I compiled a list of my favorite wellness tips & tools, especially for challenging times. It’s lengthy so feel free to dip in and out.
Now more than ever is a great time to make changes in your daily routine. Here are some simple ways to stay grounded and centered.
I just started reading this powerful book with healing meditations (includes online practice videos for healing the 5 elements in Chinese medicine, as well as the 7 chakras, and more).
I was talking with a client about what a difference it made to take a live yoga class even though it wasn’t in person. A friend signed up for a class with me and it was *almost* like meeting her in person to take a class together. See if it helps you feel a sense of community. Here are some places I like if you don’t already have a studio:
Hari Kundalini Yoga (includes some donation-based classes)
DoYogaWithMe.com (these are recorded free classes)
Braco is offering additional free online healing. Many people have had remarkable results.
Free Energy Tools from David Sun Todd
I love his beautiful art and deep connection to the healing and wisdom of the Redwoods.
Flower Essences for Emotional Healing
Here’s a post by the lovely Rose Todd on what flower essences you may need in dealing with anxiety in challenging situations. (If you want a personalized recommendation we can discuss at your next session, just let me know.)
And Rose wrote a wonderful book: Simply Bach Flowers–it’s an excellent resource for beginners to learn about how to use Bach flower essences for emotional healing. (I did the full practitioner training with her and she knows her stuff!) You can purchase Bach flowers here.
and I’ve fallen in love with Lotuswei’s flower essences (This past week I’ve been using Fierce Compassion and Game Changer a lot).
Essential Oils for Immune Boosting
Eden’s Garden Fighting Five (also available on Amazon)
I love Susannah Conway’s love letters, and her free and paid courses. She does a free photo challenge each April.
A New Career in the Healing Arts
Many people are using this time to rethink their work. I wrote Building a Powerful Practice to help people making a career transition into the healing arts. Friend and colleague Shauna Cummins interviewed me as part of her Divine Feminine School of Hypnosis–here’s our recent interview on practice building.
Improve Your Relationship With Money
I mentioned Sarah McCrum before; she had a very extraordinary experience that has given her a unique insight into what money really is and how it works. Sarah shares five of the most surprising and beautiful characteristics of money that have already helped many people transform their business and their life (including me!).
Here is a recording of her live online event from this past week, Activation for Collective Healing, which includes Morning Grounding, Activation, Evening Grounding, and Transformance.
A Powerful Healing Mantra
The Love Peace Harmony free app is a powerful healing mantra and one of my favorites. You can download it or play the app 24/7 (even on mute) to create a healing field in your home, office, etc.
One client is a first-year teacher for students with special needs. She’s been playing it in her classroom at very low volume and sent this feedback: “I love the music player! Some of my coworkers have come into my class and said ” it feels good in here.” One of my students who has autism said she ” feels comfortable here” and sometimes don’t want to go home at the end of the day.”
Uncommon Knowledge offers an extended list of hypnosis downloads for a range of issues. While recordings aren’t able to be as personalized as a one-on-one hypnosis session, it can be helpful between sessions, and to prolong the effects of your one-on-one sessions. (My Dad even used one to help improve his golf game!)
I often hear 2 main concerns after a client’s first hypnosis session. Don’t be misled by these 2 signs.
Meditate with the Insight Timer
I love this free meditation app with hundreds of guided meditations, or simply use the timer. Join the 365 Days Together group and commit to a daily practice–even if it’s only for 1 minute a day, that counts. (They give you gold stars for meditating!) You can also listen to healing music; check out the Solfeggio frequencies for deep balancing of the brain.
Need additional support? Book a session.
As someone who has always loved living in my head (reading, thinking, writing, analyzing, often overanalyzing!) being grounded is not something that comes naturally to me. To compound matters, I was not an outdoors type of person. My mom used to force me to go outside as a kid, because left to my own devices I would have preferred staying inside and reading for hours. (Thanks, Mom!)
Living in New York City, I see a lot of clients and Reiki students with anxiety, as well as people who have trouble quieting their mind, and empaths who feel overwhelmed by the energy and feelings of those around them. Being grounded can really help, so I put together this list of 25 easy techniques on how to stay grounded.
First, what does it mean to be grounded?
To be grounded is to be fully present in your body, to be connected to the earth, to the world around you, to your breath and the way it moves through your body, to be aware of your emotions and how you’re feeling. Being grounded means you remember that you have a physical body.
By balancing the energy in your head with the energy in the rest of the body you can connect to your feet and how they touch the earth.
Here are 25 easy ways to help you stay grounded.
1. Pound the bottoms of your feet with your fists for a couple of minutes. We have 14,000 nerve endings on the bottoms of our feet, and this will help activate them and redistribute our energy into the feet and instead of the head.
