Are you having a hard time finding your footing or solid ground? You are not alone!
Here are a few metaphors I’ve heard recently:
“I feel like there is a slow earthquake beneath my feet; nothing is solid.”
“I feel like the waves keep pummeling me and I come back up for air and keep getting pummeled.”
“I’m feeling wobbly!”
How do we find solid ground when there is so much uncertainty, fearful headlines, and a never-ending pandemic? We can enhance our feeling of safety and stability by working with the nervous system and energy system. This starts with intention. You can shift gears from auto-pilot reacting to choosing a response, by first wanting to create and experience something different.
Our nervous system is constantly looking for signals of safety or danger and then responds with a protection/defense mechanism or safety. Let’s start there – we need to give our systems more signals of safety. Chances are, in this moment you are safe otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this, you would be responding appropriately.
- Limit the news. Stay informed but have a limit on how much you read and how often you check for updates. Your nervous system reacts to what you read/view. Our minds create even more stories about a future that hasn’t happened yet. I am old enough to remember the nightly news delivered by a choice of 2-3 channels, focused on the facts. That’s not our world anymore unfortunately. The 24 hour news cycle is toxic.
- Name your anchors of safety – people, places and activities that make you feel safe and nourish you. Make a list of those anchors that relax your nervous system and give you enjoyment. Choose more time with your anchors. What delights you or sparks your positive energy?
- Spend more time in nature or other activities, shutting off your devices. Be very choosey about how you spend your precious downtime. My friends and family tease me for only watching funny or uplifting shows. I say – why watch things that are disturbing and scary? Aren’t we getting enough stories about that already?!
Like the nervous system, our energy system is an interface between our environment, body, mind, emotions and spirit. With our focus and attention, we can shift our energy and immediately feel more grounded. This is the basis for many mind-body practices such as yoga, tai chi and qi gong. Here are two simple but powerful techniques for bringing the energy from the over-active thinking mind back to the lower body and our physical balance point which is the belly just below the navel.
- Sitting practice: Eyes open or closed, bring awareness to your feet on the floor, wiggle the toes, move the lower legs. Feel yourself seated and the support of your chair. Do “soft-belly” breathing. This is simply breathing slowly and allowing the tension in the belly to relax, softening it with your exhale. Allow yourself to be supported and enjoy the breath.
- Standing practice: Stand with feet hip width apart and relax the knees. Lift your heals and allow them to drop to the floor. Bring all your awareness to your feet. Imagine cords or roots coming from the bottom of your feet anchoring you into the center of the earth. With your imagination, on the inhale draw the energy up from the center of the earth up through your legs and lower body. Do this a few times and then add your arms, lifting your arms with your breath imagining this grounded earth energy filling your body and head as your arms reach over head. With the exhale, allow the arms to drop to your side, releasing any stress from your day.
You are what you practice, my mentor would remind us. Your nervous and energy systems will respond to what you choose to give them. It is easy to get overwhelmed these days, but with each moment we have a choice to come home to the present moment and the breath. With this open, relaxed awareness, we can then see the beauty available to us, make enjoyable connections with people, and have access to our creativity. From this foundation, we can each become a positive force in the world. Need more assistance finding solid ground? Please reach out to schedule a free discovery call to see if working together would be a good fit.