In my last blog, I talked about transference and how feelings, emotions, pain, and even energy can be transferred from one person to another. Some of these transferences may appear to be positive, while others will have a negative impact on us. So how do you protect yourself from transference? One great way is to learn how to become grounded.
Grounding is a form of connecting to the earth and becoming more centered, focused, and present in the moment. It is being aware physically, mentally, emotionally, and even energetically of yourself, others around you, and of your surroundings and being able to come back to a focused, centered state of being. We often get caught up in the hectic and chaotic everyday pace of work, family, and life in general. Our mind wanders off, we are thinking about the five different things we still need to accomplish, we are judging and comparing things and people. We are everywhere but where we need to be, which is in the present. When we are in this state, our emotions become imbalanced as well, leading us to feel anxious, frustrated, sad, angry, anything but calm and relaxed. Or energy is lacking, too, and feeling tired or fatigue often follows. When we find ourselves in a state of not being grounded, is when we are most susceptible to transference.
How do you ground yourself? There are several ways to practice grounding. A few of my favorites are:
This is a good time of year to learn how to ground. Holiday shopping can bring out the worst in people, cause high stress, chaos, and some unpleasant transference. Before you head to the stores, place your shoe-less feet flatly on the ground, close your eyes, take a couple of deep breathes, and think about what you are about to go do, what it entails, and what your intended goal for this outing is about. Know that the parking lots will be full and that your patience in finding a spot will be needed. Know that the stores will be crowded and you will be surrounded by a lot of hustle and bustle of other people who will most likely not be grounded and act unfriendly or rude. Also, keep in mind that the check-out lines will most likely be longer too. Remember to stay grounded, focused, and calm during these times and not take on the negativity of those around you. When you get caught up in the chaos and whirlwind of negativity, you will feel disheveled and worn out. If you need to, take a moment to take some deep breathes and regain your focus and re-centered yourself to help tackle the task at hand. As with learning any new technique, practicing is the key to developing the skills. Do your best to keep your energy and health up with these grounding techniques and to help keep you calm this holiday season, after all, ‘Tis the season to be jolly!
Courtney Truax, LMT is a graduate of East West College of the Healing Arts in Portland, Oregon. She is licensed through the Oregon Board of Massage Therapy and a member of the American Massage Therapy Association. She has her own studio massage practice in the heart of downtown Lake Oswego, Oregon.