One of the things I love best about public speaking is the meet and greet before and after. I’m honored and humbled to connect with people, to hear their stories and to be reminded that we’re all taking our turn on this planet at the same time, sharing the same natural resources and many of the same experiences and emotions. I believe we should be helping each other and not competing or battling each other.
So for Wally, who asked me to be specific about this blog’s intent…that’s it. I want to share experiences; emotions and ideas that will somehow connect us, unite us and strengthen us. Sometimes it will just entertain me. Because I’m absolutely passionate about the human brain, I’m hoping to drop some “brain stuff” in along the way. I’m not an expert—in anything. Just a student of life and someone who is climbing out of a very deep, dark pit, regaining my joy, my health, my strength, and my purpose. If something works for me, I want to share it with you.
There’s a Chinese proverb that says, “One step at a time is good walking.”
That’s all any of us can manage.
So thanks too, to Howie, for reminding me of something I’d forgotten: when we lose our connection to the earth itself, we lose a vital energy and stability. Yet we live in a world where our skin seldom comes in contact with soil, sand, rock, even with grass. Instead, we operate in an environment of asphalt and laminate. Of carpet, wood and tile. Our shoes are constructed of non-conductive materials like rubber and plastic which prevent nature from coming into contact with the tender soles of our feet. Think back to yesterday. Did your feet actually touch anything that wasn’t man made? When is the last time the gardener in you plunged your bare hands into loamy soil?
Earthing or Grounding
No wonder there’s an age-old new-age healing technique being heralded by wellness experts from across the globe. It’s called earthing or grounding. The idea is that our bodies are jam packed with positive electrons we acquire from common things like cell phones, computers, WI-FI, and even microwaves. By coupling our skin to the earth’s ground we become suffused with negative charged free electrons and we “get grounded”. When we find this balance the health benefits range from a reduction in inflammation to a better night’s sleep and all kinds of health perks in between.
It’s undeniable that we’re made from Earth (oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, etc.), so it stands to reason that a disconnection from her serenity and strength leads us away from our own peace and power. Studies show that our anterior insular cortex, the part of the brain associated with empathy and love, is stimulated by contact with nature. Getting “in touch” with nature alters our chemistry and thereby alters our moods.
Thanks to the challenge of a friend, for the past few weeks, I’ve been making a conscious effort to re-connect with earth and nature in general. I’m walking through the grass barefoot, grateful for the emotional shift (also grateful that we have a tiny dog.) I’m not sure my family would say my mood has improved, but I find myself really looking forward to my time in nature.
It’s A Business
Earthing is a booming business, a trend that offers expensive kits with special mats made of silver conductive thread, all kinds of wires and bands so you can get grounded even when you’re inside. Some even come with packages of soil or root chakra crystals you can carry in your pocket and clutch when you feel disconnected, can’t sleep, and or suffer the pangs of anxiety. Lots of users praise the practice. I’ll keep you posted on my own progress and feel free to share your experiences.
I’ve included some links to give you more in-depth information. For now I’m sticking with the least expensive methods and the simplest way to connect and ground to earth. I’m heading outside to breath fresh air, to feel the soil against my skin and maybe even to hug a tree.
Book: Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever
Hartig, T. (1991). Restorative effects of natural environment experiences. Environment and Behavior, 23, 3.
Energy Healing Info: http://www.energy-healing-info.com/grounding-techniques.html