I was soaking my feet this morning, as I often times do, and I had A MOMENT OF GREAT CLARITY. (i’m using my best deep & billowing announcement voice here.)
Then it occurred to me that many moments of clarity do in fact come to me while soaking my feet! And now that I really think about it – this ritual is so yummy, reliable, and profound for me that I must share it with you.
I’ll get to why I think a foot soak leads to a moment of clarity in a little bit. But first, here’s my feet soaking process so you can try it yourself:
Fill a Tub or Large Bowl with Hot Water
Any sturdy water-holding container will do. Since I live in a tiny home I just use the tub. (It’s fucking terrible for baths, but fantastic for a foot soak.) Just make sure that whatever you use is big enough to submerge your feet up to your ankles. And make the water nice and hot.
Add Epsom Salt
I was a late-comer to the Epsom Salt craze, but I’m telling you – it really does make you feel terrific all over. (Epsom Salt is actually Magnesium Sulfate, named Epsom after a spring in England). I generally just free pore the salts while the water is running, but I hear a good measurement is 1/2 cup per 1 gal of water.
Add Lavender Essential Oil
Ahhhh, Lavender. The very thought of the scent makes me feel relaxed. And just look at that field. So dreamy.
Regarding your soak – five to seven drops of oil will do. If you don’t like Lavender, use whatever essential oil you love.
If aromatherapy isn’t your thing, ignore this step. However, maybe try lighting a candle or playing music that speaks to your soul. In other words, make the process a ritual of sorts… like a gift to your lovely self.
Step into the Water and Sit Down
Well that’s obvious. But definitely do make yourself comfortable. I put a fluffy towel down to cushion my tush on the edge of the tub, for example. A comfy, supportive chair would be even better.
Adore Your Feet Lavishly
This part is crucial. I usually give my feet a good rub with both of my hands… toes… arches… heals… whatever is asking for some attention. This is a good time to clean around the nails and cuticles too. Do whatever you want, but the point is – give your feet some Real-Deal TLC. It’s like showing them thanks for all the work they do. If reaching down to your feet doesn’t sound like any fun, try using a tennis ball underneath them to work out the arches and metatarsal.
and when you’ve had enough of that…
Sit and Do Nothing
For me, this is when the MOMENT OF GREAT CLARITY tends to arise. Just sit, relax and doing nothing at all. Resist the urge to check your smart phone! Be still and check in with yourself instead… and see if your mind doesn’t wander onto some new thought or insight.
When that new thought or insight arises, what I do is
Speak it Out Loud
Call me crazy if you like, but I voice the thought right into the room, like I’m talking to an imaginary person. Granted, I’m always talking to myself out loud (I’m an only child so I’m really good an entertaining the shit out of myself), so this is completely natural to me, but I understand that it might feel ridiculous if you’ve never done it before.
I suggest you try it anyway.
Why? Because when you speak your thoughts out loud, it brings them into focus. You sort through the abstraction that thoughts tend to have, and bring them into definition. You make them tangible.
Take your time with this part. Play with the words… see how close you can make them resonate with the essence of the thought.
Now, because I love language and making thoughts meaningful in some artistic way, I really get off on this part. But my (wannabe) Zen self must also acknowledge that thoughts are just thoughts – transient and utterly meaningless. So you can decide whether your thoughts are aha-worthy, or you can decide to see how silly they are, and have yourself a great laugh.
Either way… clarity.
And that’s it!
When you’re done soaking, dry off your feet luxuriously – with a soft clean towel or something that feels amazing to you. (What it you have a heated floor! Wouldn’t that be delicious?)
Most of all, have fun with it. Treat yourself with love, and just notice what comes up. And whether or not you experience mental clarity, your body & senses will be extremely thankful all the same.
Now, as for why I think a simple foot soak can lead to a moment of clarity…
It has everything to do with your roots.
In yogic thought, the root chakra is connected to your base – your foundation. It is the Center of Survival (safety, security, belonging, and so on).
The feet are your body’s roots – they connect you to the earth. When we take care of our feet, we’re taking care of our base, our foundation. And by taking care of our foundation we’re literally and energetically allowing our bodies to enter into a state of safety, security, and belonging.
When we feel safe, we relax…. and when we relax we allow the noise in our bodies and minds to quiet down a little. When the noise quiets down, we become more receptive.
So, in my opinion, that’s what clarity comes down to – removing the noise.
The relaxing, self-nurturing quality of the foot soak is somehow just what I need to help me relax, get quiet, and see things in a way I’ve never seen them before.
And even though I’ve only soaked my feet, my entire body and being feels refreshed, relaxed, and rejuvenated afterward.
So there you have it! My un-scientific-but-very-embodied theory.
I hope you give yourself a foot soak soon [: