The Live Young Lifestyle founder gives her take on the ancient practice of earthing and its timeless benefits.
– KEYS SOULCARE
Darnell Cox is the mind, body, and soul behind Live Young Lifestyle, the platform confronting ageism and promoting healthy aging from the inside out. Among her favorite techniques to living a happier, more youthful life is grounding — the therapeutic modality of reconnecting to the earth’s energetic frequency through direct or indirect contact — but it’s a lot more than just making the time to go barefoot. To get the scoop on the ancient phenomenon of grounding, we chatted with the holistic health coach to learn the science and secrets to a practice essential to her soulcare ritual.
Read on to learn why this earth-centered practice is the soulcare upgrade you might be missing.
WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO?
At 54-years old, I feel like there have been so many different versions of me — continually improving versions of me. I’m a lifelong learner, so I’m always adding to my emotional and intellectual toolbox and, regardless of the results, that process of learning always changes me. I am, among other things, a healthy aging expert. That’s been its own journey. On the way, I’ve become a holistic nutrition and health coach and a 500-hour certified yoga instructor. I have an MA in psychology, and I’m currently finishing up my second master’s degree at USC in gerontology, [which is] the physical, social, and psychological study of aging. Mix that together with a love of all things skincare and a desire for optimal health, and presto! A healthy aging expert.
WHAT’S AT THE HEART OF THE WORK AND MISSION OF LIVE YOUNG LIFESTYLE?
At the heart of my work lies my desire to help people look and feel their best at every age. At Live Young Lifestyle, the mission is to promote healthy aging from the inside out and the outside in. How we look on the outside is very much tied to how we feel on the inside—and vice versa. For example, if we take care of our insides through meditating, grounding with the earth, eating healthy, and getting restorative sleep, it shows on our outsides. Similarly, if we take care of our outsides with effective skincare, resistance training, and healthy eating, we feel better about our insides. Although most people don’t recognize the connection, our insides and outsides are completely intertwined. My work and my mission are to help people improve both.
WHAT IS THE SCIENCE BEHIND GROUNDING?
Grounding (also known as earthing) connects people to the earth’s natural healing energy. It is truly one of the most profound “health hacks” I’ve ever found. The earth has a negative electrical charge. The atoms in our bodies, even healthy bodies, lose electrons, causing harmful free radicals. This makes our bodies positively charged and that’s actually not a good thing. When our positively-charged bodies come in contact with the negatively-charged earth, the human body soaks up these negatively charged electrons, neutralizing the positively-charged electricity in our bodies. In return, the excess electricity is discharged through the ground. If you are mindful of the exchange, you can literally feel this happening, but whether you “feel” it or not, it has amazing health benefits.
WHAT TIPS DO YOU HAVE FOR SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO TRY GROUNDING FOR THE FIRST TIME?
For those who have never tried grounding before, I suggest you do a quick search of your surroundings. Look for natural ground — grass, dirt, sand, or rock — or grounding pads if natural ground is not easily accessible, but I think nature is always best. Take your shoes off and stand, walk or sit on the earth. That’s it. Let Mother Earth do her magic. 20 to 30 minutes every day is optimal, but I’ve felt profound benefits from 5 to 10 minutes as well.
HOW DOES GROUNDING CONTRIBUTE TO LIVING A YOUNGER LIFE?
Grounding has SO many health benefits! Not only does it neutralize free radicals, but it also reduces anxiety and depression. During the short time that you are grounding with the earth, you can literally feel your stress dissolve and your mood lift. In the fast-paced, hyper-caffeinated, ultra-engaged new world we’re living in, anxiety and depression contribute to limiting our lifespan and our quality of life. We are also living in an ever-more sterile world, with rubber-soled shoes and concrete-covered land, so many people can go years without touching the earth. The consequence? The health of our intestines, the home of all the good bacteria living inside of us, is highly compromised. Grounding helps to diversify those vital bacteria that keep our guts functioning optimally. Connecting physically to the earth also promotes better sleep. Grounding lowers your blood pressure and reduces inflammation throughout your entire body. Inflammation is at the root of all major chronic diseases, including heart disease, and cancer. Lowering the inflammation throughout your body will not only help you reduce pain, but it will also help you live longer.
WHY IS GROUNDING SOULCARE?
Grounding with this planet is energizing, healing, accepting of yourself, and connecting to a larger energy force. It is good for your mind, body and soul. Soulcare is fertile ground and fertile ground is earth.
HOW HAS GROUNDING IMPACTED YOUR PERSONAL WELLNESS JOURNEY?
I grew up barefoot on a small farm, so I feel I was born with two feet firmly planted on the ground. Yet, I quickly became a farm girl who yearned to leave to the concrete city of Los Angeles. I think somewhere along the way, there was a part of me that knew what the “big city” was lacking. It took me a while to find it again. And although I could not see myself going back to living on a small farm, through the practice of grounding, I have taken a small part of the farm with me wherever I go.
WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE VISION FOR YOURSELF?
My ultimate vision is to help people on a much bigger platform than on social media. Much of what I do as a healthy aging coach is to cut through the marketing and B.S. [that is] pushed by manufacturers who prey on the aging population that are in search of the metaphorical fountain of youth. My ultimate vision of my work is to tell it like it is: what works, what doesn’t, what is a waste of money, and how to achieve longevity while minimizing age-related disease on a much larger scale.
WHEN DO YOU FEEL MOST CONNECTED TO YOUR HIGHEST SELF?
I feel most connected to my higher self while grounding, during meditation, and while practicing yoga. It is in those brief moments of clarity that I feel connected to my highest self. For me, it’s really about being mindful. As much as I yearn to look forward to the coming years with enthusiasm, I work doubly hard to be present in every single thing I do. We have one shot at this life and my intention is to soak it all in.
DO YOU HAVE ANY MANTRAS OR MOTIVATIONAL PHRASES THAT YOU FIND YOURSELF RETURNING TO OFTEN?
Many, but there is one mantra that is always present: “Chin up, tits out”! I often follow with “you got this.” There is a lot that can be interpreted from this mantra, but just the posturing alone changes your mindset.
WE DEFINE LIGHTWORKERS AS THOSE THAT BRING AND SPREAD LIGHT AND POSITIVITY INTO THE WORLD. WHAT MAKES YOU A LIGHTWORKER?
This interview leads me to believe I may be headed in the right direction. That said, I’m continually seeking and searching for light, compassion, [and] acceptance of both oneself and of our fellow humans inhabiting this planet. Each of us on our journeys around the sun. I strive to travel with love and wild, untamed, age-less laughter and gratitude.
Grounding reminds us to slow down and reconnect. What is grounding you this week? Share your grounding techniques in the comments!