I just returned home after 162 days on the road.
It sounds ridiculous and even pathetic to admit this, but being on an extended holiday was mighty unsettling at times. You’d think that a nice vacation would be all roses, sunshine, and good memories—and for the most part, it was. However, seeing the entire US-Pacific Coastline by van, a good portion of the Arizona Sonora Desert (and totally random side destinations like Orlando, Florida and Calgary, Alberta) left me reeling energetically.
I felt ungrounded, detached, and way more flighty than usual.
Decision-making was challenging, and the stress of locating accommodations for my man, Marty and I—whether we were staying somewhere for a night, a week, or several months—nearly pushed me over the wrong edge of sanity every single time.
It was on this almost-half-year-holiday that I learned the most valuable of lessons, first-freaking-hand:
Grounding yourself is non-negotiable.
Feeling grounded cannot be dependent upon a particular place or specific external circumstances: it’s totally an inside job.
If I was relying on familiar territory, a tried-and-true travel schedule, or even my favorite camping spot en route to Arizona to help me feel settled, I would have been totally screwed. We flew by the seat of our pants for most of this journey, which made us feel adventurous and free on one hand… but totally stressed and disconnected on the other. Ain’t that the truth. So here’s what I did, grounding-wise, to ensure that the flavor of our vacation remained Happy & Carefree instead of Horrible & Crazy:
1. I made sure to go barefoot as often as possible.
Don’t worry– I was way more hygienic with this than the teenagers I saw walking around a nasty gas station (inside and out!) without any shoes on. Gross. Instead, I took five to thirty minutes whenever I could to slip off my shoes and to touch them to grass or rocks, to bury them in the sand, or to submerge them in the Pacific Ocean itself.
Grounding (or “earthing”, as it’s also known) has a profound influence on our subtle energetic systems. Touching our bare skin (and especially our feet) to the earth allows us to soak in the negative ions that occur naturally and abundantly in the ground, reducing free radicals in our bodies and generally making us feel better. Free antioxidants, yo!
Personally, whenever I connect my bare feet to the earth, I literally feel a surge of energy whoosh in through my soles. (I’m like a battery getting re-charged!) Grounding also helps with jet-lag, so if you are ever taking a flight across time zones, spending some time barefoot on grass, stones, sand, or concrete (not asphalt) when you land will help your circadian rhythms attune to the new time zone. #Fact
2. I indulged in ‘earthy’ aromatherapy.
I’m not a perfume person at all, unless you count 100% essential oils. Every day while we were en route to Arizona (and technically homeless), I rubbed some Chakra Balancing Aromatherapy Roll-On oils onto my pulse points, and specifically, my go-to oil was the Root Chakra (Red) blend. This special combination of vetiver, bergamot, nutmeg, and patchouli oils by Aura Cacia* helped me feel grounded and also helped me smell delicious– especially, ahem, when there were maybe days between showers. Cough. I own the whole set of the chakra blends now, and let’s just say that the Root Chakra roll-on was used an awful lot during this trip and was called upon daily to work some serious grounding magic. It worked. 😉
(*no, Aura Cacia is not paying me to say wonderful things about their company, but I totally wouldn’t mind if they sent some oily gifts my way.)
3. I spent a lot of time in meditation, using guided visualizations.
Whenever I was feeling flaky and untethered during this trip (which was a lot), I’d sit my ass down and imagine being deeply rooted into the earth and/or magnetically connected with the ground. I used several guided meditations, including a Chakra Clearing mp3 by Belinda Davidson (not an affiliate link) and even recorded my own, lo-fi guided visualization as well. (You can access that recording for free here.)
Visualization helped me to feel strong and centered, no matter where I was. It didn’t matter whether I was in the van, at a random hotel, or in the cute little casita we eventually rented in Tucson– it was so important to stay connected to myself on this trip. Visualization was a way to remind every cell of my body on a regular basis that I was safe and secure within!
How do you stay grounded?
I know that an extended road trip isn’t something everyone has to deal with on a regular basis, but even still– staying anchored and centered is important no matter what your circumstances are! I’d love to know your go-to tips and tricks for keeping your energy even-keeled. 🙂
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