Tree Game – a simple grounding exercise for daily use
Sometimes I tell my clients about this grounding exercise. This is my preferred way as I like trees and it is so simple that everyone can easily do it, including my 9 year old nephew.
One afternoon while in Melbourne for the Christmas and New Year break, I was sitting inside the family holiday home by the coast observing the lemon tree in the garden through the floor to ceiling window.
My nephew was nearby, wandering around restlessly as if searching for something fun to do.
‘I’m just looking at the tree. Would you like to come and sit next to me?’
Other adults in the house were doing adult things and there weren’t any children around. Do I play some games with him to keep him occupied? I was enjoying so much having some quiet time… Could we meet in the middle and play a game that is quiet and that involves the tree… Let’s see.
‘See this tree outside? I was looking at it and wondered what would it be like to be a tree and so I played this Tree Game. Would you like to play?’ He nodded.
Tree Game goes like this:
You could begin either sitting or standing comfortably. I would imagine that even if you start from a sitting position, you would like to stand up half way through like we did.
You could do this while looking at a tree or with eyes closed visualizing a tree in your head, or simply open/close your eyes and be the tree.
Have your bare feet flat on the ground. Feel the surface with the sole of your feet. Notice the connection between your feet and the ground. Can you feel some activities there going on? Perhaps something is flowing out of your feet to the ground, or the other way round? Are your feet comfortable and happy being there? What are your toes doing? Do you need to shuffle a bit to get your feet comfortably resting on the ground?
Imagine roots growing out of the sole of your feet. They can be as thick as you like. Have them grow into the ground. See the roots from your right foot and left foot intertwine with each other to become one thicker root that grows deeper and deeper into the ground.
In the centre of Earth there is this giant clear quartz crystal. It glows and it sparkles and it is truly magnificent. Have your root wrap around and around the crystal so that you are completely anchored onto the ground.
Like the tree, you’re now firmly rooted onto the ground. And just like the tree, you’re now effortlessly reaching up and out to the light. Now that you’re firmly anchored, you can reach as high up as you like, assessing all information there is that you want to know, or simply enjoy the silence of the cosmos.
As the esteemed teacher Judy Hall explained in one of her workshops, we can go as high up as we like and experience all sorts of things, but without grounding, we can’t take anything back with us. This Tree Game is adapted from her grounding instruction.
Observe how the trees sway gentle back and forth in the breeze. You could also sway your body as if you are a tree in the wind, standing completely firm yet being flexible, totally relaxed and at ease.
After this bit, the nephew also lifted up his arms to be tree branches. Do you know that a lot of time we engage our shoulder muscles to lift up our arms although this is not necessary? In order to help the nephew understand, I asked him to allow me to lift up his arms for him and let me completely take the weight. After a few goes, he understood how to let his arms just float there without tensing anywhere in his body. He said it was as if the arms weren’t there anymore and he had to open his eyes to make sure the arms were still there!
I asked if he enjoyed the game. He nodded and said it felt a bit strange because he felt as if his feet opened up and he felt there was a big hole on each of his feet. I asked him to check. He saw that his feet look perfectly normal and his frown dissolved into a smile.
After the Tree Game, I asked if he would like to be something else. He said the sky. So we both close our eyes while he told me what he could see from the perspective of the sky. We traveled through jungles and grassland together and even made it to the North Pole to visit some polar bears.
It is good to do this grounding exercise in the morning and set the intention to be grounded and experience the Earth fully for the day.