Cheryl Beer

Cheryl Beer
Award Winning Creative Director making social change through the mediums of sound, story & mantra

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Barefoot Lessons

I think that everyone should walk barefoot for at least one trip in their lifetime.

This is what I have learnt from my barefoot experience:

Slow down

Slowing down does not mean doing less. In fact you are able to do more.

Being focussed does not mean doing less. Take the apple tree. She focusses on producing apples, so many that eventually she just can't hang onto them and they fall to the ground. She is not doing less by being focussed on just apples.

Focus on the journey, let's face it, the destination is coming regardless!

Make every footstep count

Be conscious of the weight of your

Walk every step on the earth as if you love her
Walk every step on the earth as if you love yourself

Allow yourself little freedoms

Be kind to yourself. You deserve it

Allow the child to be free within you

Remember who you are and what makes you smile

Do no be imprisoned by what is expected of you

Age is a number

Allow yourself little joys

Smile at the sun

Laugh at yourself

Accept yourself

Allow your body to 'be'

When I got back from my barefoot walk my feet were sore.

I decided to thank them for giving me such an amazing experience.

I bathed them with posh bubble bath in a bowl at the gite. I dried them as if I were drying the feet of someone I loved very dearly. I dried in-between the toes and rubbed them gently. I then got my rather lovely scented channel body cream (which I treated myself to on the ferry) and I lavishly rubbed it into my beautiful feet, who had given me this wonderful afternoon.

When I woke up the next day, I still loved my feet and I have looked after them since. I have listened to them and walked less heavy. My feet have taught me to listen to my body and to hear my sole/soul.

Barefoot and Bra-less

So, here I am bare foot and bra-less, walking along the verge like a trapeze artist when I feel a crunch under my feet.



I looked up for the oak tree. Oh my word, 100's of beautiful  acorns. Thank you wonderful tree for generously dropping these at my bare feet.

Now then, when I was a wee one, I played down at a big oak tree all day and all night until my Mum called me in. Under my bed I would hide all manner of nature's gifts. I haven't sat on the floor with a pile of acorns since I was five years old but I decided to just that. I couldn't resist choosing some to put in my bag to take back to the gite with me. Aren't they absolutely gorgeous.

I am definitely going to go back down the oak tree with my singing bowls and play a mantra to the tree and 'be' free with the acorns.

Yes, I am aware there will be many that think I am completely away with the fairies, sat cross legged on the side of the road with acorns in a pile under the old oak tree, but no one will see me because no one is there and even if they are, why shouldn't I have this simple joy, this moment to treasure, this joy and love in my heart for the gifts that Mother Earth gives us.

I can't wait to go back. I look longingly at the little gathering of acorns in the glass dish at my gite knowing my tree is as excited as I am that soon I will be coming back to chant under her branches.

Still Barefoot

The first thing I noticed, now that I was bare footed, was how fast I was walking. Why was I walking so fast? I had come out for a walk to enjoy the place where I was staying, but felt myself charging to the village. Why?

There is very little in the village. No shops, no people, just the church and an old museum of radios and Avon products (which you can arrange to see if you wish and I think I will before I go home) So what was the big hurry? Why was I destination focussed when this whole walk was about the journey?

I slowed down. Slowing down was delicious. It meant I got to see everything, hear everything and everything looked and sounded absolutely beautiful, almost technicolour. As if I had been living in black and white and by slowing down, everything was now in colour. Like when Dorothy opens her eyes in Oz!

And in being able to hear everything, I became aware of a heavy thud, thud, thud. And that the thud, thud, thud, was actually the sound of my feet banging into the floor as I walked. Why were my feet treading so heavy? There was no need for it. They were giving me a headache leave alone how they must make the earth feel.

I decided to walk really, really, slow and really, really light of foot. I imagined I were a ballet dancer. I held my body as if I were one and then I pretended that the grass verge were a tight rope that  I was walking barefoot as a trapeze artist.

Sometimes, I walked on the soft downy grass, other times on the smoothness of the concrete. Always with my head up and my shoulders back and no longer hiding myself from the world.

And in slowing down and walking light of foot and standing up to face the beauty of the planet  ...  I happened upon all manner of quite wonderous things ...

More barefoot

After the earth chanting, with bare feet in the mud ... 

I decided to go for a walk down the country lanes to the village.

I hadn't had time for a walk yet during my stay in France and it was such a beautiful day.

I slipped on my flip flops ready to go but then I had an unexplainable urge to go out for a walk without my bra on!

I suppose it was because I knew there would be absolutely noone about and longed for the sense of freedom it gives to be bra-less.

For reasons I would rather not discuss here (but might share with you more intimately over a cuppa one day, should the subject arise) I have personal reasons for not wanting to be bra-less.

But here, in the middle of rural France with no one around for miles, who would see me? Who would know other than me?

So ... I whipped off the bra! Oh! The joy of it.

Bra-less and with bare feet in flip flops, I skipped off down the lane as free as a new born calf in the summer fields.

When I got a little further down the lane and out of earshot of the gites,  I had another urge. I wanted to be barefoot, like I had been on the vegetable garden soil that very morning.

I wanted to walk all the way to the village with bare feet and it is quite a walk all the way down there. Who would see me? No one, that's who.

I rather liked the idea of the bra-less, flip flop-less middle aged woman, with a smile from ear to ear, immersed in her own sense of freedom. 

I kicked off my flip flops and wriggled my toes. I wasn't ready for the life changing lesson this abandonment of foot attire would bring me ...

Barefoot Hippy

Well, here I am in France.

I have been here 9 days of my month already and not one blog!!

I can't believe it but I just haven't had the time to blog.

Seems strange because when I am at home with a diary crammed full of work, I have time to blog, but here, with the sun shining and my head put to bed, while I listen to my heart, writing stuff down seems to have been exchanged for living a bit!

I am going to start my first blog with today because in this time warp lifestyle, I realise that it doesn't really matter in what order I write my experiences. Why should the first, come first? Do you see how laid back I am becoming already!

That's how it is here.

I don't have to keep checking the time because there is no schedule as such except that I carry out Sound Practice in the form of a Bath or Chanting, Monday to Friday 12pm - 1.00pm ...  and the church bells go off every hour in the distant village so who needs a clock?

Time glides and slides, slips and eases itself into light and darkness beautifully, chimed in and out from across the far reaching fields.

I started today with a sound bath in the vegetable garden.

I wanted to get really close to nature, to the earth.

My dear friends, whom I will tell you all about in another blog (see this one:) have been here for a week and they went home today and so I wanted to get myself connected the ground as myself, alone.

With my bare feet in the mud, stood next to the tall growing corn of the cob and beside the neatly leafing rows of carrots, looking at the flowering courgettes and apple heavy trees, I began my chant to the earth.

It felt as if it were magical.

One thing I notice is that when I close my eyes chanting, once they are opened again, it is like a wondrous surprise of loveliness.

The sky is so blue here, almost more than blue, with hardly any clouds, and I can sense the blueness healing my throat chakra as I sing to it. I am of the earth.

So, it was quite a grounding sound bath of chanting, shaman drum and shaker to cleanse the space around me as my own, gaining confidence and strength through bare feet on soil.

So maybe this explains what happened in the afternoon ...