Grounding is not about planting your feet firmly in the physical world and closing off the spiritual connection. For a long time I avoided grounding because that is what I thought it was all about. I had come to enjoy a constant connection to liminal spaces and I wanted to protect that closeness to non-ordinary reality.
But non-ordinary reality is actually quite ordinary in its functions and purpose. We are all invited – even expected – to connect with the spirit realm as deeply as we connect with the physical realm. Having spiritual experiences can be as ordinary as doing the dishes after supper, but even when the experience is life-changing, remember that any spine-tingling exhilaration you might feel is just a symptom or a side-effect, and not the purpose of the experience itself. Experiences in spirit are exactly like experiences in daily, physical life.
And this is a good explanation of why grounding is really important, because all the things you need to do in your physical life are paralleled by things that require attention in your spiritual or energetic life. Your physical life involves taking care of your body, feeding yourself, resting, exerting yourself, being challenged, protecting yourself, obtaining release and renewal, being confronted with changes, having to give, and learning how to take.
Our spiritual selves need all the same things, albeit in different forms, and each of us has a responsibility to tend to these needs. No matter how hard the work seems, it is part of our existence as beings in the universe, and it needs to be done – there are no shortcuts and no excuses. Further, there are clear and usually unavoidable consequences for failing to meet the needs of our energetic selves.
Instructions around caring for our spiritual selves have not been disseminated to us the way that the directions for physical hygiene have. Most of us have not been taught how to care for our energetic selves, or even that they exist. Luckily, the work required relates to our physical hygiene and is understandable in practice through that metaphor.
We all need energy input to fill and feed our energetic selves. This requires daily attention and dedication. An energy practice like yoga or tai chi will do this wonderfully, and there are many, many other systems of energy practices out there to choose from. Basically, you need to connect and take in energy from the universe (by which I mean both the spiritual and physical realms). If you aren’t doing this, you will most likely feel physical symptoms eventually. You might be tired, disconnected, fuzzy, or emotionally spent. You need to give yourself proper energy nutrition every single day.
Exercise, Change, Renewal
We also need to get our energy flowing and moving just like our body’s blood and breath. We need to stay dynamic and constantly renewing in order to keep up with life itself. We need to be like a river.
Grounding might sound like planting oneself like a tree and not moving like a river. So I have adapted something I call cycling (which is probably not a new idea at all). I become part of the universe’s energy flow, like stepping into the river. I breathe in, thinking “thank you”, and feel energy come from the Earth up through my feet. Then I exhale, thinking “bless you”, and push that energy out from the top of my head (or sometimes my hands). Then I repeat, envisioning the energy like a constant, single loop flowing through me and with me.
There are other ways to play with energy. Reiki might be one way to exercise the renewal of our energy. But again, this vital dynamic flow must be maintained regularly. Keep your energy flowing strong.
Give and Take: Relationships
Being a human being is about being in relationships with everything around us, being connected to the whole, and constantly giving and taking. By practicing gratitude, noticing the shifts of give and take, and consciously being a part of the whole, you will be in a better relationship with yourself, spirit, and the universe.
You might be drawn to try shamanic journeying as well, which is a way of entering direct relationships with spirit. You will quite literally be giving and taking as you are asked to do tasks and receive messages or teachings.
Everything you do in spirit affects your physical life. This is the most important thing to realize. Spirit relationships will teach you to live a better physical life.
Inspiration and Growth
The final thing is stay mindful of all that you’re doing and experiencing. Dreams can be a great source of inspiration – in dreams, your energy body experiences the ultimate release and runs free. So take note of your dreams. You don’t have to keep a diary, but be aware of them and think about them. Honour them.
Growth comes when we are actively working with the energy we are receiving to become stronger. For you, journaling about your insights and challenges might be the perfect way to process the energy of your daily life. But basically it comes down to conscious mindfulness of all that you are doing, in order to keep things in check and maintain them as well as improve them. When you are able to find faults in your energy practices, for instance if you realize that you are taking too much of other people’s emotional energy into yourself, you can adapt and grow by strengthening your boundaries. Your challenge is to work consciously towards being a better human being in the physical and spiritual realms.