Kissing the Earth with your Feet

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

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

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footshy_by_moonvoodoo-d5vmod5

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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…

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“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

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…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.

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Broken GlassGlass warped by a bonfire…

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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!

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“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

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Earth

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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.

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“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

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SkeleStone

 

 

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