Slide How I Wonder You Are What Who How What - here, refers to stars, galaxies, mountains, rocks, clouds, rains… Who - here, refers to all Life on our earth, human and non-human with the use of he/she; they/them/their pronouns. How - here, refers to a deeper enquiry of both who, and what.

This space is an invitation to all of us. To behold, wonder, and listen to LIFE, in all its abundant forms –  what stories do the natural world wish to share with us; what do we learn when we pay attention to the Indigenous world inhabiting the edges with reverence; what are the ancient stories (folks/myths) that have been orally alive for thousands of years asking of us now; and how do some parts of our modern human culture bring that wisdom into creating beautiful and elegant life-friendly designs that enrich all Life?

I invite us to sit together in-between these spaces with curiosity, openness and wonder, so we can learn and bring into our fold, ways to once again tread the earth lightly, a lot wildly, certainly more playfully, and yet a touch deeply with responsibility.

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FOOTLOOSE & FANCY FREE

Illustration by Priyal Shah

Listen to this Story
Narrated by Anjan Prakash

FOOTLOOSE & FANCY FREE

 

In a writing session I was recently a part of, the author Jamie Figueroa, offered an unusual writing prompt, `What is it your feet must confess?’ Yes, that was her prompt, `what is it your feet must confess?’.

I was both fascinated and amused by this question. I have heard about confessions of the heart, and confessions of the soul, and many times let them both share and guide my writing. But my foot, sorry, my feet, nobody has asked my feet anything something so emotional and spiritual so far.

I looked at my two feet, and both of them blushed with the sudden attention. They had so far done many things, but they hadn’t been asked to confess. Jamie had already added, `…just write free-hand, allowing what comes forward to be included in the page. There is no reason to cross or censor anything’. So I sat, waiting for my feet to confess.

This is not the dictionary meaning of confession, which is an admission of some wrong doing, something bad or something religious. It is the sharing of what is alive for my feet right now, what they wish to tell me, what they want to acknowledge is going on for them. And so here’s what they revealed.

We, Anjan’s feet, have come to the end of one journey right now, and are set for the next. We are closing a long beautiful and insightful journey of search, of looking, exploring, wandering, moving from place to place, physically-emotionally-spiritually, learning, engaging and experiencing, the words and wisdom of several gifted beings. This was a journey in the known, of collecting wisdom, insights, guidance, knowledge, of all that has been, and is. Now, we are ready to leave the village of the known with Anjan, and walk her into the unknown. Indigenous Elders would say, we are leaving the village behind, to enter the forest. Joseph Campbell called it a Hero’s journey. We have no idea, what to call ours, but we do know it is a journey that Life calls to be served using the guidance of our inner voice, and the wisdom of what we have gathered so far in the known, to use it for what might show up in the unknown. 

How nervous, scared, anxious, worried, overwhelmed we are, and have been for some time now, as it hasn’t been easy to gather courage and strength to step into the unknown. The difference is that right now, we also feel adventurous, excited, enthusiastic, stirred up, trusting, and all set to get this feet wet and explore the new forest ahead of us.

We might not go too far right away, but we shall put our best foot forward, as they say. We might get weary and tired, but we might also get a chance to hop, skip and jump. We might feel rough rocks beneath us, but we might also feel carpets and carpets of moss. We might get into slush and mud, but we might have the cool waters of the flowing river wash it over. We might be scratched and pricked by thorns, but we might chance upon beautiful flowers. We might be dead on our two feet, but we might be flying high in our spirits. We might develop cold feet not knowing which way to go, but in that very spot we might witness the most magnificent sight. We might long for company, but we might be swept off our two feet by meaningful friendships and partnerships. We might have to drag ourselves out of bed some mornings, but we might have a hot espresso and warm croissants waiting, courtesy Anjan’s beautiful husband. We might sometimes kick the walls with frustration, but we might have a reflexologist waiting at the end of the day. We might be in sneakers one moment, and in red high heels the next. We might have others stepping on our toes, but we might be in an intense hot Tango too. We might have our own foot here, and another foot there, but it might be because in-between lie several communities of living beings, extending their arms, legs and hearts to support and help. We might walk into failures, but they might train us to run into success.

You see, we are now open to the whole spectrum, one step at a time, moving the within into the without.

That’s what we are here for, aren’t we, to journey into wild pastures?

And so, shared my feet, footloose and fancy free on the page.

Wow, it’s as if my feet sung my song back to me. How privileged and blessed I am, to have their company, as I now know with them two I can stand my ground on any journey.

Often the words `listen, listening’ conjures up an image or feeling that it involves another person or being, and is therefore an act involving any two life forms at the minimum. Yes, this is true of listening. Most of the listening we engage in through the day has another person, being, or many others in it. But as we know, the foundation for all good listening, starts by listening to oneself. This is primary. After all, listening to nature is about paying attention to our own intuitive voice, as we are very much a part of the natural world. Such prompts are valuable offerings in this direction, as sometimes we have all the time in the world to listen to others, but hardly make any time to listen to oneself.

How often are we led into asking, what our hands wish to say, what our feet wish to confess, what our eyes wish to reveal, what our heart is carrying right now? Each of them carry stories, carry our inner wisdom, and maybe are waiting to be asked.

So, with this, I extend this invitation to you, if it speaks to you, like it has for me.

How about taking a pen and notebook, or paper.

How about picking one of the following prompts, and letting that part of your body speak, even as you freely write for just 10 minutes, to see what is alive through it. I was so deeply touched, and so pleasantly surprised with the wit and humour my two feet held. Maybe you will be too. Here are the prompts. You can make up one as well if some other part of your body is aching to share:

  • What is it your feet must confess?
  • What do your eyes want to reveal?
  • What are your hands aching to give?
  • What do your ears not wish to listen to?
  • What does your mouth desire to let out?

And like Jamie Figueroa offered, `do not censor, or cross anything’. Remember, you are only writing on behalf of that part of your body, what it shows or tells you.

Thank you for listening to my two feet.

Thank you Jamie Figueroa, and Emergence team for bringing the rich perspective, and opening up a whole new way of listening to oneself.

I really look forward to hearing what this brought you, and if you did free-write one of the prompts, and wish to share something from that experience, I would so love to hear.

Have a footloose and fancy free weekend👠

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One Comment

    • Ashok Gulati

    • 1 day ago

    Brilliant!
    I’m going to share this with a lot of my friends!

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