Many people who live in this day and age are what is being called “badly grounded.” That means we are not fully present in our bodies: we are somewhere else with part of our minds, with our thoughts. Sometimes this happens consciously and we then realize that part of our mind is always elsewhere. Sometimes, however, it is unconscious: we do not realize that we are much more than the earthly personality with which we identify. We are part of “society”, but have lost contact with our soul, our core.
When I look at myself, I see this separation started early: part of my mind was absent. When I was in school, I did not hate it exactly, but I did not really feel at home there either. I did take the lessons, got satisfactory grades, even though the subject matter did not really have my attention. My inner world was far from Earth. I read a lot. I was also interested in painting, and when I looked at beautiful landscapes, such as van Ruisdael’s, I was caught up in a world of dreams.
Because my father had mental health problems, we almost never went away. Beautiful nature, inspiring landscapes, the sea – none of that was there in my youth. Although the Netherlands has a lot of coastline, I only saw the sea for the first time when I was 18. I preferred to dwell in my inner world rather than in the grey streets of Tilburg. The result was poor grounding as an adult: not being present with heart and soul in my body. To others, I often came across as closed off and absent. The fault did not lie entirely with me, because I often also felt that I could not be myself with other people. When you can not be yourself, you hide.
I also felt it was not possible to be present on Earth with my mind. I thought that you had to adapt and that doing that was my only option. This is my story; and many people have similar stories.
The cause of poor grounding is always that you, as a child, somehow feel as if you can not be yourself, that you are not welcome as you are. Children always have an unconscious memory of the beauty, playfulness, creativity, and cheerfulness of the spiritual world, a place where there is no pressure, no coercion.
The moment a growing child discovers that it is different from others, part of its consciousness retreats – humans lose themselves. He or she will then participate in the machine called modern society and become part of it: we call that growing up. Or he remains aware of his dream world, retreats into himself because he feels as if there is no place in this world for him.
In the first instance, he sees himself as grounded, but he is not. He thinks he is because he is part of a system. However, the system as a whole is not at all grounded. He is simply no longer aware of the part in himself that does not fit in.
Many modern office buildings and factories, even entire cities, are not grounded as entities. However, its residents do not realize that; they have begun to find this to be normal and do not feel that there is something wrong. They have lost contact with their spiritual self and with the inner child, who is the primary expression of this part of the self.
A few years ago, I walked the streets of an asian mega city. There was hardly any greenery, only immense crowds, raging traffic, one towering apartment building after another. I noticed that the energy of the city stood entirely on its own. There, the natural peace and harmony that give a healthy connection to the Earth was completely lacking. People who function within such a city become part of the city’s energy and find the lack of grounding normal; they see it as the makings of a modern society.
With regard to grounding, you can therefore classify people into three groups:
1. People who are badly grounded, but do not know it; they accept their limitations as a given and are totally unaware of their inner greatness. They have completely identified themselves with the label that society has put upon them: adult, hardworking man or housewife, for example.
2. People who are badly grounded and know it. These are often people who do not feel at home here, who think they are not really welcome in this world. They see the social reality around them and feel there is no place for them here. They are aware of the part of themselves that is not present on Earth and think, “This world does not fit with who I am.”
3. People who are (more or less) well grounded. Despite all the problems and opposition, they still know how to find a way to express their inner world. They show the world something of their true self.
This article is intended to help people transition from group two to group three. I want to do that based somewhat on my own experience. Personally, I have always been very aware of my inner world, but simply believed that there was no place for my actual self on Earth. So, in a way, I lived a double life. Nevertheless, I began to take important steps toward the Earth.
Step 1 – Create time for yourself to find out who you are
Seen from outside, the first step for me was a paradoxical one. I decided not to build a career and to work as little as possible. In the early 1980s, I worked only part-time for three days a week, a time when it was still very unusual for a man to do so. I had four whole days a week to myself. I said goodbye to a possible social career.
I remember walking to the library for the first time during a weekday and simply sitting down to read. I loved that. Time for myself to be busy with things I found really interesting. Time to just walk a little during the week whenever I felt like it.
If you want to become better grounded, this is the first step you need to take. Give yourself time. It does not matter what you do with that time, as long as you feel as if that time is all yours. Every moment that is not our own, we are not really on Earth. In order to be able to say “yes” to life on Earth, and to be able to be fully present here, we must feel that there is time for us.
This is a huge step. There is a enormous pressure on us from society to keep busy, to do something. We are expected to build a career, make money, be a useful member of society, take care of others, etc. All those things make demands on us. If we are not doing something, if we take time for ourselves, we feel guilty. When we are just sitting there doing nothing, that is considered bad.
There is another reason why time for ourselves is so important: we can’t be grounded until we know who we are. During the time of growing up, you will be told by the outside world who you are. You get a name from your parents; you are a boy or a girl. A particular behavior is expected of you in accordance with your gender. You internalize those ideas about yourself. Only if you create time and space for yourself can you let go of those inner messages. As a man, it was important to me to let go of all kinds of ideas about being a man. Creating space for the female in me, space for the child in me – space for the angel in me.
