FIND YOUR BODY, FIND YOUR GROUND
Your body is your ground. When you are connected to your body you are connected to a secure base that enables you to engage your world with confidence and thoughtful intention. It allows you to regulate yourself and hold a steady line amid the unpredictable ups and downs of the day. When grounded in your body, you also have access to it’s innate wisdom, intelligence, and instincts – vital resources necessary to realize your goals and actualize your authentic self.
When you disconnect from your body and lose your ground, you become reactive to your environment, and life becomes about surviving and getting through the day. Anxiety imbues the experience of living making it very difficult to feel confident in your decisions, to move toward your goals, and to be open and playful with others.
Simply put, when you are grounded you feel like you have an impact on your environment and so it feels safe to expand because the world is responsive to you. When you feel ungrounded, you feel disempowered and at the mercy of whatever comes your way.
Reconnecting to your body and finding your ground is not always easy and often takes time and effort. The following is an exercise to help you with this process. While it is ideal to find a quiet place for this exercise, it is not necessary. You can apply these steps in most settings.
Find your body sensations. Begin by bringing your attention to the sensations you feel in your body. Notice what you are aware of feeling, Do you feel tingling, tightness, or pulsing?Do you feel heat or cool? Where do you notice these sensations? Do you notice your breath? Is it rapid or shallow?
Bring your attention to the tangible. If you are having trouble locating your sensations, bring your attention to tangible aspects of your environment. Ask yourself, Can I feel the chair supporting my back? Can I feel the waste band of my pants or the ground beneath my feet? Or, fold your hands together and notice what it’s like to have your palms and fingers touching. Bringing your attention to the tangible helps you locate yourself in the present moment.
Track and describe your sensations. Once you become aware of your sensations, track their activity. Do they move? If so, where to? Do they expand or do they shrink? Do they become more intense or do they soften? Can you picture your sensations? If so, what do they look like?
Shift your attention to the external environment. After tracking your sensations for a moment, gently shift your attention to your external environment and notice what you see. Locate different objects, colors, and sounds, in your immediate surroundings.
Bring your attention back. After a moment, slowly bring your attention back to your body. Notice your breath as well as your sensations. Have they have changed? If so, how?
Shift your attention again. Then, shift your attention outward again. Do this several times until you have a slow rhythmic swing from your internal awareness to your external awareness. This gentile shift in attention will ground you in the present moment and enable you to move deeper into your body.
Give it time. Reconnecting doesn’t happen in a snap. The body comes online much slower than the mind. Be patient with your body and give it the time it needs. Remember, just because you don’t feel anything, doesn’t mean your body isn’t experiencing sensation. So long as you’re alive, you’re feeling!