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Grounding and Mindfulness in your Spiritual Practice: Why it matters and how to do it


Updated: Sep 14, 2022

Gaining a new understanding

If you have been involved in the spiritual community for a while, you have probably heard the term “grounding” mentioned several times. But what does it mean and why do so many people constantly tell you to ground yourself?

Grounding is a term that describes the process of being “connected to the Earth,” but to put it simply, it’s PRESENCE! Mindfulness and grounding are very similar because both encourage you to be present in each moment. The thing is, we aren’t normally present in the moment.

Think about the past week. How much of it were you lost in thought? Thinking about what all you were planning to do, maybe mapping out different ways to get everything done, while you were completing one task you were thinking about the next one ahead of you. Maybe you were reliving memories or daydreaming.

The fact is that our life is 90% controlled by our unconscious mind. This is were our “muscle memory”, routines, habits, beliefs and automatic reactions live. You can do almost everything unconsciously unless it is a new skill. Our brain does this to conserve energy and be more efficient, the problem with the unconscious mind is that over the years of our life we have developed habits, beliefs, and conditions that aren’t in line with what we want to experience in our lives now. We self-sabotage, react emotionally to seemingly insignificant things, talk ourselves out of trying something new or pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone, and so many more things. The goal in mindfulness and grounding is to bring conscious awareness to these habits, beliefs, and unconscious reactions so that we can start to change these.

Making the connections

Tying into Shadow Work: Shadow work is a term that was coined by Carl Jung, a famous psychologist. He refered to the shadow self as parts of the rejected personality. Within the spiritual community, this term has been revived and used to discuss self-healing and working on uncovering those aspects and bringing awareness to them, not only to integrate it, but to work through the reasons they were rejected in the first place. I won’t get too deep into this topic right now, but I do have a separate blog that discusses the importance in shadow work and how it impacts manifestation. You can read it HERE.

Manifestation and Grounding: When our unconscious rules our daily activities, we will manifest what the unconscious is putting forward. A formula that I like to use for manifestation is Intention + Aligned Action = Manifestation. If you aren’t aware of the intentions that you are acting on, you will not be aware of what you are manifesting. You might consciously think that you want that new job opportunity, but unconsciously there’s a fear of failure running, and you are sabotaging yourself, talking yourself out of taking new action to get that job, or other similar experiences. Grounding yourself and being present in each moment, or consciously aware, allows you to control what actions you are taking and notice if your unconscious tries to run those background habits. Within each moment, there is a new opportunity for change. When we are running on autopilot, we are not actually in control, our conditioning and unconscious beliefs are.

Grounding and Healing: As with mindfulness practices too, grounding can facilitate inner healing. Many of us will replay old painful memories in the background of our mind or run anxiety inducing “what-if” scenarios that stem from those past experiences lurking in our unconscious, but by being grounded and present in the moment, you are able to fully experience your surroundings and enviornment, eliminating those flash backs and anxiety spirals of the “what-ifs.”

Karmic Influences: Past life experiences live in our unconscious. Our unconscious has a direct connection to our Higher Self and can access those past life beliefs, experiences, and conditionings, which influence and inform our day-to-day choices and experiences. We replay these over and over in each lifetime, and tend to accumulate additional beliefs, experiences, and conditioning just adding to our karmic load when we allow the unconscious to be our life driving force. Through grounding and conscious awareness, you can stop taking action on those old, irrelevant beliefs and habits, and each time you do, you lessen the energetic impact that is has on your life and lives to come. If you continue to take conscious actions that are more aligned to your Higher Self and overwrite those old karmic habits, you will start to disintegrate and diminish that karmic pattern and instead create new patterns that attract what you are wanting.

Tips, Tricks, and Exercises to Try

There is not one single way to ground or practice conscious presence. There are many ways to go about this and find a way that fits your preferences and lifestyle. Here are a few tips to find a way that works for you!

Kinesthetics and Feeling people. These people will do well with anything that engages their physical or energetic senses.

Water. Whether it is a shower, running your hands under water, or taking a drink of water, turn your focus and attention to the sensations of the water as it connects with

your body.

Energy Work. Focus your attention and awareness to the space around you and feel the energy that surrounds you, or the connection of your body to the earth.

Touch. This can be an object, your clothes, anything you can feel. You can turn your attention to your body and notice how your clothes feel on your body, how your muscles feel and if there’s tension anywhere, or the texture of an object in your hands. You can also direct your attention to the feeling of your feet on the ground. Breathing Exercises. There are a number of techniques that you can find on breathing exercises, but one of the most popular is “Square Breathing.” In this exercise you breathe in for four counts, hold the breath for four counts, exhale the breath for four counts, then pause for four counts before inhaling again. This is normally done for 4-5 counts.

