Hi eKa Circle,
This weeks meditation topic is grounding. While most of us understand that shoes off on the earth assists our magnetic field. Many may not realise that it also plugs us in to a negative charge, emitting negative ions and electrons that detox our body of free radicals, heavy metals and air pollution. The healing treatment that earthing provides is unparalleled. It stabilizes the mind, reduces inflammation, decreases pain and stress and increases blood flow. Earthing bare feet on the ground is also known to increase energy, help with sleep disorders and assist us in improving our overall well being.
Somatic practises can really help one ground in intentionally these practises are body centred psychology. Grounding refers to our ability to experience ourselves as embodied using physical senses. Feel your feet upon the earth and calm your nervous system – it is time to reconnect with mother earth. Somatics use touch and movement, patting, dancing, shaking, stretching – no rules really just a reconnection.
Stress and traumatic events are usually based on threats to security, real or perceived. As a result the fight, flight or freeze responses are activated as a basic survival response which also involves the somatic musculature and the autonomic nervous system. The synchronisation of mind to body for a survival response is actually automatic. Observe how when threatened one automatically coils inward to protect the body. Many of us get stuck in the perceived threat, the automatic responses to something that has happened in the past and yet is not happening currently. Or worse the imagination of something that could happen but likely won’t. The body follows the mind. So how can we feel present and mindful? Try some grounding and somatics.
Have you ever tried TRE somatics? Tre stands for tension & trauma releasing exercises. Shaking the body with the intention of releasing really helps. I find shoes off earthing for this process to be very effective. Picture a horse or a dog shifting energies after a run. This method is particularly helpful to those suffering anxiety, depression or even ptsd who may find it difficult to put things into words. Shaking, patting and intentional movement helps to release deep muscular patterns and helps to calm the nervous system – your electrical tree. I just love that even the acronym spells tre! See how a tree bends and shakes in a storm yet when firmly rooted the experience only makes it stronger?
Tre can be practised in a group or alone. Inducing the bodies natural tremoring mechanism seems to help so much. Dr. David Berceli a psychologist found that using this technique in communities in the middle east and africa that had suffered ptsd from war required less psychotherapy and drugs. Isn’t it great seeing doctors advocate for natural practises?
Dr David determined that tremors are a natural process in animals and humans following stress. Animals are known after a stressor to go to a safe space to tremor to release all of the energy that was stored during a stressful event. Humans however don’t often react the same way. Maybe the fear of showing weakness or feeling embarrassed they tend to stop the tremors and hold onto the pent up energy. This comes at a price often living in a chronically dysregulated state can lead to compromised immunity, poor patterns of eating and sleeping. It can affect the digestive system, make concentration difficult and bring a strain on relationships.
Tips to GROUND using your 5 senses:
- Place your hands in water
- Pick up an item and focus on how it feels
- Breath deeply
- Take a short walk
- Smell something with intention – zone in
- Eat something slowly and really focus on how it feels and tastes
- Move your body
- Hold a piece of ice
Try this 1-5 technique it may also help you feel grounded:
- Acknowledge 5 things around you
- Four things you can touch
- Three things you can hear
- Two things you can smell
- One thing you can taste
On the topic of taste one way to feel centred is to eat grounding foods. Nourishing foods that come from the earth like roots and starches. Carrots, beetroot, potatoes, squash, pumpkin, sweet potato, cauliflower, broccoli, beans, onion, garlic, nuts and roots like ginger and turmeric help to energetically ground you. Isn’t nature amazing and quite literal? Things that grow close to the ground seem to ground us.
Sour tastes shock our senses and distract us from panic. Research shows sour releases serotonin. Focus on the tart sensation instead of anxiety rising up within you.
Here are a few grounding recipes incorporating some delicious grounding ingredients. Enjoy them while outdoors with some deep soulful breaths and bare feet on the earth. A grounded life is good!
love & light
M + E
Easy Beet & Walnut Salad
4 boiled beetroot, sliced
1/3 cup pickled red onion, drained
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
a crumble of goats cheese
drizzle of pomegranate syrup
Layer the beet on a large serving plate and sprinkle with the onion, walnuts and cheese. Drizzle with the pomegranate syrup and a little olive oil if you like?
Cauliflower & Breadcrumb Pasta
I always encourage the freezing of simple leftovers like bread. Dry bread is great blitzed into breadcrumbs in the food processor if you can catch it before it moulds. Store in an airtight container, sometimes in smaller amounts to prevent clumping helps. It makes for a delicious crunch in a pasta dish like this one.
1 box of handmade dried pasta or noodles
100g organic butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 cauliflower, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
12 fresh sage leaves
salt and pepper
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Set a strainer in the sink ready to go. Boil the pasta according to pack directions, aldente (still firm to the bite is idea.) Drain when it is done.
Heat the butter in a heavy based pan until just beginning to colour. Add the oil, the garlic and the cauliflower and toss over the heat until the cauliflower starts to caramelise. Add the breadcrumbs, chilli and sage leaves and cook until the breadcrumbs become golden. Don’t be tempted to scrimp on the butter and oil for this one it won’t give you the same results.
Place the warm pasta on a serving platter and top with the cauliflower.
Preserved Lemon & Garlic Beans
60 g organic butter (if you are vegan use a good splash of olive oil)
5 cloves garlic, sliced
500g green beans, trimmed
1 Tbsp finely chopped preserved lemon
white pepper to season
Heat the butter in a heavy based saucepan. D+Saute the garlic for a minute then add the beans. Toss over the heat until just beginning to soften and then cover with the lid and reduce the heat. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until just beginning to wilt and colour. Stir in the preserved lemon and season with pepper.
Chai Spiced Rice Pudding with Rosewater Strawberries
This is comfort food. Use a nut milk if you are vegan. Different types of rice absorb different amounts of liquid if you need to add a little more just go for it. This pudding will also thicken when it cools. Use a large saucepan as anything boiled in milk can often boil over.
1/2 cup white rice
5 cups of organic milk or nut milk
2 slices of fresh ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
8 cardamom pods, crushed
1/3 tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp organic sultanas
sweetener of your choice (sugar, honey, maple syrup)
500g strawberries, halved
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp rosewater
Wash the rice and place into a heavy based large saucepan. Add the milk, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, turmeric, sultanas. Sweeten with your favourite sweetener to taste. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and stir occasionally for about 20 minutes.
Mix the strawberries, honey and rosewater together and set aside to macerate. Serve on top of the rice pudding.