Life has changed. This Pandemic has limited our freedom to move about town, see friends and family, and go out to eat. Other than work, at least for those of us fortunate enough to be an “essential business”, we are told to stay home. It feels so much like the punishment we received as children – we have been grounded.
Being grounded can have very real and negative consequences for us. We can feel isolated and lonely. We can get out of our daily routines. We turn to food or other substances to self-medicate (just look at how people romanticize day-drinking during this Pandemic). We get frustrated with loved ones. We can feel a loss of control.
I have experienced these feelings of late. I had a bad past weekend in which I was short with my family. I had not slept well the entire week. Work was stressful, and I was aggravated with the lack of information and misinformation going around about this virus. I transmitted what I was feeling onto the ones I loved. It is true that if you don’t transform it, you will transmit it.
Fortunately, others have provided me with practices and tools to help transform these negative feelings and emotions. One such way is the practice of Grounding.
I am not an electrician or engineer, so I cannot explain an electrical system. Therefore, I am going to borrow the following explanation from TheSpruce.com:
The electrical current in your home’s wiring system consists of a flow of electrons within metal circuit wires. The current comes in two forms, a negative and a positive charge, and this charged electrical field is created by huge generators operated by the utility company, sometimes many hundreds of miles away. It is this polarized charge than effectively constitutes the flow of electrical current, and it arrives at your home through a vast network of high-tension service wires, substations, and transformers that blanket the landscape.
The negative half of the charge is the “hot” current. In your home’s wiring system, the hot current is normally carried by black wires, while the neutral wires, which are white, carry the positive charge. Both sets of wires enter your home through the utility’s main service wires, run through your electrical service panel, and run side-by-side through every circuit in your home.
The physics of electrical flow are more complicated than most simple explanations can convey, but essentially, electricity seeks to return its electrons to “ground”—that is, to discharge its negative energy and return to equilibrium. Normally, the current returns to ground through the neutral wires in the electrical system. But should some breakdown of the pathway occur, the hot current may instead flow through other materials, such as wood framing, metal pipes, or flammable materials in your home. This is what may happen in a short circuit situation, where most electrical fires and shocks originate. A short circuit is when electricity strays outside the wires it is supposed to flow through—in other words, when it takes a shorter path to ground.
Much like the electrical grid, we have positive and negative currents flowing through us. These currents keep us moving and help to make us who we are. However, if there is a problem in our system and there is too much negative energy, we try to bring ourselves back to the equilibrium. Without the right Grounding practices, we could turn to harmful and unhealthy ways to discharge our negative current.
So what is the practice of Grounding? If you look on the internet, you will find numerous definitions and techniques. Essentially, Grounding takes us out of our minds and connects us with our bodies, environment, and others.
For me, Grounding is about Connection and Awareness. Staying Present. Getting outside of monkey-mind and away from my egocentric self. It is being Aware that we are all Connected to each other and to nature. It is knowing that we are all a part of something bigger than our individual self.
Again, there are numerous Grounding practices. Some of these use the five senses to help us connect with our bodies. Here are a few that I have found helpful:
- Breathing – either deep breathing or just concentrating on your breath
- Placing your bare feet on the dirt – feeling the dirt or grass on your feet
- Taking a walk – whether in nature or in town, getting out and concentrating on your steps (or your breaths while walking)
- Listening to your surroundings – soaking in the sounds around you
This past weekend, after having transmitted my negative energy onto my loved ones, I went out back and sat in my hammock. My boys came out and jumped on the trampoline near me. I just sat, listening to them play. I their positive vibes flow though me. I took off my shoes and socks, placed my bare feet on the ground, and imagined the negativity flowing out of me and into the Earth. Transform being grounded into being Grounded.