Time for yourself always means that, sooner or later, you become aware of what is going on inside yourself, who you really are in your core – your unique you. This will make you feel different, make you feel who you really are.
Real grounding begins by creating time for discovering the part within yourself that is not grounded. If you do not, and you go along completely with the energy of society, then you reject that part and you are forced into group I.
Step 2 – Express yourself
Another important step was that I made the decision to make my inner life visible to others. I decided to show my “differentness”, my true colors, to the world. In my case, I did this by creating a website and posting all kinds of texts: “Life and Consciousness“. Over the years, I had developed many ideas about what life was like. By creating a website, I showed something in me that I had always held back from the world – I touched the world.
What happens if you do this?
The old society is not grounded and not balanced. We do not live in symbiosis with the Earth; there is no harmony. Our economy is based upon plundering the Earth. We are rapidly extracting enormous resources from the Earth which are needed to keep a questionable mass production running, and by doing that we are destroying the environment. It is clear that we cannot keep going forever in this unbalanced way of life. It is a way of life that is the result of not being grounded as a human society as a whole. Many people who live now think they are well grounded, but they are not. People get that false sense of grounding because they connect strongly with a large energetic system that is in itself not grounded. This causes them not to take the Earth into account. Exploitation and destruction of the Earth are the result.
The moment you let something flow from the depths of yourself to the Earth, you create an energetic cycle. You give something to the Earth and then there is a stream coming back. This is a natural cycle that is very different from the predatory mechanism of modern, post-industrial society. By creating such a cycle with the Earth, you will automatically begin to feel part of the Earth and take responsibility for the Earth.
As more people create such a cycle, it generates a greater and better balance between giving and receiving, between the Earth and humanity.
In the new era, there will be an earthed humanity. But that can only be achieved if individuals make the decision to manifest, on Earth, their most beautiful and deepest parts.
Step 3 – Say “yes” to the incoming flow
For this cycle to come into being completely, and to be activated fully, it is important to say “yes” to the incoming current. This may seem simple, but it is not. In our lives, there are all kinds of old fears and beliefs that block this from happening. We have also often created a reality that complicates this on the basis of these old fears and beliefs which surround us.
Fear makes us stick to that which feels safe, the familiar – the old. The job, the relationship, the circle of friends, the family, the life environment – it can be all things that we are not really happy with, but they do give us a sense of security. This prevents the new, which the Earth wants to give us, to really come our way. Fear causes us to remain connected to old energetic systems that are not grounded and fear make us cling to a false sense of grounding and security.
Saying “yes” to the new means we have to let go of the old. This is a step of trust, and because our human world is fear-based, this is not an easy step to take.
Imagine the following. You have a child of adolescent age. One day, he or she comes to you and says,” I don’t want to go to school any more, I feel unhappy there and I don’t learn anything.”
Imagine how you would feel about that. Panic, perhaps: the idea that everything will now go all wrong for that child. A life of doing nothing, staying home, such a child goes completely amiss – nothing good can come from that. We all want the child to get his diplomas and get a well-paid job. We can not really believe that the road to a life of happiness for that child lies in something completely different.
In such a situation, feel the pressure you put on the child, the message you give the child: “If you don’t go along with the system, everything will go wrong.” And so the child deeply questions what might be his or her way to fulfillment and happiness.
This stance, this belief in the system, is actually our own “sacred” faith that as soon as you step out of the system, ignore its demands, things will go badly.
We are that child; we feel our inner purpose: a path to happiness. However, there is also a very powerful authoritarian voice in us that says that this cannot be done; that it is naïve and immature to believe in that. That engaging with our inner voice, with our deepest desires, is actually escapism.
We grew up with the idea that our society’s energetic system provides certainty: banks are reliable, our pensions are certain, a permanent job offers security. When we are sick, the doctor makes us better, our education offers the guarantee for a good job, etc. etc. In this day and age, however, we are discovering that these things are not so certain after all. The reason is that our society as a whole lacks a good grounding.
The good news is that we can change this, and that a lot of people are doing it already. More than ever, today’s motto is: “improve the world, start with yourself.”
First create a good grounding for yourself and a healthy energetic cycle in which you express yourself in the world, and open up to what the world wants to give you.
Open up – how do we do that? As soon as we start to give voice to what is within us to the world, new things begin to come our way. It is very important to trust that, to have faith in that, and say “yes” to it deeply from our heart.
Finally: Accept unconditional love
In the end, grounding is a very simple thing: accept mother Earth’s love for you personally. Renounce the idea that Earth is a dead, lifeless thing, and inwardly tune in to its consciousness – and then feel the love for you personally. Feel that the Earth wants to help you, always supports you on your path.
The miracle of life on Earth is that the more you show up and are yourself, the more you will feel loved by the Earth. Hear the call of the Earth. Hear how she calls your soul, your true self. Say “yes” to yourself, and say “yes” to the love of the Earth that is there for you. That is grounding.