I am still that little child that found security in having his feet bound by a warm pair of socks and tight-fitting shoes. That little kid had the occasion to see the feet of older individuals who preferred the barefoot life, and to him, this visual impact of seeing those feet was tragic. So unlike the beautiful feet, he had seen in advertising and on the television. He vowed his feet would never look like that.
The appearance of a well-disciplined and cared for, perfect foot, he decided at this early age, would be the feet he would sport for life. This is a commitment to his feet he would maintain throughout his adult life.
Later, in his late teens, he adopted a preference for the ministerial sciences from a Christian perspective and heard stories about Jesus and His feet. In loose-fitting sandals, he walked over 21 thousand miles. His feet must’ve… ee-yeww… what a sight they must’ve been.
Then, there’s the documentation of the washing of Jesus’ feet. This story has a different effect depending on the recipient of the data (if you know what I mean) but for me it was icky. Then there’s the whole foot-washing fest with the disciples… Really?
By some act of God, I made it to the ministry with my feet safely and securely bound tightly in my socks and shoes, even safe in the house always with my feet hidden in slippers or at the very least fully socked.
I continued my journey, evolved and expanded, all without having my bare feet ever touching terra firma. I have been through many different spiritual trainings and disciplines since then, and it has been quite a journey, all with my feet covered (except for baptism, one foot-washing escapade, and a firewalk, which I pulled off successfully, and no one knew how truly traumatic these episodes were for me). There is no courage without fear.
I have been living in what might be considered the wilderness, surrounded by acres of magnificent forest in the Pacific Northwest, and three weeks ago, my bare feet wandered outside, and now I am having glimpses of something that was missing from my past.
Yes, this was the first time my feet ever actually touched the earth that I can remember. And since then, I can barely keep my shoes on.
Now, mind you, I still care about my feet and I have no intentions of going off the rails, like some kind of wild Mick Dodge, but I get it now.
I share this story with you, because there is hope for you.
It is highly unlikely that you have issues with your feet and shoes, like me, but there is something that you have resisted along your journey, that for whatever reason, due to social programming, or some other personal blockage, has been keeping you from moving forward in something that continues to call your name.
You do what you can to avoid it, but keep moving forward, thinking this is unnecessary, even ridiculous. Nonetheless, it harkens to you.
I took my shoes and socks off, on my own terms, knowing it would not kill me. I tried it, and it was lovely.
I am smart and take precautions in my bare feet, for I must have the tenderest of all feet, yet here I am taking bare baby steps to “earthing,” connecting to the energy of our planet intimately, in a way I had previously been unable to experience.
I have heard and known about this for many years, and I have literally danced all around it, until this time in my life when I feel like the time has come for me to engage in Mother Earth’s mambo.
So, what is your barefoot moment?