“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Almost any self-help or personal development teacher has a toolbox full of exercises and activities to help their clients and followers become more present in each moment.
I’m guessing that most of them don’t involve mutilating your big toe. But I like to go the extra mile. I’m just that kind of girl.
Last night, I was cooking in a pan that I don’t use often – a large pan with a very large lid. My attention slipped for a moment and so did the lid. Right down on the big toe of my right foot.
After the initial five seconds of shock and awe, I looked down to see that my kitchen floor was already blooming with little pools of red, and they were quickly accumulating.
I won’t gross you out with any further details (or worse yet, pictures!) but suffice it to say that it was an unpleasant evening. Given the size of the lid and the size of my toe, I think I’m quite lucky that the injury wasn’t worse.
This morning I discovered that I couldn’t wear my regular shoes because they put too much pressure on my toe. So I donned everyone’s favorite fashionable look – heavy socks with Birkies! Then I went out into the first snowfall of the season.
I found myself limping today – less because of the pain and more because when I put too much pressure on my toe, the wound started bleeding again.
As the day progressed, I discovered that I didn’t need to limp as long as I was very, very, very aware of each step. If I picked my foot up flat and put it down flat (rather than rolling from heel to ball), there was no additional pressure on my toe. But walking that way is so completely foreign that I really had to concentrate. And go slow. And be aware of every step. And there’s an instant feedback system – when I forget to be present, there’s pressure on my toe, which hurts.
It’s my own personal walking meditation.
I guess in my own little back-asswards way of looking at the world, even mutilating my big toe can be a miracle.
Today’s miracle: Even the smallest part of the body can bring big lessons when I pay attention…or rather, when it’s hurting so much that I have to pay attention…
Toe photo found here.