When was the last time you placed your bare feet on grass?
I did just that a few months ago. As a child, I always walked around our little town in my bare feet during the summer. Yes, my soles got scorched, cut, and blistered, but I kept walking like that for years.
Not anymore. In fact, I almost never go shoeless inside my own home. I like wearing sandals as I knock around the kitchen or whatever room in which I happen to be.
Recently, I have allowed myself to kick off my shoes outside and plant my bare feet firmly on the ground. I’ve read this practice can be healing, as it connects us to the earth and to life itself. It can reduce stress and possibly help lower blood pressure. And it feels great! Not to worry… I always check for bees, spiders, and ants before putting my feet down!
Do you ever feel as though you are not grounded, as if you are unsettled, drifting in your job or in life, moving in too many directions with a lack of clear focus?
I get it. I’ve been there many times myself: As a young widow and mother whose life had suddenly turned upside down. As a Type A career woman who was on the perpetual gerbil wheel of “go, go, go.” As an empty nester pondering my next big purpose in life.
Yes, I feel you.
And I care about you.
In the past several years, I have deliberately grounded myself in 4 key ways; and, beautiful woman, I encourage you to try these grounding practices yourself. Trust me: They will clear your mind and open your heart for direction in ways you can’t imagine.
I’m also adding a 5th grounding practice that we often forget, and it’s one in which I am starting to put more effort.
And if you need additional help, you can always contact me!
Here you go!
1. Dig into God’s Word. There is nothing better than opening God’s Word and soaking in its truths. Schedule at least 30 minutes of focused prayer/praise/scripture time everyday (preferably mornings). Journal. Learn how to practice lectio divina. Trust me: You WILL start to get clarity in your life as you allow God to speak to you through His Word. Stick with it, and approach it daily in a spirit of prayer and praise. Again, trust me: You WILL get grounded!
2. Get out in nature. Nature is SO healing! I spent a lot of time outdoors as a child, romping through the woods and catching tadpoles in the creek in front of our house. These days I like to sit on my screened porch in the evenings, meditating or reading or doing yoga. Just last fall, I finally bought an annual Virginia State Parks pass, which has more than paid for itself, and I love my one or two long hikes in the woods each week. Ditch your phone, or at least shut it off-as that defeats the purpose of enjoying nature- and bathe in the forest! Want to learn about the benefits of the practice of forest bathing? http://www.amywaltoncoaching.com/uncategorized/shinrin-yoku-the-bath-for-stress-and-relaxation/
Bottom line: We can hear God’s voice, clear our minds, and get in touch with ourselves in the outdoors!
3. Meditate. No… meditation doesn’t have to mean sitting in a lotus position while chanting “Ohm…” My practice of evening meditation involves lighting a candle; playing some soft, soothing music on my iPad; sitting on my floor; and doing some energy healing and a body prayer. Just sitting quietly for 10 minutes, breathing and sending love to your body is really special. When you add prayers of gratitude, you can really get connected to God. Okay, so my feet aren’t the prettiest, but I give thanks that they carry me all sorts of places and allow me to take those hikes in nature.
Take a daily breather and literally breathe and pray.
4. Unplug from networking/social groups that are not serving you (or you, them). Entering this profession of coaching catapulted me into an unknown world of certified coaches, self-declared coaches, and entrepreneurs. I felt lost and confused initially. One of the best things I did to bring clarity to my life and the direction I wanted to take my business was to step back from a few networking groups and social media groups for a while. It’s hard to listen to your own voice-much less God’s voice-when you are bombarded with networking events, too many financial planners coming at you from said events, and too many meeting invites on Facebook. It can be hard to truly get grounded.
Take a break, temporarily hide the Facebook notifications, and focus on the first 3 practices I listed. Re-engage when you’re ready- this is YOUR life!
And the extra one that we often overlook?
5. Spend MORE one-on-one or small group time with family and friends who affirm you and help ground you. Sharing your heart with and receiving love and support from your family and favorite people can lift you up so much more than meandering around a large group. These people become your little garden patch, that group of people who can provide you with valuable feedback on your strengths, love you in the midst of transitions, and support you on your journey. They will be there for you when your networking folks aren’t.
You may feel a bit scattered, discombobulated, or spread too thin; but know that you CAN do something about it.
Girl, it’s time to get grounded!
Amy Walton is a certified life coach, speaker, and writer who likes to ground herself in silence, in God’s Word, and on Mother Earth. If you need help grounding yourself, give her a shout at http://www.amy-walton.com. She just might take you outside and have you feel the dirt on your sweet soles.