featured image via @makersandmuse
Growing up, I was always running around barefoot in my sunny East Texas backyard. Every day brought a new opportunity for dirty feet: a day at the lake with my family, at the pool following my after-school tennis lesson, and just wandering around on outdoor explorations. When I left to study at the University of Colorado at Boulder, I found myself endlessly bundled up from head to toe, and I always remember my favorite part of the day was to kickoff my boots and wander around my dorm barefoot. It wasn’t until recently that I realized there’s is a scientific reason behind why I craved being shoeless.
Introducing grounding (or earthing): putting the body in direct contact with the ground, such as through soil, water, sand, or any conductive surface in contact with the earth. To get a bit scientific, wellness expert, Dr. John Briffa, explains that the earth can neutralize the body by sending electrons through our system. In short, our metabolism generates compounds called “free radicals”, which aid in fighting viruses and bacteria, as well as take a major role in healing through inflammation. However, too many free radicals can cause chronic pain and accelerate aging, so to neutralize our system, we can feed electrons to these free radicals. We can obtain electrons through vitamins A, C, and E, as well as certain foods, and, you guessed it, through the earth!
So, after the seemingly long winter, I decided to appreciate the warm weather by soaking in all of our planet’s goodness, and discovered some things along the way.
photo via tumblr
Easing tension at the office.
This was the biggest change I noticed all week. For about 2 months prior to my experiment, I was dealing with intense jaw pain that arose whenever I started working on a project. Every morning, I’d walk into the CS bungalow, make my coffee, and as soon as I would sit down to open up my computer, my jaw suddenly started aching, up until I hopped in my car to go home for the day. I invested in some homeopathic stress mints (in bulk) that helped ease the pain temporarily, but noticed I started becoming dependent on those yummy lozenges.
Drumroll please… this past week of grounding at home and at the bungalow has eased my jaw pain, saved me money on those minty fresh stress relievers, and will forever have me connecting to the earth whenever I feel overloaded.
image via barefoot blonde
Always having a reason to go outside.
Let’s face it, we all need a little more Vitamin D. Grounding made me excited to spend as much time as possible outdoors – I made intentional decisions to run outside with the pups, have a picnic with my gals, and spend evenings enjoying a glass of wine in my garden. During these moments, I noticed I was naturally disconnecting from technology, and stripping back to have a little more time for myself.
image via ozma
Manifesting a carefree spirit.
Working multiple jobs and constantly meeting new people has me in business-mode (and business-casual) most of the week. It was such a relief to take it easy and free my feet during shoots at the bungalow, other houses that I visited, and even at a lumber mill site-visit (dedication!) during the week. Not only was it a pleasant change for me, it also made others feel welcomed and at home! I learned to not worry about being polished, and it was liberating to just relax and be present in the moment.
So, I challenge you: Take a moment every day to mindfully step outside and soak up that delicious energy to get you through the week. You won’t regret it.