Physical Grounding Part 1
Grounding is a process of connecting yourself with the ground of the planet. This is a Physical, Spiritual and Energetic process. And there are many ways to accomplish it.
Physical grounding techniques use your five senses or tangible objects — things you can touch — to help you move through distress. We earthlings are given, and are in tune with, our 5 senses in which we interact with the world: Sight, Smell, Sound, Taste and Touch. Each offers us a different way to connect.
We are pretty much born in stereo – experiencing all of our senses together. It helps when we can isolate these senses to fully appreciate and connect with what they can teach us.
Physical grounding techniques offer you specific exercises to so this.
1. Put your hands in water
What is your experience with water? In my family, we began swimming early. Mom wanted us to be able to swim as we would be around water throughout our lives. Maybe it was the fact that she grew up near the beach and it was always a part of her life.
Once we could swim, we became fish. I can’t remember when I was not jumping in the waves at the beach. Riding boogie boards and the surf boards. Possibly it made us fearless around water.
We would also camp in the mountains. Meaning swimming and rafting in mountain streams. And to let you know, if you haven;t experienced it, the water is cold. After it falls over a waterfall, the water is generally about 45 degrees F. In the rivers and lakes, it gernerally warms to a tepid 55.
Anyways . . . For this grounding practice, focus on the water’s temperature and how it feels on your fingertips, palms, and the backs of your hands. Does it feel the same in each part of your hand?
Use warm water first, then cold. Next, try cold water first, then warm. Does it feel different to switch from cold to warm water versus warm to cold? Experience the water and the temperatures.
Hold a piece of ice in your hand. What does it feel like at first? How long does it take to start melting? How does the sensation change when the ice begins to melt?
2. Pick up or touch items near you
I have a thing for touching fabrics. If I walk through a clothing store, I will genrally touch the items I am interested in. If the fabric is going to be touching my body, I have to like how it feels.
This can be a fun exercise done just about anywhere. At home. outside. In nature. In a city. where ever you are. Experience the touch.
Are the things you touch soft or hard? Heavy or light? Warm or cool? Tacky or smooth?
Focus on the texture and color of each item. Challenge yourself to think of specific colors, such as crimson, burgundy, indigo, or turquoise, instead of simply red or blue. Does this change the way soemthing feels to you?
Each process adds “stereo” to your touch experience. It is not a single experience, but a multi experience.
3. Savor a food or drink
How often do you wolf down food without taking the time to savor and enjoy it? I could spend pages talking about my favorite foods and tasting them.
Have you ever watched a “professional” tasting wine? It is quite an experience seening how they smell it, swirl it, taste it, breath it in. I like to think I could enjoy it that much. More often than not I just drink it at the same speed as beer . . . and proceed to get drunk. But following that process allows you to experience nuances that you might miss. And it will also quickly tell you the difference between a good Chardonnay and Boones Farm Strawberry Hill.
For this exercise, just use a single food.
Take small bites or sips of a food or beverage you enjoy, letting yourself fully taste each bite. Think about how it tastes and smells and the flavors that linger on your tongue.
4. Savor a scent
Scientists believe that smell and memory are closely linked. This is because the anatomy of the brain allows olfactory signals get to the limbic system very quickly. Experts say the memories associated with smells tend to be older and thought about less often, meaning the recollection is very vivid when it happens.
Think about how many smell you can remember. And then think of the memory you associate with that smell. If you think of Turkey, do you also see the bird on the table at Thanksgiving? Is there a familiar smell you associate with the home you grew up in?
Is there a fragrance that appeals to you? This might be a cup of tea, an herb or spice, a favorite soap, or a scented candle. Inhale the fragrance slowly and deeply and try to note its qualities (sweet, spicy, citrusy, and so on).
5. Move your body
Do you have a daily stretching routine? This is something I learned when I was nineteen, after my first knee injury. My doctor did not give me a great future prognosis. Most of my cartilage was removed and I would have arthritis early in life. In addition to riding a bike, he suggested a series of stretches that I should do to keep my legs limber and strong. I can count on one hand the number of days since that I have not done them in the last 35 years.
Do a few exercises or stretches. You could try:
- jumping jacks
- jumping up and down
- jumping rope
- jogging in place
- Pushups, planks or crunches
- stretching different muscle groups one by one
Pay attention to how your body feels with each movement and when your hands or feet touch the floor or move through the air. How does the floor feel against your feet and hands?
These five should give you all something to do for a while. There are other senses that we need to explore as well. I will leve those for the next post.