Make bed. Eat oatmeal. I guess his is my modernized version of “Chop wood. Carry water.” And it isn’t really about enlightenment as much as it is about find space to be balanced and grounded in this hectic world of today.
Simply put, being grounded is being fully present in your body and in your life. Our root energy plays a vital role in becoming grounded because it is our root energy that allows our body to connect with where we are NOW (for most of us, it is Earth). Yet we live in a chaotic world that draws our energy away from the physical presence of now and into our heads where we busy ourselves with all sorts of things that have nothing to do with the moment in which we exist.
The danger in living an ungrounded life is that the chaos that goes with it is so consuming that it prevents a person from evolving beyond the functions of root survival. Instead of having survival be about food, shelter, and financial health, survival becomes a constant struggle of waking up on time, finding clothes to wear, finding your keys, sneaking into work 30 minutes late, and trying to remember important things that you’re supposed to do. It is impossible to grow in any of the other energetic layer when your entire energetic system is devoted to trying to navigate through a day filled with chaos and lost items. The root energy doesn’t know what to expect day to day, so it compensates by pulling energy away from the stability needs of the root and into the head, where whatever is going on in the NOW of the physical world will not be so discouraging. But we get into a lot of trouble when we ignore the needs of our root chakra, and attempt to live our lives in our heads instead.
Whenever I work with a person who is clearly ungrounded, my first goal is to always bring that person back to the NOW by asking them to develop just 1 healthy routine to “come back to” everyday... to develop a GROUNDING routine that they can rely on, regardless of whatever chaos is consuming him or her.
My favorite grounding routine to recommend is starting each day out by making your bed and eating a bowl of oatmeal. I tell the ungrounded individual to spend just 1 month doing this everyday, and then noticing how much smoother their day tends to go.
The idea is to make this one habit automatic. The body’s energy begins to learn that no matter what dysfunction is happening all around, it can rely on a made bed and a bowl of oatmeal. The root energy will love that reliability, and will enjoy the security of knowing what to expect. At that point, the energy of the root will start demanding more attention to be paid to its craving for routine, order, consistency, and stability. Other habits will begin to develop naturally. For example, in order to enjoy the daily oatmeal ritual, the root chakra will demand that trips are made to the grocery store on a regular basis and that dishes are cleaned and ready to go for the morning. Yes, more grounding habits will develop. Soon, there will be less dysfunction, less chaos, and more peace and calm.
Of course, there are millions of meditations, affirmations, asanas, mudras, and energy techniques that can bring a person into a state of feeling “grounded”. But these techniques aren’t easy to engage in when a person is already consumed by just trying to make it through the day. I find that those types of exercises are much more effective after we’ve already started to achieve some level of order in our lives. These are activities that I recommend AFTER being successful with the simple routine of making the bed and eating a bowl of oatmeal.
There are a lot of resources out there on becoming grounded. Here are my favorite: