Lola Medicine Keeper, Grounded Healer
03 Jan 2018
Think you’re “grounded”?
Think again! If you’re feeling/experiencing any of these three things; you may not be as grounded as you think you are. But fear not! There are simple remedies to get grounded ASAP; which is vitally important if you want to maintain your health, vitality, and focus in the New Year.
How to tell if you’re ungrounded:
1 | You’re burned out.
You can’t muster up enthusiasm or energy to get things done that used to excite and invigorate you. Whether it’s playing with your kids, cooking dinner, reaching out to your clients, marketing your work, or even going grocery shopping… if you’re dragging your feet and procrastinating these things, it’s a sure sign that you’re burned out (and ungrounded).
The remedy: Sleep.
Rather than trying to “fix” the problem of being motivated and force yourself not to procrastinate any more, it’s time to “do” something radically different. It’s time to rest, restore, and rejuvenate. When you’re deep in burnout mode, it can be tempting to just keep pushing through; but all that does is fatigue your adrenals and run your system ragged. You need (quality) sleep! You need s-p-a-c-e!
Try carving out time for a nap, or heading to bed earlier than your normal bedtime. This is a process of “un-doing”… and it may just be the MOST productive thing you do all day! Sleep is deeply restorative, and most of us do NOT get nearly enough these days, and what sleep we do get is often shallow; meaning we don’t spend enough time in REM.
Tips to help you sleep better:
2 | You’re getting clumsy/injured.
Getting more bruises than usual? Bumping into things? Dropping things or having near-miss accidents? Forgetting things? You may be moving too quickly. The quick pace and hurried nature of our modern lives forces us to move fast; not a speed that’s necessarily natural to us (certainly not ALL the time or for sustained periods). When you’re moving intentionally, you end up being much more efficient in the long run; getting more done with less time needed for recovery).
The remedy: Intentional movement.
To practice intentional movement, we love a practice known as a “Fox Walk”, a walking meditation we learned from Jeff Nixa’s fabulous book “A Modern Shaman’s Field Manual”. Here’s how to walk like a fox and practice slowing yourself down to counteract some of our cultural speediness:
This practice is a great reminder that how you get somewhere is at least as important as where you’re going!
3 | You’re addicted to Social Media
Find yourself scrolling through Facebook and Instagram for far longer than necessary? If you’re on social media for more than 10 minutes a day (and you’re not spending that time writing posts or commenting), then you may have a subtle (or downright apparent) addiction to Social Media. Don’t feel badly, it’s not totally your fault!
Social Media has been built to stimulate dopamine, a neurotransmitter in our brains that’s responsible for us being productive and motivated, even when there’s not an immediate payoff. This is why you feel so “busy” and like you are doing something useful, even when you’re just scrolling through the news feed. But, alas, it’s NOT actually all that productive, and over time, there are diminishing dopamine returns, meaning we need to spend MORE time on social media to get the same feelings; and the experience is less and less satisfying.
Digital activities are inherently ungrounding, since they occur in the virtual realm and not here in physical reality. You aren’t even aware of the chair you’re sitting on, whether you’re breathing or swallowing, or which room you’re in most of the time you’re online, right? (Us too, no shame in admitting it!)
The remedy: Breathe.
Meditation can help our brains produce more dopamine… By now most of us know the benefits of a simple meditation practice, but it’s often hard to stick to. Even 5 minutes of solitude can feel like squirmy torture.
This is because we are all up in our heads, and most meditation practices put us in our heads even MORE! One of our teachers, Javier Regueiro, says that sitting meditation for people who are in their heads too much is like giving crack to an addict (we’re paraphrasing, but you get the gist).
This box-style breath practice helps you ground in your body and get out of your head.
Rather than releasing thoughts, this simple meditation brings you embodiment.
Here’s how to do it:
You may notice your hands tingling, or your body twitching or shivering… Intentional breathing infuses your system with oxygen and helps you detox, so it may be a little intense – especially at first!
Through intentional movement, taking time to breathe deeply, and getting more rest, you’ll be grounded in no time!
What other grounding practices do you enjoy? And what other ways can you tell that you’re NOT grounded? (Eating too much sugar? Snapping at your kids or spouse? Hazy-feeling focus?) We’d love to hear from you in the comments!