I was on a breakthrough call for my 8-Week Transformation program today and I mentioned something in passing that has been on my mind a lot lately, which is that so many people are ungrounded, disembodied and “in their head” most of the time. I’m finding that a lot of people are “grounding” as a purely mental exercise, going from their head to their feet, and leaving out the entirety of their bodies in between.
Embodiment is crucial for our personal and spiritual development, and I feel that a lot of religious and New (c)Age doctrines (dogmas) subtly or overtly condemn physicality, and focus on the Spirit of the person as the only thing that is of any significance. I feel that this is true only in one scenario: When we are NOT in a body, also known as death and the “afterlife.”
I know how tricky it can be to untangle these kind of spiritual beliefs from our psyches, but there is another aspect of disembodiment that needs to be talked about: Trauma.
A very common response to trauma is to pull up and out of our bodies, residing only in our heads or even above the head, in order to lessen the pain and fear that our bodies feel from traumatic experiences. Trauma can be “mild” or “severe” but to our psyche and body, it is always painful. Being able to sit with the pain of old traumas that is stored in our bodies takes practice, and doing that difficult work can help us to be more embodied if we can accept the pain and not attempt to make it go away with mental gymnastics.
The first module of my 8 Week Transformation focuses on embodiment and grounding, including intensive training techniques to develop them simultaneously, because we need both.
I would like to create a small 3-4 week program on embodiment, but I won’t have the time to do that for at least 6 months because I am fully focused on my 8-Week Transformation program, supporting the small groups of dedicated individuals on their deep healing and transformational journey.
So I am asking you for help that will benefit anyone who reads your comments: What resources can you share that helped you to be more embodied? Authors, books, exercises, practices, etc.
For me, outdoor activities, strength training, yoga (or just stretching), trauma healing and staying receptive to my body’s needs are the basics of what has helped me be deeply embodied and grounded. Any techniques that I use rest on that foundation.
I know that recommending books or videos can be tricky because reading or watching a video are mental activities, and we need physical practices that connect us to our bodies. Still, I would love to hear what has worked for you in becoming more embodied.
That’s me, feeling embodied and grounded in the midst of the strangeness of a photo shoot last October. (Photo shoots are weird…)
20 thoughts on “Why You Can’t Ground With Your Head Brain”
I love this post! One way I stay embodied is by playing and not adult play but the play I used to enjoy when I was a child. Apart of sitting with the trauma is going back to the root, which is often stemmed in childhood. I start by building a relationship/trust with that child aspect of myself that I suppressed to not have to deal with the pain that came from a specific trauma. The relationship building comes through playing and indulging in what I enjoyed as a child, which is a way to acknowledge that hurt child. The play in itself brings me into present time and is grounding. Interestingly enough, the play has also facilitated creating a safe space within myself for that pain to come up and for me to Be with it instead of run from it. I’ve gone from glee to tears while flying kites to doing arts and crafts. Childlike play is one of many ways I love to stay embodied and grounded!
I really enjoy fitness approaches that challenge my coordination and balance and force me to pay attention and be present in my body. A couple I like are MovNat and fighting monkey.
Philip Shepherd in his book ‘Radical wholeness’ has great guidance in cultivating our lost sense of presence and connectedness, our relationship to our immediate environment that is experienced through the body.
I also really like different kinds of body work and acupuncture to heighten my awareness of places in the body that are not fully ’embodied’ or places where qi is stagnant… Especially in the abdomen, legs and feet.
Qi gong is great too, just as long as it is a body based grounded system and not ones with lots of visualization.
I just tried some PBSP techniques to heal some attachment trauma and that is it amazing too in helping me become more aware of physical holding places.
Looking forward to trying your techniques too!
walking under trees and breathing with intention
Your meditations helped me a lot, barefeet on earth, solitary yoga, TRE helped tremendously, self-massage and flower or pink salt bath
Thank you for your post. Most importantly your meditations helped me a lot for grounding.
I was suffering from an Autoimmune Disease dor the last 10 years but the symptoms are negligible now.I realized that more than my body I was more concentrated in my head thinking negative all the time. I started with normal meditation when later I discovered your meditations through Abigail Pattman.I now also follow strength training and my body which was deteriorating for such a long time is now finally blossoming and becoming healthy.
