Barefoot Bliss

Yesterday I was taking a small hike in a nearby forest when it started to rain hart. To keep the walk an enjoyable experience I decided to complete the hike barefoot. Walking in the rain has its own qualities but going barefoot makes it a blissful experience.

I thought of the following reasons why this is so:

Being in touch with water

Water is the substance of life on earth and we all have, one way or another, a deep relationship with water. The access to clean water is one of the greatest luxuries in life.

But when hiking with shoes, water quickly turns into a nuisance. In rainy weather mud or grass make the shoes quickly wet and dirty and the hike uncomfortable.

Going barefoot flips this to the opposite. The barefoot walker enjoys nothing more than to seeking out the wettest grass, the deepest puddles, the soft wet mud where the feet sink in. Going on moist moss where the water squeezes through the toes is just pure bliss.

This direct contact with the earth, enhanced through fresh rain water is only available to the barefoot walker.

Presence

Jacob Liberman, in his amazing book Luminous Life, defines presence as the eyes and the mind focused on the same thing.

I can guarantee that the eyes and mind will be focusing on the same thing during barefoot walking, namely the immediate ground ahead. The painful experience of walking on a small rock or any pointy object is not so much fun.

The result is that being barefoot is also being Present in the here and now which turns the barefoot walk also into a meditative experience.

being Grounded, Literally

Since very recently I have become a great fan of having a direct connection with the earth as a major health enhancer. In my previous post, Feel Like Being Grounded?, I explain more on my experience with Earthing.

Walking barefoot plus a wet ground is the best way to free up the electron flow from the earth into the body. The barefoot walk should be at least 30 minutes in order for the electrons to come up the middle of the body, 1 hour to get full immersion.

This is a relatively unknown discipline and I recommend to read Clint Ober’s book, Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever! or visit Earthing.com.

Conclusion and Tips

The three reasons above and certainly many others which I have not discovered yet make barefoot walking an blissful experience with no downsides.

The following quick tips help me as well:

  • The feet get quickly used to the ground. The initial pain of walking on small gravel goes quickly away. It is not necessary to become a pro-barefoot walker before enjoyment can set in.
  • I recommend to carry hiking poles. When walking on challenging ground it is easy to become slightly unbalanced when stepping on something uncomfortable or slippery. The poles will be essential to prevent accidental slips or falls.

Personal Qualities

I found the meditation Choosing Personal Qualities by Reuben Lowe this morning on Insight Timer particularly impactful.

In the meditation Reuben lists several personal qualities which come across masterfully with a feeling of flow. Being in the flow I responded to each in my heart and mind.

I also noticed that my response was different for each quality when seeing it projected toward others vs. toward myself.

So here are the qualities and my heartfelt flow state responses to it.

Personal Qualities Responses

QualityToward OthersToward or In Myself
FlexibilityMediumHigh
StrengthMediumHigh
CuriosityLowHigh
KindnessMediumLow
IndependenceHighHigh
AuthenticityMediumHigh
CourageLowHigh
OpennessMediumHigh
TrustHighHigh
SpontaneityLowHigh
ResilienceLowHigh
FriendlinessMediumLow
CompassionLowLow
ReliabilityHighLow
EncouragementHighMedium
CaringMediumMedium
GenerositiyMediumLow
HonestyHighHigh
ConsiderationMediumLow
PatienceLowLow
HumorHighLow
ReceptivityMediumHigh
ForgivenessHighHigh
GratitudeMediumLow

Conclusion

I bookmarked this meditation to repeat it periodically. Striking is the difference between how I perceive the qualities toward others vs. toward myself. There is much insight to be gained in this meditation.

I wonder how my responses will be in a year from now.