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CENTERING AND GROUNDING
Centering and Grounding are terms
we often hear tossed about and because they are used so
liberally we assume everyone knows the meaning behind them.
Unfortunately that's often not the
case. Many people will use them in conjunction--"I was
grounded and centered", which I
personally feel is a misnomer. There is a difference between
each act. Some use them
interchangeably and again I would say there is a difference.
I begin to Center myself with a smudging session to cleanse
my spirit and energy. Next, I begin
to enter a meditative state through Centering--the act of taking
in and merging with the elemental
forces. At the same time I incorporate an invitation to my Guides
and Spirit to walk with me. I
do this morning and evening when the energy of the day shifts.
Some traditions stops with the
elements while others take it a step further and bring in the
Three Worlds (Above, Below, and
Middle) which I prefer. It feels more complete to me.
In this process one becomes totally absorbed with an elemental
force; I begin with Air...clearing
the mind of clutter and opening it to receive enlightenment,
inviting my Guides to join me if they
so choose. I move on into the next element (this is always done
in an orderly manner) of Fire.
Here I open my heart and spirit to clear it of illusions and
focus my intent through desire trusting
in the Guidance that will come to me. With the element of Water
I open my emotions, clearing
them of any negativity and bringing in the relationship I have
with myself and my path of service
to Spirit. With the element of Earth I reflect on the sustenance
of the Earth Mother, my blessings,
giving thanks for the sustenance that we often take so for granted.
I honor my foundations and all
that has brought me to where I am at that moment.
When adding the focus of the Three Worlds I call upon the Above
World where I invite my
Teachers, Guardians, and Guides to join me. They show me the
future and I give thanks for their
assistance. I reach down into the Below World where I give thanks
to the Ancient Ones, the
Ancestors, Elders, and Totems that work with me, that have shown
me the past and teach me my
Songs, Dances, and Ceremonies. Finally I shift focus again and
move to the Middle World where
all these invitations and relationships have merged into the
present, into the Now of the moment
and I ask Spirit to Guide me as I move through the work I am
Consciously I have brought all these aspects together in my
awareness, I have given thanks for
the blessings received and those to come. I address that to
each direction as I honor all Seven
Sacred Directions. In this way I am *Centered* and aware; I
walk between the worlds aware that
the guidance I've requested and those that have come forth or
will show themselves throughout
the day or evening. I do not give lip service to this process.
It is very sincere and it comes from
my heart, my whole being, there is desire to be with them and
work with them.
The process of centering allows you to walk between the worlds
and recognize that guidance
because you begin your day with that intention. When a sign
comes your senses are heightened
and you feel that presence with you, some may see a Spirit Helper,
but you know the signs when
they come from deep within yourself. This guidance is always
with us, aware or not, and the
process of Centering heightens our awareness bring it to the
surface of the conscious mind.
For me it is a daily ritual, however when I am doing specific
Medicine Work I will re-center to
sharpen my focus even more. I highly recommend this, it takes
you into a deeper state of being
and you merge into the Oneness with Spirit. In either case you
become an open channel, a
Hollow Bone through which energy flows, energy you come to recognize
through working with
each of the elemental forces and your Guides. You learn to feel
Spirit's presence, and the
awareness you have becomes so well-honed that you learn to see
the hand of Spirit moving
through your life at all times.
Grounding is different, IMHO, and this is the act of releasing
energy. I Ground when I have
finished my Medicine Work, perhaps a prayer or healing session
for someone; a reading or
counseling session; journey work, anything that is intentionally
weaving the essence of Spirit or
Source Energy to serve others or yourself. When doing this type
of work we absorb a lot of
energy and if we do not ground ourselves that can cause reactions
later on mental, physical,
emotional, or spiritual levels and everything in-between. We
can become disorientated,
physically ill with headaches, nausea, buoyancy, vertigo and
a whole slew of symptoms. We can
become moody, melancholy, elated to excess, or have mood swings
that would make people
think we were suffering from a bi-polar disease.
Running this type of energy through our bodies and spirits charges
us and we can become
overcharged if we do not ground. To enter into this state of
being where we channel and wield
the energies weaving them into live calls forth a tremendous
force and the human body is just not
designed to be in that state for extended periods of time. Our
body is physical and spiritual and
this is a perpetually spiritually orientated energy so it overloads
us if we aren't careful.
The cure is to begin Grounding as soon as your work is complete.
To Ground we must release
this energy. Since we take it in we must let it drain away.
The best way I have found to Ground
is to release the energy through the soles of your feet and
the palms of your hands, through the
exhaled breath as you return to the physical reality. In essence
you are backing out of it through a
reverse process of discharging. Standing with your feet apart
at shoulder width and your palms
facing down to Mother Earth, simply let the energy flow out
of you and into Mother Earth. She
will transform it and utilize it in very positive ways.
Another method I like is to lay flat on the ground and let the
energy seep into Mother Earth. Here
I envision the energy as moisture and the soil beneath me as
drinking it up. I feel it draw from
me and when the process is complete I know that any impurities
that may have contaminated my
own spirit and body have drained away.
There are countless methods that can be suggested for either
Centering or Grounding. You can
create your own as well. The main point is that you do both
as the situation you find yourself in
calls for. The purpose is to maintain an alert and balanced
state of awareness and focus, of
energy levels appropriate to the need of the moment, and overall
Those who ignore these practices find they are easily frustrated,
their work is lacking fullness,
and they are not functioning to their greatest capacities. Those
who do practice these techniques
find they are in sync with life, that they are "in the
flow" and things go smoothly for them.
Regular practice and daily use of these techniques will quickly
having it be a second nature for you.
Initially it takes time to focus on the stages, but once you
get them down it can be done in as few
as 7 deep breaths to either enter into this state of being Centered
or come out of it in Grounding.
To Ground does not mean you are "Un-Centered", it
simply means that you have adjusted
yourself to a harmonious level with your energy and cleansed
your spirit. You are still Centered.
Having a tough day? We all experience them from time to time.
I've had days where I'm
Centering on the hour! What that amounts to is re-focusing awareness
so that you can step out of
situations and detach from them enough to see what is causing
the upsets. Understanding the
processes you can then do an attitude adjustment with clarity
and then step back into things if
need be or remain aloof. Problems are much easier to solve this
way than if you are caught up in
the chaos of a moment and confused.
Using these very fundamental techniques prepares you on all
levels: mental, physical, emotional,
and spiritual. You enter into a state of peace, and harmonious
grace with Spirit and your Spirit
Helpers. Without them work and life are haphazard, partially
successful, and often leaving us
less than satisfied. I hope for those of you who are new to
spirituality that this has clarified some
of your questions. If you have more, or I've been less than
clear on things, please feel free to ask
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