Keeping Your Feet Grounded
By Dr. Lawrence Wilson
All information in this article is for educational purposes only.
It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
Grounding and centering are qualities of a human being that anyone can develop that will be extremely useful for success in life.
Grounding is an energetic aspect of a person. Most people know of others whom they consider well-grounded. These people are often realistic, practical, organized, and very present when you speak with them. They are firmly “in their bodies”.
Most readers also know some people who seem to float through life, are often distracted, spacy, “going in three directions”, or “not all there”. These people may be described as ungrounded.
On an energetic level, those who are well-grounded have a large and healthy first energy center. This is located between the legs, and for those who can see it, it looks like a dress on a person. In most people, this center is small and undeveloped. As one ages, it usually grows somewhat. The Pushing Down exercise is excellent to develop this center.
Centering means that one’s attention is always centered inside the body, more or less. This also causes a person to be more realistic, more present and more grounded and attentive. People who are not centered in themselves are usually more distracted, less present, more emotional and often feel pulled in several directions at once. Centering and grounding are thus related to one another, though they are not exactly the same.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF LACK OF GROUNDING
Many who need grounding and centering are unaware of their need for it. To see if you are in need of grounding and centering, here is a short quiz:
- Do you find yourself taking on more than you can handle? Grounding and centering has much to do with understanding your limits and boundaries. Ungrounded people are often unclear about these.
- Do you find yourself stressed often?Taking on too much and avoiding areas of life you prefer not to look at creates stress – often extreme stress.
- Do you engage in activities and/or thoughts that could be ways to escape the unpleasant parts of your life?These can be obvious escapes like alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, loud music or unhealthy sex. However, they can be subtle or socially acceptable diversions such as too much shopping or excessive attention to family, friends or pets. They can include any preoccupation or activity that mainly serves to distract a person from other areas of life that are not working well, or that you would rather not deal with, or that you do not know how to approach.
- Do you have trouble earning a living, or interacting with others to get what you need to live, or working with others in jobs or similar situations?This can be a subtle sign that one is ungrounded or uncentered.
- Do you have trouble in the sexual arena?By trouble, I mean confusion, getting involved with people who do not really love you, promiscuity, pornography, prostitution, horror or other imbalances in this area.
- Do you find yourself easily shaken, disturbed, distracted or forgetting your tasks at hand when others are around?This is another common sign of a lack of grounding and centering.
HOW TO GROUND YOURSELF
Diet and lifestyle. Care very well for your body. Be sure to go to bed by 9 PM every night, or at least most nights. Get plenty of rest and sleep and do not allow anyone or anything to disturb your rest and your peace. This must include disciplining your children, your pets, spouses and others so they do not disturb your rest. For example, do not allow unannounced visitors or phone calls at late hours. I know this is difficult for some in families, but it is well worth working to set up systems that give you at least a measure of complete rest and peace.
If possible, spend some time out of doors each day, near the earth, preferably in a rural, quiet setting. Also, try to spend time alone every day, and not on the telephone, but just with yourself. Work in some way with your hands or feet, even typing or writing is good. If possible, focus attention on the earth, not the scenery or intellectual conversation or thoughts.
Deep breathing. Another basic that is much more subtle is to remember to breathe deeply. It is an exercise that takes some unusual concentration for most people. Yet it has many health benefits. Stretch, yawn and sigh often. Stop what you are doing on a regular basis and breathe. Doing it while exercising is not enough. Now let us discuss some other basics in more detail.
Sauna therapy and coffee enemas. Using a near infrared light sauna is extremely grounding. The reddish heat lamps relax the nervous system and may stimulate the lower part of the body. Coffee enemas and colonic irrigation also tends to be grounding by focusing one’s energy on the lower part of the body.
Sexuality. Most sexual activity is very ungrounding. This does not mean you must avoid it altogether, but stop thinking it is important for your life. Avoid anyone or any source of information that tells you sex is important for your self esteem, your honor, your health or anything else. This does not mean that it has no benefits, but in terms of grounding, it is harmful, always. It tends to send energy upwards, instead of downwards, especially for women.
Walking. Walking slowly and deliberately is very helpful for centering and grounding. Think about your feet as you walk and send your energy into the earth with each slow, deliberate step. If helpful, imagine you are being pulled along when you walk by a magnet hidden under the earth. Another way is to imagine you weigh 500 pounds and each of your steps crushes the earth beneath your feet. Another idea is to imagine your foot is like a large suction cup that spreads out as it attaches deep into the ground.
An ancient walking method is at times called tai chi walking or chi-kung walking. Imagine that a wire or string is connected to the crown of your head, holding up your head. Imagine the rest of your body hanging loosely from this wire. This will help you stand in a relaxed manner. Bend both knees a little and stay low throughout your walk.
