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The barefoot incidence

 

Not so many days before, I happened to attend a social function that was organized in a famous temple here in my city. I did not really want to go, but mom insisted and I chosen to not resist after a certain limit that I’ve tried and had no success convincing her.

It was a hot, sunny afternoon. As we reached there, we were asked to put off footwear as the function was inside the temple and not taking shoes inside temple premises is the common rule.

The place where everyone was supposed to put off shoes was somewhat far from the main entrance, at least 800-900 meters away.  I almost insistently requested if I could take shoes till the entrance looking at the hot temperature but had no success.

The fellow taking care of arrangements strictly denied any such possibilities so I had no choice but to walk barefoot till the entrance that was several miles ahead from the place I finally taken my shoes off.

As I started, the surface beneath felt terribly scorching and the rays of sun above suddenly started feeling extraordinarily sweltering. Every step that I was taking forward, the inner skin of my feet was continuing to burn, leaving new blots with each next step.

I noticed a bunch of Thorns, pine needles, and dried-out plant stems under my feet, each of which were adding fuel into the already burning heat.

As this was not enough, then came pebbles and sharp rocks that just struck on leg and I felt as someone is injecting bunch of boiling needles on me.

It was still almost half of the way but my strength has given up by now. I virtually collapsed, sat down on the ground and denied to go a single step further, regretting why the heck I chose to come here.

As I sat down, I noticed that most people including mom were able to walk quite comfortably while I was wedged into an unbearable pain. This was interesting as I had no idea what could be the reason of all these people not feeling the burn, heat and pain that I was.

The destination was still far though. After some rest and motivation from mom, I chose to start the walk again so that I could somehow reach to the temple entrance, after which it was going to be air coolers and marble surface with soft carpets where I could rest and relax.

Started the walk again, I noticed that the surface under my feet this time felt less scorching than before. As I continued and destination started approaching, now what I noticed was fresh grass under my feet with shade over the head which was so much of relief.

Rest of the path felt like cakewalk and I finally reached to the destination!

Once entered in the temple, it was comfy, marble surface, air coolers with cool and fresh airflow, fragrances of flowers and delectable soft drink that was being served.

 

Enjoying the environment, I wondered if I could experience same sense of enjoyment if I had not come barefoot, wearing shoes instead. I’d have never been able to feel the heat in this much of amount that I did and could not experience the joy of walking on the sand. I’d have surely not experience the coolness of marble and softness of carpet in such an intense way that I’ve been doing and it would have been just an ordinary experience have I not chosen to come barefoot from the place I taken my shoes off to the point I’ve been sitting.

From feeling warm sand beneath my toes to making my way over sharp rocks,   simply running on concrete or walking on the fresh grass.

I was amazed about how interesting it is to walk barefoot in life, physically and metaphorically.

 

Going barefoot is the gentlest way of walking & running, and can symbolize a way of living — authentic, vulnerable & sensitive to our surroundings.

In life, we’re often obsessed by comforts and scared about exposing ourselves to discomfort of any sort. Be it walking, working, eating, sleeping and even while being in relationships.

When we walk, we need shoes or we prefer not to walk at all and take a ride instead. We fake our skills at work, get annoyed if requiring to sleep without mattress, hesitate buying new kind of food items and hide facts, tell lies and make fake promises in relationships.

We do this because we’re mostly scared about putting ourselves on the test, losing the luxuries and exposing the truths.

This while gives us a coat of comfort, it limits our possibilities of fullest involvement, fun, enjoyment and satisfaction at the same time.

Barefooting is fun. It’s living with the lightest impact, removing a barrier between us and nature. When you go barefoot, you become naked, you simplify, you become a minimalist. Being barefoot you can best be connected with ground, feel the pains and pleasure as  firsthand experience and be completely involved while walking, taking care of each step that you keep your feet on.

 

You don’t actually have to physically go barefoot in order to understand the importance of it though. It’s simply a metaphor for how you might live your life, and these principles can in fact be applied to anything you do.

 

Think about it. Most of us are not born with silver spoon; do not usually inherit heavy bank accounts, ready-made business or networking.

While moving on your path of achieving success in business or job, one way is to wait till you get the comforting shoes of money, knowledge, skills, networking and luck so that you can achieve that you wanted, but this, often does not happen.

Most start-ups do not have comforting shoes of funds and a lot of job aspirants feel that they would have nailed it down if only they had some secret connections inside the company that could influence the decision of HR/management.

Interesting still, start-ups keep on running behind investors, job aspirants keep on trying to somehow influence the decision of HR and some people just keep themselves busy in accumulating knowledge, not knowing if they could ever use the same unless they get into the real action of getting into it.

In reality, you cannot actually achieve that you wanted unless you choose to be barefoot by fully putting yourself into it with authenticity, courage and dedication.

 

Being barefoot, as a metaphor can have several interesting and empowering connotations if you take it so.

 

Being barefoot in your goals, you can choose to start from wherever and whatever that you’ve got and take actions than waiting to have a shoe of resources some day.

Being barefoot on job, you can choose to drop your personal opinions and simply think about the growth of organization.

Being barefoot in life, you can be highly successful and still keep connected with ground.

Being barefoot in relationship, you can choose to be completely authentic, not hiding/faking anything and totally involving, submitting and exposing yourself to the other person.

 

When you do so, you would surely find heat, thorns and pebbles on the way, but only when you choose to walk barefoot, let your feet pain, get injured and get dirty, you can reach to the destination and find   the real experience and pleasure that is going to be unprecedented and inexpressible.

Oh and here are some lines of one of my favorit songs that just fits in:

Every morning I wake up to find I always dream the same.
Every night I come to my window When you call my name
But the way the words You say just fall like rain
Till I’m drowning in the sound of your invitation

When you ask “do you wanna dance, my barefoot cinderella”
Don’t need no slippers or a party dress,
The way you’re lookin’ right Now is what I like the best
And then you Say “do you wanna take a chance?
Stay with me forever
No one will ever be more beautiful
My barefoot, my barefoot cinderella.”

Yeah, ohh…

A dream world is always perfect
But that’s not my real life
Wish you did but you don’t know
Then me I am inside
I pray that you’ll come lookin’ and I won’t hide (won’t hide)
I’m smiling when you find me
Coz I’ve been waiting

For you ask “do you wanna dance, my barefoot cinderella”
Don’t need no slippers or a party dress,
The way you’re lookin’ right Now is what I like the best
And then you Say “do you wanna take a chance?
Stay with me forever
No one will ever be more beautiful
My barefoot, my barefoot cinderella.”

 

What areas of your life would you like to take the shoes off and walk barefoot then?

  • Hey Prateek, another beautifully written piece While I was reading this article I really couldn’t help but imagine where would I like to apply this and I realised that one can apply this is any sphere of life. It can be your personal life, professional life, everywhere. It probably always is about the journey. If we do not through the journey we never really learn what it takes to reach the destination. May be journey is a teacher that teaches us and helps us become the person we need to be when we reach our destination. May be we are not worthy enough, may be we do not have what it takes to be there; but while in the journey, while experiencing those struggles and learning from them; we slowly and gradually transform into what it takes to be there and we finally become deserving to be at that destination.

    Brilliant piece, triggered many thoughts. Thanks!

    • Thanks for the wonderful observations, ayush. You’re awesome yourself. Adding into what you wrote, being barefoot can indeed be applied in any sphere of life. its about starting from what you’ve got, accept being vulnerable and be authentic throughout! I’m so glad that you read this through. Please share this on social media if you think this might help someone else to read and induce the thought process.

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