the face of mother earth with the universe in the background
Image by Gerd Altmann

The earth is your true Mother,
providing you with water, food, air,
and healing herbs and flowers.

Our ancestors honored their connection to the earth. Simpler lifestyles connected people to the land, with its natural, nurturing, and gentle electrical energy. But, your connection to the land can be lost. Consequently, you too can become, as Buddhist philosopher Thich Nhat Hanh said, “lost, isolated, and lonely.”

According to the UN Refugee Agency, in 2020, there were nearly twenty-six million refugees in the world, almost half of them under the age of eighteen, and almost eighty million people had been forced to flee their homes. With these distressing numbers, you can only wonder who is at “home” on earth.

Looking at it from another perspective, with alarming rates of obesity,  people today also struggle to feel at “home” in their bodies. And if you feel that you were born into the wrong family, you can see  why it may be hard to find a place to call home. For many of us, coming home to ourselves and feeling safe and at home on earth and in our bodies can be a long journey.

As an immigrant, the sense of displacement I felt was deeply unsettling. But, just like connecting with your ancestors, by connecting with the energy of the earth, you can start to heal yourself and feel a sense of “home” wherever you are.

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Barefoot and Connected to the Earth 

When I was growing up in India, my father would often send us outside in the morning. “Go and walk on the grass barefoot! It’s good for your eyes,” he would say.

In the hot summer morning, the grass, wet with the morning dew, felt cool beneath our feet. When we went indoors, our feet would dry quickly on the marble veranda. When we weren’t barefoot, I liked to wear my Kohlapuri flip-flops—those hand- made leather sandals from the village of Kohlapur—more than the ones made of rubber. In the summer, we practically lived in them. We didn’t know it then, but by walking barefoot in the grass and by wearing leather sandals, we were connecting with the energy of the earth.

In India, it is inherently understood and accepted wisdom that you are nourished by the land—and even more so if you are on a spiritual path.

Breathing in the Essence of Mother Earth

My connection to the earth didn’t end when I left to live in the US. On a recent trip to Yosemite National Park, we had two young guides. They had come to work in the park as students, one from Rhode Island, the other from Iowa, but both had stayed even after they no longer were in school because their love for the land and the forest was so deep. They felt they’d come “home.”

We smelled the bark of the trees—pine and cedarwood. “Mom! The bark does smell like butterscotch!” my daughter called out to me.

I inhaled the distinct sweet fragrance. We touched the trees. It felt wonderful to be together as a family, in nature, and in harmony. My system calmed down.

We sat by the stream and watched the water flow; we could have stayed there forever. Giant redwood trees towered above us; we were insignificant next to them. And they would still be there when we were gone, but in their presence, it felt sacred and wondrous to be alive.

Living in Harmony with Nature

Standing on a plateau in Yosemite, I suddenly remembered Teji’s story. My friend Teji was an avid mountaineer, and a doctor by profession. With this winning combination, he was often in demand by mountaineers who needed a doctor for their high-altitude climbs.

Many years ago, on one of these expeditions in the Himalayas, Teji and the men with whom he was climbing tied themselves to one another to cross a glacier. Weighed down by their equipment and clothes in those freezing temperatures, they had to walk very slowly to avoid the deadly crevasses.

In the distance, they could see something coming toward them. It couldn’t be an animal, not at this altitude. Thoughts of the yeti crossed Teji’s mind.

What could be moving toward them?

As it came closer, they saw it was a man. Clad in a loincloth, bare-chested and barefoot, he walked across the glacier, smiled at them, raised his hand in blessing, and continued walking.

“At that moment,” Teji told us later, “I felt the weight of everything I was carrying. My clothes, the pickax, and everything else.”

I have always been fascinated by this story. I knew that yogis are reputed to have lived in the mountains and forests of India for thousands of years. This was the first time I had heard of anyone I knew meeting an actual yogi, living lightly, one with the land, nourished by it, untouched by the heat and cold.

Nurturing and Protecting Us All

I looked at the delicate silver river in the valley below, flowing between the peaks on either side. Sunlight sparkled on the water, and I felt a sense of amazement at how this shimmering silver ribbon nurtured and protected such a vast expanse of land, sustaining millions of people.

“Has anyone ever lived in the park?” I asked our naturalist guide.

“Yes, a man did live here. Sometimes he would ask the climbers for a little salt, so people knew about him.”

“What happened to him?”

“The forest rangers found him and made him leave. I hear he is now a homeless man on the streets of San Francisco.”

After we went home, I thought more about this. Maybe we can’t legally be nomads on the land anymore, but the principle of living close to the earth and living lightly still applies.

What Does It Mean to Be Grounded?

In spiritual terms, the feeling of being connected to the earth, being present and balanced, is often referred to as being grounded. When you meet someone who is grounded, they seem thoughtful, practical, capable of handling a crisis and their everyday affairs. Massage therapists and people who work in the healing field often ground themselves to protect their energy from getting entangled with their clients’. In family constellation workshops, there was a lot of emphasis on keeping your energy field intact and preventing it from getting entangled with ancestral energy.

