Meaning Exists in Even the Smallest Things…
My dad tells this story, and claims it to be one of my most silly moments. I used to drag my feet as a little girl. You know, where each step provokes a gravel-y sandpaper noise beneath the shoes. One day while walking, my father instructed me to “pick up my feet.” Quite literally I stopped and grabbed my foot. He soon found himself laughing as I sat down, holding both feet at once while attempting to scootch forward.
The phrase “think about your feet” quickly became my father’s adage. Whether it was countless times lying in the hospital due to my chronic medical condition, working to improve skills for after school sports, or studying for a test, my dad would simply say “think about your feet” when feelings of stress aroused.
I’m not sure when I began understanding the meaning of his words. Now I think of them often, embracing their message and appreciating his lesson.
To Think About Your Feet Means…
To be where your feet are, mindful and fully present in the moment; to exist, observing one’s thoughts and emotions, without judging them; to be grounded in one’s beliefs while moving amidst an infinite world of possibility. Science suggests that cultivating mindfulness - avoiding clinging onto the past or living only for the future - can bring improvements in both physical and psychological symptoms as well as positive changes in health attitudes and behaviors.
Increasing your capacity for mindfulness can help relieve stress, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, and even aid heart disease treatment.
How to Hone In Your Present-Moment-Presence…
To be where your feet are, mindful and fully present in the moment
To exist, observing one’s thoughts and emotions, without judging them
To be grounded in one’s beliefs while moving amidst an infinite world of possibility
In his book Toughness Training for Life, Jim Loehr agrees that controlling stress so it is sufficient yet not too extreme is an important skill: “distinguishing between insufficient stress and maintenance stress and also between adaptive stress and excessive stress - it’s a vital toughening skill.”
Our backs tell stories that no books have the spine to carry…
No doubt living the phrase “be where your feet are” is difficult. Though difficult, the rewards you can reap are worth the challenge.
For tips on how to stay committed to commitment, check out my Empower Hour podcast from the radio!
Author: Julia Anthony
B.S. Exercise Specialist, CSCS, NASM CPT