Despite being pressed into service day in day out, we rarely pay much attention to our feet even when we are using them to carry us from A to B. One reason for this is that the bottoms of our feet are about as far away as we can get from our head, which is where we often seem to think our “selves” are located.
This practice is about honouring a part of our body that is often neglected, but that works for us ceaselessly and, for the most part, without complaint. We tend to identify very closely with our thoughts and in so doing unwittingly give our mind/brain an exalted status. Moving our attention to our feet from time to time, particularly when identification with our thoughts is strong, literally gets us ‘away from our head’ and allows us some respite from our discursive and ruminative mind.
As often as possible during the day, place your awareness in the bottoms of your feet. Become aware of the sensations on the bottoms of your feet such as the pressure of the floor or ground beneath them. Notice also their warmth or coolness in any given moment. Whenever you find yourself becoming anxious or upset try bringing your attention to the bottoms of your feet and see what happens.
The classic method for remembering this practice is to put a small stone in your shoe. A less painful, though no less effective way would be to set your mobile or timer to ring at certain intervals of the day and whenever you hear the chime, turn your awareness to the bottoms of your feet.
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Image courtesy of seandreilinger