Are you grounded? Here’s how you know…
When I first started Equine Sport Therapy School, I was optimistic, naive even. To be honest, I had no idea what I was in for and was caught unprepared, not by the subject matter, not by the people, but by the horses. You see, every month, after spending the weekend cramming my brain with information, I would head out to practice my newfound skills on the horses in my area. That first month is still etched in my mind. We had learned to massage the neck. That’s it. But when I went out to try it, I was baffled. Not a single horse would let me even put my hands on them. You better believe that two year program looked like a life sentence right then. Back at school, I approached my teacher with my problem, holding back tears. His simple response, “Alexa, I think it’s time to teach you how to ground.”
This one simple lesson, where he showed me how to connect to the earth by imagining I was a tree with wide, deep roots, changed my life. My horse clients shifted instantaneously, accepting my touch and feeling safe to let go in my presence. And since then I’ve been able to help thousands of horses feel better in their bodies and in their partnerships. The tension levels in my body changed, with ever increasing relaxation. I felt better in my body, less worried, and even noticed changes in my digestion and immune function. Even my relationships changed.
This one simple act of connecting to the earth changed the trajectory of my life, creating a presence and a capacity for emotional well-being and peace far beyond what I had ever experienced.
Being ungrounded can feel like all your energy is centred around your head and your mind and can even have a dissociative quality, as if you’re seeing life from a distance rather than participating in it. The horses responded the way they did because I felt very unsafe to them – I was disconnected from my body, the earth and my intuition, not a great combination. As my teacher said, it was like I was shooting off tiny laser beams all over the place! No wonder they didn’t want to be anywhere near me.
Since incorporating a daily practice in grounding over twelve years ago, my energy has shifted from being in my head to my body. Now I know when I’m ungrounded. In fact, Diva usually steps on one of my feet to inform me, but for those that don’t have a 1300lb animal to bring you back to the present, here are some other signs. When you’re ungrounded you’ll usually have difficulty connecting with any sensation in your body, your breath will often be shallow or ineffective, you’ll experience what I refer to as circular thinking, where worried thoughts go round and round with no conclusion or solution, you’ll be tense frequently and without reason, you’ll find yourself existing in the past or in the future and not often in the present and you’ll be adversely affected by small changes or diversions from the “plan.” And your animals will usually let you know through their behaviour – they may even experience anxiety or fear when you’re disconnected from the earth – thankfully most of them will not need to squash your feet to get their message across!
If you want to learn a simple grounding practice that could change your life and help you to cultivate more relaxation and deep restoration, have a listen to my newest grounding visualization here –> http://bit.ly/1O03ttr