Place all your weight on one foot. Lift the other one slowly and step forward gently and firmly. Do not straighten the knee completely. If you do, your head will bob up, which completely disconnects you from the earth. This is the opposite of what you are wanting to do. Keep your weight on the back foot when you step forward. It will feel uncomfortable at first, because most people fall into their steps. So practice this part a number of times slowly until you can step forward without moving your weight forward.
Next, slowly shift your weight forward and down onto the front foot. When all your weight is on the front foot, you may then repeat the process, lifting the rear leg and taking your next step. You must start very slowly until this style of walking becomes a habit. Some do this instinctively or unconsciously.
Most people, especially those who are not grounded, will have difficulty at first and it will take time to master. It is well worth the effort, however. This is the way all animals move in the wild. Observe your cat and you will notice this exact sequence of movement if you look closely enough. It is a survival mechanism for animals, as it allows them to test the ground before they place their weight there. It also helps their strength and balance.
Grounding is often about “testing the ground” before you move forward in order to stay strong and balanced. So this technique is a metaphor for grounding as well as a useful way to move through the world. Be sure you do not bob your head up and down when you step, as most people do. This is the “Gomer Pyle walk”, the opposite of grounding.
Diet. Eat quality food and maintain healthful eating habits. Eat simple, regular meals at regular intervals, sitting down quietly when you eat and staying put for at least a few minutes after eating to allow digestion to begin.
Certain foods definitely assist grounding. These include meats, eggs, some whole grains such as brown, all basmati rice, blue corn chips and most whole grains. Avoid wheat and spelt, however, in all forms as these have become inflammatory foods and are no longer as good. Cooked beans and root vegetables, along with all cooked vegetables are also good. All yang food is more grounding.
Avoid all yin foods, as these tend to less grounding and centering. These include all sweets and sugars, including all fruit and all fruit juices. These are much less grounding. In excess, they upset blood sugar, calcium metabolism, thyroid and adrenal activity. Their negative effects, however, go far beyond these. They enhance or encourage the growth of yeast in the intestines, such as candida albicans infection. These organisms produce many toxic substances in the intestines, further ungrounding and sickening the person who eats them.
Many young people today can hardly keep their heads up, and cannot think straight, due to their sugar and fruit consumption. They don’t realize how it is affecting their judgment and their happiness. Instead, they walk around in a kind of Brain Fog. We help many people with this condition. In some cases, sugar is the main problem. In other cases, too much caffeine, other stimulants, spicy foods, not enough rest, copper toxicity, other toxic metals and other nutritional imbalances must also be addressed. However, eliminating all sugars from the diet for several years, at least, is always helpful.
SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE
Besides eating healthfully, other aspects of life can often be simplified. This does not mean sitting around the house doing nothing. Quite the opposite is true. Most successful, busy people have mastered simplicity in their lives. This makes room to accomplish all that they do. Simplicity means slowing down, avoiding distractions, and mainly letting go of people, things and activities that either upset you or just waste your time.
Using time wisely. Time is really all you have on this earth, and it passes quickly, though it may not appear that way at times. Becoming grounded and centered may mean not wasting time and energy on ideas, people, pleasures or projects that yield little return. This one factor often wastes years of people’s lives. For example, many people spend a lot of time feeding the birds, talking to their friends about unimportant matters, watching silly movies, checking Facebook, and so on.
Some women and men love to spend their time shopping, either online or with the crowds. This can be another huge time waster that also upsets the delicate grounding system of the body. Ungrounded people often engage in hundreds of time-wasting endeavors. It is possible to work without overworking, to find simple solutions, simple pleasures and easier ways of doing everything.
If you find yourself doing these things or others that mainly waste time, you will need to use self-discipline to stop yourself. This is an ongoing process and requires time to reflect on your life so you can see what you are doing and make adjustments often. At times, one wastes time due to a lack of awareness of how best to spend one’s time. At other times time-wasting is an escape from responsibility or willingness to see the truth about oneself or others.
Of course, what one considers a waste of time, another may have the vision to see a great potential. This is where vision must balance grounding for a balanced and optimal personality. For example, healing illness by carefully following a diet and doing coffee enemas every morning once seemed like a waste of time or even insane to me. I learned, however, to know better.
Note that time spent resting and sleeping is not a ”waste of time”. The body is often very active during sleep, at times more so than during waking hours. For this reason, do not ignore feelings of fatigue. They may mean you are exhausted. They may also be alerting you that you need to allow yourself more time for important nighttime rejuvenating activity.
