Forget Not That The Earth Delights to Feel Your Bare Feet

You know when you have habits that help soothe and relax so that you can unwind and unfurl yourself from whatever tough meeting, uncomfortable conversation, hellacious commute, or long day you’ve just had?

I’ve got one (well, I have many). And, I’ve finally realized why this particular one is so freeing to me.

The first thing I do when I get home is change into my most comfortable loose-fitting clothes (this is pretty average for most women because hello! we can’t wear yoga pants to work…well most of us can’t). But, the best feeling in the world? Taking my shoes off and feeling the ground beneath me. Barefoot, I feel it reminding me that I am home. I am here now. I can breathe deep and let go.

And then I started doing this at acupuncture. I would wait for my acupuncturist to be ready for me, I would walk in and sit on the chair in the dimly lit incensed room, sigh a deep breath and slip off whatever shoes I was wearing. Wiggle my toes and feel immediately grounded. Ready and open to discuss what healing practices would be good for me today.

And then…I did this at work. Before I hear a collective “ew!” from all of you, I’ll have you know I was in the privacy of my own office and my feet were hidden underneath my desk. Also, I’m obsessive about keeping my feet clean and pretty, so I’m the ideal person you want taking their shoes off in an office environment. But, besides that point, today I was asked to work on something creative. Unfortunately, creativity has left my job by and large over the past few years so I was excited that this assignment (as mediocre and small as it was) was asking me to tap into something that has recently felt largely dormant. As I found myself (sneakily) slipping my shoes off, wiggling my toes, and feeling the ground beneath me and breathing deep, I felt the pressure of the assignment lift and let my imagination take over.

There’s something incredibly powerful in feeling the ground beneath us. We are so busy walking, rushing, running, everywhere. There’s a reason why in yoga, “mountain pose” is standing at the top of your mat, feet rooted into the earth while you stand tall and open like the majestic mountain you are meant to be. Perhaps the reason why babies can never keep shoes on their feet is because they aren’t meant to be confined to shoes. Perhaps, we were all never meant to be confined to shoes (p.s. – I have a serious shoe shopping addiction so just know that this was painful for me to write.)

All this to say…take off your shoes. Feel the earth underneath you. Feel the wood of your floors. Or the well-worn carpet of your bedroom. Or the shag rug in your living room. But feel it, scrunch up those toes, wiggle them around, press your heel and balls of your feet into the ground and then stretch them out. And remember, that in that very moment you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Rooted into the earth.

Note to Self: Let that Sh** Go

We are the product of our collective experiences. Many of my experiences growing up included a complete lack of control/say around any life decisions. As you can imagine this turned me into a force to be reckoned with later on in life — I am the Queen Bee of Control Freaks. It served me well (and sometimes still does). I don’t give up. I fight for everything I want. I push myself hard. I’m unafraid to do whatever it takes to get the outcome I *think* I want. But here’s the thing about that:

My past is impeding on my present and I am fixated on my future.

Also, I’m EXHAUSTED.  Imagine that, it’s exhausting constantly trying to remain in control of every possible scenario, conversation, and situation!

Mindful living is largely reliant on living in the present moment and letting go of control. That’s the irony of it all, control over one’s life is largely a misconception because so much is out of our control.  I grapple with this day in and day out. I’ll keep convincing myself that I will let it all play out the way it should, but…then…I won’t. And, through every effort that wasn’t met by any response at all, it fuels the fire of needing to control the situation.

I’ve been working through some affirmations and pledges that I’m hoping will help me (and hopefully all of you) in letting go:

Acknowledge the thought and let go.

I hear this and move on.

No one is taking any control away from you, you are choosing to step back and away and let go.

Shift your focus.

Happiness sometimes means letting go of the life we imagined.

There is freedom in accepting what can’t be changed.

Perhaps this is the ultimate mindfulness lesson — to learn how to wrestle and conquer this bear to be truly present in the moment. To learn how to climb over this mountain with tools I’m learning how to use.

I Am Cocoon Goo!

I was watching the most hilarious and perky show “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” and Titus Andromedon (in my opinion, the real star of the show) often repeats a particular phrase when he’s not looking or feeling his best:

“I am cocoon goo!”

On my most recent bike ride, I noticed that the path was filled with the tiniest, furriest caterpillars making their way across the path. I imagine from the caterpillar’s perspective it feels like a long journey of strife, peril, and risk. But nonetheless they keep crossing. And it’s certainly not the end of their journey–we know they have so much more transforming to do. The caterpillar is a great reminder that each day we are moving forward even if it’s by a millimeter across a vast concrete plane.

Caterpillars “melt” nearly completely before growing into a butterfly. They transform into another species, another creature!  One of beauty, strength, and fragility that spends the remainder of its life cross-pollinating all that it encounters. Flitting, flying, and softly landing.

I have to admit, I’m actually terrified of butterflies. Their erratic flight pattern causes me anxiety because I can’t tell if it’s coming right at me or if it’s going to suddenly swerve and avoid colliding with my face. I usually end up looking like I’m being attacked by a horde of killer bees rather than being chased by a beautiful butterfly. Long story short, because I can’t predict what the butterfly is going to do, I don’t like it. But, life is like that. Life is nothing but an erratic flight pattern that can’t be controlled or predicted.

I would venture to say that we are in some form of metamorphosis throughout several stages of our lives. Through every experience and milestone, there is an element of retreating into our cocoon goo to change and morph again. The butterfly does not know what color its wings will be or whether or not it will make it past the “goo” phase, but it trusts in the process. 

So as a reminder to all of us out there so in a hurry to spread our wings, remember that we have to be goo before we can learn how to fly!

Slow down. Calm down. Don’t worry. Don’t hurry. Trust the process.