The weather’s turning colder here in England as I prepare for my first winter in 20 years. Curiously, the thing I’m finding the hardest to adapt to is wearing socks and shoes.
I don’t know exactly where it’s stipulated in English law, but I’m told you can get arrested here for driving with no shoes on. That seems crazy to me because surely you can feel the pedals more easily and respond more quickly if you’re driving with bare feet.
The benefits of bare feet
I always drove barefoot when I lived in Bali, and being an etherically based culture, that’s how most Balinese people drive too, even on motorbikes. You can often see a whole barefoot family of five on a motorbike, or a car driver waiting at some traffic lights (or even driving along a main road) with one bare foot up on the dashboard, wiggling his toes. Like many third world cultures, the Balinese remove their shoes before entering their home and often walk barefoot outdoors too. Shoes are required for visiting government offices, working in tourism and a few other situations, but in Bali’s tropical climate, they are certainly not required for warmth.
I’ve noticed that people who walk barefoot much of the time have feet that are generally broader and flatter than feet that have been encased in shoes from an early age. Their feet are also more expressive. If you watch them in conversation, their feet can be as alive as their hands, and after living like this for so many years, my feet became the same. Those of you who’ve been to seminars or workshops I’ve taught will know that I generally teach barefoot. I feel much more etherically vital that way and I know I teach a much better class as a result.
Adapting to life in the UK
As the weather here in England has become colder and I’ve had to progress to wearing socks, then shoes, and now sometimes fur-lined boots when I go out, it’s quite a lifestyle change for me. I’m really enjoying the change in season and the beautiful autumnal colours, but as I sit here typing barefoot I have to admit my feet are chilly. And I’m having to learn how to feel the pedals of my car through socks and boots because my feet would be too cold to even feel them without.
So the challenge for me is not just about surviving my first English winter in years with my tropically thinned blood, but more importantly, finding ways to preserve my etheric aliveness in the process. I’ll tell you how important this is to me — a thermal underwear catalogue arrived in the mail this morning and I got excited!
Copyright © Karen Kingston, 2010