Staying Grounded

Posted by Katie L. Carroll on September 9, 2013 in Anecdote, Elixir Bound blog tour, Grounding, Nature, Travel |

Okay, some blog tour stuff first (because I know you all are dying to hear more about my blog tour–hey, quit the groaning!). I’m over at the blog of Stuart R. West (who you all met last month when he guest blogged about Females in YA and his Tex, The Witch Boy books) offering some sage (I hope!) advice about book openings, including my favorite ones.

Now for the actual intended blatherings of today’s post…staying grounded. Earlier this summer I embarked on a mission to ground myself every day. No, not I-stayed-out-past-my-curfew-and-got-grounded kind of grounded. A more literal kind of grounded, as in putting my feet on the earth kind of grounding.

St. Lucia 113

The hubby and I getting grounded in St. Lucia.

There seems to be some legitimate(?) health benefits to this and certain techniques that are supposed to work (here’s one article about grounding techniques and another with some supposed health benefits). It’s all bit new agey for my sensibilities, but try to stay with me here because I think it might be working.

I’m not doing anything crazy, but simply going outside and touching my feet to the actual earth (grass, dirt, sand, etc…) for a few seconds every day. (Admittedly I’ve already missed a day here or there, but it’s more the spirit of the idea than being super strict about it.) I’m going to try and do this for a whole year. That’s it!

And you know what? I have been feeling a bit more grounded lately. Less stressed, more even-keeled, even with a lot going on in my professional life, a toddler to take care of, renovations on our attic, and my allergies going a bit wonky with the change in weather.

If I think about some of the most relaxed people I have ever come across, I go back to Tahiti or St. Lucia and the people of islands. You know what they do? They walk around barefoot a lot (granted they also live in a less stressed environment in general)!

So the only problem is I live in New England. The weather is still pretty nice right now, so it’s not hard to get out there barefoot. But I’m a warm-weather kind of girl…some years I barely make it through the winter without falling into that sun-deprived kind of depression. I like to be warm and get cold pretty easily. So I’m not making any promises come January when the temperatures drop into the 20’s and snow is on the ground.

Though my husband (who has been oddly enthusiastic about this whole thing…probably because he’s not the one putting his bare feet on the grass everyday) says he won’t let me get away with NOT doing it this winter. He’s even offered to keep a little spot of grass in the yard free of snow this winter (how generous of him…notice he hasn’t offered to do this grounding thing with me!). I’m committed but not crazy, so we’ll see how it goes.

What’s the strangest, craziest, weirdest thing you’ve committed yourself to?

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  • I think this is a wonderful way to get acquainted with grounding. And simply walking slowly, mindfully, even in the house when the New England storms are ragging outside, will help with the act of being present. Keep us informed about this grounding process and how you think it affects your writing.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Margaret! The slow, mindful walking is a good idea for winter. I’ll definitely keep that in mind (wink). I’ll definitely be updating everyone about my progress. 🙂

  • Meradeth says:

    I think that’s really cool, Katie! Glad it seems to be working, too 🙂 I’m pretty sure the craziest thing I’ve ever committed too is writing–as much as I love it and need it, some days I have no idea how I’m going to get everything done!

    • Thanks, Meradeth! It sounded so weird when I actually read the explanation of what I was doing. Like putting my feet to the ground for a few minutes a day could actually do anything…

      And, yes, writing is crazy, but wonderful too! There’s such a roller coaster of emotions that go along with being a writer, and it seems the spikes and dips only get more pronounced as you move from one step to the next in the process (or writing and publishing).

  • Jo Marshall says:

    What a fun idea, Katie. However, like you, I’m a little concerned about the ice on the ground. It reminds me of the ‘Die Hard’ thing where Bruce Willis rolled his toes up in the carpet to relieve stress, so perhaps I could try that in the winter.

    Probably the weirdest thing I tried was a biofeedback machine. The idea was to breathe steadily and make the little green and red lights behave. Pretty soon it got pretty boring because once the lights behaved, the challenge was gone, so I went back to working puzzles!

    Fun post, Katie! Sure got me thinking about puzzles, so now I have to work one this week. Shoot, and I meant to write!

    • Thanks, Jo! Ice is not my friend. I’d take hot sand over ice any day! That biofeedback machine things sounds interesting.

