Grounding with Our Mother Earth

How often do you walk on the earth barefoot? Once a day? Once a month? Once a year? Perhaps you can’t remember the last time you walked barefoot on the ground.

Perhaps, you ask, “Why should I?” Or, maybe you recall your mother’s admonitions to put your shoes on. Or, could it be that your feet having been too long encased in shoes of sundry sorts are now very tender making you squeamish?

Walking or standing barefoot on the ground is good for us; it’s good for our health. Our earth is an electron dispenser, sending out a steady flow of electrons which help our bodies’ antioxidant scavenging process by supplying additional electrons from the unlimited reservoir on the earth’s surface. These neutralize the harmful effects of environmental 50-60 Hz electromagnetic fields and free radicals arising from faulty metabolic processes in our bodies.

Regular contact with the earth can help us :

  • lower harmful cortisol levels
  • reduce inflammation
  • sleep better
  • improve chronic illnesses such as diabetes
  • improve blood circulation
  • alleviate PMS, aches and pains
  • feel good

The flow of electrons encompassing the surface of our entire planet Earth, also exists on the surface of all conductive things in contact with it including people, plants, and animals. Pulsating at approximately 10 Hz which is similar to the brain’s alpha waves, characteristic of the calm, restful yet alert state of meditation and following a rhythmic 24-hour circadian rise and fall in amplitude, this healthy electron flow is always available to us as long as we are in contact with it. When we insulate ourselves by always wearing plastic and rubber-soled shoes; living and working in buildings where our feet don’t touch the ground; traveling about in cars, buses, planes, trains, and bikes; and surrounding ourselves with all varieties of electrical equipment in our homes and places of work, we can’t partake of Mother Earth’s bounty of healing electron flow.

What to do?

  • Take your shoes off. Sitting down or walking around, plant your bare feet on the ground in a park or your backyard. Wriggle your toes. Have some fun.
  • Toss a blanket on the ground on the grass, in a field or woods, on the beach. Lie down. Watch the clouds pass by.
  • Walk barefoot in your house if it is built on a slab.
  • Walk barefoot at the beach. Walk barefoot in your garden. Walk barefoot anywhere you can.
  • Eat outside and let your bare feet enjoy the fresh air, too. Even at a sidewalk cafe, slip your feet out of your shoes to feel the ground beneath them.

Find any excuse to walk, sit, or lie on Mother Earth. Do often. Daily, if possible.

The Creative Brain

Where do our creative ideas come from? Even if we think we’re not creative, all of our brains have what it takes.  To be creative, the whole brain needs to be in the best mind state for the job.

This doesn’t mean that everyone has to approach creativity in the same way. What each of us does when we are doing something creative can be very different. Some of us wake up from a dream saying, “I’ve got it!” Others work  in a certain place or at a certain time of day. And, then, there are those of us who just take a walk.  Which way we choose to work creatively doesn’t seem to matter.

What does matter is what goes on in our brains. Back in the 70s, creativity was thought to be solely a right brain activity. Today we know that it is a whole brain activity: Left-right, top-bottom, as creativity requires the brain to access a large web of connections. Neuroscientists now tell us tell us that about 300 milliseconds before an “aha moment,” when the creative answer comes to us, our brains go into very high gamma activity (neural oscillation with a frequency between 25 to 100 Hz) allowing the binding together of neurons as far flung brain cells connect in a new neural network creating a new association. This heightened activity takes place in the temporal lobe centered on the side of the right neocortex. This is the part of the brain that understands metaphor, gets jokes, comprehends the language of the unconscious, as well as that of poetry, art, and myth.  At this same moment the right brain uses its longer connections to other parts of the brain to collect more information and put it together in a novel way.

And before that 300 milliseconds? That’s just as critical, too. First, we have to concentrate intently on the problem or goal. But, if we just think and think about it, or try to force an insight, we stymie creativity. That’s why the next stage is critical, too. Just let go. In this state the brain enters a high alpha rhythm (neural oscillations in the frequency of 8-12 Hz), signaling mental relaxation, that state of openness when we are more receptive to new ideas. Being in this alpha state sets the stage for the gamma spike when new neural connections make novel associations and the new creative idea enters our consciousness.

You’re probably asking now, “But how do I get my brain to do this?” Each of us has to discover what’s the best way to concentrate with high focus on the problem. We may sit down at our desk with paper and pen or take a walk to clear our heads of everything but the problem at hand. You get the idea. Then once we’ve accomplished that deep focus, we don’t think about the problem any more. We just let go and relax. Meditation evokes this relaxed and open state and focusing on the breath is an excellent approach, especially for beginners. In meditation, the brain relaxes into alpha rhythm. Once in alpha, all is ready for the brain’s leap into high gamma activity leading to the aha moment, a feeling of joy, and the coming into consciousness of the novel idea or solution. Practice makes perfect. Habitually doing the stages of intense concentration followed by completely letting go make the difference.

There’s one more thing. Novel ideas are fragile so it is best to surround ourselves and our creative ideas with a supportive environment and with those who are willing to help the fledging flourish.