Whenever I’ve come home from a festival or a weekend intensive or wrapped up an intense working, I find that one of the challenges I’ve face is how do I come back from that intense experience. After all I’ve stepped away from my mundane life for a period of time and experienced something outside the norm…and now I have to go back.
Chances are that if you’ve practiced magic for any length of time you’ve had this experience too. And the question is how do you come back from that and go back to your normal life? It sometimes feels like culture shock when you try to go back to the regular routines of life because where you were spiritually, mentally, and physically was so different and going back to your regular life is a shock.
I’ve found there are some good practices you can employ that can help you ground yourself and ease the culture shock you feel when you move from one space to another in your life. These have always worked for me, and they may work for you, but as with anything be open to exploring what makes the most sense to you, when it comes to grounding yourself after deep work.
Eat Food and drink water: This is particularly useful after a ritual, because you’ve used up some energy and eating and drinking can help you ground yourself into your body, while also taking care of your physical needs. I recommend preparing the food ahead of the ritual and then once the ritual is done, eat, drink and make conversation, and not necessarily about the ritual, but just about life in general. All of that can be helpful for grounding yourself in the moment of just being a person.
Write down and process: Deep work needs to be processed. I find it grounding to write down the experience so I can reflect on it and process it. At the same time this practice also helps to ground me because I’m not keeping that experience in my head, but instead am expressing it some place where I can look at it objectively, when I’m ready to.
The two above practices are great to use when you’ve done an intense ritual, but if you’ve done deep work for an extended time, then you’ll want to take different measures that allow you to ease back into mundane life, while still giving you time to process your experiences.
Take the day off after the experience: If you can manage to do it, take the day off after the festival or intensive. For example, when I come home from a weekend retreat, I take Monday off because it gives me a chance to process the experience and start doing activities that help me also ease back into everyday life. On that day off, I’ll do the following activities:
Clean my house: A good cleaning can ground you while also clearing away any unwanted energy or associations. When I clean my house it gives me a chance to reflect on my experience while also doing physical work that has a purpose. You can also apply this garden work or any other home improvement project.
Grocery shopping: I’ve always found grocery shipping to be very grounding because it reminds you of the necessity’s of life. I’ll go grocery shopping after a trip because I need the groceries and because its a good way to be around people without necessarily having to interact with them.
Cook a meal: Cooking a good meal can be a very grounding activity that allows you to make something, and enjoy it afterwards! When I cook food its gives me a chance to ground myself in the routine of cooking. In that routine I give myself a chance to just be a person making food and enjoying the results. At the same time, making food is a spiritual experience which can also be useful for processing the one you’ve gone through.
Take a walk or exercise: Taking a walk in your neighborhood or going to the gym to exercise can be another way to ground yourself. It provides you a chance to be around people without interacting too much and it also gives you a chance to ground yourself in your body, allowing your to be fully present with you the physicality. In fact all of the activities I mentioned, in one way or another are about bring you in touch with your physical existence because that is your manifestation and how you become present with your everyday life.
These are some of the ways I ground myself after an intensive experience. What would you add to this list? What do you do to ground yourself after an intensive spiritual experience?