      I forgot you are a fellow puzzler! I’ve got a few in mind I’ll probably be creating once the craziness of the blog tour settles down.

  • Kai says:

    Being a parent is the craziest thing I committed myself to, but that’s too long of an explanation to share. However, your (might I be so bold to say) whining about not liking to be cold made me think of something.

    My walking buddy and I walk all year round. My favorite walking conditions are 32 degrees with the snow falling straight down. So peaceful and no one to get in our way. We call lizards like you “Fair weather walkers” Never fails in summer the trails are overloaded! But in winter it is peaceful. However, if you exercise on a regular basis outside in the elements, your body becomes trained to kick on your furnace each and every time you go outside in the cold. I’m rarely cold anymore because of it. Even when I’m not exercising.

    You might consider it this winter while you are staying grounded, maybe you can retrain that internal metabolism on how to keep yourself warm too. I’m telling you – it rocks not to have to bundle up!

    (Small print: Any teasing is meant in good faith. Commenter does not really think you are a fair weather walker or a wimp.)

    • LOL, Kai! I suppose I did make it sound like I don’t get out and exercise in the cold. I really do go out year round. I’ve even broken out in a sweat when I’ve been fully suited up on the mountain with my snowboard. But putting bare feet to the cold winter ground…ugh…not appealing at all.

      Oh, and totally agree that parenthood is a crazy endeavor, but a crazy rewarding one, too!

  • Mirka Breen says:

    I never thought of staying grounded as going out and touching the ground, the grass, the earth.
    Love it. Good, Katie!
    I’m heading out pronto, to do some grounding.

    • Hi, Mirka! I read about the whole grounding thing awhile back and filed it away. Recently I mentioned it to my husband (while talking about how scattered I’ve been feeling lately), and he thought it would be a good thing to try. I hope you find your ground today and everyday! 🙂

  • Ace Hansen says:

    I read an article about this a couple of weeks ago. It’s been so cold and rainy here lately, but sometimes I throw my sandals off and walk through lush grass. That’s my favorite. ^_^

  • K.L. Pickett says:

    I “ground” myself everyday as soon as I get home from work. First I take my dog for a walk down our rural road. Next if I don’t have time to ride, I bring my mule out on a rope and let her eat the grass (weeds) on our property. However, I NEVER go barefoot-too many scorpions, ants, and snakes for that!

  • Anne m leone says:

    Huh. I’ve never thought about doing something like this, but I love the idea. Good luck keeping on with it and staying grounded!

  • Heather Fraser Brainerd says:

    Love the concept of “grounding.” I’ll have to give it a try. And I’m with you, Katie, warm-weather girl here! Unfortunately, I live in upstate NY. Fortunately, my husband agreed to go to FL with me for a few days this coming January. I call it my Vitamin D therapy. 🙂
    The craziest thing I’ve ever committed to? Each September, my family runs a pancake breakfast fundraiser for our church, and I’m my mom’s right-hand man (right-hand woman?) for this event. This year, my parents will be out of town during the big shindig, so I agreed to run it on my mom’s behalf. I’m already doubting my sanity on agreeing to this, but hopefully all will go well! We usually only lose power and run out of eggs or sausage or syrup once or twice each time we run this thing…

    • It is an interesting type of grounding! Before we had The Boy, the hubby and I would try to get away somewhere warm every winter. It is good Vitamin D therapy!

      Good luck with you pancake breakfast! My family and I organized a 5K run for many years. Those types of events are always filled with hiccups and unforseen problems. I hope your event is relatively drama free! 😉

  • Debby says:

    I love going barefoot, in fact I’d never wear shoes again if I didn’t have to. As a teenager, in the summer, if my Dad caught me going out of the house without my shoes on my feet he’d make me put them on before leaving. I’d get about two houses down the street and ditch them under a bush and then pick them up before returning home. My feet were as tough as nails by the end of the summer and you couldn’t scrub them clean, but I didn’t care, and I think one of the hardest things about going back to school in Sept. was having to wear shoes. Of course I love the warm weather and I’m not so much a fan of the cold, but I am going to try walking in the grass when it gets cold out, maybe not in the snow though, or maybe we could do it together. After having five kids and now five grandkids, with a sixth on the way, just facing each day is crazy enough for me, but I love everything about it.

  • Katie–I read an article about grounding a while back and totally forgot until you mentioned it. Thanks for the reminder!!

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