The snow is receding and the grass is starting to grow and green. I’m excited. Last year I really tired to get into the habit of allowing my skin to touch the Earth. Have you ever considered how much we insulate ourselves from exposure to any elements? We wear shoes everywhere. We wear warm jackets against the wind. We block out the rays of the sun. We don’t allow the rain to touch us. We garden wearing gloves to keep the dirt off our hands. And I get it! There are benefits and plenty of scary stories to make sure that we are taking the best care of ourselves. But have we maybe been taking too much care of ourselves?
I’ve noticed that my mood is entirely different when I’ve been outside with all of the modern protections and when I’ve been out for a few moments without. There is emerging science and tons of online chatter about the concept of “Grounding” or “Earthing” so I won’t pretend to know all about it and add more to it. I just know what I feel and what I experience is deep connection to the environment around me. Taking off my shoes and socks and experiencing the grass and ground helps me to remember how crucial the environment is. Even having a space that I feel safe taking my shoes off in feels luxurious and like a huge gift.
It almost feels risky and forbidden to be without shoes and socks… I feel like I’m rebelling against everything I’ve ever been taught. Isn’t that sad? We live on a planet that we’ve become convinced isn’t safe to touch directly.
“It’s too cold.”
“It’s too dirty.”
“There might be sharp things.”
“Something might bite you.”
“You might get an infection.”
“Shoes support your feet. You will hurt yourself.”
How did we get here? How did taking off our shoes and walking on the ground become this big issue?
I’m thankful for the warmer weather. I love that right now I can spend a few moments outdoors most days barefoot. I started Grounding late last year as a way to try to reconnect to the Earth and learn more about my discomfort tolerances and it has been such a joy. I’ve actually missed the practice during the winter. Here it snows and stays quite frozen for a long time. I don’t mind cold, but going out barefoot in snow just doesn’t feel good for me.
I hope that I can keep discovering benefits of Grounding for myself. I’ve always suspected I would enjoy it because I garden and love being in the dirt. It might not be for everyone, but I still encourage everyone to try.
“Dirt don’t hurt.” We are washable.