Whenever I am comfortable in a place I take my shoes off.
When I want to experience a place fully I have to take off my shoes so that I can feel the energy of the place through the souls of my feet (I realise how airy-fairy that sounds – my inner cynic is gagging – but it’s true). Anyway, I was looking through old photos this evening and realized that at many of the happiest and most beautiful moments of my life – my feet were bare.
That got me to thinking – a random little thought – which is that either the best places are bare foot places (entirely possible), or else the state of being bare foot somehow makes life better. I suspect it’s a combination of both.
(Please understand – I love shoes as much as the next girl. I have quite particular taste and would rather walk in broken shoes which I once loved than in new ones that I don’t. My red Converse are some of my most prized possessions in this life)
However, I still always end up bare foot.
I got to wondering – why is life better when you’re bare foot? The answer hit me with such obvious and instantaneous clout that I almost fell over – luckily I was sitting down.
For me, I take off my shoes to feel connected to a place. Just like I don’t feel as if I have really been to the beach if I didn’t go in the water, I also don’t feel like I have really been somewhere if I haven’t taken my shoes off and felt it out with my feet.
In the forest the ground is usually damp and covered in soft, wet leaves. When it’s been dry for a while the leaves don’t stick to your feet properly, instead the twigs crack under foot and the dried sticks make thorns.
At the beach you can tell the time of day by how warm the sand is. You have to get your feet in the water and feel the salt and the wet or you weren’t there.
I even take my shoes off at the office and pad around bare foot while I work because it’s easier to focus that way – even if I do look like a little fruit cake.
At home I never, ever, wear shoes.
When you are bare foot you are more “there”. In other words you are actually more present. You are focused on what you are doing, where you are and who you are with. You are less likely to be worrying about distant things. You are present. The present usually lacks worry, depression, and fear (unless you’re in danger).
That is why bare foot moments are the best. because you are right there in them.
It’s okay to worry about the future. It’s okay to feel depressed. It’s okay to feel afraid. It’s okay to feel sad. I have spent the last few weeks in a state of heart break, reliving over and over again all of the highs and lows of my adult life. It’s been that kind of time. That’s okay. I am not going to even try to fix it. Grief is a normal part of life and I know that there is a part of me that will always feel sad about some things, even though the things I feel saddest about are happy things. strangely enough.
But it’s okay.
I have my shoes off. I am present in this moment right now, and when I look at this moment – Life is good.