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Friday, January 5, 2018

How Grounded Are You?

Several years ago when I was producing Whole Children, Whole Planet, a fellow author (Martin Zucker) approached me with a book, a concept, and a group of products he wanted me to review, all of which sounded quite interesting. However, because I was so busy working on the show I really didn't have time to review the information, but I did begin using one of the products right away. He suggested that just by sitting on this little mat or placing my feet on it (preferably with bare skin), I would become more grounded. And when you are working 14 hours a day, the thought of a little more grounding sounded pretty good.

As it happened, I never did read the book (Earthing by Clinton Ober, Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D. and Martin Zucker), but used the mat and sheets for years without ever fully understanding the scientific premise behind it. I sat on this grounding mat with all of my clothes on, and when I did put my feet on it, it was with shoes and socks (silly me). Little did I know at the time the importance these natural healing devices might offer, or about the wealth of knowledge that book’s pages contained for both my own health, as well as that of others. Cut to a month ago when a friend sent me a link to a short video clip titled, Down To Earth. It contained an interview with a cable and TV grounding pioneer Clinton Ober, along with two medical doctors, Stephen T. Sinatra M.D. (cardiologist) and Laura Koniver M.D (general practice) - two of the authors of the book Earthing.

In the video, Ober asks a poignant question about the world’s current tennis shoe craze (referencing rubber soles in general), "I wonder if it's possible that humans are no longer grounded? Can our shoes be interfering with our bodies ability to stay grounded?" This question made perfect sense since our bodies thrive on electrons absorbed through our bare skin in nature. Laura Koniver M.D. explains grounding as a means of connecting to the energy of the earth. This action, which also naturally discharges inflammation, then supports different functions of our organs, more specifically, their tissue and cellular function, impacting the body's overall health and well-being. She states, "We are organisms that live and grow and depend entirely on the earth while we are alive, and yet we have completely isolated ourselves from our connection to it. We are so disconnected that it becomes weird if we slip our off our shoes in public and walk around in nature." I suddenly realized I had all this information (and products) that Martin had given me all those years ago and began actively researching the concept of grounding immediately.

This Down To Earth video really spoke to me, and I had one of those, awe ha moments. A thought came over me ... what if everyone was always grounded in the earth's free, abundant supply of natural healing electrons – how different would our society be? What if they were all consciously connected to the energy of the planet? Taking off our shoes and feeling the earth in between our toes. When I thought about my experiences in doing it at the beach, a sense of bliss comes over me - the soft sand and waves gently kissing my feet. That concept sounded good in theory, however, when I thought about walking around barefoot in the forest, a whole different feeling came over me - potentially dangerous or painful because of what I might step on (glass, pine needles, etc.)? I know when I’ve gone barefoot in the past, I have stepped on honeybees and been stung. Not a pleasant experience.

Shortly after I saw the video, my friend Esme and I were visiting the Wright Ranch, a 24-acre property nestled in the hills high above Malibu - for their annual winter solstice ceremony. Eric and Mary Wright own the land (Eric is the grandson of the famed Frank Lloyd Wright, and Mary is his wife) and it was the perfect place to honor the changing of the seasons and pray for our neighbors who were still being affected by the fires. The solstice happened to fall during the week of the recent storm of tragic fires that hit the San Fernando Valley, Ojai, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. As bad as the air quality was, we both felt the need to participate in the prayer and ritual.

As the sun began to set, we gathered around a medicine wheel on the bluff overlooking the ocean. The smoke from the fires filled the coastal sky, and there was a magnificent display of color variations with layers of smoke ranging from light gray to charcoal, as they danced with the solar rays creating a mesmerizing forefront to the sun's explosive fireball. It looked like something out of a sci-fi movie and was infused with streaks of red, orange and brown. A few minutes before the ceremony started I noticed a young man and woman around the circle who were without shoes (or jackets - clearly their first time at the ranch). I thought how cold their feet must have been. It was at that moment that I suddenly reflected on the video I had seen the week before about the importance of grounding with the earth in our bare feet. That's when I heard this small voice in my head whisper ... do I, or don't I? As the crisp air kissed my cheeks, several thoughts floated through my mind; how cold it was getting outside and how sharp those tiny rocks must feel on the bottom of their feet, my feet. But then that voice got louder drowning out my fear.

At that moment, I also remembered something a teacher (Dr. Lois Laynee) had said to me in a recent workshop on reconnecting our 12 cranial nerves ... To fully connect to one's feet it is essential to walk barefoot in nature at least once a day. Then I heard that inner voice again - shouting, woman if you don't take off those snuggly socks and warm boots right now you are going to miss this great opportunity. How are those electrons going to get through to your feet? At that point, I could no longer argue with the voice of fear, or ignore the calling ... and stripped down to my bare feet.

Of course, Esme had no idea why I was suddenly baring my toes in 40-degree weather (cold for us Angelinos) and asked if that was part of the ceremony? I laughed and said not necessarily, but that I felt the need to get grounded. She quickly followed suit, and there we were with our naked feet navigating the cold, and sharp dirt-particles honoring the changing of the seasons. I was so grateful to have had the courage to step outside my comfort zone and surrender to the moment of the experience. I now practice the art of earth walking in my bare feet daily. There is so much to see and experience at sunrise in the garden with a cup of tea and bare feet. I want to encourage you all to kick off your shoes and socks and walk, run, dance, play and lay on any patch of earth you can find to get grounded and be nourished by the earth’s magic – and be healthy! Expect a miracle.

For more information about grounding, please visit any of the following links:
The Grounded (the documentary)
The Earthing Institute
Laura Koniv Koniver M.D.
Earthing - The most important health discovery ever? (the book) by Clinton Ober, Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D. and Martin Zucker -


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