Kissing the Earth with your Feet

Baring your feet to the touch of the earth, feeling your skin against the skin of the planet.

.

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh

.

footshy_by_moonvoodoo-d5vmod5

.

It’s strange how the part of us which bears the weight of our world is so incredibly sensitive. You’d think it would be the hardest part of us.

Instead the slightest brush of a feather can send a shockwave traveling through us and we squirm to get away from the feeling… but only if someone else is doing it. If we try to tickle ourselves we get nowhere and feel nothing but mild irritation.

We talk about having our feet firmly planted on the ground, of walking on eggshells, of dancing on air, dipping our toes in the water, of treading carefully, trampling hearts, kicking the bucket, and so much more. Our feet feature often in the lexicon of our mind, our expressions, our language…

.

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh

.

…yet our head has certain disdain for our feet – those are just the things which take me where I want to go. Which I expect to do as I order them to do – climb mountains, step over obstacles, walk over hot coals, and never bother me with their blisters, burns, swelling, sweating, damp and smelly reality.

We treat our feet rather badly, force them into shoes, too small, too big, too wide, too narrow, too cramped, too hard, rubbing, chafing, hurting, and tell them to suck it up because they have to wear shoes to protect them from all the perils on the ground.

.

Broken GlassGlass warped by a bonfire…

.

Our mind tells our feet – this hurts me more than it hurts you, therefore I win and you have to do what I tell you to do! Stop bothering me with your issues, my issues are far more important than yours, and although you may be one of my issues, you are not an important one!

Our ego also has a part in the debacle of our feet. Our feet, realising that going bare, naked in this world, isn’t always an option, may want to have a say in their footwear. But our feet like Crocs and Uggs, comfortable vessels which cuddle and cradle them, help make the load they carry less of a burden, not fashion statements which torture them so our ego can dress to impress other egos.

Our ego likes to paint our feet into a corner and then orders them to find their footing, get themselves out… but don’t walk on the fresh paint! Because those are the dreams of the ego and they smear easily.

Our feet appeal to the mind for some back up – please talk some sense into the ego, make it understand that we are not its enemy, nor can we be shaped to fit its demands, we’re made of flesh, blood and sensitive nerves, not plasticene!

The mind ums and ers, and errs on the side of caution. It knows that challenging the ego is always a bad idea, as the ego does not like to be thwarted in its quest for greatness, does not like its delusions popped, and makes all and sundry pay for it when reality crashes its alternate reality party!

.

“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh

.

Earth

.

Cinderella was never happier than when she lost her shoe, a moment of sheer ecstatic freedom after a night spent in glass slippers, dancing on glass, which was not as wonderful as she had imagined it to be, and at the end of the evening she’d had enough of fearing the glass would break, tear her soles to pieces and she’d forever be walking on broken glass.

Of course the fairytale forced her feet back into those glass slippers, to live happily ever after wearing them, so she could marry a Prince and live in a palace, Queen of a kingdom which ego could not resist.

I preferred Sleeping Beauty… Wake me up when going bare is fashionable, until then let these tootsies rest in peace rather than be made to live in pieces.

Once upon a time my love for going barefoot resulted in a while of living with a piece of broken glass embedded in my sole, which regularly sent spasms of wincing pain through my body. I suppose a doctor might have tweezed it out, but it was a very tiny sharp shard, and the only doctor around was the local vet. He was quite mad, however not loopy enough to suggest putting me down to put me out of my mother’s misery. He suggested letting me live with it, learn about actions and consequences from it, and besides it would disintegrate with time and perhaps even work its own way out of my foot naturally.

I learned to live with it, with pain, and kind of missed it once it was gone.

.

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh

.

SkeleStone

 

 

10 thoughts on “Kissing the Earth with your Feet

  1. Touch does not lie to us as thoughts about touch can…..i loved this its been a theme around very much last week…The felt sense the sense of being in touch rather than mind noticing sensation not what mind is trying to make of it….or how we were told to feel when our instincts told us otherwise.

    Like

    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      That’s a wonderful way of putting it. The mind’s perception of what it is feeling or expects to feel versus what the skin actually feels. Have you ever expected something to taste a certain way and been confused by the actual taste. There’s this pause where the mind can’t make sense of what the body is actually sensing, and it struggles to figure it out, bring reason to bear.

      It is fascinating.

