Barefoot Embodiment: First Steps
If you know me, you know I am almost ALWAYS barefoot. While "barefoot" is a metaphor for many things, it is also important to remember that my physically barefoot lifestyle has been a catalyst for all kinds of personal growth and the development of this metaphor in the first place. While one may not need to be physically barefoot in all situations to understand or practice personal authenticity, to avoid the physically barefoot life altogether would be to miss out on learning and expression available to you as a human being. If you're curious about being barefoot more or want some advice on where to start, this post is for you.
Here are some ideas for first steps (and why!) for embodying a barefoot way of being:
- If you wear shoes or slippers at home, take them off! Start where you are most comfortable and notice your environment in a new way!
- Walk on the beach barefoot. Rocks, shells, sand, algae... So many different things to feel! It's all information for your brain and body, and it helps you stay grounded in where you are right now.
- Practice your strides on grass, dirt, and asphalt. If you have thought about running, love running, or want to run again, a great place to start is by kicking off your shoes and seeing what happens. The grass is probably the softest and most gentle place to begin, so find a public park and go for it! Packed dirt is also great when you are first starting out and don't have much in the way of footpad yet. Surprisingly, asphalt is a GREAT teacher. Because there is no give in the ground, you'll find out quickly if the way you are running will get you and your body into trouble! Listen to your body and notice how it feels!
- Drive barefoot. I still haven't found where this is illegal, but if you find it, let me know. Personally, I feel like I have way more control when my foot is connected to what I'm doing instead of through the medium of shoes.
- Go in a public place barefoot around town. You might be surprised by the looks you get, by the questions or comments you receive, and you may not like the added attention. But hey, if nothing else, it's a great social experiment! If you're feeling particularly brave, go out to eat barefoot or go to your local library.
Don't forget to share your barefoot stories with me and others who are on their own barefoot journey!
Have fun, friends, and play well!
With barefoot joy,