HeartNote, June 26, 2019: Feet Focus

One of the best ways I've discovered to reset the crazy is watching how we walk.

It's not a meditation per se; instead, it's just a focus on your feet.

Walking is possibly our most unconscious physical activity. We move around our house, up stairs, down the aisles without focus. Yet walking can set the physical pace for our body, and it is necessary that we give this process the attention it's due. It can helps us regulate the energy of our emotional and cognitive processes for the rest of the day.

I use the feet for the focus because I want you to feel how the ground hits the bottom of your foot. Each step requires its own assessment, however brief. Feel how your foot moves from the heel to the toe, and feel the foot as it extends the sole into the ground.

As you begin this exercise, take a deep breath, and start by walking from one end of the room to another. Doesn't have to be long. When you get up to go to refrigerator, just focus on the bottom of your feet. Go to the bathroom, same thing. Feel your foot grace the ground. Make it easy. It doesn't have to be forced or deliberate. Just measure a step at a time. When I began this practice, I would count, "One, two, one, two" until I could feel my foot hit the ground with each step. Now I do this first thing in the morning when I get out of bed, just placing an awareness on the bottom of my foot. I make a point of feeling my feet against the ground as I take my first few steps into the kitchen for coffee.

This is a little like playing an instrument. You start out slowly, getting the feeling of your foot touch the ground, then go to the other foot, then back again. Just rest your focus on the first few steps. You'll get better with just a day of practice, and you will find yourself adjusting your focus on your feet as you walk anywhere throughout the day.

Start this week with focusing on your steps just a little at a time. Breathe and step, breathe and step. Think about what kind of feeling this creates in your body. And how your gait and pace change, maybe slow a little, and bring a feeling of peace to the movement in your body.


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