Monday, February 20, 2012

Down to Earth

Lately, I’ve had trouble sticking to the real world. I spend a lot of time doing cerebral things - writing, sitting at the computer, reading, listening to people - and then there is the issue of those other, extra dimensions I go to that normal people tend not to visit...I sort of lose myself, though I don’t often go all the way to delusions.

And it occurred to me, maybe we could all use some advice on how to keep from floating away in the ozone. Altered states are easy for some of us. The trick is how to get back.

So I started a list for myself of my top ten grounding techniques. It’s not a very long list yet. What I’m hoping is that you, my readers, will contribute and help me and all of us find good ways to come back down to earth when we’ve been floating away. Here’s the beginning list:

1. Eat something. It’s a direct connection to the physical and literally weighs you down. Comfort food is good, especially meat if you’re not vegetarian.

2. Take a walk. The rhythmic motion of your body helps, and so does seeing some nature, if there’s any you can get to. Actually, any exercise will help.

3. Clean something. The dirtier the better. Scrubbing the sink, sweeping the porch, shaking out the welcome mat, all of it counts. Plus, you get a clean rug (or whatever) at the end of it.

4. Personal hygiene. Getting your hair wet or cutting your toenails is real three-dimensional stuff. Putting on makeup does NOT count - that takes you off into the area of fantasy, who you wish you were, how you’d like to look.

5. Gardening. Start by pulling weeds. The original down-to-earth.

6. Do something with your pet. Stroke it, walk it, play with it, help it turn its hamster wheel. Direct interaction with animals is an energy transformer, and being responsible is a good tie to life.

7. Dispose of clutter. It could be paper, or it could be the knick knacks on the shelves or your three hundred pair of shoes. Deciding what you can and can’t live without brings you right to the here and now. This sort of goes with ‘clean something.’

8. Get manual. Build a shelf, sew on a button, chop vegetables. Microwaving and using the sewing machine do not count.

9. Meditate. I recommend yoga especially, because it’s physical.

10. This one may sound odd, but it works for me: activate your root chakra with your voice. You do this by saying or singing the syllable “UH” for as long as you can, on as deep a note as you can. Supposedly a good number of times to do this is seven, but choose for yourself. This gets a vibration going right at your base, which is good for you in all sorts of ways and appeals to the primitive part of you. Think of it as caveman therapy, if you like.

What else can you suggest to me? I’d love to hear what works for you so I can try it myself.

Deborah is a public speaker and the author of Is There Room for Me, Too? 12 Steps & 12 Strategies for Coping with Mental Illness. She has also published two romantic comedies. All three books are available on, Barnes and, Kindle Editions, iBooks, and other major vendors; or  you can order them from your local bookstore. Visit her web page at, or see her catalog at Her newest project is a guided meditation CD, “Island Journey,” produced with her husband, musician Robert Hamaker; available on iTunes, Amazon, and many other venues