Barefoot Hiking

07/05/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

One day in March - One of my Facebook friends posts the following two words: "Barefoot Hiking!" And the seed is planted!

Tuesday - Wake up and find out David Avocado Wolfe is speaking at a local raw food restaurant! Arrange for husband to watch kids!

Tuesday night - Arrive at raw food restaurant and have a Grateful Green smoothie and a piece of raw cacao. Proceed to listen to David Avocado Wolfe speak for close to four hours. He is an amazing speaker and I walk away with many things. But one of the most profound ideas I take away from his talk is the importance of walking barefoot on the earth. He says being directly connected, skin-to-skin, with the earth may encourage things like less inflammation and even living longer.

Sunday - Husband wants to go on a family hike. I am reluctant and tell him to go without me. I tell him I have lots of stuff to catch up on. He insists I go. I agree. On the ride to the hike I reflect on the barefoot hiking post and the words of David Wolfe. When we arrive I put my shoes in my daughter's backpack and announce to the family I will be doing this hike barefoot. My husband looks a little reluctant. Of course I take it easy and go slower than usual. This particular hike is deeply wooded and full of rocky terrain and even elevations!

We begin the hike and immediately I feel euphoric. I can't begin to tell you how exhilarating being barefoot in the forest is. It makes me tingly all over! Being grounded really does have a way of making you feel alive and inspired. I am actually able to feel as though I am "at one" with the earth. It is as if I am connected to the center of the earth by some kind of invisible string.

Each step is a new sensation. For instance, the sudden jolt of a sharp rock sends chills up my spine. But in the next step, I am greeted by a soothing cool stone and then a warm patch of dried leaves. The warmth of the leaves makes me feel true warmth all over. The cold stones feel like heaven after the crunchy pine needles; the damp mud is mentally soothing; the small patches of silky cool grass are scarce but inviting; the fallen trees hold some kind of invisible energy that my feet pick up on; the dry moss reminds me of soft carpet; the wet moss is welcome after a pile of sticks; and even the sharp rocks are better than any reflexology treatment! As I dance over the ground with my bare feet I am moved to different places deep within my soul.

By the end of the two-mile hike (including a rock climb) the whole family is barefoot!

Sometimes it really is the simple things that make such a profound difference! I challenge each and every one of you to experience the euphoria that is barefoot hiking. Who needs shoes anyway?

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