Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Grounding 101 - by Justin Bonnet

It's my pleasure to introduce a guest post by Justin Bonnet from Healing for Grounding! Justin is a spiritual blogger and energy healer from the Barbara Brennan School of Healing.  He does great work with sensitive souls, helping them feel welcome on the earth and safe in their bodies. 

"A big thank you to Geena for giving me the space on her blog to let me write about what I love! :-)

This is a post about grounding- what it is, why it's important, and (briefly) how to do it.

First, a quick introduction. My name is Justin, and I write a blog called Healing for Grounding. I'm not naturally a very grounded person; learning to ground has been a life-long challenge for me. So I approach this topic with patience, empathy, humour, and lots of experience :-).

So. Grounding.

If you're interested in New Age spirituality, you've probably heard that it's important to be grounded. If you're a healer, you might use the 'GAPP' protocol (Ground, Attune, Protect, Permission). You probably have an idea of what grounding entails, but might not be entirely sure, because it isn't spoken of in depth very often.

The advice given about how to ground is usually quite simple: to do exercise (especially mindful ones, like tai chi or yoga), to spend time in nature, to eat root vegetables or chocolate, and to imagine roots growing out of your feet into the earth. Which is a great start.

I'd like to take you a little deeper into grounding, if I may..

Firstly. What the hell is grounding?

In a sentence? It's the quality of your connection to the earth.

It's got a broader connotation: being present and embodied; being engaged with living life instead of living in fantasy; not too caught up in the mental. When muggles (non magickal folk) say that a person is grounded, that's usually what they mean, and it's also true in the New Age context we're talking about now.

If you're curious, you might wonder, "What is it that actually makes a person grounded? What gives a person their groundedness?". It's a good question, because once you know, you can work on your own grounding :-).

I've found there's a few things that contribute:
  • A nice juicy, charged, open root chakra
  • Good energetic+feeling contact with the lower half of your body
  • A strong flow of energy into and out of your feet (but especially into them) from the earth
  • Having your aura/energetic bodies firmly seated within your physical body (instead of hovering slightly above it, or displaced to the side)
  • Feeling safe: both in the moment, and in the broader sense of your life, trusting that you are safe as a physical being
  • Being deeply relaxed, your energetic pulsations slowed to match those of the earth (thus 'coupling' with the earth's energy field, charging you up with momma's love)
  • A clear wish to engage life fully

It probably seems like a long list, but don't worry- they're mostly interrelated, and working on one automatically helps the others. For example, it's nearly impossible to heal the root chakra without also benefiting the legs and pelvis, and feet. If you're able to discharge or process some of your fear and anxiety, your energy field will automatically seat itself more deeply into your physical body. When that happens, you feel safer, and your intention to engage with life will improve as a result. A healing cycle begins.

Consciously engaging with your grounding can take you on a beautiful journey of self-healing :-).

The reason why we bother at all with grounding is because of what it means, what it gives us. Our grounding is literally our foundation (funny how language somtimes reflects spiritual truths!). From the energy healer's perspective, the root chakra is the foundational 'key stone' that sushumna (the principal energy channel, parallel to the spine) and the other chakras rest on. If the root is in a bad state, the other chakras will be impacted. The amount of energy in the root places a cap on the amount of energy in general, and in all the other chakras.

Working on the root is, in many cases, the easiest way of unlocking difficulties found elsewhere in one's life/body/aura.

It's really common to get caught up in the grounding techniques themselves, and miss the point of the actual grounding. For example, visualisations for grounding are really popular, but probably the hardest technique to get right. It takes a lot of training and practice to be able to visualise 'correctly', and it not be a mental thing. I hope that doesn't sound judgemental- the 'correct' way to visualise with energy, as I understand it, is to use intention to effect an energetic change or movement, and witness the change as it happens. Doing it 'incorrectly' means either making a thought form, or just creating more mental energy (which, as westerners, we're very good at). A thought form might sound like it would be helpful, but it isn't; grounding really needs to come from within.

When someone like Doreen Virtue or Sue Allen speak about visualisation, I think they forget (or never knew) what it's like to be a 'normal' person; they're so used to living half in the spirit world that they don't experience much of a split between their 'thoughts' and a spiritual reaction. When they imagine a ball of pink light, it's there. When a normal person imagines a ball of pink light, the aura around their head swells slightly with the mental energy, and their general aura tinges yellow (meaning thought). No ball of pink light appears.

