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.