There is a lot of resistance to grounding, and to grounding work.
Partially this is because we live in a society that is aspirational, and the idea of “opening the third eye” or of having transcendental spiritual experiences sounds more appealing to us. The idea of “higher” energies, and the acquisition or experience of those energies can be strikingly similar to an addict looking for their next fix.
But mainly we are resistant to grounding because if we are a part of the Earth we are a part of our bodies.
And if we are embodied, we are a part of this world.
The more fully we embody, we not only come into our physical form but also our lives, our sexuality, our senses, our darkness, our light… and everything in between.
The thought of truly living is often terrifying (subconsciously, of course). What if we were to truly embody our days, our lives? To totally and vitally feel and sense and not castigate any part of ourselves? This is what grounding, true grounding, can do for us.
It can offer us stability, harmony, and an integration of our spirit-mind-emotions into our physical form. It can offer us a center to gravitate from.
Most people I run across, or work with, are disassociated in small or large ways from their bodies. It is funny, I am not a naturally athletic person, although I did sports when I was younger. I was always in my head (mental energy) or really far away from my body (there is a reason that I am good at the work that I do) and so it took me years (decades, really) to scratch and claw my way back into my body… to work with the patterns and sensitivities that I had to not only be embodied but to be alive, a part of this world… and to feel gratitude for my physical body and what it can accomplish.
It took me even longer to become grounded. To not consider the spiritual “up there”, and to fully integrate my experiences through my physical body.
It makes such an enormous difference if we are grounded and embodied spiritually on our spiritual path.
That may seem like an innocuous or simple statement, but many forms of spirituality are escapist. They allow for the person to escape their lives, their realities, for a weekend or more.
Even some forms of spiritual practice that I really respect in a lot of ways (like Tonglen) suggest that if we see something horrible in the world, we should work it out internally. That there is no action required in the external world, no usage necessary of our physical bodies.
And while I fully support that sentiment (I am all for inner work), I have found that action in the physical world is necessary. That we can not only heal others by healing ourselves, but that we can heal others by, you know, actually physically helping others.
I see so many people wrapped up in themselves. Mainstream spirituality has put the focus on the “I”. Real spiritual awakening always brings the focus outward– to the realization that we are not the center of the Universe. We move beyond believing ourselves to be the center of the universe and embrace our insignificance (in a healthy, authentic way) and have the capacity to look outer.
Authentic spiritual awakening makes us less self-involved, basically.
I have written a bit about this before, but one of the biggest difficulties that occurs if someone is not embodied and if they are not grounded is that they are all in their heads. They cycle and create illusions that have no anchor in the physical world. The more imbalanced this is, the more the person will be considered “mentally unwell” and their notions and realizations are dangerous, or at the very least, creating immense difficulty for the person who created them.
They may hang on to illusions that have no basis in anything beyond the mind, and the more imbalanced we are, the less we are likely to have the capacity to recognize that we can move beyond our own illusory thoughts.
Sometimes this is a way so the person does not have to look inward. If we focus on “black magic”, or on “past lives” or on the fact that we believe ourselves to be empathic, an ET, a shaman, or whatever else (even if this is true) we can fixate on the outer instead of the inner.
And if we focus on the outer, the titles, anything but our own timeline, it can be a convenient way to not look at our own childhood, our own experiences of this world.
Our own experiences of this world always (99 percent of the time) need to be worked with first. Otherwise our other experiences and titles are covered by trauma and experiences that are creating blockages and illusions.
By the way, I very much work with past lives and ancestral histories, as well as external energies (attachments and so forth). But these energies I always compare to a snowball: although someone originated them who is “not you”… they started that snowball rolling down the hill… as it passes down again and again it gains more snow. And when it gets to you, you add your own experiences and traumas to that snowball (add more “snow”).
To fully heal any past life or ancestral energy it must be cleared through you. Present day you. Present day you is living that energy, that pattern, and without understanding how an energy lives within you, it can only be healed to a certain extent. This is what most healing work that focuses on past lives and ancestral energies miss, and it is unfortunate they do so.
Having an active practice to ground and center is an essential building block that is missed in spiritual practice.
Without it, the person can only go so far. Without it, the person may not be able to separate illusion and fantasy from reality. Without it, the person is likely creating entire scenarios that may not present to any authentic spiritual worker because they are mental, not spiritual, patterns. Without it, the person is likely to be unbalanced and dislike their lives, sitting on top of a bunch of unprocessed pain that never gets healed.
If someone is willing to ground, spirituality can become embodied. It can become a part of daily life. Gone are the “highs” of the workshops and the weekends of spiritual training and so forth. What happens is that spirituality, and spiritual flows, become a part of your world.
