Yesterday my shoes sparked an unintentional deep conversation about life.
I was on a one-day coaching retreat organised by a mentor of mine, John Dashfield. We were asked the question “what’s something that is all around, all the time but we don’t notice?”
We started to talk about social constructs and societal expectations when one guy noticed I was wearing a pair of Vivo Barefoot’s and started to ask me about them, because they are designed and look slightly different to your ‘normal’ shoe.
So I was telling him how they are good for your feet because the wide toe box gives your toes more room to move, they are totally flat to the ground to prevent any shortening of the achilles and there is only 3mm of material between you and the floor so that the receptors in your foot can pick up the contact with the ground and stabilise your foot and ankle correctly.
The problem with most modern shoes is that there is so much restriction around your feet, such as, your toes being squashed together in the narrow end of your shoe and a disconnection from the earth through the amount of foam and material between the sole of your foot and the ground. All of these mean that your feet are getting weaker, which has a knock-on effect on most of the joints in the lower half of your body.
Another guy in the group started to share how he was given some inserts for his shoes to help with his collapsing arches and we recognised that the inserts were actually reinforcing the collapsing arches in his feet, instead of helping to prevent the issue because they weren’t aiding his feet and arches to to get stronger, they were instead making them weaker and dependent on the inserts.
If he instead had flatter shoes and did some foot exercises to strengthen his arches, his feet would naturally begin to correct themselves because that’s what human feet have been doing for thousands of years.
You see when you leave your feet to do the job they are designed for through thousands of years of evolution – which is being feet and supporting your bodyweight – they do their job pretty well.
But when you over-interfere with your feet by squashing them into shoes and wearing footwear with too much padding/foam on their soles, your feet become weaker and struggle to do their job. Therefore issues begin to occur in your feet, ankles, knees and hips because your body is imbalanced.
“So what has this got to do with anything?” You might be thinking.
Well, what if you thought about your feet as being like thoughts and the ground as being like consciousness. The more you interfere with trying to aid and temper with your thoughts, the more disconnected you get from consciousness. Just like our feet have become disconnected from the ground.
Whereas if you let your thoughts just be thoughts – allowing them to come and go – your level of consciousness will naturally rise and your innate, built-in wisdom will come through.
If you let your feet be feet, they will do their job pretty well. Likewise, if you let your thoughts just be thoughts, they will do the job of allowing your wisdom to come through.
What comes up for you when reading this?