One of the easiest things we can do to make our homes, and ourselves, healthier is to remove our shoes. This simple ‘step’ helps keep all that nasty stuff (dirt, pesticides, you name it) out of our indoor environments, helping to keep toxins and pollutants out of our homes.
Going beyond green, it also connects us to our space in a physical, grounding sense. We all know heavy walkers, (which has nothing to do with a person’s weight) and being conscious of how our feet greet the earth is a wonderful walking meditation. My inspiration is from Thich Nhat Hanh.
My apartment has worn oak floors and beautiful tribal rugs that I not only love the look of, but love feeling under my feet. My high-heeled girlfriends refer to me as the shoe Nazi but are (not so secretly) delighted to remove their crippling status symbols.
In summer I am often barefoot. Studies have shown that going shoeless supports optimum foot development, and in yoga we intentionally spread those toes! But in winter I look at my no-shoes house rule as an opportunity to express my true hippy nature and wear some funky eco felt slippers. A couple I dig are Eco-Felt Slippers from Les Indiennes, Eco-Friendly Slippers from Emilianas.
I encourage all of my clients to try it — and once they do, there is no going back. Betsy adores her recycled rubber shoes. Even my boyfriend, (whose nickname is Bear), is addicted to his manly buffalo slippers.
Our feet are a symbol for “under-standing.” By the simple act of removing our shoes, we humbly connect to our earth, our home and ourselves.