Saturday, 10 November 2012

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING GROUNDED


There is a lot to be said for keeping both feet firmly on the ground. In the fast moving 21st Century, the virtual world of the web is changing the way we live. It's a far cry from our ancestors who lived in a natural world in rhythm with our planet's cycles and seasons.  In reality, our physiology has not yet evolved to cope with the stress and strain of this modern age.  Our nervous system still interprets everyday stress in the same way it would have responded to a predator pouncing in for the kill. Essentially what this means is that many of us find ourselves almost permanently caught up in the 'fight, flight or freeze' stress response.

For many it comes as no surprise to know that stress is recognised today as one of the major contributors to ill health. However less well known is the fact that the nervous system doesn't distinguish between the many different types of stress.  This means that when we are glued to an adrenaline inducing computer game in the small hours while drinking our third cup of coffee; when we are unable to pull ourselves away from an all consuming work project; have our ipod pumping up the volume; or find ourselves on the edge of our seats stimulated by the thrill of the latest James Bond, we are putting our nervous system under huge levels of stress. This in turn can end up affecting our emotional balance, our cognitive abilities, digestive and immune systems and sleep patterns.

 

In contemporary Western culture where stimulation and information overload is our everyday reality, it is quite clear that now more than ever we need to reconnect to the ground beneath our feet.  To afford ourselves time and space to take stock and catch our breath.  Literally bring ourselves back down to earth and become more grounded. We need the tools to free ourselves from the zombie like trance inflicted by our modern lifestyles. The ability to root ourselves in the here and now.

The imbalances of the mind and body greatly contribute to ill health and a feeling of disconnectedness in so many people. A fundamental detachment from our physical and emotional needs is caused for the most part by living in our heads.  We have lost the connection with our body and in doing so lost have that connection with an integral part of ourselves.

Our body is an incredibly sophisticated organism hot-wired with an innate intelligence, whose primary function is for us to thrive and survive.  Emotions, feelings, sensations and intuitions are all expressions of our needs. We ignore them to the detriment of our health and well-being. By becoming more grounded we are taking the first step on our journey towards getting back in touch with those needs and becoming more unified - more whole.

For thousands of years the benefits of grounding have been enjoyed through meditation, yoga, tai-chi, chi-gung and different forms of energy medicine and healing. Essentially they all use the ground to earth and realign the body and mind to facilitate a state of balance. Meditation practitioners take their awareness down into the body and to its connection with the ground beneath it. By engaging with that connection they allow everything else to occur naturally. 

To set yourself on this path it is important to pause every so often during your day. Begin by feeling the ground beneath your feet, descent with your sense into your body, exhale down towards the ground and bring your awareness to your surrounding. Become aware of what actually happens when you do this.try using this sense of rooting down, sense of grounding and re-establishing your foundations as a daily natural life tool to rediscover your balance again. Only once you truly have your feet firmly planted on the ground can your awareness be fully immersed in the stillness of each present moment.