#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?

I use pleasure to transform.

Pleasure can be any number of feelings.

Pleasure can just be physical sexual pleasure, or it can be just a really good feeling of confidence.

It could be a feeling of completion,
It could be a combination of those things.

Pleasure is subjective to the person.


Let’s take smoking cessation as an example.

So old school hypnosis was all about creating aversion anchors. Saying something like “each and every time that you smoke a cigarette, you’re going to feel nauseous and you’re going to feel like crap, you get to have that taste of ash in your mouth,” you get the idea.

This is what’s called negative reinforcement.

Negative reinforcement works really really well for a very short time, because eventually you’re gonna be like, “fuck this I I’m an adult, I work, I pay taxes. I’m stressed out and I want to have a cigarette, I’m gonna have a cigarette screw what that guy says.”

You’re gonna self sabotage, because you have no filter against yourself and you will convince yourself that this behavior is okay, even if other parts of you know it’s not great for you.

Which means all the work that your hypnosis has done goes right out the window. That’s negative reinforcement.


Now if I say “every single time that you want to have that cigarette and you say, No, no, no, we’re not, we’re not going to do that. We don’t do that anymore. You’re going to get this wonderful rush of pleasure right up your spine. It’s just going to hit your brain. It’s just gonna create a beautiful shower of chemicals. Good feeling chemicals. Like you’re gonna get goose pimples all over. It’s like whoo!!! That’s gonna be incredible”. You think they’re going to go for that cigarette?

No!

It works because we’re fulfilling what they need. Because the cigarette can’t give that to them. They give it to the cigarette so the cigarette can give it back to them. Really what’s happening is the cigarette has now become an anchor. Anchors are very, very powerful.

For example, when I was quitting smoking, I had a half a pencil and I would sit and I would like pretend to smoke on the pencil and it would relax me. I would feel that same sense of peace and calm that was there and in the cigarette smoking. It let me keep the ritual without the bad habit. Eventually I realized it was silly and I could just feel good because I wanted to, it wasn’t about the cigarette or the pencil.

That cigarette is not going to give them what they just felt. They gave it to themselves. The feeling is the thing that they’re looking for. Whether it’s the relaxation, the pleasure, the sense of connection to body and self. You can get that without the cigarette. The pleasure, it’s right there. It’s available. They don’t need the cigarettes to find those things anymore. You’ve returned their power to them.

We are constantly making these anchors for ourselves and most of the time it’s unconscious.

What behaviors do you do, just to find pleasure? What could be possible if you understood (as you do now) that you can create that pleasure at will?