Although I don’t watch motivational videos or read books but what I have discovered is that I am now just an observer of my thoughts where If anytime I feel negative I just watch my thoughts instead of reacting.These low VIBRATIONAL thoughts then just float away leaving me in a more neutral state.
As of now I am much more calm and grounded and I surely address my body needs be it exercise or food.
Thanks and Regards,
Adarsh Shetty (from India)
Meditating on the beach sand or somewhere near a body of water or walking / and doing your methods of grounding oneself into the earth + doing so with your recordings from Level 3 & 4 all at the same time work best! or hiking through the Redwoods…. also helps
Level 4 has been amazing SO THANK YOU AGAIN Mr. Day! I truly hope you by now you are fully healed and yourself and those closest to you are all happy, healthy & fully integrated & abundant.
I am always interested in coursework but not sure if I have the means to participate. Perhaps in the future might be there be a program on achieving ‘Gnosis” ?!?!
Much continual Gratitude!
Some ideas… (edited)
Meditating on the beach next to the Ocean or Bay or big or moving body of water works and doing your methods of grounding oneself into the earth + doing so with your recordings from Level 3 & 4 all at the same time work best! or just hiking through the Redwoods…. and taking a moment to sit also works …
BTW: Level 4 has been amazing SO THANK YOU AGAIN Mr. Day! I truly hope you are by now fully healed and yourself and those closest to you are all happy, healthy & fully integrated & living abundantly.
I am always interested in coursework but not sure if I have the means to participate. Perhaps in the future there might be a program on achieving ‘Gnosis’ ?!?!
Much continual Gratitude!
get out into the forest, take a walk (every day), pick up the negative ions that are in the air especially after thunder, go barefoot, sit on a rock or under a tree, breathe, meditate a little bit, clear your stuff, connect to all of the earths energy fields, be grateful, ask for what you need, finally comprehend that you are already everything and need nothing to become, take care about your body in a holistic approach
Hello Cameron, to stay grounded, I do dead hangs in the morning and I weight or body train 3 times a week. I also have a cold shower every morning (I start with hot water but finish with cold, as it’s less traumatizing!). It gives me the sense of having done something difficult but gratifying every morning even before starting the day. I regularly do the Wim Hof breathing technique (easy to find on Youtube) or the Kundalini breathing technique of breathing rapidly for 4 minutes then holding the breath for 15-20 seconds. It does bring a good feeling of better inhabiting the body. So, those are the techniques I’ve found useful for me.
Hi Cameron, Once again, I feel you have embarked on a very important topic. I feel I stay grounded by going barefoot 99.9% of the time. Even when walking on the tiles in my house or concrete, I feel grounded–I see the ‘light’ passing through any obstructions to remain grounded. Even the few times I wear sandals, I can practice the same exercise and still feel grounded.
I love to walk in the grass and do so as much as possible.
Recently I purchased a book from Carla Fox (Traversing The Infinite Now) One of Carla’s teaching principles is on the subject of grounding.
She and Cameron both state the same thing, the majority of people on the planet are outside of their bodies! The beauty of Carla’s technique is that it can be used by anyone regardless of your physical status.
It is best to do this exercise standing up at first so as to orient your spine vertically in relation to the Earth.
Then after you get used to doing it this way, you can sit or lay down while grounding.
Energetically reach up above you to a place 6 to 12 feet over your head. You will find a golden globe of energy there about the size of a basketball. This is your personal source, the place where you draw in higher dimensional energy from your eternal self.
Bring a stream of your golden source energy straight down towards your head. Remember that this energy is infinite, so you cannot ever drain that golden globe.
Open the top of your head wide as the stream of energy approaches and allow the golden energy to flow into your head and the rest of your body, filling up every nook and cranny from top down.
Take your time here. Work this golden energy down through the body, filling up your arms and legs, too.
Open the bottoms of your feet to allow the golden energy to drain out. Also note that you will have a third stream coming down and out of your tail bone and flowing between your legs to the Earth’s surface.
At this point, the streams of golden light from your tail bone and the ones coming out of the bottoms of your feet will merge as they enter the Earth’s surface. Your job is to make sure that you connect this now single stream of golden energy into the very heart of the Earth. Anchor it there in any way you wish, and hold that sensation for at least a minute. This will imprint your cellular memory with the feeling of being grounded and in your body, making it easier for you to know the difference between that state and when you are not grounded. In addition to energizing your body with the highest vibrating energy, you are also flushing out the energetic toxins that you may have accumulated during your day.
