October 5, 2014

Join the Barefoot Revolution—Get Grounded! ~ Gerard Murphy

Barefoot on City Street

And forget not that the earth delights

to feel your bare feet

and the winds long to play with your hair

Kahlil Gibran. ~ The Prophet

Do you ever wonder why TVs, satellite dishes, PCs, and every substantial electrical device in our homes and hospitals, need to be grounded?

Essentially it is to stabilize the electrical current and to offset the build-up of static electricity. We all know what happens if the latter occurs—the display on our monitor gets very fuzzy—and there goes the evening.

So here’s my question: If electrical current/energy requires a reference point for safety and stabilization, where does that leave us? Why aren’t we—living, breathing and bio-electrically charged beings living on an electrical planet—similarly grounded?

Well, the truth is, we were. For thousands of years most indigenous peoples walked, slept, sat, and interacted skin-to-skin with Mother Earth. That’s grounding in its purest form.

And the health benefits? Enormous. I’ll address those in a bit, but first—what happened?


It seems to me that we have forgotten or lost our capacity to commune in a salubrious and symbiotic manner with the planet that has birthed us. We daily pollute the living organism that breathes for us; and our relationship with the earth seems to be primarily mechanistic—not organic.

And then there’s the fundamental moral and spiritual disconnect that mars our relationship even deeper, leaving it in a disaffected state of dereliction.

Look around you, we’re either cooped up in our offices incessantly bombarded by electromagnetically charged (and not very benign) energy fields, or we’re out and about—yes, in nature—but severely insulated by our high-tech, rubber-soled shoes, from the earth beneath our feet—charged as it is (benignly) with an endless supply of health-promoting free electrons.

We have forgotten what it means to walk in skin-to-skin reverence with the soil.

Not cool, folks. And not healthy.

From plundering the natural resources of the planet for excessive and obscene energy consumption, to the pharmaceutical corporations who want to pump our bodies with chemical preservatives, we look upon nature, the natural world, and the human body as machines that—of themselves—are impure, imperfect and inefficient.

Therefore we see them as in need of our technological control and correction, so that they can produce better and more results for our perceived anthropocentric needs—what demented and misguided hubris. Sad! And by isolating ourselves in artificially controlled environments, we sever our vital connection to the natural wildness, biodiversity and abundance of nature.

We can’t truly know, love or honor anything until we feel and touch it. There needs to be a mutual sense of touch and belonging if the relationship is to be one of moral companionship. And we’ve lost that kindred connection with the earth.

Earthing involves removing ones footwear so as to go skin-to-skin with Mother Earth.

But why? Simply because (like the planet itself) we have always been electrically charged beings and our natural state of connection to the earth is through bodily contact. By walking barefoot on the earth (soil, sand or cement) we naturally absorb the endless supply of “free electrons” on its surface and, consequently, equalize the electrical potential in our bodies with that of the earth.


Years of research—pioneered by Clint Ober and the Earthing Institute—would dramatically attest to the health and general well-being benefits of this practice (particularly the immediate and long-term reduction of inflammation, the most common factor associated with all modern diseases.)

For me, earthing has become a spiritual practice. Whether on the beach, on the hills around my home (vigilant for goose and deer poop), or any time there’s a good spill from the heavens, on the wet cement outside—to walk barefoot on the earth’s surface is calming, centering, and conducive to gentle (humble) communion with the earth that has birthed our—and all—species. I feel and sense an energy that stills my chattering mind and allows a numinous presence to enter deeply—and reassure me that “All is Well.”

So, I encourage it, as I encourage any form of communion with nature (hours of it!). As a spiritual practice of caring for and reverencing the earth and the cosmos—God’s primary revelation and incarnational flesh-to-flesh intimacy with us.

Until our next yarn. Get those sweaty socks off, discard the fancy Lunar Glide and Air Max shoes, and go soak up some free electrons.

‘Tis good for the body and soul—yeah baby!




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Apprentice Editor: Jessica Sandhu / Editor: Emily Bartran

Photo: Alyssa Miller/Flickr

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