I have just discovered The Society for Barefoot Living. The group even has a Facebook Page - who would have thought! I would find it almost impossible to go completely shoeless, especially to give up my walking boots, but I certainly do love barefooting. Love that 'grounding' feeling of sand, rocks or grass under my feet - of feeling free and yet connected. And now word is that as well as being good for our soul, it's good for our health as well to kick off those Jimmy Choos - that being barefoot on the earth helps to ease away aches and pains, reduces inflammation, soothes our busy brains and helps us sleep - that it increases energy, improves blood flow and pressure, boosts the healing process and even helps to get rid of jet lag.
So how does this happen? The buzz word is 'earthing' - that when we are barefoot on sand, grass, rocks or even concrete, grounding from the negative electrical charges in the earth helps to heal the damage caused by free radical stress and positive charges inherent in our high-tech society. This all sounds reasonable to me because spending time barefoot on a beach - walking, running, paddling along the shoreline, swimming or just lazing on the sand, does me a power of good.
I reckon it's a mix of connecting with the earth, breathing fresh salt air and soaking in a good dose of Vitamin D from the sun. And there's the sense of freedom that comes from being surrounded by all that space - the curve of the bay, the distance to the far end of the beach, and looking out towards the horizon and seeing the curve of the earth.
So why not give it a go. If you live near the coast then get some sand under your toes on a regular basis. If you live inland then find a place where you can walk barefoot on the grass. Some of you might remember Richard Gere taking off his shoes in an inner-city park and getting his toes into the green at the direction of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman - de-stressing with those nifty negative eons back before earthing became a trend.
And earthing isn't just a daytime thing - those negative eons are still out there at night so if the weather is balmy then grab a natural-fibre blanket, find a peaceful patch of moonlight, and spend some time star-gazing. Can be as close as your own backyard - or on a beach - or best of all, out beyond the city limits where the skies are big and bright with stars.
Sounds a bit out of your comfort zone? The only difference really is the degree of light - so take the opportunity to divert another of those hardwired neural pathways and have yourself a mini adventure.
Whether you live near a beach, in the country, or have a patch of nature in an inner-city park, whether it's day time or star time, connect yourself to Mother Earth as often as you can and feel the bliss.