Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Right to Bare Feet

Dancing in bare feet is...luxurious, grounding, freeing, comfortable...just, well, right. At least it is for me. Of course, I'm a barefootist by nature. I can't wait until spring each year, when I can finally feel the earth under my feet. I only wear socks in my house if it's freezing, and even if it is, I must sleep in bare feet.

In Nia, the feet are called "the hands that touch the earth." That phrase reminds me to respect and give gratitude for my beautiful feet. Most of us don't know our feet like we do our hands. Sure, maybe we've gone for a pedicure together a few times, but those were special occasions. We are much more likely to spend quality time with our hands, maybe cooking a meal together, or cleaning out a closet. There's more of a day to day familiarity with our hands. We take our feet for granted. Maybe because we can stuff them into shoes and forget about them, maybe because they don't help to get us things.

But, just like our hands, our feet help us sense textures and shapes, and they help us express. Feet are just more foundational, rolling dutifully from heel to toe, following the body's lead, or purposefully grounding down to create a solid base as we seek stability. Sensing our feet as we dance purposefully into a heel lead, step lightly onto a whole foot, or lift up into a releve brings our attention to the roots of our body's movement. Our feet are working all the while as we move ourselves though time and space.

Thank your feet today by spending a little quality time with them. Soak them in a hot bath, give them a pumice scrub, or a yummy-smelling lotion rub. Let them walk and dance, uninhibited by the oppressive shoe! Bare your feet proudly, and feel their power on this earth.

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