The Barefoot Walkabout
In 2007, I began a mindfulness practice of hiking barefoot on the trails in Sedona. I deemed this practice the "Barefoot Walkabout". I found this practice helped me be more present, more mindful and aware of every step, each movement; more in my body and less in discursive mind. And I learned so much about grief (see here). Since 2008, hundreds of grieving people have hiked barefoot with me.
You can take a barefoot walkabout, too!
If you do: Be careful not to walk where there are thorny bushes or glass (there is some inherent risk especially if you're not paying attention) but dirt, gravel, and other natural elements are usually fine. It will hurt at first until your feel acclimate to the very different sensations. Pay very, very careful attention to the placement of your feet, the sensations from your feet as the neural messages make their way to your brain, and be aware of your thought processes during your barefoot adventure. You can start off on grass, sand, or gravel.
Pay attention to the following:
What was your focus during the walk?
What was it like to walk barefoot?
Did you learn or discover anything about yourself?
What did you feel?
Feel free to share your experiences with me here! Here is one family's experience hiking the Alps barefooted in memory of their precious son.