Alternative Grounding and Centering
If you’ve had trouble with grounding and centering, you’re likely to have some issues with other forms of energy work, too. I’ve had a discussion with a student in the classroom and it’s brought to light some issues around neurodivergent people and what we call ‘normal’ vs ‘altered’ states of consciousness, so, let’s discuss some of the pitfalls we’ve found.
For those who have some form of neurodivergence, whether that be a placement on the autism spectrum, some form of ADHD, or other mental divergences like mental health issues, ‘normal’ doesn’t apply. Or rather, their ‘normal’ is different from what most texts on meditation and energy work seem to accept as being the norm. This means that instructions that detail how to move from normal waking consciousness to a specified state of being are of marginal usefulness for people who’s normal state isn’t the same as the assumed normal baseline line. In some cases, the state called ‘alpha’, reached during meditation, deep focus, and flow during creative efforts, is closer to ‘normal’ than the beta state of simple wakeful awareness and generalized focus. This tends to flip all the instructions on their heads.
While I, myself, have some mental health issues that I get to deal with and work around, I am not very far down on the autism spectrum (assuming, of course, that the spectrum is a true spectrum on which all human beings can be placed). So I can speak to raising energy and centering as a mentally ill person, but flipping the entire script? Best I can tell you is: focus on what you’re doing, while you’re doing it. Pay attention as best you can to what your body is telling you during and after you’re doing energy work. Write it down. Become an inquisitive scientist exploring your own path, and draw your own conclusions. (And then write a book about it, and send me a copy!)
Alternative Grounding and Centering
I’m going to list for you some methods to ground and center that aren’t visualization and meditation based. These are what I use when I’m too energetically wiped out, mentally tired, or emotionally overwhelmed to sit quietly and focus long enough to actually ground and center through visualization and will.
When in doubt: eat and drink. In Wiccan ceremonies, there’s tea and cakes, because after you’ve done energetic work like group spell casting or a Full Moon Ritual complete with calling the quarters and invoking the god and goddess, you’re going to need both a little pick me up and a bring me back to reality, and nothing beats getting your body really physically into the game with a snack. Granola is a good choice, and some juice. But, as a general rule, remember: eating food is grounding. Therefore, don’t eat right before ritual in which you expect to be able to raise a lot of energy and attain high vibrational states! If you want to astral journey, fast first. Eat after.
Exercise! Boy do we hate this one, but it works. Do 10 jumping jacks, or some push ups. Get your blood flowing. Something active, that requires you to pay attention to what your body is doing. Jumping around is good, because if you’re not really present and focusing you’re gonna fall down. Exercise is a good option for when you’re feeling drained, especially, as it helps you raise energy and become more awake and present.
Sleep. Sleep is inherently grounding. When you wind up taking an accidental nap, that’s your body and energy falling into shutdown mode to replenish energy Right Now. Make sure you get good sleep in general, that you’re not chronically sleep deprived, and that when you sleep you’re in a nice darkened space, comfortable, and can sleep until your body awakens naturally (in an ideal world), or at least 8 hours later.
Raising Energy Alternatives
If you need to raise energy in a hurry, but are having trouble connecting to energy, or focusing, there are alternative methods! Energy is all around us, and we take it in and give it up freely all day long. We are enmeshed in a web of interconnections, and each strand in the web is energy.
Exercise! I know, I said you can use it for grounding, and I meant it. You can also use exercise to raise your energy. If you’re apathetic, and disconnected, and still want to do ritual, spellwork, divination, or other energy work, do a little exercise. You will be connected back to your body, very present in the moment, and you get that jolt from your endorphins. Exercise outdoors and you’ll begin to feel that connection and energy from the world around you. Even a walk around the block can be energizing.
Dance. Like exercise, dance can bring you back to your body, and provide you with energy. Combine dance with singing or chanting, and you’ve got a blockbuster going. In Wiccan rituals there’s a thing called the Spiral Dance. It is a ritual, a dance, a method of raising and sharing energy in a group. In California, Starhawk leads a Solstice Spiral Dance that can have upwards of two thousand participants! Dance is magick.
Singing and chanting. Anything that pushes you to breathe rhythmically, can help you raise energy. There are entire meditations built around breathing and breathing patterns. Chanting a mantra pushes you into a breathing pattern that causes changes in your brain chemistry and biorhythms.
Do you stim? That’s a way to raise energy and also calm your brain into dropping into a lower vibrational state like alpha. Remember that raising energy requires that you be in that lower brain wave state! People who are neurotypical often stim in order to produce specific endorphins and brain chemistry changes, as well as to instinctively modulate their brain waves. Ride the trend and try a simple stim: gently clap your hands on your thighs while standing and rocking from side to side. We ‘stim’ for babies and infants, too. Standing, rocking, humming, patting them on the back, all to cause this change from a high brainwave state to a lower brainwave state. So try stimming and see what changes it effects in you!
Advanced Energy Work
What can you do with energy? What’s the point of all this energy work, anyway?
You can heal with it. Yourself and others, and even the world. Energy work can be used to scan the body for blockages and issues, and help remove or mitigate them. A cleansing can be done to help a body deal with things like poor kidney function, liver disease, or Crohn’s disease. Extra energy can be made available to a body to use to fight illness, from bacterial infections to viral issues, or more chronic and long term issues. Energy is also used to heal wounds, broken bones, and strains and sprains.
You can remove negative energies that are causing problems. From disembodied sentient entities bent on wreaking havoc to simple ‘bad’ energy that makes people feel uneasy, removing icky energy is on the table. Some of these forms of energy clearing are more advanced than others; cleaning stuck on grime is easier than clearing out a sentient being who doesn’t want to leave.
You can make your own neighborhood less appealing to criminals and those who mean harm to others through a very large, layered, protection working.
You can help your boss at work to find your efforts indispensable, giving you an edge on promotions and pay raises. Or even get yourself a job that suits you better.
You can commune with your Higher Self, or Astral Travel to all sorts of places. Find out about your own past lives, or the lives of others. Figure out what lingering issues your Self has to deal with and work on them a bit. Visit the Akashic Record and retrieve information, too.
Distance has no meaning when it comes to energy work, so all of these things you can do for your friends across the globe.
Interested in working with gods and goddesses? Go for it. How about talking to your ancestors? Telling the future, giving advice to others about what’s going on in their lives, or inner selves?
Building ritual and spells from scratch, as well as participating in group rituals without feeling like you need to sleep for three days afterwards. Energetically cleanse people without getting sick after! The sky is the limit, once you’ve got the basics down.