Popularity and grounding. Grounded and centered people are generally not the popular and social ones. For women, especially, becoming more grounded usually means not spending too much time on prettying up the body, wearing sexy clothes to attract men, or fixing the hair or other parts of the body with too much makeup.
Prettying up the body tends to be very ungrounding for a woman, as is the attention she receives for it. Plain is better, although it won’t win the beauty contests. It will attract the grounded men who know that the women who dress up, wear the high heels and the short skirts are not usually the best partners or even dates, in part because they are not as grounded and often more superficial.
This can be an important factor, especially for teenagers and younger women who want to be the center of attention, or at least want to become popular. As a general rule, the more popular a person is, the more ungrounded they are. This is why the movie stars often end up as drug addicts and suicide cases. Their popularity and wealth ungrounds them terribly and they simply cannot find their way through it, and they finally become depressed and die young in most cases. Go the other way, if you are smart, and you will likely succeed far better.
Money. Live below your means. This means realizing you don’t need most all things that people are taught to think they need. An old car is fine if it works. A small house is better than a larger one, provided it suits you needs. Old clothes are fine. Most travel is not needed. The quest for everything new, different and exciting is, itself, extremely ungrounding, so try not to fall into that trap. Instead, focus on staying centered and grounded. This will slowly bring with it a new and different lifestyle and spiritual unfoldment unlike anything you have ever experienced.
UP AND OUT SPIRITUALITY
A lack of grounding and centering often leads to an interest in spirituality. This can be extremely positive, provided one does not stay in a mindset some call “up and out spirituality”. This approach can be summarized by the phrase, “Just beam me up, Scottie.”
Up and out spirituality starts with the idea that the planet is a horrible place, that one deserves better and perhaps there was a mistake in coming here in the first place. One wants out and spiritual exercises promise the way. Many meditations, affirmations, yoga classes, extreme diets and other practices can be used to forget this place and do one’s best to ascend out of it as fast as possible. These meditations usually teach one to visualize leaving the body and imagining a happier, safer place. While they are not all bad, they are easily overdone. The person does not understand why, in spite of all the practice, life does not improve much and may get worse. It is because they are becoming less grounded here and that is the hidden intent.
Up and out spirituality is basically a new twist on the idea that one is a victim of the world around us. It is often based on anger at the world and holding on to fixed ideas about how others “should” behave. It is a first start on the spiritual path, and the way most people begin the spiritual search. However, it is important to move on quickly to a more grounded approach to spirituality or one will not improve and may get worse. A lot of so-called new age churches tend to teach this type of spirituality.
Ungrounding or “up and out” meditations are actually extremely dangerous today because grounding is so important. The only mental exercise I have experienced that works properly to ground a person is described in an article on this website entitled The Pushing Down Exercise (formerly called Meditation For Healing). This is absolutely the best exercise to enhance grounding.
EMOTIONS ARE OFTEN UNGROUNDING
The human emotions are often helpful to get one moving and prevent idleness and boredom. However, most of the time indulging your emotions is very ungrounding. Logic is far more grounding, for example. Even idle emotions that mainly distract you or keep you in the past or future can be a huge time waster.
For example, the word resentment means in Latin “to feel again and again”. Resentment is a very damaging emotion for this very reason that usually takes a person away from the present moment and is thus very ungrounding.
Anger tends to be very ungrounding. The answer is to forgive everyone and everything over and over as long as you live. It allows you to let go and move on. If you do not know how to forgive, just ask for help in learning to forgive. Help will come if you ask persistently.
Forgiving does not mean that others may take advantage of you, or that you now condone their behavior, or that you will forget the incident. But it means you will let it go and move on. You will not get upset and ungrounded every time you think of this person or this situation. This is wisdom.
DOUBTING TOO MUCH WILL UNGROUND YOU
Doubting oneself all the time is very ungrounding. In fact, it is a way that is used by some people I call energy vampires to upset and unground others. They plant doubts in your mind. You can watch this happen in the media as politicians use this weapon to upset their enemies by planting doubt in the people’s minds. It is very effective and pernicious, and works especially among people who are unsure of themselves and their concepts in some way.
A remedy for this is to ‘doubt your doubt’ rather than try to suppress your doubt. Suppressing doubt usually does not work. It results in false positivity that, in fact, just covers up for the doubt and negativity that has become intolerable for the person. Instead, try doubting your doubt.
You see, doubting or weighing options is essential. The question is what to doubt. By doubting your doubts, you can in some instances turn things around. For example, you might doubt that you need to follow a careful diet to become and maintain your health. You could let this fester inside and confuse you. A solution is to turn things around and doubt your doubt by saying you doubt that eating poorly will build health. Essentially, this is to help break a cycle of doubting that holds many people back. Doubting your doubts acts as a reality check in many cases and can keep you more centered.
