The Spirit of Going Barefoot
Jon The Barefoot Pilgrim.
E-mail: wotnoshoes@bigfoot.com

I'd just like to share with you some of my thoughts about the spirit of barefooting. I own a book called "Barefoot Dreaming" by Adele Coombs which is a collection of creative prose and photography inspired by the natural landscape of Australia. She begins her introduction with "Going barefoot is
the gentlest way of walking and can symbolise a way of living - being authentic, vulnerable, sensitive to our surroundings. Its the feeling of enjoying warm sand beneath our toes, or carefully making our way over sharp rocks in the darkness. It's a way of living that has the lightest impact, removing the barrier between us and nature."

How true this all is for me. Walking unshod is thoroughly enjoyable as a physical sensation in its own right; and yet it also seems to induce equivalent psychological and spiritual states of mind which going barefoot symbolises.

I know in the shod state of mind I often feel paranoid, bitter, resentful and vengeful. The world seems like a dog eat dog kind of a place. By going barefoot the most profound change takes place. I find it impossible to hold the aforementioned negative emotions and instead become friendly, generous, humble, part of things - at peace with myself and generally glad to be who I am. I start to express myself instead of hiding away. I've certainly gained in confidence through being barefoot in public which I was pretty shy about.

The spirit of barefooting is a state of mind ( a little bit similar to the prose "Desiderata.") It produces a beautiful personal philosphy which we each weave for ourselves. It includes free spiritedness and yet at the same time not hurting others. It engenders gentleness, kindness and trust, yet also enables us to speak out confidently and firmly when necessary.  

When barefoot I enjoy meeting strangers. In the past when shod I would do anything rather than initiate a conversation with a stranger! The spirit of barefooting is certainly "barefoot spirituality." Although it cannot have any written scripture or creed it simply manifests into our beings. It is wholeheartedly compatible with the finest Christian ideals such as of the fellowship of human beings living in harmony; and the finest pagan ideals like our kinship with Mother Earth and Her creatures. In fact it is compatible with the essence of any positive religion.

Us barefooters can experience wonderful things as we meander along; it's great therapy! Has going barefoot altered your state of mind for the better? Have you been bitten by "spirit of Barefooting" and found yourself living out a new positive, personal philosophy because of it? It would be great to hear
what you think.

Lots of peaceful barefootin' everyone!