Grounding and centering is the absolutely essential first step for any energy working. It's the thing that makes sure you are pulling the energy from the Earth, instead of depleting your own resources.
Without it, you will find yourself exhausted (or highly exhilarated) immediately after doing work, and then sick, headachy, dizzy, or faint afterwards. Sometimes the headache can persist for days afterwards.
All of these are signs that something is wrong.
Fortunately, it's easy to fix! Grounding and centering is a simple thing that is a natural ability in all of us. For some reason (probably that it smacks of the occult) it's rarely taught in the schools now, though. So this is your chance to learn it here.
Sit comfortably, without any part of your body resting on any other part (no crossed legs, etc.) and smile. (It relaxes you wonderfully to smile.)
Begin by looking at the diagram to the left. These are your Chakras. We aren't going to go into what they are, or how they work right now. For now, just look at them. Notice that they go up in spectral order, starting from red and going through orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo (actually a lovely, bright blue-violet, but it's called indigo anyway) and violet. The first one is red and is at the base of your torso, near your anus. The second, orange one is about the width of both hands (with fingers held together, and including your thumbs) above that. In fact, in my experience, they tend to be pretty evenly spaced, and all about two hand-spans apart. The third is at the Solar Plexus (yellow), the fourth at your heart (green), the fifth at your throat (blue), the sixth at your "third eye" (indigo) and the seventh at the crown of your head (violet.)
You probably already know this; but you have more than one body. The ones we are going to be concerned with here are your physical body, and your etheric body. Just assume for now that you have the body you are used to thinking of as "you," and you also have another one, larger and subtler, that has all the same parts and is around your physical body like two layers of an onion. Think of it as the blue outline in the picture.
The point of the first part of the exercise, centering, is to line the two bodies up so that the energy can flow freely. You do this sort of like zipping a zipper. Hold the picture firmly in your mind, and line up the two red dots, physical and etheric, front to back and side to side. As you visualize (imagine) them coming together, hear the note C in your head. The first note of the scale.
Then carefully visualize all the others coming together as well, one by one, front to back and side to side until there is only one colored light. As you do, go on up the scale; doe, ray, me, fa, so, la, tea, doe.
(Yes, I know I'm spelling them wrong; but many people are used to hearing them, not seeing them written out, and this way they will sound like they should.)
When you get to the final doe, visualize your whole body wrapped in white light.
If this is really hard for you, visualize it going the other way, starting with your crown chakra, the violet light on the top of your head, and going down your body and down the scale. But try to learn to do it the other way, because it makes grounding easier.
For the second part of the exercise, Grounding, it is absolutely essential that you be centered. If you aren't, please go back and read that part now.
Starting with your crown chakra, the purple spot at the top of your head, visualize (imagine) a cord of light going all through your body, connecting your chakras as it goes.
See it coming down from the root chakra, and becoming a root itself. Feel it going through your chair, through the floor, through the foundation of the building, and into the ground. Feel the warm, fertile ground below you. And feel your root going deeper and deeper, down through the ground, down below the deepest well. There is a whole core of energy down there. The core of the planet is full of pure, clean, loving energy; and the Earth means her children to use it.
So draw that energy up your root now, up through the ground, through the soil, through the foundation, and the floor, and the chair, and into your body. Feel that pure clean energy coming into your body.
And pull it on up through your body, up through all your chakras, up through your crown chakra, up through the top of your head. And as it comes, it washes away all the tired, old, nasty energy, and fills you with clean, pure, fresh energy, energy from the Earth.
And let it come out of the top of your head, and flow out like a fountain, like the branches of a tree, up and arching gracefully down, and flowing back into the Earth. You are sitting in the center of a circuit now; a circuit of energy flowing up from the center of the Earth, through your body, through the top of your head, and back down into the Earth again.
See how that feels? If you are doing it right, you will be able to feel it. If not, try it again some other time. It's really not hard.
Now, the important thing to remember at this point is not to get greedy and try to keep too much of the energy. When you are finished with the exercise, you should have exactly as much energy as is normal for you. No more, and no less. Just think of yourself as taking no more and no less, and your own body will even it out for you.
It's nice and clean and fresh, but it's the same amount. If it isn't, you will wind up with one of the headaches again. And you don't want that!
Keep doing this for a few minutes every day, and soon it will be as easy as taking a deep breath. And it will make you feel so much better!
Not just when working with energy, but when facing any kind of stress, or tension, or fear, or exertion, or anything. Being grounded and centered just makes life a bit easier to take!