Sunday, December 4, 2011

One Minute to Ground Yourself

When you were a kid, being grounded was not such a great thing - it meant that you'd done something wrong (at least as far as your mom was concerned) and you were forced to stay home, instead of going out and maybe getting in more trouble.

Now, as a grown-up, grounding means something entirely different. Well, maybe not entirely different - after all, when we think of grounding ourselves, we are usually thinking of finding ways to find a little peace, a "center" from which we can then move on with our days. So, maybe the concept of being grounded and staying home is not so far off.

The object of grounding is not to bring a halt to your day, or to find ultimate peace (wouldn't that be nice?). The object, really, is to just take a moment to make sure everything is in balance and ready for whatever is coming next. You know those "exploded view" drawings, the ones that show every part of a piece of equipment as though it had exploded straight out from the center? The purpose of grounding exercises is to un-explode - to bring all those parts of yourself back together. If you can get good at grounding yourself in just a minute or two, you can take on the challenges of your day in a more mindful, peaceful way.

Ready to try? Here are a couple of ways to start.

One of my favorite ways to quickly ground myself is with visualization. Try this one: Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and envision a gorgeous crystal blue beam of light emanating from the sky above you and shining right into you. From below, see a dark green beam of light, bringing you the peace and power of the earth, again shining right into you. As you breathe, visualize those two beams of light intertwining, combining to give you all the power, grace and energy of the earth and the sky. You are filled with the eternal, centered power of the world around you.

Another way to quickly center yourself is with a simple physical act. I like to slip my shoes off when I'm at my desk, close my eyes, breathe and just let the soles of my feet slide against the carpet. I feel the contact of my feet with the solid floor, and I give thanks to the floor for supporting me and to my feet for carrying me through my day. Wiggle your toes, flex your feet, and focus on the physical sensation, all the while continuing to take in deep, cleansing breaths. Add a word like peace, or love, or joy to each inhale, and soon you'll be grounded and ready to move on with your day.

Experiment with what works for you. Your exact technique isn't as important as just giving yourself that moment to bring all those exploded parts back to the center. All it takes is a minute, and you'll have a better day for your efforts.