What better day to do some “Earthing” than on the New Moon, under the Earth trigram? Within context of the Early Heaven Bagua — the Eight Changes — the Earth trigram represents the New Moon, and Yin, the receptive. It’s here and now that the seed of the Creative (Heaven) is planted. This is a new beginning, of sorts. These are my first steps.
Before going any farther, a quick aside: The Early Heaven Bagua follows quite precisely the eight lunar phases. Those phases are the New Moon, Waxing Crescent, First Quarter, Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous, Last Quarter, Waning Crescent. Together the phases comprise an enduring cycle of birth, growth, development, fulfillment, harvest, decay, and ultimately rebirth. This New Moon begins Brown Lunation 1234.
Earthing is a practice that very simply grounds our bioelectrical charge, and accumulated static electricity by walking barefoot on, you guessed it, earth. For some that’s a tall order as their feet may never have been exposed to the earth, not in their adult lives, anyway. Even the thought of walking / running naked, so to speak, elicits a wince. While Earthing is for everyone, not everyone is cut out for Earthing. No matter. For those who are, a lovely sense of connection with the physical world is the reward. For those who aren’t, there are shoes…and “grounding” devices.
On this day, as I was walking around the dirt perimeter of a local park, my path crossed that of a woman of maybe two-thirds my age who was traveling in the opposite direction. I was going counter-clockwise, in homage to the lunar orbit. She, clockwise. Her pace was slightly slower than mine, maybe 3 mph, and she was shod in typical lifestyle joggers. We smiled on approach and stopped momentarily to chat.
“How far are you going,” I asked.
“I walked an hour yesterday. Today I’m going to find out how I feel as I go.”
I said I was out for under twenty minutes.
She commented on my bare feet, suggesting I’m getting back to Nature. I agreed, and said, “Yes, in particular by Earthing. That is, grounding the accumulated charge by bare-footin’”. No raised eyebrow, she seemed to know what I meant. Her manner was that of real understanding, like what might be conveyed by a compassionate grade school teacher. And me? A seven-year-old playing in the sunshine.
I wanted to inquire about her clothing color palette — was she a fan of Pierre Paulin, Verner Panton, or was she colorblind? — but decided to wait and see if I see her again. Today’s outfit was fushcia and orange. What other hues might reside in her closet? What other selections might she make? BTW, I’m quite the fan of both Paulin and Panton — love the former’s Tongue chairs! But, I digress…
Anyway, we passed several more times, said farewell, and I drove off while she continued her walk. I doubt she’ll take her shoes off and try Earthing, but she is likely to cary on with her light, healthful exercise. Time on the planet has bestowed upon me a perspective nearly unimaginable even a few years back. That a slow walk could be meaningful, fitness-wise, (other than as recovery from some excessive endeavor). Now, I get it. Due to recent lifestyle choices I am just now beginning to resuscitate the carcass that was once rather fit. I’m sure she has her motivations, too.
I have had my own reasons for allowing a general physical decline, and for initiating a reversal (to whatever degree, I don’t yet know), now. She has her reasons for being outside on this Sunday, walking for however long. That switch flips for countless individuals every day. Some succeed, some don’t. It’s a matter of commitment, and behind the commitment lies a reason. My reasons, my imperatives have changed. I’m adjusting. It’s sobering.
Happily, what I may lack in zeal these days I make up for with some five decades of fitness experience. Coaching myself, coaching others. Something I know that is important, perhaps essential to success, is starting the process slowly. Any twenty-year old trainer can kick your ass. Only a seasoned fitness professional can carefully guide your fitness / athletic journey. The first steps are all-important.
Something else is following natural cycles instead of fighting them. (This takes many forms, and I’ll address them from time to time in this blog, as I do in my Yin yoga classes.) The lunar cycle doesn’t start out with the Full Moon, rather it starts at zero and gradually builds toward it. And, that something as esoteric as Earthing can fortify the primal — physical and psychological — constitution of the organism (that’s me, that’s you) and reinforce an organic healthfulness, and well-being, is one of those experiential pearls of wisdom. In other words, it’s part of the foundation.
So, should you decide to embark on such a foolhardy endeavor as going barefooted, especially over terrain that includes pebbles, twigs, sun-warmed pavement, and such, err on the side of less-is-more. You don’t need to walk very long to discharge your capacitance. You don’t need to walk very long to blister your feet, either.