For me personally I have been working on the beliefs about being embodied and how I remember times that wasn’t so much fun……and this may be why lots of folks “don’t want to be here” in some way….whether it’s past life stuff, ancestral stuff, childhood stuff or something that just happened…being a being in a body can get messy on a number of levels. I use EFT regularly to clear out belief systems (BS), dancing, and breath work. HOpe this helps!
I read this in a book called the Master Game by Robert S. De Ropp in 1970…under Spirituality and Philosophy. There is an Exercises by laying face down on a couch or floor, where you place both hands under your body and on the heart/ no order/as you are quiet and dark close the eyes/ you breath in and follow the breath in until the air fills the Lungs and presses on the Heart/soon you feel the Heart beat and then the pumping of the blood through out the WHOLE body in a pulse/ stay with that even though it may scare you a bit at first if you have never experienced it before…
Hi, back in the late 90s i came across Barbara Ann Brennan’s books Hands of Light and Light Emerging. I recall seeing diagrams of people being out of their bodies due to various traumatic experiences, which was quite a revelation to me. At the time, it helped me to understand my own experiences and I realised i needed to begin work on healing myself. I find physical work (ie cleaning, gardening), exercise such as eliptical strider, yoga, qui gong, grounding for me and i really enjoy it but find it hard to commit due to lack of time. Breathing techniques i have tried aren’t grounding for me, quite the opposite result in fact – i can get quite high. It’ll be interesting to see here what other techniques people have used. Early in the film Eat Pray Love when Julia Roberts first meets the Balinese healer Ketut, he gives her a drawing of a headless human with four feet on the ground and said “To find the balance you want this is what you must become. You must keep your feet grounded so firmly on the earth that it’s like you have four legs, instead of two. That way, you can stay in the world. But you must stop looking at the world through your head. You must look through your heart, instead”. I found that to be remarkably profound and have been trying ever since. Just a couple of weeks ago an image appeared in my head of visualising my feet in the soil. Being an air sign makes it more difficult for me to be grounded but i have found the recent visualisation rather comforting and nurturing.
Voice expression through the Roy Hart Theatre has helped me. It frees the ‘primitive voice’ which is at the basis of all other expressions. Even softly humming to yourself gives such a lovely inner massage.
Chi neng qigong (‘Chinese yoga’) helps to centre and ground.
My latest discovery is Jin Shin Jyutsu. This is an ancient Japanese Art harmonising the flow of energy from within the body. It involves the application with awareness of hands or fingers on special parts of the body called energy locks.
When I do this an incredible tenderness for my own body, my own person starts to flow.
Thank you Cameron!
I totally agree that effective trauma resolution is the key to embodiment – and trauma the key to why we avoid embodiment with spiritual and mental bypasses.
I have found the following helpful:
Somatic Experiencing, Shaking (amazing trauma release mechanism), Restorative Yoga, Daily attention on the body, Grounding practices (barefoot walking), deep breath work to released bioenergetic blocks and connect with the organ system.
But nothing was as powerful as sitting with the deep, dark emotions lodged in the body and accepting and loving myself as I released them.
I realise that all spiritual work must be embodied and that is where our greatest challenge is – and have built my own healing programs for women with sexual and emotional trauma in the Womb around this.
I wish you all the best Cameron with your amazing work.
A good read on Trauma/ 1970 book / The Primal Scream by Artur Janov /yes it goes to the Womb Stage/ BIRTH the first Scream and Breath of air…
Bom dia Cameron, venho acompanhando seu trabalho e realmente ele tem ajudado e inspirado bastante meus dias. Eu pratico badminton, e esta pratica me ajuda no aterramento, pois temos um trabalho intenso de movimentação e atenção plena no jogo. Estar focado em receber, devolver, em smach, forhand e backhand, enfim ao término de um treino ou jogo o corpo fica pleno de energia, centrado, atento e com reflexos altamente alertas. Inclusive se tornou o jogo da familia onde eu , minha esposa e filhos nos divertimos imensamente em parques (mas o normal é na quadra fechada). Gratidão.
Complementando….Com as praticas esportivas, leituras e meditação sinto-me muito mais presente, corporificado. A sensação de estar mais disposto aos 50 do que quando tinha 30.
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