Something similar happens with grounding. If you like using visualisation to grow your energetic roots into the earth, then I recommend going light on the visualising: use your intention, not your imagination. Really feel those roots growing. Make it a full bodied experience, not just an exercise in imagining. For example, rather than picturing tree roots, imagine what it would feel like if you were a tree, with feet as roots going down deep into the earth. 

Make it experiential, not conceptual. 

Here are some easy ways I recommend to help with grounding. It helps to mix it up, so you're not putting all your eggs in one basket. Remember, grounding (and being grounded or ungrounded) isn't a problem to be solved; it's a path of getting more in contact with your body, and with the earth. So, do what works for you :-). And persevere. It may take months of daily practice before you notice the difference, if you're as deeply ungrounded as I was!
  • Physical exercises, such as those used in core-energetics and bio-energetics. Rotate your ankles, do squat thrusts (gently and mindfully!), roll your feet over a golf ball.
  • Massage, especially of the feet and legs, using calming and grounding oils (but probably not at the same time, that might not smell good!), to loosen the grounding blocks. Massage of the whole body, to release stress and fear.
  • Spending time in nature, real quality time, where you connect with the world around you, and feel your body in relation to nature. This is super important.
  • Having cranial work (cranial osteopathy, cranio-sacro therapy) to release old traumas from the body."

2021 Update from Regina: Justin contributed an essay on grounding and the root chakra to my book titled Chakra Healing & Magick. It looks at fears that keep us from grounding. 

Thank you for reading! Join me below
Read my books (Amazon)
Reiki hugs, Regina 


  1. Thank You Justin for this wonderful guest post!

    Have to say I was shocked to see you put Sue and Doreen in the same sentence LOL. Doreen is a little bit too commercial for me and I wonder if she really sees all she thinks she sees ... =P

  2. My pleasure, and thank you Geena for having me! :-D

    LOL. If I'm very honest, I don't hold Doreen in very high regard- like you, I find her stuff too commercial. But I don't want to alienate people by disparaging their guru ;-)

    Seriously, I'm massively turned off by so many new age authors, especially the super popular ones. It's an on-going conflict I have, to reconcile the deep spiritual truth of "every teacher is perfect for someone" with the obvious human truth that some teachings are more valid than others.

    ... Maybe I'm just getting grouchy in my old age :-D

    1. Which authors would you recommend?

    2. Sonia Choquette is amazing .... I love her book Ask Your Guides. LOOOOOVE IT!

    3. @Justin : The more I read Doreen's books the more I like them LOL ... Think I'm willing to own up to the fact that the "commercial" side I resent is probably a mirror of myself ... =)

      I just picked up the cutest little book called Realms of the Earth Angels and spotted my sister in the descriptions of Starpeople and a little bit of myself in the "Wise Ones." I think Doreen's books are cool cause the are accessible and make these concepts available to the masses. You can dig deeper when you find the bit that fits =)

  3. Im empathic and really needed to come across this. Im so ungrounded that going to the grocery store can end up making me moody and tired just because of everyone elses emotions. So thank you Justin and Diary of a Psychic Healer for sharing this.

  4. Hi Melissa,

    Thank you, and you're welcome! Wow, that's quite intense empathy :)

    Do you notice your empathy changing in relation to how grounded you feel?

    I'd recommend centering exercises (to bring your awareness to the present moment, and to your body)- but what helped me most with my own over-sensitive-empathy was taking the time to get to know my feelings: by journalling, doing art as expression (nothing fancy, just doodles really), and asking myself several times a day "What am I feeling right now?"

    I also massaged myself a lot, and got to feel what my body is like, from the inside out.

    That way I got to know myself, my energy and body, so other people's energies didn't impact on me so strongly.

    Lots of people get helped by exercises in feeling your 'personal space' - boundaries is a big thing for empathy to be balanced.

    The other thing that helped me a lot was Fringed Violet and Angelsword from the Australian Bush Flower range.. maybe you've heard of them? They're the next biggest range, after Bach flowers.