Anxiety is the core universal experience of 2020. Anxiety is the other pandemic, the one that crept in slowly since the word “progress” became a moralistic construct, and it now rides the waves over world events that plague our news night and day.
Anxiety was an issue long before 2020! The increased use of technology eases so many troubles, but the obsession and the physical act of its use is in constant opposition to our natural state. Thus, anxiety is the body’s warning to STOP, and RECONFIGURE.
Good thing there is a cure. A person can counteract our current pace with a solid morning ritual to get GROUNDED. To become rooted in my own spiritual soil. To be unwavering in the storms of the day.
Insightful people, in touch with their bodies and inner worlds, will often claim to experience high levels of anxiety with a vague confusion as to its source. They feel scattered, chaotic, irritable and discontent. I think of anxiety as a burning electrical wire or a taser. It kills the natural flow of our energy by zapping us with a severe charge, thus a nervous fizzing under the surface of our skin. That charge needs to be grounded.
To ground ones’ self, one’s body and mind and soul, is to then gain an advantage in each singular day. At the base level, this procures a calmer response to the upsets.
Think about that.
I get to move through each trial, unexpected conflict, the requirements of my energy and skills, my intentions and duties with the footing and strength of an ox.
The ancient spiritual rune of Uruz looks like an upside-down U. It represents, among many other stories, the solidity of the ancient aurochs. Imagine the weight and steadfast groundedness of these powerful long-horned beasts. This rune is a reminder that one quality of a spiritual life is to have both feet firmly planted against the winds of change and the spinning earth.
This is why my morning meditative ritual involves such focus. I tend to it with a devotion that has proven to help.
Our mornings can be shallow, thoughtless, fleeting, and in my observation, the majority of people do experience just that. Or we can choose to make time for grounding. In my case, a morning grounding ritual is more important than any one thing I will do the rest of the day. On the two or three days a year that I am yanked from it, I am keenly aware of its absence.
When I was in my 30’s and 40’s, I had to get up very early, typically at 5:30 a.m., to assure this ritual, and it was only 20 minutes long. When I was married, I had to find a way to escape the distractions of my spouse and insist on my grounding time. Now, it has slowly grown to a full hour, sometimes 90 minutes. Only because I like it so very much!
Your morning meditation may look as simple or as complex as you wish. It can be a single act that takes 10 minutes, or like me, a series of several steps that require more time. However, the truth is, building a ritualistic morning into one’s life will never occur if you are waiting for the time to magically arrive. You must make it happen. You must choose it and determine to live it, adjusting it along the way as you gain mastery of such a choice. The payoff is incredible.
If you want to step through your day as if it is never more than you can handle, you must first begin on solid ground.
Here are a few things that I do, but you can create your own grounding rituals. There is no one way. What is necessary is to stay off any device and be present with the natural world.
- I like to sit on the edge of my bed with calves against the mattress and feet on the floor. You can do this in a straight chair as well. I close my eyes and take 5 long deep breaths, full inhalations through my nose and long slow exhales through my mouth. I imagine my root chakra and feet growing roots into the earth below me and tapping into the soil’s water and nutrients and energy and pulling it into my body.
- I drink one mason jar of filtered water, slowly from full to empty, imagining it cleansing my mind and body from the toxins that remain from the night of dreams and thoughts and worries. I imagine the stress being diluted and flushed.
- I make my coffee with a press and either step outside onto the grass for a bit or literally pet my indoor plants, then I settle into my best reading chair.
- I read my daily meditation literature. My current book has been Rumi’s daily poetry readings in A Year with Rumi. I read it slowly and often more than once.
- I journal. This task is easily explored in 10 blogs of strategies or tools, but for now, I simply journal my thoughts. Most importantly, I censor nothing. If someone finds it one day, it will be their self-induced nightmare, not mine.
- I divinate. This is my way of gaining a message from beyond. There are many, many ways to search for answers from the divine, your higher power (yet another great blog series). I happen to currently cast the runes. If that is too weird for you, then perhaps you could pray and sit in silence for a bit. That’s the acceptable form of divination across the mundane collective.
This concludes my ever-evolving grounding ritual. I am now ready to stand, stretch and go forth upon a foundation made of divine stone.