I was fine until I got sick. Isn’t that always how it goes?
It was nothing serious, mind you…just that plaguey cough and flu thing that’s going around. But of course, I pushed through it because people depend on me. And that’s just what we do. We push until we can’t push any longer, and then we say, “Time out!” Or our body says it for us.
Looking back, I can see why it happened. I ignored that little voice inside my head (ALWAYS a mistake to ignore her!) when it shouted that I needed to keep up with my rituals—all those daily habits that keep me grounded. Literally grounded. Without that feeling of groundedness, my energy gets thrown off, creating a domino effect that can impact everything from my schedule to my immune system.
I imagine that there are many people out there who feel ungrounded all the time, so I try to motivate myself—and others—to find what helps keep us grounded. Because feeling grounded feels good. Feeling grounded feels right. Feeling grounded makes me feel like anything is possible—which is my normal state—and wanting to stay that way is why it’s important for me to maintain the habits that help soothe, recharge, and support my overall well-being.
I could blame other people—especially those people who just love to eat away at my schedule (you know who you are!). But the truth is it’s not their fault. They’re just doing their job. It’s MY job to protect my boundaries and defend my time so I can stay grounded. And so, I took a sick day to get grounded, and I already feel better. Cough is still there, but my desire for life has sprouted again…my desire to write has sprouted again! Hence, this blog post.
As I was starting to feel myself come alive again, I thought it would be helpful to share my rituals with you so they can inform your own, if you choose. I randomly invented this grouping, but believe that each step has serious scientific foundations. And if they don’t, who cares? Because they work.
- Clear a section of the counter or your desk. This is minor, but an important first step to show that you are ready to take action and make space for yourself and your own happiness. This could also read, “Clear a section of your day to make space for your own self and happiness.” It’s an outward manifestation of an inward need.
- Meditate. You don’t have to do it for long—10 to 20 minutes—but again, just sitting with the intention of making space is powerful. This will get you back to zero, but it won’t ground you completely. For that you need to…
- Go outside and lie on the ground, sit on a rock, or if you are so lucky, swim in the ocean or a lake. There is a whole new fad called “earthing,” which is all about this. But this is not a fad. I prefer to think of it the way shamans do—that you’re mulching all your stress and worries into the earth. The earth is absorbing them and digesting all your negative energies, just as it absorbs a tree’s leaves and turns them into soil in the forest. You are literally grounding the electrical energy in your body and making it safe again. Even if you live in the city, you can find a park with some grass and rocks. Central Park in New York City has amazing rocks. People sit on them all the time.
- Expose as much skin as you can to the sunshine. This is all about getting vitamin D—recharging your solar battery and shining light into your DNA to get it buzzing again. This, more than anything, will start to bring your desire for life back again. It helps if the sun is shining, of course, but some people do this in the moonlight. That’s called a moon bath, and it can also help you feel centered and grounded, but it isn’t a source of vitamin D. For that, you need some sunshine.
OK, I’m almost back to life.
As I was lying on the ground on the old Pendleton blanket that I’ve had forever, I noticed a giant hornet that was just waking up from a long winter nap, too. She was shaking a bit and roaming about as if trying to figure out where she left things last fall. Seeing her made me happy because it’s still early March. Spring isn’t even here yet, but it’s inevitable. And it’s easier to stay grounded in spring, summer, and fall. It’s harder in the winter, but even more important.
Try the ritual. Let me know how it feels.
Great post Maria – hope you feel better quickly! I love nothing more than being barefoot and rolling around outside in the grass with my dogs – there is nothing like sunshine, earth, grass and rolling, tumbling, furry balls of energy to make me feel happier instantly! And I am dying to start planting in the garden – hope they’re wrong about snow this weekend!
Thata girl! I am happy that you are up and at ’em again. Missed you all at Rodale. Be well.