Mental Awareness/Lost in thought people. These types do best in redirecting their mind to something else. Focusing on the words and sounds around them, trying to pick out each individual sound, sight, or experience that is in front of them.

Visualization techniques from complex and long winded or simple and quick techniques will work well for these types. You can imagine a cord growing from the base of your spine and traveling down into the Earth, thinking about that connection, or make it a long journey with many steps. Play with different ones and find a walk through that you connect best with.

Anchors and anchor objects. These are also a great way to induce a state of presence. This is a technique used in Neurolinguistics Programming where you anchor a state of being to an object or location on the body. It is triggered through touching that location or holding/looking at the anchor object. If you are part of my Spiritual Life Integration Coaching Program, I will you one or more anchors to help maintain a state of grounded awareness. You can also search for the steps to programming an anchor yourself online. Many use crystals in a similar way, where they remember to enter their desired state when they look at, touch, or feel a crystal.

Make sure to use whatever technique you prefer (even if it is more than one) as often as you can. Before meetings, family outings, and even when you are interacting with your children. Set digital reminders, place notes in high visibility places, etc. The more you engage this, the easier it is.

Here are a few exercises you can try out from Mindful Games by Susan Greenland:

  • Feeling My Feet: Sit or stand with your back straight and your body relaxed. Breathe naturally and notice what’s happening in your body and mind right now. Keep your body relaxed. If you’re standing, keep your knees soft. Now move your attention to the bottoms of your feet and notice how they feel against the ground. Let the thoughts and emotions that bubble up in your mind come and go. Are you feeling your feet now? If not, don’t worry. It’s natural for your mind to wander. Just move your attention back to the bottoms of your feet any time you catch your mind wandering.
  • Mindful Waiting: While waiting, you can try this exercise. Start by sitting or standing comfortably, relax and feel your breathing. Choose something that is nearby that is pleasant to look at and rest your gaze on it. Keep your eyes soft and lightly focused on the object. Notice any changes in your surroundings (colors, sounds, changes in light or the air). Sometimes you’ll have thoughts and sometimes you won’t. When thoughts come, let them be. If you don’t focus on them too much, they will stay a while and leave on their own, just keep your focus on that object.

Things to Watch For

Playing games, “mindless” scrolling on social media, alcohol or drugs, and even daydreaming or excessive thought narratives, or binge watching are all ways to escape your experiences. You might have other habits that you indulge in often that allow you to escape reality. This causes you to be ungrounded and unaware, if you catch yourself doing these things ask yourself what it is you are trying to avoid and get curious with yourself.

Don’t Give Up!

But it is a practice! There is a learning scale that is taught in Neurolinguistics Programming. You start out at unconscious incompetence, you don’t know what you don’t know essentially, then suddenly you realize you don’t know much and enter conscious incompetence. From that point you start to try to work on things and learn more and move into conscious competence, where you must actively think about applying new techniques into your life and with enough practice and repetition you finally achieve unconscious competence, and the skill is now an automatic reaction that you are applying without having to think about it or intentionally apply the habit, behavior, or technique. I am telling you about this because when you hit the point of conscious incompetence, it can be uncomfortable, and as you enter conscious competence it is easy to get discouraged. You might say “This isn’t working for me! I am just not wired this way” or “What’s the point, I’ll never get this down.” Don’t give up!

Be patient with yourself and keep moving forward a little at a time. Set realistic goals with timelines and reward yourself when you meet those goals! In many cases, you are literally rewiring your neural networks in your brain and reinforcing new pathways. Think about a small stream of water that was recently diverted to a new path. It doesn’t become a river in a few weeks. It takes a steady flow of water to carve out the earth and deepen the path before it can grow into a river one day. It’s similar to what happens in your brain when you are learning a new skill and trying to unlearn an old habit. You are redirecting the water to the new stream consciously, and with enough effort and practice overtime, you will have reinforced that new pathway.

Remember that you always have the answers within. Being grounded and mindful helps us connect deeper to our Higher Self and access that inner knowing. By continuing to practice this you will experience greater physical health benefits, but also grow a stronger connection to your intuition and improve your mental health.

I hope you found this article helpful! Feel free to comment below any of your preferred methods or any questions that you may have! Keep an eye out for more articles to come! I am working on one around intention setting and the most common mistakes to avoid!


Ashley Hoobler

Seeking Divine Serendipity

Spiritual Life and Shadow Integration Coach | Akashic Records Master Practitioner | Evolved Neurolinguistics Programming and Quantum Time Release Practitioner | Certified Trauma Aware Life Coach with Avalon Empowerment | Author| Spiritual Leader

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