And think of ‘root’ as an umbrella term, whether you choose to call it ‘root chakra’ or simply your base, your grounding potential. Plus I say ‘revisiting’ because, although the root chakra might be the hardest one to keep open and healthy, we never really drift away from it. That is a comforting thought to always keep in mind when you embark on the journey of balancing it.
Not everyone relates to the practice of chakra meditation, but after reading a few things about the chakras almost everyone understands what they stand for. According to Hindu tradition, the Muladhara Chakra is the epitome of our relationship with the earth, nature and their qualities, as we should manifest them in ourselves too in order to be healthy, inside out. When not in balance, this chakra denotes the root of all fear.
Origins of the belief that earth is a strength-giver can be found in the folklore of almost all cultures. The Ancient Greek myth of Antaeus speaks of the semi-giant son of Gaia (the primordial goddess of Earth) and Poseidon; no one Antaeus wrestled with could defeat him, so long as a part of his body was always in touch with the ground. Mythology also speaks of the wood nymphs known as hamadryads, who were believed to be one and the same with their trees – meaning that if the tree a hamadryad was linked with died, she would die along with it.
In quite a similar sense, grounding is the quintessence of strengthening your root. And in one’s search for mastering mindfulness and achieving being truly present in the here and now, root chakra meditation and affirmations are a really good place to start. If you want to know where you stand in terms of grounding, you can also take a chakra test, e.g. like the one in the Eclectic Energies website.
In this article I share with you my own ‘to-do’ list, to which I refer whenever the going gets pretty tough in everyday life, making it easier to end up feeling ungrounded and lost. I hope that it might be of use to you too in your quest for rooting!
- Grasp the root chakra’s main message
As I said earlier, even if you don’t feel like getting deeper into chakra knowledge, try to decipher at least what the root chakra stands for.
‘I am rooted in myself’
‘I am always safe and secure’
‘I am present, here, now’
‘I am exactly where I am supposed to be’
‘I am one with the earth and nature’
‘I honour myself and the earth that I live on’,
are some grounding affirmations you could use e.g. throughout your meditation as well. Or you can create your own mantras, according to what best works for you.
This Malay proverb couldn’t capture the importance of being grounded any better:
- Strengthen your relationship with your five senses
If you are familiar with the MBTI typology, you might also have come across articles and info on the 8 cognitive functions and their stack in each MBTI personality type. One of these functions is Extraverted Sensing (Se), meaning exactly that: our ability to be in tune with our senses in whatever we experience at the present moment. That could mean for example, mindful eating or walking. Socializing (linked with the cognitive function of Extraverted Feeling [Fe]) e.g. with friends and family can also help in channeling your Se function in a more grounding way.
- Keep a healthy diet
Many articles on chakra balancing suggest particular foods for strengthening your root chakra. Given, though, that one may not have the time to get too particular about one’s everyday food choices, I have found that an all in all healthy and balanced diet (e.g. by reducing/eliminating sugar intake and processed food consumption) helps me feel more in tune with my body and boosts my energy levels.
Root chakra is considered the most physical one, so any kind of body exercise is beneficial for it. Any chance you give your body to express itself, whether it be yoga or dancing, it shall only reward you with the benefits of feeling more steady and relaxed than ever.
You may find this particularly helpful if you suffer from adrenal fatigue due to chronic stress. Changes cannot be made overnight of course, but persevering to a routine can get you on the right – read, grounding – track.
- Reconnect with nature
Take walks. If you’re given the chance to walk barefoot on the grass or across the beach, even better. Meditating outdoors may not be easy either, in case e.g. you live in the city. However, there are always ways to work around things – for example, if you have a roof terrace or a balcony, that can do the trick.
Gardening is also an excellent way to get in touch with nature. Not quite feasible either? Even keeping a flower pot in your bedroom and looking after it will do more than fine.
You may also see all this as a chance to check in with your environmental consciousness. You wouldn’t only be doing your meditation a favour, but the whole world as well.
- Organize your personal space – and life
Starting from your room, your house, your office and slowly covering every aspect of your life. If you don’t know where to start, the principles of feng shui applied in interior décor can be helpful here. Opt for shades of red or surround yourself with pleasing, earthy smells. But above all, don’t force it – pick only what truly resonates with you.
- Practice mindfulness
And unfortunately, not once in a blue moon but every day the sun rises; yes, that’s mindfulness for you. It may be one of the hardest things we have to learn to do, but only good things come out of it. Focus on feeling connected at all times and stop trying to control people/situations/circumstances in order to feel safe. Breathe from your abdomen, starting from when you meditate until it becomes a habit (if you’re looking for some good meditation music, you can check the Meditative Mind youtube channel). In general and aside from meditation, make a conscious effort to do everything mindfully, whether it is walking, showering or eating. You’ll see that not only will you start to truly experience time but you will also profoundly enjoy it.
- Strengthen your sense of belonging to the universe
As far as chakra tradition goes again, the crown chakra is the one related to our feeling of oneness with everything. Balancing it is usually considered as dismantling what you’ve mastered through root chakra work and advised to be ‘tampered’ with only after all the other chakras are healthy and aligned – especially the root chakra. However, I have found that when my root chakra is starting to get back on track, practicing crown chakra meditation helps me strengthen my root too. Realizing deeply how we are part of everything at every single moment can help us feel grounded in this very moment, which is indeed all there really is.
In a quite similar way, working on your heart chakra (the so called ‘bridge’ between the earthly chakras and the spiritual ones) can also help you become more open to what grounding practices demand of you. When we allow ourselves to be open to love, to feel it flow freely to and from others, our general sense of trust and belonging is strengthened. Trust and belonging is what grounding stands for, too.
- Be actively grateful
Don’t just think or feel it; show it.
- Balance your masculine side
Whether you prefer to call it yang, as in the Chinese philosophy’s system, or animus, as Carl Jung has named it, it is to our benefit if we explore this side of our psyche and try to keep it balanced. This means we should let it unfold when it has been stifled and try to ease it out when it has overwhelmed all other parts of our soul. Among other things, our masculine side is related to logical and realistic thinking as well as to being assertive. Becoming truly grounded and reinstating our relationship with our root entails working on our assertiveness and ability to take initiatives. Start small, of course, with your day to day duties, making lists or anything else that might help you remain focused and accomplish your tasks and you’ll be able to tackle greater challenges too before you even know it.
- Be fearless
And last but not least, embrace your fears. Don’t struggle to stifle them or chase them away; listen to what they have to say, like a friend, and then let them go.
Prior to releasing eg. your fear of abandonment, it goes without saying that first you must recognize that you feel it. Explore your soul, your unconscious to learn what you’re afraid of and what is holding you back.
And what you find may ultimately prove to be far less scary than you thought. ~
“Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.”
~ Cavafy, Ithaca