The more things change, the more we look for new yet ancient ways of healing and living. Have you heard about the “new” craze called Earthing? Here is a quote from one of the many Earthing websites: “Earthing is a fast-growing movement based upon the major discovery that connecting to the Earth’s natural energy is foundational for vibrant health.” Not to sound cynical, but … duh. Can we really call this a “discovery”, walking barefoot? Regardless, the good news is that while we have separated ourselves literally from our roots and souls, we are now remembering, rediscovering, reconnecting with that which grounds and sustains us.
In these commentaries I have often spoke about connecting with the Divine, Higher Self, Universal Intelligence, Father Sky, or God, whatever language you are comfortable with. Well, equally important is to connect down into Mother Earth or Gaia (of course in the deepest sense, there is no “up” or “down”.) Many of us have become head oriented and mind and intellect based, so we forget our roots. We also separate ourselves from nature with walls and windows, floors and roofs, clothing and raingear. I am not saying we need to walk around barefoot and naked, although I’m not sure that is a bad idea. But we can at least go barefoot sometimes.
I now do this simple earthing technique each morning. When I wake up, often feeling slightly sleepy or groggy, I immediately throw on some clothes and walk barefoot with our dog, who is always barefoot, out into the garden, where I stretch and rest my feet in the grass. Almost immediately, I feel centered and awake and grounded for my morning meditation. In fact, I hardly need the meditation, since going barefoot is often enough to feel relaxed and ready for my day.
Later in the day, I often take the dog down to a ballpark where he can be off leash, and we both run barefoot in the grass a few laps. What a great break from the indoor computer world this is, and it only takes a few minutes.
I also notice that when I have a chance to go barefoot for extended periods of time, such as in our yoga retreats in tropical locations each year, I am rewarded with an amazing sense of well being. I notice that the first day or so my feet feel a bit tender, but then I begin to feel so good, not just in the feet, but throughout the whole body.
Whether we go barefoot or not, it is important to walk on grass and dirt as often as possible, as cement is terribly hard, no doubt contributing to countless knee and hip replacements. Just notice how far you can walk on cement versus a nature trail; walking on cement is exhausting–but probably better than not walking!. Walking barefoot is a free and natural reflexology session, hitting the pressure points that do not get activated when we wear thick rubber soles and walk only on even ground. These pressure points release tension and open channels throughout the entire body.
I will finish with a poem from my poetry book; the poem is called Unfiltered Feet
The first steps, tender reminders
of my lost nature,
my civilized soles.
Then, step by step, stone by stone, skin to soil,
grounding, opening, releasing,
reconnecting with Mother Earth,
a surge of strength and satisfaction,
barefoot with my beloved,
kissing the Earth with every step,
I return to my roots.