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As we approach the Autumnal Equinox we are in what is known as Late Summer in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In the West we typically acknowledge four seasons. In TCM they have five with Late Summer coming between summer and autumn. Think of it like an ‘Indian Summer’. There is still heat and Yang energy but it transitions from the energy of spring and summer to a cooler more Yin state with autumn and winter.
Late Summer relates to the Earth element
The colour yellow represents the Earth element. The energy channels that belong to the Earth element are Stomach and Spleen. The Earth element’s taste is sweet, smell is fragrant and the sound associated with it is singing.
Our Earth energy, and particularly that of our Spleen, influences our ability to nurture ourselves. It also influences our sense of self-esteem, our inner sense of security and how supported we feel by the world. It gives us the ability to form thoughts and views, change habits and manifest. In order for us to be able to feel content and satisfied our Spleen energy needs to be in balance.
The direction associated with the Earth element is the centre. In Chinese it is known as “doyo” meaning “transition”. This transition corresponds to the seasonal changes that take place at the solstices and equinoxes, four times a year in total.
Late Summer is a short season however it can incorporate aspects of the other seasons within it, for example the weather can be changeable being hot and cold. It is reflecting the “transition”. Because this short season is all about transition it is very important to stay centred within ourselves. This is similar to being grounded. By maintaining a state of centredness, and being grounded, we can avoid being carried away by the transitional energy. If we are grounded we’ll feel more stable. We won’t get caught up or lost in any chaos going on around us. If there is a state of motion both within us and outside of us, there is nothing for us to hold on to.
How can we become centred and grounded?
To feel more centred we need to spend more time ‘in our body’ and not ‘in our head’. Connecting more with our physical body is a quick way to feel more centred. You will feel more present and ‘in the moment’. Grounding is when we connect with the Earth energy. This in turn helps us feel more solid and robust. Everything feels easier to deal with when we’re centred and grounded. We can think more clearly. We are less influenced or knocked out of balance by what’s going on around us.
Slowing down and taking time out for you is important. The Earth element is all about nurturing and that includes nurturing of the self. Take time to decompress. Practice self-care and be kind to yourself. Out of balance Spleen energy can lead to spending a lot of time in your head. Thinking, over-thinking, analysing, planning, worrying etc… This is sure-fire way to feel ungrounded. Consciously calming our thoughts and quietening the mind is very effective. You can use mindfulness techniques to assist with this. Being more mindful will help you feel more centred generally.
Physical activities such as walking, running, yoga and tai chi all help us become more centred and grounded. Being out in nature. Even something as simple as eating can help us become more centred and bring us back ‘into’ our body.
Connect with Earth energy
It can be very helpful to focus on your connection to the Earth as well, particularly as we are working with the Earth element. This can take many forms and it’s about finding what works best for you. I’ll take you through an simple grounding exercise below but you can connect to the Earth in many ways. Walking with bare feet on the ground, gardening or sitting on the beach digging your fingers and toes into the sand all work. Crystals come from the Earth and are a lovely way to connect with Earth energy. You can carry them in your pocket, wear them as jewellery, sit and place your feet on them etc. There are lots of ways they can help you feel centred and grounded.
Simple grounding exercise to help connect more with the Earth energy:
Whilst standing either bounce on the balls of the feet bringing the heels up and down, or march on the spot. Make the movements very intentional and focus on the contact the soles of your feet are making with the ground.
Become very conscious of the connection your feet have with the ground every time they come back into contact with it. After a minute or two of your chosen movement keep both feet in contact with the ground. Allow all the energy in your body to drop down into your lower legs and feet, if it hasn’t already. You can use your breath and allow the energy to drop with each out breath. Your lower legs and feet will start to feel heavy as this happens. ‘Feel’ the connection between your feet and the ground. If your energy has come down into your lower body and you really are well grounded then it may feel as if you couldn’t move your feet away from the ground, even if you wanted to. They feel stuck and very heavy. Stay with those thoughts and feelings for a minute or so.
If you want to you can grow roots out of the soles of your feet and have them burrow deep, deep down into the Earth. Imagine how solid and robust you’ll feel having roots connecting you directly to the Earth. Allow yourself to feel this connection.
Then relax and gently move your feet again. You should now be feeling more “grounded” with your head feeling clearer and your body feeling calm and solid.
Why not try these exercises and see how they work for you. You might need to practice them a few times before you feel the full effect. If you’re very ungrounded you may find it challenging to ‘feel’ grounded, but don’t give up.
Some grounding tools you can use
Sometimes we just need some extra help shifting our energy. And some people just find it harder to become grounded and stay grounded. If that’s the case you might want to work with some grounding crystals such as Hematite, Smoky Quartz or Black Tourmaline (Schorl). Aura sprays such as Earth Connection can also be a great help.
Remember if you don’t ‘feel’ grounded then you aren’t grounded. Even if you’ve just done a grounding exercise! Relax as much as you can into the process. If you’ve spent a long time being ungrounded it may take a bit of time and practice to achieve a grounded state and then be able to stay there.
If you feel you need some help with this get in contact.