      Like

      1. I got lost in the outer world for a week and just read this reply. It was interesting to me when you posted this as just a few days before I was consciously walking barefoot and placing all my attention on feeling the ground and I it seems that feeling is so different to thinking about feeling which is what happens when the mind latches onto sensation. Ever sat silently and just felt the energy around you and in your body without thoughts? Its a beautiful experience. I think in modern society we live so much in thoughts and are less present as a result. I think your blog really touched on that and so did the comment you made.

        Like

        1. Thank you very much 🙂

          I read an interesting astrology post recently which discussed something similar, about letting the mind take a rest and using the rest of us more. Thinking with the other parts of us, rather than just the mind.

          It’s here – http://www.loveyourdesign.com/when-its-better-not-to-know/

          I love spacing out and dissolving into nature, listening to the sounds of life, enjoying the sights, the feel, the scents, without thinking about it, just being a part of it. It is a nourishing experience.

          Like

  2. Wonderful photos…some of which show the dangers of walking barefoot if one is not fully conscious of what lies in front and beneath! I, too, once had a piece of glass in my foot that eventually worked its way out much higher up on my foot. I had picked another piece out, not knowing a smaller piece was still inside. I, too, have heard of that kneeling on rice punishment…I guess it gets very painful. Who would have ever discovered this? Your post was very interesting and well written! http://judydykstrabrown.com/2015/08/08/night-fantasies-and-other-reading-pleasures/

    Like

    1. Thank you very much 🙂

      Sand in particular hides many perils, your feet just sink into it and you don’t know what lies beneath. There are quite a few shells which can be as sharp as glass and as difficult to get out. But the feeling of bare feet is so lovely!

      I imagine many things like that are discovered by accident, someone spilled some rice and while they were cleaning it up, they noticed they were kneeling on it and it hurt. The human mind is known for its tendency to be flexible, inventive, imaginative, and to use things in varied ways often for nefarious purposes which is why in fiction (and in real life) when a scientist invents a device to solve a problem, or discovers a new power source, they then worry about it getting into the wrong hands and becoming the cause of a worse problem.

      Like

  3. I used to walk barefoot outside all over town, when I was in my early teens. My best friend at the time, and I would walk everywhere in the summertime in bare feet. In fact we’d get away with going into local stores with no shoes as well. Generally though we were in and out anyway, with a pack of cigarettes. 🙂

    Recently I started walking around a neighborhood park in the mornings. A good size trail, like a track goes around the perimeter of it. At the start of my walk I take off my shoes and walk about a quarter or a bit more of it to get some earthing in.

    Like

    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      I love that! I love how what you’re doing now is also connecting you to your teen self and her barefoot adventures! Like she’s walking barefoot with you.

      It’s wonderful to have that connection to the ground, as your feet learn from everything their sensitive soles pick up, and all this information passes from the earth into us.

      I love the feel of hot stone underfoot. Wet grass is lovely too. So many wonderful sensations from which shoes protect us!

      Like

  4. Wow. You walked around with a piece of glass in your foot? This was a lesson?? Yikes! Sounds like torture and cruelty to me. Your mother – excuse me, but what a creature!

    I once had someone tell me that her mother used to punish her by making her kneel on uncooked rice grains on a linoleum floor. The things people dream up that are supposed to be “lessons” boggles the mind.

    I like what you have said about the poor old foot. I’m not inclined to wear anything that’s not comfortable – fashion be damned! 🙂

    Like

    1. It was my fault for running around barefoot. My mother did try to get the glass out, but it was a tiny sliver and had gone in too deep, hence the vet being called. He was an expat living in Italy and my mother preferred to call him than go to an Italian doctor as she’d had a bad experience when she was pregnant.

      The whole spin on it about it being a life lesson was a fairly typical attitude, a rather British way of handling things.

      Basically if anyone got hurt the rule of thumb was to be like the Black Knight in Monty Python’s Holy Grail.

      She’d been brought up that way, she’d lived mostly with her Victorian grandparents as a child and her grandfather was in the Navy so they were tough on her, and she was worse when it came to herself. She was just passing on her mess, and for the most part she didn’t know what she was doing.

      I may have made it sound worse than it was because I’m feeling very frustrated by her antics at the moment, and I know that she hasn’t a clue what a bleeping bleep she is being.

      I had not heard of the rice on linoleum. I never had those kinds of punishment, but my mother did when she was a child. I am thankful that things were not as bad as they might have been.

      My feet wrote this post, I tortured them for fashion when I was younger, these days they choose the shoes! 🙂

      Like

Comments are closed.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: