If you are like me at all, you may be finding yourself more and more UPtight these days. It actually feels shocking at times just how much more current seems to be running through the global high-(live)wire on which our daily lives tread.
On many levels and in many ways, the systems that we have used to organize our society and guide our lives seem to be falling apart. There is a greater sense of uncertainty in the air, along with greater vitriol on the airwaves, and very little felt progress. No wonder that there is a growing sense of stress across the land and energy-related illness symptoms such as "fatigue" are now among the most common complaints heard by doctors.
Of course most of us have a vague understanding that for our own safety, when it comes to dealing with high-voltage situations, it is critical to "ground" the electricity. The primary purpose of this is, in fact, to reduce the risk of serious electric shock. Additionally, with today's advances in electronics and technology and the surge in how many such products are in use, there is a growing generation of "electrical noise" that can reduce the efficiency of equipment or damage it irreparably. Proper grounding can remove this unwanted "noise" while allowing the earth to absorb the over-current or short-circuit harmlessly and, having done so, eliminates the threat to anyone that may have otherwise been the ground path.
Maybe there is something to be learned from this, a way to protect ourselves from anxiety surges and the harmful "white noise" of too many thoughts in our head?
"Just as the participation of the mind is essential in organizing the physical aspects of life, the mind needs the body in order to stabilize in calm presence... and anchor for awareness." -- Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
From one perspective, we humans are essentially energy transformers. And one of the amazing advantages to being human is the facileness of the energy of our thoughts. In fact, they seem to defy the laws of physics and can astrally project, moving from past to future, or from your home to London to Colorado to Washington, D.C. in nanoseconds. This gives them such incredible power and... juice, not only to drive achievement but also to overwhelm our attention. I mean, aren't we all drawn hypnotically to bright, shiny, beautiful lighting displays?
But this is where the energy of our thoughts do actually conform to the laws of physics, in that so much power and current can overwhelm our human system's ability to handle it. We can be driven to distraction by too many competing surges of mental energy, getting more and more wound up; or worse, we can simply "burn out" and then shut down.
This is why reconnecting to bodily awareness is such a critical component of many wellness and spiritual disciplines. Literally feeling those parts of you that are on the ground or supported by something can help to absorb access energy and assist the body's ability to process it. Yes, it is true: Our feet and asses are actually the surge protectors that we need to live in a world of greater (cross-)currents!
One practice that I have found to be particularly effective is a form of walking concentration. It can be done as a formal practice for 15-30 minutes, or informally for 15-30 seconds as you walk from your car to your next destination.
You begin by standing on both feet and taking three breaths. On the first exhale you allow yourself to really feel the downward energy, literally feeling the lungs, chest, and shoulders drop. On the second exhale you feel that drop again, and you "push" your energy further down into your belly. On the third exhale you drop your energy down even further, into your feet.
On the fourth breath you simply feel your feet firmly grounded; you may even slump a little and feel heavy. Then you begin to walk, feeling one foot lift off the ground while the other roots into it, alternating with your steps. And while you walk, feel your weight/energy transfer from one foot down, through the ground, and then up to support the other foot. This is best accomplished by allowing a little extra bend in the knee of the grounded foot.
When I first encountered this practice, it was curious to see how unorthodox this movement seemed to me. I realized that I spend most of my time walking up and out of my feet instead of grounding into them. It's almost like I had been moving around "lost in thought," hypnotized by the flow of thinking, with my "head in the clouds," barely touching the earth as I moved!
This was especially true if I was running late, or juggling a lot of responsibilities (and who isn't doing those things today?), which is what can make this practice highly effective in short, 30-second boosts. Especially when you feel stressed and uptight, moving from your car to a building or from one room to the next in this mindful, embodied, grounded way might give you the ability to process that thought energy in a more efficient, effective manner while also protecting yourself from the damage of "over-currents" that threaten our health and wellness.
I invite you to commit to this practice for one day. Try to carve out 15 minutes for this mindful walking, shifting your weight under the ground instead of over the air. And perhaps more importantly, whenever you have a short walk between where you are and where you want to go, do the same.
Then write in here and tell us if this technique helps you with energetic surge protection, or if I just have my wires crossed!
For more by Doug Binzak, click here.
For more on unplugging and recharging, click here.