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THE WHY AND HOW OF GROUNDING

Happy barefoot child walk alone by path, explore the forest. Outdoor hiking activities. .j

I expect that you have probably heard of being grounded or perhaps even been told you are ungrounded.

What does this mean?

Essentially being grounded means being fully present in your body and energetically connected to the earth, as you may know, you are a spiritual being having a physical experience. This embodiment and connection to Mother Earth allows you to be balanced and centred in yourself regardless of what is happening around you.

One of the reasons this is good for you is because your excess energy when you are feeling angry, panicked, confused or overwhelmed, is expelled. Hence, the ability to feel balanced.

So what are some signs of being ungrounded?

Apart from what I’ve already mentioned, feeling a bit spaced out, being forgetful, feelings of dizziness or repeatedly day dreaming can be because you are not grounded. Being grounded is especially important for people in healing practices, empaths and intuitives.

Here are some easy ways to get more grounded;

1.  Walk barefoot on the earth or lay or sit on the ground. Have full contact with the soles of your feet or the palms of your hands and breathe in deeply. Visualise the earth energy rising through your body. As you exhale, feel the energy moving down through your hands or feet and back into the earth. You only need to do this for a short time regularly to feel the effects and it’s simple but powerful.


2.  Crystals! Now, who doesn’t love crystals right? You can carry or wear certain crystals which are very earthy. The beauty of doing this is something we call entrainment. And what this means is when the resonance or vibration of one being is raised to meet the higher vibration of another, in this case the crystal.

Some gorgeous crystals you could try are black tourmaline, smoky quartz, garnet or hematite.

3.  If you are more of an essential oil kinda person then you could make up your own grounding spray. The important things to remember with this are;

Make sure your spray bottle will block light so an amber or cobalt blue bottle is ideal. You can pop a piece of crystal in if you like. I love to use black tourmaline for this.

Spray around your aura when you feel ungrounded and take three slow, deep breaths.


4.  Affirmations are a lovely way to remind ourselves of the important things. Here's one I love.

"My spirit is grounded deep in the earth.

I am calm, strong, centred and peaceful.

I am able to let go of fear and trust that I am eternally safe.

I am worthy of all things beautiful."



I’d love to hear how you go with these practices or any others that you use to get yourself grounded. 

SMUDGING 101

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We have all felt stuck, depressed or lethargic at some time or another and this can be due to sluggish or stuck energy in our aura. The good news is the ancient practice of smudging clears negative or stuck energies.


But smudging with herbs isn’t just something we can do to clear our aura, it is also used for energetically cleansing a space.


It is important to know that all plants are sacred, not just sage although white sage is probably the most commonly used herb for smudging. It’s worth looking into different plants though if you want to smudge for a specific purpose. Say for instance you want to relax and have peace then you could add some lavender to your smudge stick or to cleanse and purify you could add lemongrass. Eucalyptus is added for protection and healing.


How to smudge


You can use a smudge stick or loose herbs, which is what I prefer. This abalone shell is what I use to burn my leaves in and I put Himalayan salt in the bottom of the dish. I’m not even sure why I decided to do that, but it feels right for me. So regardless of whether you use leaves or a stick it’s a good idea to have a heatproof dish. If you are using a stick hold it over the dish just in case a small piece of lit herb falls. I also use this feather for fanning the smoke but it works just as effectively with your hand.


If you decide to use a bundle like the one in the top image, hold a flame to it until it begins to smoke. If a flame appears, gently shake the bundle or blow softly until it is just embers and smoke. I sometimes find that I have to re-light a bundle a few times whereas with the leaves, they generally keep going until they burn out.


Smudging Yourself


When you are smudging yourself or someone else, once you have a nice smolder happening, use you hand or a feather to direct the smoke over your body from your feet up to your head, then back down again. Don’t forget to smudge around your arms, which can be done by holding them out from the sides of the body, and your legs. If you are using leaves in a dish you can just hold the dish under your arm and move it along from your shoulder to your hand. As you do this, visualize the smoke taking away with it any negative energy from your life allowing room for fresh positive energy to come in. It’s always nice to hold an intention while smudging.


