When my daughter started walking, it was obvious to me that she needs to stay barefoot as much as possible.
I could clearly see how her muscles in her foot are developing and that she needed freedom to allow them to evolve naturally.
Then I looked into it and found that my intuition was right. When it was time to find shoes for her, I opted for those that mimic barefoot walking.
Then I started to question — why do we need to transition to a traditional, firm shoe at all?
And what I found was a bit shocking to me back then. Yet it made total sense.
Generally speaking, we do not need to move to other shoes.
In fact, there’s a growing movement that embraces barefoot walking for all.
The shoes we typically wear are responsible for many issues we have with our feet. Our muscles get used to being confined, not receiving feedback from the ground underneath us, and they slowly deteriorate.
Some of us might be wearing more supportive shoes — orthopedic ones, ones that give support to the ideal structure of our feet. And we think these are better for our feet. Whereas usually, these supportive shoes tend to make the muscles in our feet even less-able.
For many people, gradually strengthening the foot muscles and the body-brain feedback loop from our feet will be much healthier for the long run.
In the past few years, I have done just so.
I gradually shunned away from my shoes and replaced them with “barefoot” style shoes.
All my shoes now have a completely flexible sole, which means I can move my feet in any which direction I desire.
They have a very wide toe box, that gives my toes plenty of wriggling room.
All my shoes have a relatively thin sole, too, and I can feel it when I step on rocks, or uneven ground — although they provide enough protection so it won’t be painful when I step on something sharp or rough.
It’s like I’m barefoot but with some protection for the skin of my feet.
By the way, one research suggests that developing thick foot callus from walking completely barefoot is even beneficial.
It was a slow, gradual move for me, but lately, I realized that I simply do not feel comfortable staying in shoes that have restrictive characteristics in them at all. And I can proudly say that all the shoes I wear these days are what I would classify as barefoot shoes.
Now my feet are strong, flexible, and able to communicate with my brain so it can naturally make changes to my posture, stride, or gait without me even registering it consciously.
This got me thinking about eyesight.
I turned 45 a couple of months ago.
This is the age, you know, when I need to get my phone further and further away from me in order to see anything.
Reading labels on food or clothes (which the conscious-consumer in me tends to do before a purchase) gets all-too-tricky, to the point that sometimes I wish I had a magnifying glass with me.
Among my friends, we are starting to joke how we are in denial — and, really, it’s time for us to get those glasses.
But I’m determined to try different solutions before I resort to glasses.
A few days ago, I stumbled upon a book by Meir Schneider: Miracle Eyesight Method. Obviously, I was curious. I got the audiobook and started listening.
And what struck me most interesting is his explanation of how glasses tend to aggravate the issue with our eyes.
We notice that our eyesight is not as good as we want it to be, and instead of fixing the issue we give them these “crutches” — glasses. Glasses, generally speaking, give us great eyesight. But, in return, the eye muscles never improve. In many cases, they even deteriorate.
Now we are becoming dependant on glasses just in order to see well.
Similar to our feet that lose their agility in shoes, eyes become weaker in glasses.
For most people, improving eyesight is as simple as training the eye muscles to communicate with the brain. Then, the eyes become more and more capable, and great eyesight can be fully restored.
And guess what the first step is?
Learning what it feels like to fully relax the eyes.
The first exercise to master is to simply let go.
Which got me thinking about vibrators.
The other day I was contacted (yet again) by a company that sells vibrators. They want me to promote their products. Which, by the way, look super cute and awesome.
I might even decide to promote their products at some stage.
But first I want to make sure that women who use vibrators are doing so for the right reasons.
Because many of my readers tell me they use vibrators out of frustration.
They have sex with their partner. Some tell me that their partner makes an effort to please them, some women tell me that their partner doesn’t really try much. Anyway, the guy orgasms. End of sex.
And the woman is unsatisfied.
She takes the vibrator out and helps herself to an orgasm.
What’s wrong with this scenario, you might ask?
A couple of things.
First, our understanding of sex that it evolves around the guy’s satisfaction. That the woman needs to orgasm so that the guy will feel OK to orgasm himself.
Second, needing to rely on vibrators ongoingly in order to have an orgasm is a problem.
Because, really what we need to be doing, is to strengthen the body-brain connection between all those amazing nerve endings around our genitals. If we take our time to enliven these nerve endings and nourish them, we will gradually teach our brain how to pay attention to all these subtle and wonderful sensations that we miss when we try to feel anything on someone else’s timeframe.
And one of the most amazing things to realize is that our pelvic floor muscles have been ignored and mistreated and they have a tendency to tense when they don’t need to tense, at times completely shut down.
Vibrators are a bypass.
When we start relying on them, it does not help the body-brain communication between the nerve endings and the pleasure center in the brain.
Actually, some women report that vibrators can make them feel numb or to desensitize — and some experts brush them off as being too sensitive. Too sensitive! I think that’s a joke. Sensitivity is exactly what I want when it comes to sex. I want to be able to feel all the subtle delicate sensations in my genitals. All the tingling, the endless nameless sensations that arise in my body when I practice sex slowly and mindfully.
And when our nerve endings are that sensitive and alive, a vibrator can really shut them down, even if only temporarily.
So a better bet for strengthening our genital-nerve-ending connection with our brain is, for many women, learning how to fully relax the pelvic floor muscles.
Then, the next step could be gentle pelvic floor exercise.
And vibrators could be used occasionally, with caution and awareness. Not out of frustration, but as a tool to expand our exploration of the amount of pleasure that our body can feel.
Heck, when I’m putting it this way, I might even go ahead and try a vibrator myself one of these days…
So what do shoes, glasses, and vibrators have in common?
They make our lives easier.
We assume they are helpful.
But when we take a closer look, they have the potential to make things worse for us.
If we decide to invest our time in strengthening our body-brain connection, we might realize we won’t ever need them.