• Helena Rowan Varley

Grounding, Protection, and Cleansing

3 practices to look after yourself in an overwhelming city

My move to London came as a massive shock to the system. I became overwhelmed on a daily basis and wasn’t sure how to cope. The sheer mass of people, noise, energies, and chaos was too much for me. During this time, I started to hear words like empath and sensitive being spoken about. After researching them further I felt a huge amount of relief…good! It’s not just me! Being sensitive is wonderful. We experience life so deeply and get to enjoy so much that life has to offer. However, it can be frighteningly overwhelming at times. Reiki has transformed my life in this respect. My understanding of the energy around me continues to grow, and I am far more equipped to handle the energies around me and actively choose what I would and wouldn’t like to take on. I still get thrown from time to time don’t get me wrong, but I now feel I have the skills to know what to do when I am.

There are 3 daily practices I use to look after myself energetically in London and I am going to share them with you.


The first way to look after yourself is to make sure you are grounded. Being grounded is about being present, feeling your feet on the floor and feeling strong and secure. You are able to think clearly and are fully aware of your surroundings.

Whilst doing my Reiki 1 training I was taught two exercises that I have incorporated into my daily routine. The first exercise is called the tree exercise. Stand with your feet hip-width apart or slightly wider, however is comfortable, with a soft gaze. Take long and deep breaths whilst visualising breathing in through the soles of your feet, the breath coming in and up right the way through your body, and then on the out-breath breathing out through the soles of your feet. On each out-breath send the breath down through the soles of your feet as roots. Grow the roots deeper and deeper into the earth until you feel you are ‘stuck’ and can’t move. The second exercise is called the anchor. This is done sitting down so can be a great one to do whilst at work behind a desk. With your feet flat on the floor breathe ‘through your feet’ as with the tree exercise for a few breaths and then on a sharp out-breath ‘plant an anchor’ down from the base of your spine to the floor. Visualise yourself dropping that anchor into the ground and then breathe through that anchor and your feet. Breathing through all 3 points. I do these exercises whenever I’m on the bus or the tube. If I manage to get a seat, I do the anchor, if it’s rush hour and I don’t have a chance then I do the tree exercise! They are great to do on your morning commute or way home from work because they really help to calm you down in that busy stressful environment, and you arrive at your destination grounded and present.

Anything that brings you into the present moment will ground you. Meditation is fantastic for that. Certain yoga postures are also brilliant. Pay attention to how your body feels and all 5 senses. Notice what you can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch in the moment. Food is also extremely grounding. I always carry a snack bar around with me for emergencies!

There are lots of grounding crystals out there. A couple of my favourites for grounding are Smoky Quartz and Hematite. You can wear them on a bracelet, carry them around in your pocket, sleep with them under your pillow, whatever feels right for you.


The next way to look after yourself is by staying protected. In the crazy busyness of London, there is plenty of energy out there that you may not want to pick up. It can really weigh you down. Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings, make sure they are really your own and aren’t someone else’s you have picked up during the day

Staying protected is what I have personally struggled most with. There has to be a balance between protecting yourself but also allowing yourself to be open, and this can take some time to perfect.

Visualisations are what I have found most helpful when it comes to protection. You can visualise an eggshell around you, eggshells are a good choice as they are porous. You can choose what comes in and what stays out. You can continue to soak up all the positivity around you during the day whilst having a shield to protect you from any negativity. Lately, I have slightly adjusted the visualisation as a shield that surrounds my body and comes in close right around my body to protect me. Then I set the intention that this shield will protect me all day, allow good energy in and leave anything unhelpful out. There are plenty of things you can visualise to help, try a few things out and see what works best for you. I have heard of people using all sorts of things from green pyramids to guardian angels.

Crystals also can be very helpful for protection. My favourites to keep me protected are black tourmaline and malachite. I will often have these two in my pocket or wear them on a bracelet. If anything, they function as a reminder to keep the intention of staying grounded and protected.


Finally, there is cleansing. Cleansing is about letting go of energy that is no longer serving you. It may be other people’s energies that you’ve picked up during the day or your own feelings and emotions that have served their purpose and are ready to be released. Cleansing is so important because it makes way for new positive energy to enter into you.

Cleansing is, in my opinion, the simplest of the three to achieve because you can just apply intention to what you are doing anyway. For example, you’ve come home from work and have just walked in through the front door. Go and wash your hands, with the intention in your mind of washing away anything you have picked up during the day that isn’t serving you. Whenever you are in the bath or the shower do the same. Say goodbye to that energy and make way for more positive energy that will benefit you instead.

Candles are very cleansing, or you can burn white sage or palo santo to clear energies. I use white sage a lot in my work. Particularly to clear the space between clients. Every time I clean my

home it gets a good sage to finish it off now too.

I hope that these three practices are able to help you as much as they have helped me. If you have other methods of staying grounded, protected and cleansed then please do share them below!

#reiki #reikilondon #helenashealing

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| Helena's Healing | Reiki Practitioner | Crouch End | Primrose Hill | London |

Helena Rowan Varley