Smudging Space


This would most likely be a space like your home, perhaps a particular room or perhaps your workplace. Smudging will clear any energy from that space that doesn’t align with your intention for the space.


The smoke from dried sage actually changes the ionic composition of the air, and can have a direct effect on reducing our stress response.


Some reasons you may decide to smudge are;
 - When you move into a new home
 - When you begin a new job or start your own business
 - Before meditation, yoga or a healing session
 - After an argument or any illness
 - When you have teenagers with turbulent emotions


When you’re smudging a space, there are different thoughts from different cultures on how to proceed. I think really it’s just up to you whether you start from the door and go clockwise or anti-clockwise. Personally, being in the Southern hemisphere, I tend to move anti-clockwise. I think it is most important to hold an intention and be present to the process being sure to move the smoke well into the corners of the room where stagnant energy can gather.


Once the space is cleared, allow the sage bundle to either burn out or gently press it out in your heat-proof shell or container. You can even bury the remaining smudge in your garden to really feel the completeness of the cleansing ritual. Once buried, the sage has done its work in completing the elemental cycle.

PRACTISING GRATITUDE

Young woman meditating with her eyes closed, practicing Yoga with hands in prayer position

The more we practise gratitude, the more we see to be grateful for. This then has a positive effect on our sense of wellbeing, our relationships, physical and psychological health.


Being grateful allows us to experience the vibrancy of each moment to the fullest. By being fully present to the gifts that are around us we naturally feel more positive. This can then have a domino effect and before you know it others in our circle are also feeling uplifted.


The added bonus is that it doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s simple to do!


Here are some tips for practising gratitude into your daily life.


1. Start a Gratitude Journal – this is at the top of my list because I love to journal and have experienced how powerful it can be. Each day think of three things that you can be grateful for. Have you ever heard the expression “Energy flows where attention goes?” Essentially, this means by focusing on positive things and practicing gratitude you are cultivating the ground for more of that! If you feel that daily journaling is not for you perhaps switch to once a week and see how that goes.


2. Create a Gratitude Jar – this is fun because you can decorate your jar (or you can have a box if you prefer), and be really creative. Every day you can write a gratitude note and pop it in the jar. When it’s full you get a sense of just how much there is in life to be grateful for. It’s important to note that the things you can be grateful for don’t have to be monumental. Even something as small as being grateful for mangoes being in season so you get to have a yummy
breakfast counts. Once again, be creative.


3. Make a Gratitude Flower – this is something that children can enjoy doing as well. All you need is some coloured paper, to cut into petals and a centre for your flower and something to write with. On the centre of the flower write “Things I’m Grateful For.” Each day you can write one thing you are grateful for on a petal and tape it to the flower centre. I like to make seven petals so my flower is complete after one week. if you continue to make them and pop them on the fridge you could end up with a gratitude garden!


4. Gratitude Collage – This is also a beautiful activity as it takes time and really engages your heart space as well as your creativity. A collage is much like the journal but instead of using words our gratitude is expressed through imagery. Find one image per week to add to your collage. Don’t feel that you need to be restricted to old magazines either. These days many people use images they find on the internet to print and paste. I like this activity, especially for visual people because as they say “A picture is worth a thousand words” and it’s true. An image can hold meaning on many different levels.


I hope you have found some inspiration and decide to start practising gratitude because in a short time it can have a powerful impact on your outlook on life.

5 DAYS OF MINDFULNESS FOR BEGINNERS

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There as been a lot of talk about mindfulness and how it can help us to be in the present moment, reduce stress and be connected. Even with the best intention it can be the first thing to fly out of our mind when we are handling a fast paced or complicated day, a confronting interaction or an overwhelming situation.

I have created a short PDF which gives one small step to take per day over a 5 day period. While it may take some time to get a handle on mindfulness and being able to keep in that space for the day, we can start with small steps and build up slowly.

Just click the "5 days of mindfulness" button below and see how you go.