Ever since I learned that the practice of grounding was an essential factor in dealing with learning difficulties, I never omit to teach people how to make it a part of their lives when I work with them. It’s free of charge, free of side effects, universally done, and inevitable for dealing with any learning difficulties. I’ve received a lot of positive feedback as well as questions on grounding, so here’s more on how grounding can help you regardless of whether you [or someone you know and are thinking of while reading this] have [has] learning difficulties or not.
Even if not all of us know what grounding is, many don’t realize that they know what the opposite of grounding is, because they’d never think of giving it a name. Being ungrounded is the feeling of being distracted, fidgety, unable to take to anything, pacing around aimlessly, and busy in the head when a thousand thoughts want to be attended to at once. Stress is another form of being ungrounded. Grounding is a feeling of calmness in the mind and body, a feeling of being at one with ourselves, a feeling of being in control of everything, a feeling of being on top of things, being connected with our bodies, and having clear, focused minds. Different names are used for grounding in different parts of the world. I’ve heard it being referred to as earthing and centering as well as grounding.
The metaphor of earthing reminds us of the electricity system in our dwellings, and we know why we need the electricity system earthed. In exactly the same way we need to be earthed. Another useful take on grounding is that of the practice of reflexology. Reflexology is based on the principle that all the main energy channels that go through our bodies and connect internal organs have their endings in the feet. So to make sure that we can access vital energy from our environments, it’s essential that we have all the energy channel endings in good condition to be able to connect with the earth [ = walk on healthy feet]. If a nerve ending is damaged, the influx of energy to that ending is blocked and blocked energy hurts. Trying to connect a painful and congested nerve ending in our foot with the earth energy is like trying to put a plug into a defective socket. [If something hurts in your foot, can you walk = connect with the earth properly?] On the other hand, have you ever noticed a gentle tingling or a warm sensation of movement in your feet? And what do your feet feel like when you’ve had a foot massage, a cold shower which stimulated the circulation, a hot tub, a swim, a good sleep, or a walk in the fresh air? Do your feet feel revitalized and pleasantly tingling? Does it feel almost like as if you can feel the blood flowing in the veins? Do your feet feel lighter?
Connecting electrical equipment / appliances to the earth is known as earthing / grounding. It protects the equipment from getting electric shocks, power surges, shortcircuiting, and interference. Grounding protects the delicate electrical circuitry of our bodies from various types of interference from our environments. Grounding facilitates the reception of free electrons and a vast array of energies from the earth. Free radicals, which we pick up from our environments, are not healthy for us. We can get over free radicals by a high volume of antioxidants which have negative electrons, but are available to free radicals. The ground also has a lot of negative electrons which are available to free radicals. But the soles of our shoes act as layers of insulation between the earth and our feet, and the negative electrons can’t access the free radicals. Of course, lots of people now walk around in high heel shoes which is even less grounding!
Since grounding is a state of being in any given moment and not a constant, some people find feeling grounded where appropriate more natural, while others have to work harder to feel grounded. Then there are people who have been raised by ungrounded parents and thus never experienced grounding, so don’t know what it feels like. NLP has 6 levels of dealing with any situation. And these 6 levels beautifully apply to grounding and learning difficulties too:
- I’ve already described some examples of how grounding applies [or does not apply] on the level of environment
- On the level of behavior you’ve already witnessed numerous cases of how people act when ungrounded: they feel fidgety, act inappropriately, have temper tantrum, can’t concentrate, comfort eat, and so on.
- On the level of capability people know what and how grounds them and what and how ungrounds them – and how they can make more useful choices in this area
- People’s beliefs and values play an important role in grounding. If people hold very ungrounding beliefs [such as, for instance, that they don’t deserve to be alive, healthy, or successful], this will penetrate their
- identity – who am I [and I don’t feel like me anymore… ]
- And beyond identity, we’re here on the planet and at some level we’ve chosen to be here… etc.