Grounding: A Healing Practice for Trauma December 12, 2014 • 2 Comments This post is a reprise but grounding is a good way to cultivate inner peace and stability in the midst of the busy holiday season. When I first started writing about the events that transpired in 2010, I wrote from the space of being a few blocks away, maybe even a few continents. It was something that happened to me, but I held it way, way out at a distance and looked at it with a great deal of confusion. Part of me wished it hadn’t happened, part of me wondered why it had happened and the rest of me wrestled with the details. As a result, my writing was somewhat lifeless, dull and flat. When I was gently encouraged to “Show, not tell,” I began gingerly stepping back into some of the most difficult moments and asking myself, “How did it feel?” Shitty. Scary. Lonely. Overwhelming. Eventually, I had to sink below these surface feelings to touch much deeper truths and access the raw fuel for healing. The sinking part was difficult and involved a twofold process. First, I had to establish a relationship with the entirety of my experience and treat it with respect. Secondly, I had to ground myself so I could stand in the middle of the stormy details without being blown around like a leaf and repeatedly devastated. For quite some time, long before my world fall apart, I felt as though I was floating outside of my body. It was a strange sensation, a feeling that I was there, but somehow not there. There was a sense of disconnection in my life that I could never escape. I have read this is a common sensation for individuals who have experienced trauma. Because the body houses the stories of our lives, as well as the corresponding emotions, it can seem an unsafe place to be. Fleeing the body (and floating) is a way to escape the pain. My therapist introduced me to the practice of grounding, a powerful way to create a sense of being firmly tethered and supported by the earth. This has allowed me to revisit my experience without the need to run from the powerful emotions that come up. It is deceptively simple and I notice more and more that the effects spill over into my daily life. I have a growing sense of being both secure in my body and firmly rooted to the earth like an old redwood standing in a sacred forest. Grounding Practice: Sit comfortably in a chair, eyes closed, both feet firmly planted on the ground. Begin to feel the soles of your feet and notice the energy where they connect to the earth. Give thanks to them for carrying you this far in life and delivering you to this moment. Breathe deeply into your belly. Now imagine roots sprouting from the bottom of your feet and taking hold in the earth. Diving and plummeting, they are thick, healthy and vibrant. Visualize them growing in every direction: North, East, South and West. As they make their way deep into the Earth, feel them absorbing the rich nutrients of the dirt and minerals as they intertwine with the root systems of ancient trees, becoming a part of the terrain beneath you. Strong. Sturdy. Indestructible. Imagine the weight of the roots holding you firmly in place. You are safely housed in your body, openly receiving the wisdom of the earth and able to handle any and all of the emotions that may arise. Sit quietly in this receptive state and allow the feeling of this connection to the Earth infuse you with a sense of peace and comfort. Open your eyes only when you feel ready. When I first started doing this visualization, despite my best imaginative efforts, the roots that sprouted from my feet were wispy strands that would barely have been able to hold down a squirrel. It is only through the course of repetition and time that my mind now produces the lush, gnarly roots that appear. Thick and green, they seem to be on an unwavering quest to bury themselves deep in the Earth and hold me safely in place. This practice has established a strong foundation for me to build upon and is one of many steps I use before writing and daily meditation. Healing is the continuous practice of taking a million tiny steps toward yourself and your best interest. It happens one breath, and one moment, at a time. Do you have a ritual that has helped you take steps in your direction and live a better life? -db Who is Dianna Bonny? Hi, my name is Dianna Bonny. It’s my mission to candidly share my journey with you. For me, it’s all about the healing: to create a radiant healing energy for others who have befallen a similar fate. Together, we can forge beautiful lives of belonging and connection. Thanks for joining me today! I look forward to hearing from you.