There are several ways to “ground” yourself, protect your own energy field, and become calmer by connecting with the earth’s energy. You can sit outside in nature, walk on the grass barefoot, take Epsom or magnesium salt soaks, use “grounding” flower essences, do yoga, or use visualizations that help you connect with the energy of the earth. When you are grounded, the locus of your energy is centered within you despite the challenges around you.

One morning as I got ready to drop my daughter at school, she looked at me and said, “Mom, I don’t think you are grounded.” The look on her face was very serious.

“I know!” I felt very spacey. I had slept little for several nights, had been overworked for several weeks, and now it was Monday morning! I was having trouble keeping track of what I was supposed to be doing, and I couldn’t seem to get her breakfast together.

I went upstairs and I couldn’t remember what I had come up for. I couldn’t find my glasses. I left my keys somewhere and couldn’t remember where.

“I don’t want to get in the car with you till you’re grounded,” she said.

“I think I’m going to be fine,” I said. “Let’s go! You’re going to be late.” I was tired, stressed, and couldn’t seem to focus.

Being Ungrounded

That afternoon, I picked her up from school, entered the little road that segued into the ongoing traffic, and stopped at the yield sign. I watched to see if the traffic would let up. There was another car ahead of me that was also waiting. The traffic eased and I accelerated. Crash! I heard the grinding of bumper on bumper and felt my body jerk!

“Mom! You’re not grounded! Did you ground yourself?” my daughter cried out.

“I guess not!” My hands flew over my ears and face in horror at what I had done. Although I felt better after the caffeine, it had been a busy day and I had not taken time to center or ground myself.

No one was injured, and the damage to the other car was not overwhelming. Yet, when I was not grounded—even my young daughter could tell! You start to recognize the symptoms. That incident was a stinging reminder to practice what I was teaching her.

I often had my own kids play barefoot in the yard to teach them to ground and connect with the earth like I had been taught.

We can become ungrounded because of stress, anxiety, or lack of sleep. In addition, being constantly on digital devices and electronics also causes us to disconnect from ourselves as well as from the energy of the earth.

Mother Earth's Feminine Nurturing Energy

The gravitational force of the earth allows you to live on her surface, enabling your spirit to reside in a human body. When you are grounded, you also return toxic or waste emotions to the earth. When you are not grounded or rooted, you cannot expel them.

Think back to when you may have taken a walk as you mulled over an issue that was bothering you and how you felt after you returned. When you sit outside in nature, watch the sunset or the sky, notice the birds that fly, touch the trees, or bring flowers into your home, you are consciously building a connection to the earth. When you actively do this, you open yourself to gratitude and receiving.

All over the world and throughout history, the earth has been commonly referred to as a feminine nurturing energy: Mother Earth versus Father Sky. As we become more scientifically advanced, we have moved away from the term Mother Earth, and with it, we break the link with reverence and awe.

Astronauts who have been to space often experience a shift in their awareness of the beauty and fragility of the earth, speaking of their astonishment that the earth is actually alive, just as alive as all of us are. They describe their wonder not just of discovering space, the moon, and other planets, but of seeing their own planet in a new way.

The astronaut Ron Garan said, “When you look down at the earth from space, we see this amazing, indescribably beautiful planet. It looks like a living, breathing organism. But it also, at the same time, looks extremely fragile...”

We send people into space to discover the moon, nebulae, other galaxies, but what these brave adventurers are saying is simpler than that: you really discover the value of your home, the earth! These moving tributes by the astronauts remind us that Earth is delicate, warm, touchingly alone, small, and irreplaceable. They ask us to stop mistreating the earth, but rather love and cherish her.

By shifting our conscious loyalty to Mother Earth, we open ourselves to being nurtured.

Copyright ©2023. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission.

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Heal Your Ancestral Roots: Release the Family Patterns That Hold You Back
by Anuradha Dayal-Gulati

book cover: Heal Your Ancestral Roots by Anuradha Dayal-GulatiA practical guide to releasing the burden of transgenerational legacies and reclaiming your power to create the life you want. The book explores the principles that govern family energy field and the many ways this ancestral field can support you as well as how it can hold you captive. It also provides exercises and tools to help you recognize and release negative family patterns and heal ancestral trauma. The author discusses the importance of honoring your ancestors, sharing suggestions about altar creation, prayers, and the Vedic ritual of Tarpanam.

Click here for more info and/or to order this paperback book. Also available as a Kindle edition.

About the Author

photo of: Anuradha Dayal-GulatiAnuradha Dayal-Gulati is an energy practitioner and transformational coach with a Ph.D. in economics.

After fifteen years in finance and academia, she began a new path of helping people release the past and reclaim their power. She is trained in flower essence therapy and family constellation therapy.

Visit her website at