Grounded Awareness: Connecting to Nature

We hear the term “being grounded” thrown around often, and there are many different ways to go about “grounding yourself.” But what does it really mean to move about our life with a grounded awareness? And why is this something we should strive to cultivate?

At the foundation of it, having a grounded awareness is the awareness that we are connected to, as the name implies, the ground -  i.e. the Earth we walk upon. Seems simple on the surface but, there’s a depth of meaning behind what that concept really represents. For most of our culture today (although a lot of people are starting to wake up to this fact) we have forgotten that we are connected to and are a part of the natural world, and this simple disconnection has major implications. When we lose sight of this idea, we are literally cutting ourselves off at our roots, which cuts us off from our strength, safety, and ability to nourish ourselves. When we do this, we disconnect ourselves from all of life and the core of our essential nature, and we end up floating around in space getting caught up in every little thought, emotion, and circumstance that comes our way. This problem of extreme ungroundedness manifests itself in numerous different forms and in just about every area of our world today, and is at the root (pun intended) of many traumas that we are experiencing.

  • How many times have you felt ungrounded and unstable?
  • How many times have you felt overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, depressed or downright lost?
  • Have you ever experienced frustration with the lack of direction or progression your life is taking? When you have big dreams but don’t feel capable of achieving them?
  • Have you ever felt disconnected from your friends and family, or even from yourself and your own body?
  • Have you ever felt a sense of hopelessness or unworthiness?

We can only grow as tall as our roots grow deep. Our roots are what hold us in place, giving us a sense of security, and bringing us the nutrients we need in order to build strength. The roots allow the tree to stay grounded even during huge windstorms. The deeper we can bring our own awareness, grounding it into the stability and strength of the Earth, the less likely we will become caught up in the windstorms of life. The stronger our own energetic root system is, the taller we will be able to grow towards our dreams.

Cultivating an awareness and relationship to the physical world (that includes your body!), can help bring us back into our place of safety and power, and this awareness needs to be at our foundation. When we can walk about our life with this deep sense of connectedness, we can tap into the peace, serenity, and stillness that the natural world is always reflecting back to us. We can find harmony within our own essence, and learn what it means to simply “be.” Grounding ourselves is coming home to ourselves. It’s knowing that we are taken care of and being held; it’s knowing that we are worthy, that we belong and have a place to grow.

There are so many different ways to bring a grounded awareness into our everyday life. And in our next email, we’ll share with you some ways we personally do it and give you some more simple examples of how to cultivate this new awareness into your daily routine. In the meantime, we created a Terrestrial Gateways PDF and a meditation/visualization to help you get started - because it all begins with you. Tuning into yourself and your physical body is the first step to opening up your grounded awareness. It seems simple, but it’s a practice that we don’t always make the time to slow down and actually do. The body speaks to us in so many ways. It shows us when something is off or feels good through different sensations (pain, pleasure, tingling, heat, coolness, pulsing, etc). This is how the body communicates with us and when we honor its voice, we honor the inherent nature of our being. The physical body is the place of manifestation of our realities, so we must learn to honor and remain connected to this earthy expression of our inner soul beings.

There’s a medicine within each story of life, and having a grounded awareness is a medicine we are all meant to enjoy and incorporate into our story. So we invite you to open up to the many teachings that the Earth so graciously offers, and find your own unique way of working with it’s medicine.

Connecting to Nature

Megan: For as simple as having a grounded awareness can be, it can be a challenge to bring into everyday life. I’m totally guilty over here - I struggle with grounding myself all the time. I’m a pretty spacey person and I love getting lost in my head (sometimes beneficial, sometimes not). It’s really easy for me to go about my days just floating around, not really connecting to anyone or anything, and not getting anything done. Finding ways to get grounded helps center me within my internal space. It lets me check in with how I’m feeling right now and how I want to move forward.

Lyz: Guilty here as well! Grounding has never been easy for me as someone who has a habit of getting stuck in her head and the many stories of the mind. As a result, anxiety has been something I have struggled with for many years. In addition to anxiety, by nature, I am a person who loves to push myself to their limit and surpass old versions of myself. When I do this without grounded awareness, my body has a hard time keeping up.

M: That’s why food is probably my number one way of getting grounded and making sure my body can always keep up with me. Food is our body’s fuel; what we put into our body everyday is going to have a huge impact on how we feel and our energy. Learning to really tune into my body, listen to what it’s craving and how it responds to certain foods, has helped me craft my own diet involving real, wholesome foods. The cleaner I eat, the more easily I can feel what’s going on in my physical and energetic space. That’s why I also love making as much of my food myself and putting my own love into the food, because I can feel the difference in my body. Whenever I’m feeling ungrounded, I check in with what I’ve been eating lately, and maybe it’s time to make a really nourishing and intention-filled meal for myself (a simple but deeply powerful medicine that is often forgotten).

L: Finding grounded awareness in daily & weekly practices, like being aware of how we feed our bodies, has helped greatly in moderating and dissipating my own anxious state. For me, physical activity is a huge contribution to finding my center. By giving myself space to work my muscles and the movement within them, through Aikido, Yoga & Dance, I am able to tune into the areas that feel off, weak or disconnected. When I am moving forward too quickly, without giving myself that grounded awareness, my body struggles to keep up with my racing mind which can lead to injury or sickness. I find that with a consistent practice of connecting to nature (both the natural world and its manifestation as my body), I am able to realize when I need to rest & reset. And for those times when my body needs a break from physical activity, I welcome stillness and tune into my senses (sight, touch, sound, taste, smell); for example, watching the sunrise/sunset, taking a hot shower, listening to music, drinking a chai latte, or rubbing a drop of essential oil in my hair.

M: I love incorporating both movement and stillness practices into a daily routine. It can consist of a simple stretching session (or a major dance session), taking the dog on a nice long walk, sitting quietly with a warm cup of tea, and meditating with incense, which has been a life changer for me in terms of grounding myself. All of these practices, and others, have helped me focus my energy into the here and now, feel comfortable with exactly where I’m at for the day, and move forward from a place of centeredness.

L: Finding the present moment and our center is so important to being comfortable within ourselves. At least once a week, I try to take a hike in nature and breathe some fresh air into my lungs. It reminds me of the true world we live in, and not the one that lives inside my computer (or my head). It brings me back to my present state of reality and I feel a sense of contentment in all-that-is. I feel my body and my mind relax into ease and comfort, like pressing a reset button. In this natural state of being, I am able to hear the signs of when I begin to veer from this state. I feel how my body responds to certain thoughts and how the story in my mind causes imbalances within the body. From here, in a place of grounded awareness, we are all offered a choice. A choice to continue down a path that could lead to dis-ease or shift our direction to one of connection.

M: Our routines are always shifting and growing, sometimes we’re super consistent with it and other times we get off track. But the continuous checking in with ourselves is a grounding practice in and of itself. What we need changes, so always asking: “what do I need right now to feel a connection to my body, to the world around me and to the Earth beneath me?” Sometimes even that simple question is enough to bring a deep state of grounded awareness.

Connecting to Nature

1 comment

Z

Great article on an incredibly important topic, especially this day and age when so many live in a society seemingly engineered to keep people ungrounded!

Tried the guided 12min meditation this morning, definitely helped get me centered within myself and say no to those little “stories” floating around in my head. That’s something I’ve been working on recently in particular, and this was quite helpful.

Thank you!

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