June 2021 Newsletter
The Creative Power of the Legs and Feet
A recent article, “On the Link Between Great Thinking and Obsessive Walking,” talks about where Darwin did his best thinking.
It wasn’t in his study. Or even in a library.
Instead it occurred on a path on the edge of his property he called the Sandwalk.
Five turns around his “thinking path” amounted to about half a mile.
It’s said this simple process shaped his identity as a thinker.
This speaks to the power of one of the least noticed Wisdom Areas of the body: Your Legs and Feet.
They do more than give you the gift of movement.
They enable you to digest a great deal of information at one time — to give you answers to some of life’s most complex, multifaceted issues and challenges.
If you’ve ever gone for a walk confused about something only to return with the solution in mind, you’ve experienced the wisdom of the Legs and Feet.
Yet even beyond their ability to help us solve problems, they enhance our brainstorming.
A 2014 study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that people who walked for 8 minutes produced ideas that were 61% more creative than those who simply sat for 8 minutes.
Going even deeper, there’s an innate intelligence or knowing that resides in this Wisdom Area of the body.
Our Legs and Feet are powerful allies helping us discern how to move forward with our lives.
Whether the message is “Get moving!” or “Slow down!” their wisdom is always there if we can learn to tune in and receive it.
Joan, a client of mine, found her way to me after a critical illness forced her to change her professional life.
By the time we met she had recovered from her illness, left her job, and moved on with her life.
Yet the effects of that challenging time shook her deeply. And they were lingering in her body, robbing her of her peace of mind.
As our session began she said, “I love using my gifts in the work I’m doing. My clients love it, too. I feel energized. So why am I still feeling tentative about building my practice?”
As she dropped her awareness deep into her body she was drawn down into her feet …
And she said she felt like she had one foot on the accelerator and the other foot on the brake.
No wonder she had difficulty manifesting her gifts!
Whenever she stepped into a new endeavor, no matter how right it felt, she found herself slipping into self-doubt and slamming on the brakes.
Joan was in a cycle of self-sabotage.
She said, “I feel cautious in the last few years since that time of my burning out and getting so ill. That was such a difficult ride for me. My boundaries were nearly nonexistent.
“I lived on high alert, overfunctioning all the time. Yet I couldn’t keep up with the needs of my constituents.”
When I suggested she check in with the sensations in her Legs and Feet, Joan was astounded.
“Oh my God, they were telling me to slow down the whole time, but I was oblivious. I was focused on my need to please everyone else.”
I asked if she still had a tendency to do too much.
She chuckled and told me her inner perfectionist was sure she has not done enough. But her friends and colleagues told her she ran circles around them.
“In my head, I know I do way more than the average person,” she said. “But somehow the message hasn’t gotten through to that old part of me that’s sure I am not quite enough.”
Quietly I asked her, “What’s the effect on your Legs and Feet of feeling like you aren’t doing enough?”
She said, “I feel pressure building up again as though my heels are digging in.”
Then she laughed. “My feet and legs are saying, ‘Hell, no! We won’t go!’ I have literally dug in my heels.
“My Legs and Feet are still afraid I’ll throw myself into my work, lose my boundaries, and burn out all over again.
“They feel like they’re held as if in concrete, absolutely determined not to move. Yet the creative part of me is stretching in a dozen different directions and feeling exhausted.
“This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase stretched too thin!”
I asked her, “What would it feel like if you could give yourself a message like ‘I do plenty right now,’ or, ‘What I do is enough’?”
She instantly said, “When I tell myself that, the deep pressure eases up!”
I asked, “What do your Legs and Feet need in order to take the brakes off so they can work with the rest of you?”
An image emerged in Joan’s mind. She saw herself sitting quietly every day and checking in with her Legs and Feet about her plans for the day.
She already practiced the Soul Embodiment® technique I teach as part of the new Healing From the Core® training program. Yet somehow the wisdom of her Legs and Feet kept getting left out.
“I feel my feet but I haven’t been communicating with them regularly,” Joan said. “I had no idea they had information like this for me.”
Then she reassured her Legs and Feet that she had them firmly in her sights. And she would add them to her inner team for all future discussions and decisions.
As the session came to a close, she received a new mantra: “Feet First.”
Joan learned how to create balance and healthy boundaries. She knows how to take care of herself first, then share her gifts from a full and centered place.
Her Legs and Feet helped her focus — not just on pleasing others, but on truly satisfying herself.