Finding Your Inner Calm During COVID

By Erica Linson


With the COVID-19 pandemic upending the world as we know it, our society, and many of us personally, are in the midst of pretty profound change. Faced with such involuntary disruption and uncertainty, it’s common to feel out of sorts, anxious or out of control. While daunting, it also offers us opportunities to look to where we do have influence over our lives and make positive adjustments where possible.


As we move from our previous reality to a “new normal,” developing our internal stability can serve us extremely well. This stability doesn’t come from our  chatty thinking minds. Rather, it traditionally comes from a deeper level of awareness and sense of self.


Our thinking minds, as we all know too well, can go a little bonkers. We can become fearful, create stories, make assumptions, project onto others, blame, obsess, repress, deny, and avoid. Most of these habitual thoughts and reactions are not really us; they are products of our conditioning, reflections of the messaging that we hear around us and our past traumas projected onto our present or future.


When we quiet our busy minds and connect to our deeper awareness, it can help us make better decisions, feel more calm and better access internal resources such as creativity, intuition, discernment, heart and inner wisdom.


The Power of Meditation


Meditation, in different forms, offers a way of influencing, and possibly even profoundly changing, your internal experience.


Meditation is a bit of a catch-all term. It can mean anything from practices for relaxation and stress reduction to accessing different states of consciousness and gaining more clear insight. It can bring you into the present and put you in touch with the real YOU—your emotions, perspective, true wants and needs that get squeezed out during your normal day-to-day activities. It can change how you choose to relate to, react to, and view the circumstances happening around you.


With practice, meditation can be a vehicle to connect you with more true reality and deeper wisdom, such as a tangible understanding of interconnectedness. What it does, in most of these instances, is drop you out of the negative patterns, stress and occasional circus of everyday life into a state of more spacious, calm awareness. There is no one “right” way to meditate; there are many different types of approaches, goals and disciplines.


One very accessible way of cultivating a shift in awareness and inner stability is to settle into a relationship with one of the most steady things we have available to us in the physical world: our earth. The technique offered below helps cultivate this connection through what we call “grounding.”


Creating a Grounding Cord


To get started, sit comfortably in a chair. Sitting by a tree or body of water can facilitate feeling this exercise.

  • Begin with a big yawn to loosen up the muscles around your jaw and signal your body to drop into your parasympathetic “rest and digest” nervous system.
  • Close your eyes and do an initial scan of your body, starting from the top of your head down to your feet on the ground. Tune into each body part and allow yourself to begin to relax.
  • Bring your awareness to your lower pelvis/base of the spine area and visualize a physical connection to the center of the earth. The type of connection is up to you, such as a gold beam, anchor, rope, tree trunk, roots, Let yourself FEEL this connection—start to sense into the security, stability, safety and orientation it offers you.
  • Scan your entire body again, paying close attention to where you are holding tension or or feeling discomfort, and let whatever is causing that tension or discomfort drain out of the grounding cord.


As simple as this exercise is, most people report an increased sense of relaxation and calm when they ground.


By focusing your attention on your connection to the earth, you deepen your relationship to its slower, deeper electromagnetic resonance and natural rhythms, which in turn helps your body align with its own natural biorhythms, facilitating meditation which affects such things as sleep, immune and brain function, and metabolism. This connection also helps you match the stability of the earth, and become more aware of, and more deeply inhabit, your body, which has its own wisdom regarding your health and wellbeing.


Finding an inner sense of stability then helps us access more of our internal resources. For this new normal on the horizon, I, for one, don’t want to just wait to see what happens. Accessing our resources allows us to participate in writing the new normal—our future—from a wiser, deeper, more informed place, creating structures and norms and relationships that work for everyone.


A few tips that can help you build a meditation practice via grounding:


  • Try grounding at a regular time or combine it with another practice you already have, e.g. when you sit with your first cup of coffee, at the start of a yoga class or before hiking.
  • When you feel a shift, even a subtle or brief one, anchor into the enjoyment of that feeling. That will help build the desire to revisit and develop this experience.
  • Create the intention to develop your sense of inner stability as your default experience. That stability is you, by the way. As you start to shift your identity from the ephemeralness of your thoughts to a deeper sense of self and awareness, this deeper connection to self becomes easier to maintain.


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About the Author

Having worked in both energy medicine and environmental sustainability, Erica Linson describes herself as practicing “clean energy.” She has 25 years of experience training with healers and has taught energetic self-care and healing techniques for more than 15 years. In 2014, Erica moved from the Bay Area, where she worked in biomimicry-based technology start-ups, back to Sun Valley, Idaho, where she offers individual healing sessions, tutoring, classes, and retreats. She loves sharing skills and perspectives to help others develop their own relationship with energy and healing. She feels that if all of us at this time of vast change can deepen our capacity for listening and reverence to each other, ourselves and nature, the future can be bright. She holds an M.A. in Philosophy & Religion from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco and a B.A. from Georgetown University.