At some point in every journey there will be a time when we must choose to move forward, go back from where we came, or stay put.
After a rest, or when we’re presented with an obstacle, or even when we decide we don’t want to keep going in the same direction.
We’re told to put one foot in front of the other; to walk, run, then fly! We’re also told to keep our head out of the clouds, and step in time.
We’re told many things about our journey through life that seem contradictory. But it all makes more sense if you think about what moves you and grounds you.
Feet don’t fail me now.
As human beings, we walk upright. Physically, everything is stacked up above your feet.
Your eyes are up near the top of you, so you can keep looking ahead, but your feet are the contact points with the planet you move across.
We depend so much on our feet. Which is why going barefoot can be such a powerful experience: mind, body, spirit AND planet.
Even if you are not ambulatory or have lost your limbs, there is significan symbolism in the use of our feet–your feet might be wheels or prosthetic, but we’re all journeying across the same Earth.
When animals began to be shod, it was a mark of domestication. They were not free anymore–we controlled them our use. It’s pretty much the same with us putting shoes on ourselves.
We wear shoes for industry. For entertainment. Because we have decided they look good. But mostly, they don’t feel good. They confine us.
Walking Softly On This Earth
Although, we also wear shoes for protection. Soft-soled moccasins made of animal hide were the first footwear for many nomadic tribes, like the Native Americans. The shoes were in keeping with reverence for the land–feeling Mother Earth under foot and treading softly upon her, so as not to do needless damage.
If you feel out of sorts with where you’re at or where you think you’re headed, try doing something similar. What if you softened your footprints as you moved forward? What if you felt minimally protected but maximally connected, and therefore were able to be a bit more carefully?
That’s one way of staying grounded while moving forward.
Remove your hard shoes and use the flow of energy from the gridlines in the earth up into your body, and visa versa. It’s going to do you a world of good, literally and metaphysically.
Ancient Asian medicine recognized the importance of the feet to our energy systems and our mind-body connection to the planet. Leaving your foot chakras open allows a complete flow.
Biblical traditions placed emphasis on both the humility and the aristocracy of bared feet, including the washing of feet. It is said John the Baptist did not feel worthy even to remove the sandals of Jesus, and yet Jesus washed the feet of his disciples.
Outside of Buddhist temples you will find piles of shoes that have been removed from the feet of those visiting inside. In fact, feet have been objects of respect in India since long before Buddha. They represent grounding of the transcendent. How wonderful is that? To consider your feet as the way to connect an elevated consciousness to the physical world.
And you will also remove your shoes before entering most traditional Asian homes. It is considered good for the health, and in reverence for the home–leave your dirt at the door.
Today we know the feet are used less, and perhaps overlooked more, than any time before. We sit more. We have vehicles. Our fashion comes first. In the western world, our appearances can tend to overtake our primal intuition.
But intuitively we know, it’s entirely possible to be both grounded in our awareness and moving forward with vigor, when we stand on your own two feet.