Being laid off from a soul-eating job a couple of years back has to have been one of the greater blessings of my life, all things considered. Even if it seemed like a pretty shitty-ass move at the time, it led to some good restructuring of life and work. It enabled me to be barefoot a lot, after years of having to abide by strict OSHA rules on protective footwear.
I’ve come to value barefooting/flip-flopping a lot. And not just because of the awesome tan lines you get from sandals, although I totally dig those. It’s the grounding, the feeling of standing solidly into my own two feet, on the planet. It’s about proprioception – how your body orients you in space. How we stand up straight, how we instantly respond to catch a ball or get our feet back under us when we trip or slip. It’s a sense, just like touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing, but for some reason it didn’t rise to fame with the others. The majority of our proprioreception is gained from the soles of our feet. As soon as you put anything on there, even the thinnest of soles, you muffle that connection. I can’t help but think that our sense of being “lost” in the world may partially come from that severed connection.
I have zero science to back that up. I tried a quick Google, but none of the links returned were speaking my language. I guess I’m just operating on a strong hunch or intuition if you will. Plus from doing yoga. Setting a solid foundation with your hands and feet before moving into the poses. Proprioreception in action, all the way.
I’d like to suggest more barefoot time. Allow the body to connect, to sense, to feel that connection to mother earth. And just maybe, we will all feel a little more in our skin as a result.