It’s been 4 years since I’ve been back to this place. This little yellow cabin in the woods, right on the edge of a still, blue lake, lined with green pine trees. I first came here right after I moved to Germany. It was my second week here I think. It felt magical. I was high from love and from my big move- like I had stepped through a portal and was standing on the edge of my new beginning; my big adventure.
I think this place is special to me because it was here that I decided I would marry him. Golden hour on the dock, me in a long white dress, and the waning moon high in the pink sky. I smiled and he took my picture, and I knew.
Now, 4 years later, on our last Summer in Europe, and we’re back, amidst the butterflies and the birch trees, the soft green moss and the silky water.
It was a long trip to get here. We drove through green fields and wildflowers in Germany, took a ferry across Danish islands, stopped in Copenhagen for a coffee and a snack before dring the rest of the way up to Sweden.
Interestingly, I’m here during Lammas. Lammas, the halfway point between the summer solstice and the autumnal equinox, is a time of transition and reminds us of beginnings and endings. This trip feels like both for me. This place reminds me of the beginning of my life here in Europe, where I found myself and started my family. And now, closing out my last Summer here, we are back again. It seems fitting.
I can tell that Ayla likes it here. She’s relaxed and happy to spend most of the day outside in the fresh air, and have two extra sets of arms to hold her and play. She loves looking up at the trees and watching the leaves move in the breeze. She is always teaching me what it means to be present.
It’s quiet here and the days are slow. The only other visible residence is the red house across the lake and through the trees. Days here are all about connecting and disconnecting. Disconnecting from technology and the outside world (there’s no cell service or internet or TV) and connecting with each other, with ourselves, and with nature.
The first day was hard not having access to my phone and not being able to check my emails. But pretty soon, it was second nature to not think about my phone, and it felt so good to fill the time by simply enjoying each others company, going on walks, or reading a book. I finished a book that I’ve been wanting to finish for months now. I stopped worrying about work or struggling to implement some kind of structured routine into my day (life with a 5-month old.)
Each morning, I pour myself a cup of coffee and walk barefoot through the grass and the moss-covered rocks to the dock and sit looking out at the dragonflies skimming the water. It’s calm and serene. I breathe in the stillness and I feel full of peace, gratitude, and inspiration. I wish every morning could start this way.
Spending the days like this I realize how cut off I am from nature in my daily life, and how easy it is to feel disconnected and ungrounded because of it. I know this is true for most of us. So I want you to check in with yourself right now. If you are feeling stressed, anxious, distracted, or restless, then what you need is to get centered, and grounded.
Grounding is when you feel deeply connected to your breath, body, and physical environment. It’s that feeling of relaxed calm when you are balanced in your mind, body, and soul.
The secret to a happy life is being mindful in each moment, being present and aware of your surroundings. Here are a few grounding exercises that will help you to restore and reconnect, to help get you out of your head, into your body, and clear and reset your energy.
I want to share these practices with you to help you feel centered, present, and calm when you can’t go and spend a week in the woods. 🙂
MY FAVORITE GROUNDING EXERCISES
- Look out the window instead of looking at your phone. Take some time to just be, and look at something out your window. Maybe it’s a beautiful building or home across the street, or a tree whose leaves are slowly moving in the breeze. We are so used to being constantly stimulated that we forget to just take time to be still and to breathe.
- Walk barefoot in the grass. This is a perfect grounding exercise. So simple and feels so good.
- Meditate and imagine that you have roots growing deep into the Earth. With every inhale, take in the nutrients and pure energy from Mama Earth, and with every exhale, send all your negativity, stress, tension, and any energy or emotions that are not yours down through your roots and deep into the Earth.
- Go on a mindfulness walk. Take a walk outside, and instead of making it about getting from point A to point B, let yourself just be. Notice your surroundings, notice the light, the air, and the sounds around you.
- Shower cleansing ritual: When you are in the shower, imagine that the water is cleansing and clearing away all negative energies and emotions, and anything that you have taken on throughout the day that isn’t yours, or that isn’t serving you. Let it all wash away from you and down the drain. Emerge cleansed and cleared, renewed in your essence.
- Do a body scan. This is such an important practice to develop a healthy relationship with your body. Your body stores emotions, and it doesn’t lie. Take a moment to get out of your head and drop into your body. Start at the top of your head and scan down to your toes. Notice where you are holding stress or tension, and breathe into those places. Release with every exhale.
I hope that at least one of these resonated with you and that you can start to incorporate some of these powerful practices into your life.
I promise that by regularly checking in with yourself and with your energy, and by remembering to center and ground yourself in the present moment, your world will start to change. The secret to a happy life is being mindful in each moment, being present and aware of your surroundings. Doing these exercises regularly and with intention will cause you to feel lighter, more clear, and more alive. Incorporating these practices into your life will teach you to cultivate feelings of safety, security, and joy, regardless of your surroundings or circumstances, because you are connecting to, and sourcing from, your power.
And you are more powerful than you know.