By Kaitlin: If you have ever suffered from mental illness or severe emotional trauma, you know how hard it can be to focus on the world around you. You get caught up in the maelstrom of wind and water that is the mind and the heart, and you lose yourself- for a moment, for an hour, for days or weeks or more. Panic attacks can be some of the worst; they come out of nowhere and all at once your body and mind are seizing up, unable to focus or function properly. You can’t breathe, your stomach is in knots, and your imagination is spinning fast, plummeting downwards in its spiral of bad thoughts.
Medication is a very viable option, and for some people, one of the only options that really help. Unfortunately, they are not instant. Some people come back from these attacks by looking at objects around them: things they can touch, see, smell, taste, and listen to. Things that realign their physical senses and put them back in the real world. But, sometimes, that isn’t enough. There is a sixth sense that, all too often, gets forgotten.
Our spiritual selves are like a fourth “outline” of us that fit together with our physical, emotional, and mental selves. When these four outlines come together, they create a glorious whole – think of those anatomy books where the clear plastic pages layer upon each other to create a body: first the skeleton, then the vascular system, then our muscles and tissues, and at last our skin and hair.
When we put all our focus into calming our minds, it usually reverberates and eases our emotions as well. But, more often than not, our spirits are still half-connected and spinning in circles, unable to stop until we can bring it back to center. Of course, there are “cheats” for this: burning coloured candles or incense, wearing a piece of Peacock Ore, listening to the sounds of the sea. Sometimes, though, we need to put the effort in. Here I will walk you through a very basic grounding meditation, one I have been doing since I was five or six years old.
First, make sure you are comfortable. Sit in a balanced position, so either lotus-style on the ground or cushions, or in a seat with your feet flat on the floor. Make sure your spine is straight. When you close your eyes, you want to be able to sit as still as you can without fidgeting too much. There should not be too much noise in the background, especially if you are new to meditation and have a hard time tuning things out. Nor should there be a great deal of fluorescent light- even though your eyes are closed, it may still pull your focus.
Close your eyes and take three deep breaths.
Imagine a golden cord extending from the base of your spine. It passes through your seat, down through the floor, straight down. It continues on through the Earth’s crust, down past the rock. You can feel the warmth beginning to grow as it passes down through layers of lava. See it reach the core of the Earth. There, at the very center, is a golden log. It is not fallen; you can see roots extending up in every which way. Tie your cord to this log, and feel the pleasant warmth follow along the golden rope, up through the Earth, through the molten rock, through the foundation of your home, up through the floor, the bottom of your seat. It reaches the bottom of your spine and continues upwards until that happy warmth is swirling in your belly, like a bowl of hot soup.
Now, see a silver cord reaching up from the very top of your head. It creeps up towards the sky like a vine, extending upwards through the ceiling, out of the building and up into the sky. It pushes up through the atmosphere, through the stratosphere, into the Universe itself. As it rises higher and higher, you feel a light, cool sensation. Up and up this silver cord goes, and as you reach the center of the Universe, you see a silver star, more brilliant than any of the others in the sky. Its light radiates, illuminating everything it touches. Tie your silver cord to this star, and feel the cool, refreshing energy begin to travel down through that rope. It moves down through the Universe, down through the ozone layer, into our atmosphere. It passes through the clouds, down through the ceiling. It reaches the top of your head and moves down your spine until it meets with the warmth in your belly and mixes together. The energies temper each other, blending and swirling until they are one. You are balanced between Earth and Sky; Logic and Intuition; comforting warmth and refreshing coolness. You are grounded, but not immobile. Your connection to the Earth offers you stability, something real to stand on. The tendrils of roots are connections; this is not a battle you are fighting alone. Your connection to the Universe offers you clear vision and intuitive gifts; the light radiating from the star illuminates the truth and dissolves the shadows of lies. Now you can see what needs to be done.
Take a few deep breaths. When you feel ready, open your eyes.
This meditation is a great foundation, especially if you are new to meditating. It can be added onto to include the chakras, whether it is in individual chakra focus or opening each and every energy center. After a while, this simple visualization will take mere moments, so you don’t even have to do it at home. When you begin to panic, you will have this tool in your arsenal, and your Spirit won’t have to worry about finding itself out of sync with the rest of you.
Be kind to yourself.
Blessed Be, Love and Light,