~ English Blog Posts ~

Barefooted Mindfulness

4. juli 2012

Yesterday, I went for a walk in my magical forest.

I decided to go for a long, nice walk. Barefooted. Or at least, with barefoot shoes on, to protect my skin and to be able to throw my still fairly clean feet on my beige couch when I came home. It still gives you a naked feeling, though. It still makes you feel the ground underneath you, allowing your foot to behave naturally when it hits the ground. I love that about them.

I’ve been thinking about writing a blog post about this for ages already, but the thing is… My brain sorta goes blank once I start walking. It’s just me and nature and my body moving forward, and I’ve found it so incredibly hard to translate that into a meaningful text. It just doesn’t compute. I even tried taking my mini PC with me, to write live from the scenario, but to no avail. I have already entered wordlessness when I sit down, and it doesn’t even seem remotely necessary to switch it back on. Not even for my love of writing.

Bu yesterday was  a bit different. I realized that this «brain drawing a blank – phenomenon» is really a form of meditation doing it’s most beautiful thing: allowing your inner chatterbox to stop for just a minute, enabling you to feel your body and truly connecting with nature and your soul.

It’s pure therapy, actually.

Especially when you walk barefooted. You can’t just stomp wherever you want to, you need to plan your next step, letting your instincts take over, feel the ground underneath your feet and interpret that information for you to keep safe from harm – and thereby also keeping nature as intact as you possibly can.

Walking barefooted means that if you hurt nature, you’ll also hurt yourself.

It is a lesson in environmental care. Of human impact on nature, and the consequences of being ignorant about that.

You don’t have thick boots to protect you. Pain is felt by both parties, so you’ll thread lightly and with great care, with all your 5200 nerve endings under each foot having a blast while you’re walking – if you do it right. It’s like a pleasant massage. Zone therapy on the go.

Your body responds, all of a sudden you realize that it knows exactly what to do. Your feet know where and how to thread, and you feel so free and light, skipping from stone to stone, from root to root, and everywhere in between. Instead of your feet feeling heavy and clumsy, walking with a heal strike (that will ultimately lead to stress on the back), you feel your feet softly touching the ground with the fore- or midfoot, using your foot and calf muscles to naturally absorb the impact.

You are flying.

You are so in touch with nature when you choose to walk mindfully, respecting both your own body and nature all around you. You walk so lightly that you don’t scare off birds and animals as easily as you used to, your feet adapts to the environment and the soft ground of the forest allows for you to sneak quietly around, respecting every creature in there.

And by that, you also get in touch with your own soul. All the inner chatter just quiets down, allowing only your instincts and your soul to speak to you, sometimes not even in words, as you reach wordlessness. Nature starts speaking to you.

 

 

Herbs and plants come alive, and tell you what you need to hear. On my way home yesterday, I suddenly registered that the road that leads up to the path in the woods was literally crowded with plantain and dandelion, herbs that hold special meaning in terms of health.

Plantain is a herb for making wounds heal. Dandelion is a powerful cleansing herb, used in many teas for its detoxing properties. And when it all comes down to it, this is exactly what this forest is to me.

This forest is where I heal my hurts. And this is also where I detox, allowing nature to remove the toxins from my mind and soul, taking it all in and transforming it to something new and fresh. It actually reminds me of the time when I suffered from solastalgia and how I healed from that.

My magical forest is making me healed and clean again.

It’s pure magic.

 {All pictures: Private}

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  1. Wow! I just felt so alive while reading this! And I also envy you for having your own magical woods. I had one where I lived as a kid and it feels like nothing can ever cope with it. Here I can’t really find myself in the woods.
    Plantain is what we call groblad right? That one is a great edible plant to!

    1. Oh, I had that same problem as well, with comparing the sweet forest of my childhood to this one. It takes a bit of time to adjust, I think, to connect with that new environment. But it can be done, now I actually prefer this one, so keep looking! 🙂

      And yes, plantain is «groblad». 🙂

  2. Wow! I just felt so alive while reading this! And I also envy you for having your own magical woods. I had one where I lived as a kid and it feels like nothing can ever cope with it. Here I can’t really find myself in the woods.
    Plantain is what we call groblad right? That one is a great edible plant to!

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