You know how all the mindfulness gurus out there recommend to embrace all your feelings, not to ignore gut instincts, but to be aware of them all, listening in and letting them be a lesson to you?
Well, the other week, when I was out walking with one of my WanderWomen groups, and we were enjoying some barefoot time. Some of it was lush green, soft grass, then there were a few pebbly paths, rocks, moss and dried up mud. It was a feast for all the senses, and super-grounding and all: You might or might not be aware of all the benefits of barefoot walking.
Some of them are listed here:
Barefoot walking stretches muscles, ligaments and tendons, and therefore helps prevent injuries and physical problems.
It increases levels of feel good endorphins and therefore helps in battling anxiety and depression.
Because you have to really watch where you are putting your feet, you focus on the moment, and therefore clears your mind from other worries or negative thoughts!
It is grounding, and apparently it helps with insomnia!
While we were walking, in my head I was going over a recent situation in my work life, and it dawned on me, that there are so many parallels with the conscious barefoot walking, and real life!
In life there are rubbish bits, that happen, and we have to get through them, however hard it might seem, but then better times, opportunities, happy incidents happen! Well, there are always going to be things that are unsettling and not so happy, but with time you learn that without those you can’t appreciate the good parts of life (which are guaranteed to return!)
Now, let me talk you through the barefoot walking: You take your shoes off where there is lush and lovely and soft grass (or sand)! But unfortunately that doesn’t last for ever: there are really tough parts, that make your eyes water, it’s that hard to do, rocks in your way, things cutting into the soles of your feet! Ouch! But then, just ahead, there is that lovely soft grass again! Bliss. I forgot about the tough bits already! Then there is mud that feels great, but makes you slip, so it’s challenging on the balance, and then you get on to the soft and lush grass again, just lovely!
And the lesson of it all? Everything in life is connected, like John Muir said, there are parallels to be drawn everywhere! There are always tough parts, in life and on your literal path, but good times will return, always. Only when you feel it all, when you go through the really tough bits, you will be able to feel the good stuff, too! You learn to manage experiences better – You grow a tougher skin. All the learning and experience is yours.
It’s good to take your shoes off every now and again, to remind you, that life doesn’t always need numbing down to avoid the feels, but that’s a whole other blog post!
On a different but related note, I can highly recommend Wildling Shoes, for that lovely barefoot feeling, despite having shoes on!
Check out here for some opportunities to come and walk barefoot with WanderWomen! See you soon!