2. Pound the outside of the legs from the hips down to the feet with your fists (you can do this gently or more firmly). This will help energize and stimulate the Chinese meridians, or energy pathways located on the outside of the legs. Again it helps move the energy into the feet.
3. Try reflexology. It’s probably one of the most grounding kinds of bodywork because it’s focused on the feet. Reflexology is based on the principle that a map of the body is represented on the feet. Applying pressure to specific points stimulates the nerve endings on the feet and balances the nervous system. (Anxiety is a sign that the nervous system is out of balance.)
4. Take a bath with sea salt or Epsom salts. This is one of the most popular spiritual grounding techniques. While swimming in a lake or the ocean can really connect us to the earth, a bath can be an easier option (or try a foot bath if you don’t have a bath tub).
How can an empath protect themselves? This is an especially good tip if you have a tendency to feel too much and take on other people’s energy and emotions.
5. Use essential oils that are grounding such as cedarwood or pine (any essential oils from trees). I absolutely love Andrea’s Alchemy grounding cedar oil roll-on blend.
6. Try Donna Eden’s Daily 5-Minute Energy Routine for a week and notice how your body feels. This routine is another helpful tip for empaths to protect themselves.
7. Work out: any form of exercise gets you into your body and out of your head: kick boxing, yoga, running, walking. Do the kind of exercise you enjoy and you’ll be more likely to do it regularly.
8. Experience sensory deprivation: sometimes referred to as an isolation or flotation tank, the tank is filled with 1,000 pounds of Epsom salts, with water at skin temperature, and devoid of sound and light. The mind is free from distraction and the body is free from gravity. I tried it at Lift Floats.
9. Try Frans Stiene’s grounding exercises. Known as the Reiki teacher’s teacher, and someone who flies around the world constantly to teach, Frans knows the importance of being grounded. Try both of his spiritually grounding techniques and compare.
10. Buy a weighted blanket. The heaviness is restorative and calming for the nervous system. I sleep more deeply and wake feeling refreshed. Talk about literally grounding you to the earth!
11. Go on a news fast for a couple days, or even a week. This can serve as a reset, helping you evaluate the frequency of news you intake and how it affects your mindset and body. Hint: the mind might love the chatter and 24/7 news cycle, but the body definitely doesn’t.
12. Leave your smart phone at home for a day. (I know! Can you even imagine?) I have one client who was sleeping with her phone under her pillow and checking news alerts on her phone first thing when she woke up, as well as endlessly throughout the day.
Those news alerts can trigger a very strong fight or flight response in the nervous system. So often the full news story takes time to become available, and there’s usually nothing we can do in the moment (except feel anxious and worried which doesn’t help anyone).
13. Meditate. Meditate. Meditate. This is a calming way to train the brain (Hypnosis is another). If you don’t have a practice in place, try the free Insight Timer app. It has lots of guided meditations for a range of issues, which are often easier to stick with if you’re just starting out.
14. Learn Reiki. Reiki is a simple way to connect to your intuition and center your mind and body. In my Reiki classes, I teach additional spiritual grounding techniques such as the purifying breath and dry bathing to help you center your energy and feel grounded. Again, this is another tool for empaths to protect themselves. (Learning Reiki years ago is what finally helped me meditate regularly after years of unsuccessfully trying other methods.)
15. Ask yourself “what’s the next smallest step I need to take?” This trains your brain to stay on track and to be as close to the present moment as possible, rather than running 20 steps ahead and getting overwhelmed. I learned this from top hypnosis trainer John Overdurf. Changed my life.
16. Walk barefoot on the earth—rock, dirt, grass, sand…. For thousands of years our ancestors did this as a matter of course. The fact that this isn’t an easy thing to do living in a big city like New York tells us something about our literal and metaphorical connection to the earth.
17. Try forest bathing. Spend time in nature and see how it changes your energy: walk by the river, spend time in a park, go for a hike, etc. In Japan, they call it forest bathing—immersing yourself in the forest for relaxation—doesn’t that sound beautiful? The Washington Post identified it as the latest stress-reducing trend in the U.S.
18. Get fresh flowers or plants for your home, as well as rocks or sea shells, especially if you live in a high-rise building because you’re farther away from the earth. Think about it, our ancestors didn’t live in the air.
19. Get crystals that are good for grounding—some of my favorites include selenite, shungite, and black tourmaline, but experiment and follow your intuition on what feels grounding to you. Energymuse.com has two good articles on crystals for grounding.
20. Lay in the grass and imagine any negative emotions or physical imbalances sinking into the earth and being recycled. (You can do this in the winter but it may be more enjoyable on a nice summer day.)
21. Stand and lean against a tree and imagine your heart becoming calm and your feet connecting to its roots.
22. Eat grounding foods: root vegetables, cooked foods, hearty stews (as opposed to raw foods like salads). This doesn’t mean don’t eat salads, but you want to experiment and see what foods help you feel more grounded, and find a nice balance depending on the time of year and temperature, as well as what’s going on in your life.
