As we transition out of spring and into the summer months, people are naturally drawn outside into the radiant sunshine, fresh air, and budding, green landscape. After an especially snowy winter, the blessings of warmer weather are extra sweet. Now that the ground is no longer frozen, I’m reminded that one of the quickest and easiest ways to feel more peaceful and grounded is to take off your shoes and stand on the earth. The earth is an extremely powerful healing tool, and in my experience, this simple practice is as effective as many of the breathing techniques, meditations, grounding exercises, affirmations, etc. that can be used to return to a peaceful state.
One of the reasons walking barefoot is so helpful in releasing stress and returning to balance is because the earth is able to collect and recycle our negative energy. Basically, the earth is able to absorb our stress, sadness, anger, etc., and then transform it. Since energy follows awareness, you can contribute to this process by imagining whatever it is that you want to release, and see it moving down your body, through your feet, and into the earth.
Another reason walking barefoot is beneficial is because free electrons move from the earth and through our skin. Based on research from Dr. James Oschman and others, we have learned that these electrons act as powerful antioxidants, neutralizing free radicals in the body, and reducing inflammation. Since free electrons hold a negative charge and free radicals hold a positive charge, they cancel each other out…and voila! Our physical and emotional health is improved by simply standing barefoot on the ground.
In order to experience the full benefits of this practice and to absorb all those free electrons, it’s important to make sure there is no barrier between you and the earth.
For example, standing on asphalt or wearing rubber-soled shoes will prevent the free electrons from moving into your body. So it’s best to sink your bare feet right into the grass, sand, dirt, or anywhere the ground is not covered by materials (i.e. asphalt, plastic, rubber, etc.) that will interfere with the connection.
Although it’s easier to do in warmer weather, it is possible to receive the benefits of connecting with the earth’s healing energy all year long. In the winter, you can protect your feet from the cold by putting on a few pairs of socks and standing on a towel or blanket that is on the ground. Even a few minutes standing on the earth can help clear negative energy and create balance.
As parts of the planet have become increasingly covered in buildings, structures, asphalt, and other materials, it is easy for us to get disconnected from the healing properties of nature. However, we all have the ability to reclaim our connection with the natural world and it can be as simple as resting our bare feet on the earth.
With love & gratitude ~ Erin Stohl