Why make time to connect to and care for your feet? Why on earth do the feet matter, and why do I have feet on the brain? First of all, your feet are a part of your body. And, while I’m sure you treat your feet with the utmost respect, I often hear people express embarrassment or disgust about their or someone else’s feet. Through the years, I’ve heard folks call feet ugly, gross, and attaching shame to the feet, as if these things at the bottom of our legs haven’t carried us around the earth in a divine fashion, or as if any part of the body should be disrespected at all.
Isn’t the entire body deserving of respect and care? And while we’re at it, are the feet not a part of the body? Think about it, why not offer your feet the same attention and care you might offer your skin, hair, or internal health? Or maybe, you’re in a place where you’re not necessarily offering any of your body special care or attention, so why not begin here, with you’re feet? Remember, the body works as a whole, so why not support all parts of the whole? And yes, this includes the feet, and any area of the body that can all too often experience neglect.
And while the body is a whole, you can draw your attention to certain parts or details of the body to better understand and care for it in digestible bits. By approaching the body through a more detailed lens, you can help make sense of the body and better understand how it is connected and flows, which can, in turn, better serve the whole.
When you know your body, you can better support your body. When you care for your body, it can better care for you back.
For this reason, I have created a short list of 14 ways to connect to and care for your (sweet) feet.
- Walk/Run/Sprint. Use your feet. Feel them. Let them carry you, fast or slow.
- Dance. Tap Dance, Salsa, or groove around your room. Move fast or slow, heavy or light, with a partner or with yourself. (Side note: there is nothing quite like partner dancing to make you fully aware of your feet and their whereabout. If you know, you know)
- Stand/walk on your tippy toes. Do so like a child, a dancer, or someone heading to the fridge at midnight. Or maybe you have another approach to tippy-toe walking.
- Walk Backwards. Move as slowly as you need to to feel safe. Allow this shift of direction to create a new awareness or one you haven’t tapped into since you were a child.
- Have Yourself a Walking Meditation. This is an opportunity to slow it way down. Slower than ever before. A walking meditation is a chance to notice the way you move, step, and shift your weight. It is an invitation to pay attention in a way that maybe you never have. In this process, feel every connection and release of your foot throughout your walk. Allow all of the feelings and thoughts to roll on through, same as a sitting meditation. (More to come on walking meditations because I love them and they are a gift!)
- Point Your Yoes, Flex Your toes, then Repeat. Do this while sitting, lying down, or standing. Look at your foot in the process, and observe it from all angles. Feel the microscopic movements, watch the beauty, and notice your range of motion and possible places of tension.
- Look up close and personal at your feet, not with criticism, but with compassionate observation. Get curious. Look at the bones, the lines, the curves, the textures, and the spaces in between the toes. Your body is fascinating. All of it. Yes, even your feet.
- Thank your feet for all they do. Express gratitude while walking, climbing stairs, or sitting here reading this. Thank your feet for carrying you for all the years they’ve done so.
- Stand Barefoot in the grass, sand, or forest floor. How does this feel?
- Slide your fingers between your toes, interlacing fingers with toes, like a funny handhold. This experience can feel intense, funny, or strange. What comes up for you in this process?
- Receive a foot massage.: from yourself, a professional, or a loved one. Bonus: give a massage to someone else. You can learn a lot about people and yourself through such an intimate experience.
- Receive a pedicure. Treat yourself and celebrate your feet with some shine and glam. Get buffed and bedazzled, however, calls to you.
- Wash your feet with care and attention. In the shower, before bed, when you come home from a day outside.
- Appreciate your own feet, and appreciate other feet. Remind yourself of their importance, efforts, and beauty.
Of course, this list could go on and on. I’m sure you already notice, that none of these practices include only the foot, because like we all know, the body is all connected. Allow any or all of these playful, loving practices to get you better acquainted with the feet and the whole body. If I discover anything else to add to this list, I will surely share them with you. If any of this resonates with you, drop a comment below. It would be a treat to hear from you.