Updated: Oct 24, 2020
By Elaine Bontempi, Ph.D.
© Elaine Bontempi, Ph.D., 2020
All Rights Reserved
A Meditative Grounding Exercise in Nature
We all seem to know when we are “out of whack” or feel “off balance.” We feel tense, distracted, agitated, and divided. We can’t seem to stay in the moment long enough to concentrate or enjoy what we are doing. In our modern lifestyles where we are inundated with electronic devices such as computers, smart phones and wi-fi, and often have few opportunities to connect with nature. In order to find harmony and regain our sense of homeostasis, we need to ground ourselves.
There are many ways of doing this (see: ”The Importance of Grounding”), but this particular activity offers a creative way of reconnecting with nature and grounding yourself by combining earthing and art journaling. It is a great activity to practice when you need to regain your sense of inner stillness and harmony. If you are not rushed for time you can follow the suggested steps below, but if you are don’t have as much time, you can forego collecting objects and simply write what you see, hear, feel, taste, and intuit instead of drawing/painting/collecting objects. If have even less time, omit the writing component all together, and just practice the mindfulness component.
It is important to emphasize that this is a grounding activity. It is not about perfectionism, because this is an activity meant for you and you alone. Because it is unlikely that anyone else will see it, don’t worry about whether or not your art technique is correct or “good.” This is not meant to be “artwork,” it is using art as therapy in your grounding meditation.
Find a place where you can be still and surrounded by nature. This can be a garden in your backyard, a wooded path, sitting on a sandy beach or beside a creek, river, or stream, or even a spot in the desert or park. Whatever environment you choose, just make sure you are surrounded by nature and away from the noise of traffic and cars.
Next, take off your shoes and socks, and make sure that your bare feet are touching the soil, grass, or a rock. Now, get very still and focus on everything around you. Using your senses, take in the sights, sounds, smells, touch, tastes, your perceptions and intuitions. Listen very closely to all the sounds. Feel the breezes, the sun, temperature, what you see around you. Smell the air and scents around you. Examine the sights around you—pay close attention to the colors of the flowers, types of insects and plants, texture of the rocks or dirt, the color of the sky and patterns of the clouds. Spend at least 20-30 minutes just being still, with your bare feet grounded on the earth, taking in everything around you.
Next, describe what you are experiencing using your senses. You can choose to write, draw, paint, and even collect little found objects. Get creative!