“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
Question for you.
It is funny, but how often do you think about your feet?
Go on, take a moment and try to remember the last time you really thought about those things at the end of your legs. Unless you have recently bought a pair of shoes and are wearing them in; like I did; or you have a bunion or a pain in your feet; or have gone for a long walk; it is unlikely you have spent some time thinking about them at all.
Now I have got your attention on your feet, I’d like to say that you can use your feet in a Mindfulness practice that helps focus you on the now. Yes, both a Mindfulness practice as well as practising being in the now. Plus it is something that is fun that you can try at home, in the office, on the train, almost anywhere….
The invitation begins by gently bringing your attention down the legs into the feet. Sensing your feet directly without looking at them. Allowing your awareness to sink into your feet and fill them from the inside to the outside. From the bones, right out to the surface of the skin. Perhaps sensing the many small bones within the feet. Maybe feeling the sensations of touch on the skin; the sensations in the soles of the feet; the sense of touch and pressure where the feet make contact with the floor. Perhaps exploring with your awareness the boundary between the feet on the floor. Next……
Can you Wiggle Your Toes
Seriously. Our toes are anomalies from the rest of our bodies, for they’re one of the movable parts of our bodies that we don’t reflexively move or incorporate into the rest of our normal movements. Our toes are just there, not moving. Rather than over-thinking this one, trust me and try the following:
- Scrunch your toes up to make a toe fist
- Wiggle them
- Stretch them out
- Focus on moving your big toes without moving the rest of them
- Now do whatever feels right for your toes
- Now allow your awareness to sink into your feet and fill them from the inside to the outside, perhaps sensing the sensations of touch on the skin
- The sensations in the soles of the feet, the sense of touch and pressure where the feet make contact with the floor.
- Perhaps exploring with your awareness the boundary between the feet on the floor.
- Perhaps the weight of the feet on the floor
- Finally, allow your attention move away from your feet.
- You have been experiencing “the now”
Did you notice that you couldn’t really think about anything else while you were actively moving your toes? You might also suddenly notice other parts of your body. It can be really weird when this happens.
The act of being present is, in a sense, a meditation without meditating. With it comes a sense of stillness. For a few moments in your busy, 24*7 lives, you feel at peace. At one with yourself and the world around you.
Finally, the photo I used is of my wacky striped socks. I came across a set of weird and wonderful coloured socks, bought them and have enjoyed wearing them both at work and at home. The look on some of my colleague’s faces when they see them brings a smile to them and me. The photo is a collage of four days of sock wearing at work last week!
If you look closely, you may notice that my left ankle is larger than my right. This is the long term outcome of being run over a few years ago. I have three screws in my left ankle and have five degrees less movement; hence the swelling. Oh and sometimes it does hurt, but that is life.
I love whacky socks and please feel free to share photos of your wacky socks!
Finally, if you would like to do a more formal practice to shift out of doing mode, then try the following link:
I leave you with the following quote.
“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” ― Mahatma Gandhi