MORE ON THE PUSHING DOWN EXERCISE
Downward flowing energy is grounding and centering. This is a great secret. The pushing down exercise sends, also called the down force exercise, sends energy downward through the body. This, in itself, is extremely grounding and centering, and thus highly recommended for all adults and even for older children who are often in need of more grounding.
This exercise also helps ground one because it can help a person learn not to react. It will also help one let go if one has reacted to a situation and become “up”set, “up”tight, and mixed “up” by it. This feature, alone, makes this exercise worth doing every day even if you don’t like it.
Yang is grounding. The pushing down exercise also makes the body more yang in Chinese medical terms. This is also very grounding and centering.
Removing your toxic metals. All of the toxic metals tend to unground the body. For example:
- Mercury makes the mind more active and can cause it to spin out of control like the mad hatters of Alice In Wonderfland.
- Copper toxicity tends to enhance many emotional reactions and is a very ungrounding mineral for a lot of reasons
- Lead dulls the senses, which can be ungrounding in some ways.
- Cadmium irritates the adrenal glands, kidneys and other organs and glands. It can lead to upset and violence.
- Nickel can cause severe depression, which is also ungrounding because it is unrealistic.
- Aluminum is extremely ungrounding. It is a lighter weight metal that damages the memory function, in particular.
- Iron toxicity can contribute to anger and stubbornness that is very ungrounding, and very common.
- Other toxic metals are also very ungrounding basically because they distort the mind in various ways.
These and other toxic metals are inside most everyone’s bodies today to some extent. Removing them usually causes a person to calm down, and become much more grounded and sane. This is our consistent experience. It is just one of the great benefits of removing all of them using nutritional balancing science. Chelation therapy, by contrast, does not remove them deeply enough to have the same effects in many cases.
Toxic chemicals that are in most people’s bodies also need to be removed, as most of them also irritate the glands and organs and also unground and yinnize the body.
Among the most ungrounding items are medical drugs and recreational drugs – all of them. For example, pain killers , almost by definition, can unground a person so that he or she will feel less pain. Many medical and over the counter drugs also are toxic for the mind and unground a person for this reason. To be grounded, avoid all unnecessary medical drugs and all recreational drugs, alcohol and others.
Bodywork. Deep bodywork such as Rolfing, structural integration, foot reflexology, and perhaps Feldenkreis work and others tend to be more grounding. Acupuncture is less so, and any therapy that unhinges the body from the earth can be ungrounding such as aromatherapy, dance, art, music and even yoga. These can be okay if one stays conscious, but a rule they are not nearly as good for grounding, at least, as a very deep massage or Rolfing session.
The point here is that all the bodies are somewhat ill and ungrounded. Spending the time and money to heal the body deeply with food, rest, healthy lifestyles and at times, deep bodywork, is very helpful for grounding, in general. It is far wiser than thinking you will be happier by taking more vacations, buying more clothes, meeting more people or other common activities.
GROUNDING, CENTERING AND THE ENERGY CENTERS
Grounding and centering, in part, refer to the quality and health of the first energy center of the body. This subtle energy center is sometimes also called the root center. It is located just above the perineum, which is the area between the rectum and the genital organs.
A person who is grounded and usually one who is centered has this center at least partially active or open. Those who are not grounded often have this energy center less developed.
This center connects a person with the earth, in physical terms. However, in metaphorical terms, however, it means the person is present in the physical world, at least fairly comfortable in the physical reality or world, and has a good sense of self or ego strength, sometimes also called self-esteem. These are among its many important qualities.
Other qualities associated with a strong and open first center are good survival skills – how to make ends meet financially, and how to interact with others and with life, in general, in order to survive.
This may sound simple, but many millions around the world do not have a good idea how to “make it” in the world, which means how to get and hold a job, how to get along with others, especially those who pay the bills, how to buy a car or a house or some other basic survival tools, how to eat well and care for oneself in a basic way, and many other survival skills.
One reason for this is that the education system in the Western world has not been teaching these skills for years. Instead, they focus mostly on academic information rather than more practical skills to the students.
Another factor is poor parenting in some cases. Some children are not disciplined, not taught how to earn a living, or how to save money and deal with life.
Another factor is a low level of energy and health, and especially problems in the pelvic area of women that literally can impair the opening and development of this center. This is usually due to too much sex, though it could be due to too much sexual suppression, molestation at a young age, rape, or some other aberrations involving the sexual organs, in most cases. These are causes of lack of development of the first center.
For development, opening this center is absolutely necessary, as it is the foundation for the opening of all the other ones that are above it. For more on the first energy center, read The Energy Centers on this website.
Source: Dr. L. Wilson – Grounding