This post for ‘Living Holistically’ touches on an area of the body where I was once most vulnerable and insecure–my feet. You see, I have big (no, let me rephrase that) huge toes, big feet. (I know, I know.) As a child and well into my youth, I barely noticed them. I was always outside running barefoot and didn’t give a care or a thought to how they looked. They were doing what they were meant to do, transporting me to fun and adventure!
I spent my childhood running barefoot through fields and jungles, climbing star apple and coconut trees, wading through flood-pools of frogs and tadpoles, rock-hopping over churning rivers, and swimming in the deep of the China Seas . . . crashing with the ocean waves. Ahhh, all that adventure aside, come adolescents and womanhood, I desperately needed my feet to look beautiful.
The scarcity of shoes in my size didn’t make life any easier. (And if there were any, they lacked the accents and touches of femininity I so desired.) So you can imagine, I have stories, painfully wonderful stories, but to get to the short of it, I hated my feet. And what do we do when we hate something about ourselves? Well, we usually find any way we can to hide it, cover it up and ignore it. After a few decades of doing all that, a light finally clicked on in my heart.
I learned, those parts of our body that are unloved will stick out all the more, rearing the ugliness we perceive them to be. The most hated part of ourselves is the part that needs the most love, care and attention from us. Only then can we discover their true beauty, even if no one else can appreciate it. Our knowing, is all that matters. And so, if you have cause to hate some physical aspect of your being, the cause to love it has just begun.
And yes, in this world of mammon there is an over-lord for surgical vanity (i.e., make my boobs bigger, the flare of my nose smaller, etc.) which I am not a proponent of, however,
I do support corrective means when things are not as they should be. My feet are perfectly fine—big, strong, heavy clods for the soil. They’re just not delicate, little ‘slipper-feet’ and I love them all the more.
My feet have taken me all over this world. They have walked across distant lands once foreign to me. They were designed by the Most High. Who am I to complain?
“When you see your feet with no footwear, also see those with no feet.” –Amit Klantri
The Secret Language of Feet
Our feet are a source of wisdom. They hold the secrets to all the other parts of our bodies, even to our hearts. They hold our stress and pain. By being connected to them and knowing their state, we can improve our health and well-being. Never take your feet for granted. Movement starts with our feet. They allow us to step out in any direction we choose. We are on a path of mobility.
Surprisingly, feet are a sign of patience. That is something to consider the next time we’re racing to and fro, trying to get here or there in a hurry, or stuck waiting in a long line . . . patience. We are born with under-developed feet and it takes time to form our arches. Interestingly, the bones in our feet don’t finish hardening until we are 21 years in age.
The foot is the foundation of the temple, our bodies, so our feet must be balanced and strong to support our legs and torso. Our footprints hold the tales of just how flexible and adjustable we are. And by the way, if your feet are super ticklish, it’s the surest sign that you’ve got healthy feet!
Don’t scratch your shoe if it’s your foot that itches. (Japanese Proverb)
When was the last time you really paid attention to your feet. Yes, I imagine after an awesome ‘pedi’ in all your admiration you marveled at them; but, I mean, really, sans layers of polish and jewels, in their most natural state, what do you see? How do they feel? How are they working for you? Listen to them . . . What are they saying to you?
- Discolorations of the nail beds? Your feet are crying out—“I need to breathe!”
- Blemishes on the skin, bunions, heel spurs? The shoes you are putting them in might not be fitting properly.
- Flaking and fungal infections, foul smell? An abundance of bacteria and sweat is building up. A foot care regimen is important.
From ‘Torah to Testimony’ during the ancient of days, washing of feet was customary and done when entering tents/homes/buildings after a long journey. And, just so you’ll know, if you were the one washing the feet, it was thought of as the lowliest of all services.
Ha Mashiach used this act of humility to cleanse hearts, conquer pride, and teach lessons of unconditional love. Today, the washing of feet has been turned into a religious sacrament, but if we can look past the man-made ordinance and get back to the basic beauty of it all . . .
The ancients washed their feet because they were dirty, tired, and probably aching. What greater gift to bestow upon a love, a friend or a traveler, to remove their sandals and refresh their feet in a warm basin of water. The ancients knew the importance of taking care of the foot and Ha Mashiach knew the importance of humility and how to teach us by example.
I have been encouraged in life to enjoy a foot bath regularly. Here are a few extras to throw in to add an invigorating kick!
- Bathe feet in Olive Soap if they are drained of energy and walking is an effort.
- A warm foot bath of Ginger and Thyme is great for circulation and speedy recovery.
- Black Pepper in a stimulating oil is also great for muscular aches and bad circulation.
- Arnica reduces swelling, just as effectively as a cool compress of Witch Hazel.
- Chamomile and Clary Sage–soothing and calming for relaxation.
- Once a month, treat yourself to my favorite foot soak! Deep cleansing, stimulating, and a war on skin parasites: Pour 1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar and 1/2 cup Cayenne Pepper into a deep basin of hot water. Dynamite (literally) for the feet/ankles/legs and it shrinks swollen varicose veins! (Caution: Avoid doing if you have broken skin/cuts/wounds–it burns!)
- After any foot soak, slather your feet in Eucalyptus, Spearmint, Peppermint, Lemon oils or lotions. Have fun creating your own mix!
So Begins the Dance of a Woman’s Feet
“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair”–Khalil Gibran.
Did you know, when a woman is in the company of someone she is enamored with, it is impossible for her to keep her feet still? She will either be shifting from foot to foot, drawing imaginary circles or lines with them . . . her feet have just got to move! So, when a woman is laughing and moving her feet, it is a good sign we love who we are with!
Well now, I think it’s high time we kick off our shoes . . . Naked in the sand, Naked in the sea . . . have some fun, have some fun, in your naked feet. (giggle)