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How To...

Natural Accupuncture – lessons in barefoot life

By  Elena

#barefoot #dreams #endurancetraining

Last night in my dreams a circle of older women sat and worried about my son.

They wondered where his mother was.
Sitting in something like a tribunal for custody.
I stepped forward and said here I am.

They pointed at his toenails covered in dirt.
“He’s so dirty” they said. “Don’t you wash him?”

I said. “We walk barefoot on the Earth everyday, that’s bound to get a little dirt on him.”

They hummed and hawed talking about themselves and eventually decided that was okay.

They asked about the scabs on his legs and ankles… the looked deep, old and long.
They pointed… anxiously…like I had been hurting him.

I explained that without shoes or socks and while being a boy and running in the forest sometimes he gets scratched or cut somewhat.

They hummed and hawed talking about themselves and eventually decided that was okay.

——
When our walk to a hot spring last week included a gravel path, (the least pleasant type of terrain to barefoot on in my opinion) and I asked “Alex, would you like to wear sandals? We’re not sure how far it is, we are going to wear ours.”.

My heart fluttered with pride as he replied back to me. “No Mom, whatever the road ahead brings I will endure it.”

It’s become normal that almost everyday one of us cries out in short anguish as we walk around camp having stepped on the wrong side of a decaying branch, gotten a pine needle into the bottoms of our feet, or being unlucky or unmindful with a sharp rock. We shake it off and move on. Surviving temporary pain is part of life. #naturalaccupuncture

Every once and a while we pull out tweezers and a needle and pry out some offending pine needle that’s causing continued pain in a foot. Often there are several other pine needle tips in my foot or Alex’s or Dan’s, that don’t actually cause any pain at all and eventually work their way out on their own. Even without bandaids and antiseptic. (Though I do have supplies to deal with infection, we rarely use them)

Sharp stick wounds under soft toe joints heal…even when caked with dirt daily, because we are only really fully clean while we are actively bathing, lol a climb back up the river bank leads to dusty feet again. #thebodyhealsitself

Dan and I have run down gravel roads barefoot together, Alex runs ahead in shoes.  We keep up with him and 99% of the time if I can stay in trust… I just flow around the sharp ones. (if I fall out of trust it seems like the road becomes a mind-bending minefield of terror.  Yet my feet still only actually hit the rocks maybe 15% of the time, and they rarely puncture)

Sap stuck to the foot does no harm, and happens daily, transmitting essential oils of the trees blood to me through my skin.

The soft mossy growth at the edge of a lake feels incredible after navigating spiky grass on the hills around that don’t get the water. I understand why they are spiky and why they are soft.

After a single night of rain… the powdery dust of trampled grassland becomes calmed packed Earth that no longer clings to my feet. Even the pine needles become softer for the moisture.

I’ve learned that like life, barefooting requires mindfulness, but also trust.

Ps. If you’re new to barefooting or are going to barefoot in the city (I don’t anymore, though I did doggedly in both the suburbs and inner city for at least two summers), please start with your own lawn or an organic natural space. Start small without pressure to get anywhere. Don’t barefoot on concrete or ashfault(most people need to learn how to change their walking style so it doesn’t hurt).  Also watch out for public grass areas, as many of them have been treated with glyphosate/herbicide which can get into the circulatory through the feet. 

Reply back with “more bare feet please” if you’d like a link to my podcast with more musings on barefoot life.

Have you tried barefooting?
Do your kids wear shoes?

About Your Host:

Elena


As a single parent for many years, Elena knows what it's like to live in daily overwhelm that seems it will never end. After suffering from severe post-partum depression for 5 years, and an abusive relationship that she couldn't seem to quit, Elena developed a case of seriously self destructive self talk about being a "horrible mother". She knew she needed to do something different, but couldn't seem to shake old patterns. She started to experiment with the few things that HAD been working to bring her more peace, and combined them into one power packed (and quick) experience, to help find that inner peace, and make progress towards her goal of ACTUALLY feeling like a good mom. Through these tracks she's been able to stop experiencing irrational anger towards child, is no longer experiencing mental health challenges, and has even attracted a wonderful man into her life who is a great father to her son and a dream come true. Now she works to help other mothers to manage and reduce their stress, build healthier relationships, stop sounding like their mothers, and live lives they once only dreamed of.

Elena H

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