wading barefoot

Brrr -it’s suddenly chilly! While just a couple of days ago we were sweating in tank tops and shorts here in the upper Midwest, this morning I woke up and glanced out the window to see my neighbors getting into their car all bundled up in sweaters and long jeans. Welcome, fall!

Fortunately, it warmed up a bit later in the day, and  even in the morning there was still enough residual heat to do one of my favorite Wild Woman activities – going barefoot!

Why barefoot? Well, hey, it just feels good! Especially walking through lush, damp grass. Or, if you’re lucky enough to live near a beach, over sun-warmed sand. (Ever walk through sand that squeaks?) :-)

To be a little more scientific, there’s a good reason going barefoot is so pleasant and relaxing. Reflexologists tell us that our feet contain approximately 7,200 nerve endings, each of which connects to a different area of the body. Stimulating those nerves also stimulates the corresponding body part. So a barefoot walk in the park
is the next best thing to a light all-over body massage.

Other natural health practitioners say that barefoot contact with the earth (also known as “earthing” or “grounding”) helps to reduce stress and inflammation, and balance the immune system. Apparently this is because it allows the body access to the electrical potential of the Earth.

But I like going barefoot because it’s like sharing a hug with Mother Earth.

I read once about a woman who had grown up in an indigenous culture and never wore shoes until she was in her twenties. She referred to shoes as “blindfolds for the feet.”

Once you’ve gotten used to going barefoot, you’ll see what she meant. You’ll start to pick up information through your toes and soles just as you do from your eyes and ears. You’ll truly get a “feel” for what’s growing and how the earth is feeling that day. And it’s a literal reminder to be respectful of the ground we walk upon!

For some of us in the Northern Hemisphere, this year’s days of barefoot rambling are drawing to a close. Take advantage of the last warm weeks while you can. At least once this week, shuck off your shoes and let your feet run wild! :-)

Do you enjoy going barefoot? What’s your favorite thing about it?

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photo credit: jenny downing via photopin cc

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Filed under: Adventure ChallengesSelf care

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