts, forgetfulness or just feeling “out of it” are also common symptoms of scattered energy.
How to Center Yourself
- Take 5 deep breaths and imagine pulling your energy back into your core.
- Bring your focus back to the present moment by becoming aware of your surroundings. What do you see? Listen to what you are really hearing. How does the environment smell? Anchor yourself to the moment by engaging your senses.
- Eat some chocolate! Make sure you keep high-quality, dark chocolate on hand because it contains natural chemicals to help boost hormones and relax your mind. Close your eyes and savor the taste to let it bring you back into balance.
- Practice a meditative exercise such as yoga or tai chi. You can also perform simple stretches while focusing on the feel of each movement to help bring yourself back to your center.
- “Chop wood, carry water” by losing yourself in the mindfulness of a simple activity. Sweeping the floor, washing the dishes, folding the laundry – by focusing on the task and its completion you will bring yourself back into balance
- Focus on Breathing
- Use deep, slow breaths (in through the nose, out through the mouth) and focus on releasing the tension in your body.
- Start with your toes and work your way up your body, relaxing any muscles by clenching and then releasing them.
- Find Your Center
- Place your hands about two inches below your navel. This is your physical center of gravity where you will feel grounded and stabilized (it is also where your sacral chakra is located) .
- Breathe in and out deeply at least five times while concentrating on your center and the sensation of being stabilized.
- Redirect Your Energy
- Now use visualization to imagine all of the energy in your body flowing into your center. You can picture this as a glowing ball. Visualize putting all of your negative thoughts into this ball and then releasing it.
- As you inhale, say “I let….” and exhale “…go”.
- Now picture this ball moving out into the stratosphere allowing everything that caused you to stress to just vanish.
- On your next inhalation focus on an affirmation or mantra using conscious language to help you achieve your goal.
Grounding and Centering
Grounding and centering are an essential foundation for your spiritual practice. It is done before and after ritual (and sometimes during), and as preparation for divination or spell work. It is also used as part of everyday magic when you need to bring yourself back to a place of balance and calm. You can remove yourself from the whirlwind of stress or pressures by taking a moment to ground and center your energy. Practice, practice, practice until it becomes a natural extension of your daily life.
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