They say our posture and how we stand says a lot about us but how we walk says even more. There are expressions like having a spring in our step, they are dragging their feet or plodding through life.
Standing and walking are some of our first great achievements as an infant. Soon very little attention goes into these activities. As our feet are the furthest part of our body from our head they can often be neglected.
It is said that an elephant can stand on its trainer’s foot yet the trainer’s foot remains unhurt. If the elephant tensed its foot, the trainer’s foot would be crushed.
Today our feet are so tight and tense that if we stood on a small stone barefoot it could cause much pain. Due to the tension we hold in our body it is only natural that are feet are tense.
Through releasing the tension in our feet can we release tension in our body?
Reflexologists believe that the feet mirror the body. All organs, systems and glands of the body can be mapped onto areas of the feet called reflex points. A reflexologist knows how to stimulate the reflex points in order to bring about a response in the corresponding part of the body.
Could we through barefoot walking stimulate our feet and the corresponding part of the body?
For many thousands s of years people have been barefoot or worn simple leather sandals. People migrated hunted and ran barefoot.
Growing up in New Zealand a lot of my childhood was spent barefoot. The environment I would walk around was very different to now. The concrete jungle we live in our feet never touch the ground. The concrete and tarmac is hard and cold.
We insulate, protect and provide cushioning to keep our feet safe and comfortable. We lose contact with mother earth. We forget the simple pleasures of damp grass or warm sand on our feet.
When I was speaking about this to a friend, they were concerned about standing on something sharp or unpleasant. My response was that we should be mindful of every step we take. We would then be aware of any potential dangers or hazards.
Could focusing on every step we take be a form of meditation to keep us in the moment?
Should we focus on relaxing our body and centring ourselves as we walk or check our mobile phone?
Maybe we should appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.
Having bare feet in our normal day to day activities may not be practical but being mindful of every step has no limitations.
Let’s all be mindful of every step we take and every step be graceful.
Mark- The Alchemist’s Journey