You become a part of things. A part of your body. A part of the world.
A part of the whole spectrum of spiritual energies– from high to low, in between and not, from the liminal spaces to the grocery store.
You feel the flow of the Earth, of the Heavens, and of everything in between flow through you. This state of flow cannot happen if you are not open and exchanging energy with the Earth.
And all of those reasons why you are out of your body, why you dislike the world, why you do not wish to be a part of it, why you may consider that the world is out to “get you”, start to disappear. The fatigue, the lack of connection, and the instabilities start to release when you ground.
Because grounding connects us to others. It connects us to a resource of energy that can allow for us to feel vitally alive.
This is not to say that life still doesn’t happen, but by being grounded you can feel support, energetically and otherwise. You can realize that others are out there who have suffered like you currently suffer. You are more open to friends and others who can assist you. You are more open to energies that can assist you.
Daily life also has more flow to it if you are grounded. If we are disassociated, we only have so much energy invested in our daily lives. Picture going from a 10 percent investment, that 10 percent of your energy that is really in your body right now and doing whatever work and spiritual pursuits and relationships and so forth… and now picture that going to even 60 percent.
Grounding provides vitality. It provides stability. It provides the type of anchoring to get us through difficult times.
Not only that, it allows for our spirituality to be balanced. Gone are the “ascension” and “white lighter” ideas, the sort of illusory spirituality that focuses on escapism and vacation-like spirituality mentalities and looking for the next spiritual “fix”… the ideas about the individual being special because there is still the void inside, many voids inside, that need to be filled by embodiment and healing of trauma.
We no longer need to feel special if we are full… if we are connected and filled with our own energy. The desire and illusions created to make someone feel “special” show how much power loss we individually have (another topic, I will get into at a later date, but needless to say that if we are connected and centered and healed we no longer need aspirational sort of “be your own shaman” or “you are the power” sort of stuff… because we are in our power, and know it).
What happens when we are grounded is that we can begin to really filter out what is Truth and what is not. What we may be creating mentally to take us away from our lives and our bodies, and what is authentically there to be processed and worked with and healed in our bodies.
When we are grounded we can make incredible steps forward in our lives. We become more balanced, less traumatized, and “wake up” to the realization that we can inhabit our lives and our bodies.
I have worked with countless people who have started grounding (often with a lot of resistance) and when they finally do it for a few weeks they always report back that their world is changing. They become less scattered, more logical, and overall happier. Grounding is, of course, not a panacea for everything, but being in the body and actually connecting with the Earth can make us more vitally alive. It can take us from just making it through, and not really living our lives except in loops and repeated motions to get through, to really feeling alive and energized in our bodies and in our lives.
I have an extended grounding meditation in my first book, The Spiritual Awakening Guide, that I really love. It takes you through both beginning and advanced grounding, going through all the layers of the Earth and learning to cycle energy properly through your body (from “heaven” to “earth”), which is really the key to having a lot of flow in your life.
But I will share a simplified grounding exercise that I also love to get you started. By doing this even for five minutes a day for a month you will feel a difference:
- Sit on a chair with your back straight (no slouching). It often helps to sit at the tip of the chair, but not so much you are falling off the chair seat
- Feel your feet connect to the floor
- Now, feel for your tailbone– the point part of your sacrum
- Picture a direct line going from the bottoms of your feet (if you wish to be specific, the acupuncture point Kidney 1, or where when you scrunch your feet up a natural divet develops sort of midway in the sole of the foot)
- Now, from the tip of your sacrum picture a third line going down into the Earth
- If you do this right, you should see and/or sense a triangle forming from these three lines when they go into the Earth.
- In time you should not only be able to sense this triangle, but feel energy flowing through your legs and pelvic area
- Gradually this triangle will become a part of you and take less effort to feel or sense, but will have a greater impact.
After doing this exercise for a while (individual results may vary, for someone who is really ungrounded it may take longer), there will be a significant difference in your entire energetic field. When we are grounded we naturally become more centered, less anxious, more open, and have more energy. Some people like to ground in nature at first, as feeling natural elements can allow for grounding to happen easier, but anywhere that you can do this exercise regularly (once a day, even for five minutes) will help. Our bodies learn over time, and if we are willing to put in a bit of work, we can be more grounded, and our lives will shift into more of a state of balance and health.
Mary Mueller Shutan is a spiritual healer, teacher, and author of several books on spiritual topics. She offers a body-based approach to healing in her book, The Body Deva: Working with the Spiritual Consciousness of the Body.