Remember as a kid when your parent pointed an index finger at your chest, looked at you with eyes that could cut steel, and proclaimed, “You’re grounded!”
It usually meant you’d done something wrong like hitting your brother, toilet papering your neighbor’s trees, or staying out past curfew.
But, being grounded as an adult has a different meaning. It’s a good thing.
Michael Daniels, in his book, Shadow, Self, Spirit, says that groundedness refers to “a sense of being fully embodied, whole, centered and balanced in ourselves and our relationships.” It’s also a deeper connection to the authentic self. He suggests groundedness is associated “with an experience of clarity, wholeness, ‘rightness,’ and harmony.”
According to Diane Raab, PhD, when you’re grounded, you’re in touch with your mental and emotional self. You’re not easily influenced by others’ opinions or actions. You shrug off life’s bumps and grinds. Raab writes, “If someone cuts [a grounded person] off in a traffic circle, they may give a shoulder shrug, and think, ‘Oh, well, they must be in a hurry.’ Chances are, they won’t become overwhelmed by, or reactive to, the incident.”
It’d be nice to be a grounded person all the time. But, that’s not realistic.
I notice when I’m not grounded, I feel like a flying squirrel jumping from one tree branch to another. I’m anxious. Overwhelmed. I feel like I’m spinning.
To get out of those lofty tree branches and get back on the ground requires two things: first, an awareness of being ungrounded; and second, creating gentle practices that reconnect us with our bodies.
God made us complete with the trinity of mind, body, and spirit. When all three are working together, we typically experience inner peace, balance, and wholeness.
But often we get trapped in the mind, thinking about the future—the “what if’s”—or the past—the “how comes.” The mind then takes charge and heads straight into the flying squirrel syndrome, bouncing from one thought to another.
So how do we get out of that feeling of being ungrounded that can make us feel (and act) a little nuts?
Here’s a way. It’s called spiritual grounding.
According to an article in Discover Healing, spiritual grounding is a practice that connects your body to the earth and brings physical and emotional balance and strength. When you learn how to ground yourself, you become present to yourself and God. You integrate mind, body, and spirit as One.
Since our minds can think only one thought at a time, the quickest way to quiet the mind is to reground ourselves in our bodies.
Julian of Norwich, a fourteenth century Christian mystic and theologian, called spiritual grounding “body prayer.” She wrote, The fruit and the purpose of prayer is “to be made one with God and like God in all things.”
After suffering immense pain, Julian got in touch with her physical body as one pathway to connect with the Divine. She created a body prayer as a simple way to pray without words and integrate mind, body, and spirit.
Here are the four postures of Julian’s body prayer: Await, Allow, Accept, and Attend.
Await—with cupped hands extended at the waist, we stand waiting for the presence of God
Allow—reaching up with our hands extended toward the sky, we seek deeper awareness and wisdom
Accept—standing with hands held cupped to the heart, we accept ourselves and others unconditionally, and receive the insight God offers
Attend—with hands extended and palms open, we move into the world to do the work God has given us this day.
Click on this link for a short demonstration of Julian’s body prayer. https://youtu.be/_lKdXykzTXk
I use Julian’s body prayer at the beginning of my morning meditation and before I hop into bed. During the day, when I feel the flying squirrels taking over, I stop what I’m doing and practice body prayer for two or three minutes. It’s amazing how it re-grounds me and allows me to experience a calming presence.
There are many ways to find spiritual grounding through the prayer of the body. We can focus on our breathing for a few moments, plant our feet firmly on the floor to feel the energy and stability of the earth, or wash our hands and face as a way of shaking off the world’s noise. Placing our hands on our heart and feeling its warmth and gentle beating can also bring about the inner peace we seek.
This week, try a body prayer practice such as Julian’s to spiritually ground yourself. Notice what changes you experience. Find your pathway and get spiritually grounded.
—brian j plachta