I have big feet. Very big. A full size 11.
Some years ago I realized that while I should hate my feet. I did not. Us women are very hard on our bodies and from a young age we learn to hate most of our body and often really hate some parts of our body. This is particularly true for parts that we think are too big or too small.
I didn’t hate my feet and I still don’t. Yes, it’s sometimes hard to find shoes, although that is much less a problem than it was some years ago. More women must now have big feet, perhaps.
I’ve given some thought about why I might not hate my feet. I think that perhaps it’s because they’ve really served me very well AND it’s because I’ve always been a barefoot walker. Regular contact with the earth kept me in touch with the lovely utilitarianism of my feet even while I perhaps succumbed, like other women, to hating other parts of my body.
I started this habit in childhood and by high school my favorite thing to do was go to Arroyo Seco Gorge every weekend in the summer where I would hike to the river and then swim all day long all while being barefoot.
In college, while attending university, I continued walking about barefoot even on campus and around my neighborhood in the city streets of Berkeley. It wasn’t unusual to see college students doing things others didn’t normally do and in fact there was a famed naked man close to the time I was going barefoot. That sort of thing made being barefoot pretty tame. I remember the bottoms of my feet used to be a frightening black. City streets and our student co-op floors, too, were not clean!
More recently since I’ve been recovering from severe psychiatric drug withdrawal iatrogenesis (chronic, disabling, illness caused by medical care), I discovered that regular contact with the earth while barefoot has helped me feel more grounded and has become an integral part of my healing protocol. I recently wrote about some scientific research that supports such contact with the earth: Earthing: the science behind why it’s good to walk barefoot on the earth.
I’ve mentioned it several times on this blog and it’s part of my larger healing arsenal. On days that I’m not well I simply go into our backyard and walk around on the grass a bit while barefoot. On good days I’ll do a whole yoga routine out there. My favorite thing to do, when I’m able to leave the house is to walk barefoot in the woods. We’re blessed to have rivers and streams everywhere around here too, so a dip in the river with my bare-feet is not unusual should I make it to the forest!
So…I celebrate my big feet. They allow contact with the earth and have taken me to many beautiful places.