23. Drink more water than you normally do—the human body consists of 60-70% water and the body needs it for optimal function.
24. Cook a healthy meal. Think about it, cooking your own food is different than eating out or getting food delivered. Cooking brings you into the present moment in a very practical way—forcing you to pay attention as you measure the ingredients, follow the details of the recipe, and keep track of timing to ensure your food doesn’t burn, etc. You could take it a step further and reflect on where the food came from and all the people involved—from the farmer to the truck driver to the grocery store clerk—for this food to be here on your plate.
25. Develop a daily routine of things that personally help you feel grounded. Experiment with the list above and add your own. Know that this is personalized to you and will change depending on time of year, weather, stress levels, and what’s going on in your life, etc. Aim to do one or two of these practices and techniques on a daily basis.
Staying grounded can be one of the most important ways to connect with yourself: bringing the soul, mind, and body together. By acknowledging that you live on Mother Earth, honoring this connection and support not only to the Earth, but to your body that allows you to be here and to feel the full range of human experience is why we are here. Thank your feet for their efforts to do this every day for us.
Caroline Gomez is a yoga teacher, mom of three, and one of my most energetic Reiki students. She’s in the process of completing Reiki III. Here’s her experience taking Reiki I.
The Power of Taking Care of Yourself with Reiki
I learned from the Reiki Self-Care Protocol that I matter. I learned how the power of intention and self-care can change your outlook and energy. The effects of the Reiki self-care protocol are cumulative and become stronger and last longer the more you practice.
I also learned that we all possess the power to self-heal. And before we practice Reiki on others, we must first practice on ourselves.
Receiving Reiki: Getting a Reiki Session
I learned that surrendering and being open to accepting energy healing from someone else is an intimate exchange. There is a level of trust that occurs between you and the practitioner, and not everyone will practice the same protocol that I learned.
When I received Reiki by getting a Reiki session, it was different from practicing the Reiki self-care protocol, not better or worse, but the energy was different. I did feel that I could block or receive from the Reiki practitioner. I felt that I was in control of the process, even though I was receiving Reiki.
I also learned that I have some way to go as a Reiki practitioner, regarding being intuitive and able to sense what is going on with another person. I was amazed at how much information the practitioner was able to learn from me just from one session.
Giving a Reiki Session: Less is More
I learned that less is more when it comes to giving Reiki. I think I was trying too hard to squeeze the energy from myself to another person. I was trying to make something happen, instead of trusting the process. When I experienced this shift, I changed my view of how the Reiki energy flows through me.
I felt so much joy in sharing, and in the exchange of giving and receiving. I was being so careful and I wanted to nurture the person receiving Reiki. I was honored that someone would trust me to give them a Reiki session.
Happy year of the rooster!
Hope you are doing well this cozy time of year in New York. It’s lightly snowing as I write this, with the sun setting as night falls: the quietness of the snow so beautiful and peaceful. Similar to the way Reiki self care feels to me when I place my hands on my body: my mind centers and I feel calm. How about you?
I’m in the middle of teaching Reiki I and it’s such a good group of students—asking deep questions and moving outside their comfort zone as they think about energy, meditation, and self care in new ways.
Read on for simple tips for your Reiki practice.
Learning Reiki online?
I recently wrote a blog post about the pros and cons of learning Reiki online. Technology definitely has a place in learning, but is it the right place to learn Reiki?
A Simple Grounding Technique:
This made me laugh. Reflexology teacher Sue Ricks gives her clients a super quick grounding technique.
Ready, for this? Squeeze your butt for one minute.
It definitely moves your energy from your head down into your lower torso, helping you feel more centered. Try it!
In Japan, shinrin-yoku is the practice of “forest bathing” — immersing yourself in the environment of the forest for relaxation. The Washington Post declared forest bathing the latest stress-reducing trend in the U.S.
A friend and fellow Reiki teacher from Japan told me people in Japan will go to a place in nature like a forest or a park and say, “Oh, there’s so much Reiki here.” They aren’t referring to the Reiki System of Natural Healing, rather they are referring to the meaning of Reiki—spiritual life force energy.
So many of my clients and students who deal with anxiety or depression notice how much better they feel when they spend time in nature. If you live in New York City, you get extra credit because nature is a little harder to find.
A Native American client once told me she connects to nature in the midst of the concrete of the city by looking up at the sky. Isn’t that expansive? How can you incorporate being in nature into your life more?
Year of the Rooster
One of my long-time teachers, Gary Strauss, (who I also interview in my book, Building a Powerful Practice), wrote an article about how to live in these polarized times, figure out what we need to do, and honor the energy of the year of the rooster. Interesting stuff!
Remember it only takes a moment to place your hands on yourself, breathe deeply and get back to your Reiki practice.