If you’ve looked into meditation, energy work, or spiritual practices before, chances are you’ve heard the terms “grounding, centering, and shielding.”
These three skills are frequently used in these circles, but rarely are they defined– let alone provided instructions for how to do them!
Grounding, centering, and shielding are, in my opinion, three essential tools everyone should know how to use.
Today I’ll be walking you through not only what they are, but how to successfully use them.
For all of these exercises you will want to be in a comfortable position. I prefer to be lying down, but sitting or standing works too. I’ll give you one or two options for how to visualize all three, but energy work is a highly individual experience. What works for one person might not be as effective for another, so I encourage you to use my suggestions as a starting point to find what works best for you!
The important thing is that what you’re doing feels “right”, even if it’s not exactly what someone else said you should do.
What is grounding?
As we go throughout our lives, it’s easy to become caught up in everything that is (or isn’t) happening around us: our growing to-do list, the what-if’s of the future, and wistful daydreams.
These fast-moving thoughts pull us farther and farther away from the here and now.
Grounding is the process of connecting yourself back to physical reality. It reminds us to live in the present moment and be conscious of what is happening around us. When you find yourself feeling detached from the “real world,” grounding can help you to shift your focus and be mindful of the here and now.
Some people take the terming “grounding” literally and feel you should go outside to walk around barefoot or lay in the grass to connect with Earth and nature. While this is great and can definitely help the experience, it’s not always practical or even possible.
For example, as I’m writing this it’s the middle of winter in Wisconsin– not the most ideal setting to be wandering around outside barefoot!
The steps I’m giving you can be done anywhere, be it inside or outside.
How to ground
Start out by closing your eyes and taking some deep breaths. Really focus on your breathing and be conscious of each inhalation and exhalation.
When you feel ready, begin imagining that you have roots growing out of your body that are connecting you back to Earth. With each inhale, these roots grow stronger and deeper, pulling you further into the ground. As these roots grow, you should feel your body getting heavy.
If you find yourself struggling, it might help to imagine your spirit (or soul, or however you prefer to refer to this concept!) being pulled back towards your body. Prior to this it was floating among the clouds, but with each breath it’s pulled closer to your physical body.
Once you feel completely relaxed and that your spirit and physical body are one, it is time to move on to centering.
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What is centering?
Imagine this situation with me:
You go to work every day. All day long you’re interacting with customers, doing your best to go above and beyond helping them. You wear a winning smile and maintain a peppy attitude as you interact with dozens of people throughout your shift.. More than once, you have an upset customer who is grumpy with you and generally unpleasant. By the end of the day, you’re physically and mentally exhausted and want nothing more than to sit in front of the TV in your pajamas with a snack.
Sound familiar? I know it does for me.
This is why centering is so important!
Everything the universe is made up of energy, including you and me. As we walk through life, we give away pieces of our energy and collect bits of others’. If we don’t keep an eye on this exchange of energy, we can find ourselves carrying the weight of others’ negativity while missing important pieces of our own soul!
Centering is the practice of bringing the energy that you’ve given away back to your body, while shedding the energy you’ve accumulated from everyone else. In doing so, you restore balance to your soul and are able to more effectively move through life.
How to center
A key part of centering is knowing where your energy center is. If you aren’t sure where your energy center is located, I’ve written a post on how to locate it here.
With your eyes closed, take a few deep breaths. As you breathe in, you are going to imagine all of the energy that you have left behind in the world coming back to you. This energy is going to fill you up and restore a feeling of fullness to your soul.
Contrastingly, on the exhale you want to imagine that you are blowing away the excess rubble of everyone else. All of the negative energy that has accumulated within you is being neutralized and sent away, leaving you feeling light and free.
To accompany this, you will want some form of visualization to aid the process. I personally imagine that my energy center is an empty cup or bucket surrounded by a bunch of litter. On each inhale, my cup is slowly filled back up with water (my energy) and the rubbish that’s around it (others’ energy) is sent away.
Some other ideas include:
- A rainbow puzzle with missing pieces. Each inhale adds pieces to the puzzle, while the exhale sends away pieces that don’t fit
- A book where positive affirmations are written on each inhale, while negative affirmations are erased on the exhale
- A garden where each inhalation results in a blooming flower and each exhalation clears away some weeds
You can play around with these ideas and find what works best for you. The possibilities are endless!
What is shielding?
The final step of this process is shielding. Shielding is the act of protecting yourself from energetic attacks or drainage.
Remember the work scenario we imagined previously? If you had properly shielded before your shift, you would not have experienced such a profound energy drain.
By constructing an energetic shield around you, you are effectively preventing any energy that is not for your greatest or highest good from reaching you.
The negativity from others won’t have as profound of an impact on you. You won’t feel as much of a strain from the chaotic energy of day-to-day life.
Of the three, I find shielding to be the most difficult, but don’t let this discourage you! With practice it becomes easier and it truly does make a difference in my emotional and spiritual health.
How to shield
I find it easiest to shield after centering, but it isn’t necessary. If you don’t center beforehand, I would recommend taking a few deep breaths to relax yourself and clear your mind.
Start by closing your eyes and taking a moment to build up some energy. To do this, focus on your energy center and feel the energy pulsating within you. When you feel you’ve drummed up enough energy, take some deep breaths. As you breathe in imagine that the air is filling you with positive energy. You want to repeat this until you feel completely full of positive energy.
Next you need to focus this energy. Continue taking deep breaths, but now on the exhale you want to imagine your energy center opening up.
Once you feel it is completely open, visualize the energy you’ve built up expanding from it. This is the positive energy that will eventually end up being formed into your shield.
The first few times you shield, take the time to get to know the energy.
Identify as many characteristics as you can:
- What color is it?
- What is it made of? Light? Liquid? Something else entirely?
- Is it hot or cold?
- How does it move around?
The stronger the visualization, the more effective your shield will be.
Allow this energy to completely surround you. Imagine it forming a protective sphere around you. Focus on the intent of the shield allowing only energies that are for your greatest and highest good through. This part can take some time, but it’s worth it. After all, the shield is only as strong as you make it!
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When you’re ready, it’s important to close off your energy center. If you skip this your energy will be able to continue to flow freely from you, which you don’t want. I’m speaking from experience on this!
I personally imagine the energy I’ve stirred up snapping away from me like a rubber band and then focus on closing my energy center until I can no longer feel the energy flowing. With some practice you’ll be able to determine what works best for you.
I use these three skills every single day and have noticed a huge improvement in my emotional and spiritual well-being as a result.
It can seem like a lot at first, but remember that practice makes perfect! As you do these more frequently, you’ll start to learn what works for you (and what doesn’t). These are also a great way to become more familiar with your energy and can help you learn to manipulate it.
Do you utilize grounding, centering, and shielding? What forms of visualization or methods do you use? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!