I’m willing to bet that many of us could use some comfort right now.
Recently, my favorite spiritual teacher shared a key component about meditation that I have been wanting to pass on.
Meditation has changed the way I experience my life in countless ways. Over the years, I have noticed a substantial reduction in overthinking, stress, and general mental chatter. I am able to step back from certain thoughts and unpack them without judgement or old triggers popping up. I also have a more loving and gentle inner voice, which meditation has helped me cultivate and nurture.
Because meditation is a practice that is usually focused on the mind (and how to better understand the filter through which we experience our lives), many times, our bodies are left out of the equation from the neck down.
Enter my spiritual teacher, who completely changed my life with one simple phrase:
The body doesn’t lie.
We all have instinct, which is always experienced in the body. The feeling that we shouldn’t walk down a certain street, the sinking rock in our stomach right before we enter a room to a horrible or stressful encounter, the butterflies we get when we know someone likes us. In these moments, we are completely present; there is no room for analyzing or overthinking.
The body completely relaxes when we know what we need to do. This happens even if the logical mind doesn’t like the answer. We’ve all had moments where we gave ourselves permission to do something (or not do something) and instantly, all the stress in our body melted away.
The body relaxing is our truth detector.
Living with the present uncertainty, groundlessness, chaos, and confusion can lead us to get in our heads and overthink. Getting reconnected to our physical selves gives us all the guidance we need when we feel overwhelmed.
Before you begin, it is important to clear your energetic field. We pick up other energies throughout the day as we interact with people (either physically or virtually). All these energies “stick” to us if we do not consciously intend them someplace else (back to Source).
Remember, energy has no will of its own, you have to tell it where to go.
To do this, say this simple phrase, “Anything that is not mine, I return to Source; anything that is mine, I call back to me.” Repeat this until you feel all energies that are not yours have been cleared from your field.
When you are ready, begin your grounding practice:
>> Sit in a comfortable position, either on the floor or in a chair with your feet on the ground, make sure that your feet and/or bottom are making contact with the Earth.
>> Close the eyes and take a few breaths to get present; normal and/or deep breathing both do the trick.
>> Allow yourself to just be for a moment, experiencing the breath moving in and out of the body.
>> Place your attention on your spine, becoming aware of the structure and support it gives the rest of the body; picture green or white light around each vertebra if that is helpful.
>> Move down and place your attention on your pelvic area (front and back), picturing a bowl right in the middle of your root chakra (base of the spine) and sacral chakra (right below the belly button).
>> Fill the bowl with some breaths and just notice—you may experience loosening of the muscles and tendons, heat, more surrender into the floor/seat as you relax, or heightened awareness of this part of the body.
>> The pelvic area is the source of all creativity, power, courage, and impulse—become more intimate with this potent energy center by picturing the bowl becoming even bigger, bursting with life, energy, and vitality.
>> Combine the power of the pelvic area with the spine, feeling the strength of your core and breathing deeper.
>> Move the attention to the thighs and calves, tightening, and loosening the muscles as they sink deeper into the floor or chair.
>> Move to the feet and ankles, flexing and pointing the toes and doing some ankle rolls.
>> Take a few more deep breaths, feeling the renewed focus on the body from the base of the neck all the way down to the feet.
>> One last deep breath in through the nose, allowing the diaphragm to expand, exhale out the mouth, and let it all go.
>>Open your eyes and do a few neck rolls.
You are now more present in your body and in turn, are more connected to the information it is trying to impart to you. Your only real job is to listen.
Whenever the current state of the world disrupts your peace, take two minutes, and do this grounding practice. It will help to engage your intuition, your authenticity, and your connectivity to all things. It will bring you back to yourself, and your own inner truth. It will calm your nerves, help you solve problems, and strengthen the immune system.
The body doesn’t lie and is always on our side.