Teaching a yoga class and demonstrating the Dancer pose, I was explaining another way to grab the foot of the raised leg, and I told the class to reach back and grab the inside of their sole. One of the students chuckled and when I asked her what was funny, she said it wasn’t funny, but poignant—to grab the inside of our soles, and she emphasized the last word, “You know, souls?” I loved her take on it!
I was thinking about this the other day and it occurred to me how life is like a shoe store. Really! Stay with me here: Take any shoe store and you’ll see racks upon racks of shoes—various sizes, styles, and materials. When we go shopping, we look for footwear that fits us well and can also be an expression of us. I would even go so far as to say that we express our souls through our soles!
Taking that idea further, as we grow from children and adolescents to teenagers and finally adults, one way we learn about our selves is by trying on the “shoes” of those around us thinking this is who we should be. Honestly, haven’t we all tried to fit in someone else’s shoes? I know I have.
When someone leaves or passes away, you’ve heard the comment—“Those will be tough shoes to fill”, and then there’s the adage, “You shouldn’t judge someone unless you’ve walked a mile in their shoes”.
Some of us are still wearing shoes that really aren’t ours and we’re in serious need of shoe shopping. Look down at your feet right now and using your imagination, whose shoes are you wearing? Are they really yours or are your shoes those of your Mom? Your Dad? Cousin? Teacher? Boss? What the social media says you should be?
In time, we may realize that the shoes we wear don’t really fit, so we try on another pair and see how that goes for a while. We try on the shoes of those around us, but some of those shoes are too big, too small, too fancy, or not bold enough for us.
After trying on many different shoes in our lifetimes, if we’re lucky, we find a pair that fits us just right. It feels like we stepped into home as we slide our feet in and don’t think twice about walking that mile! Finding the perfect pair of shoes to walk in is more than just about the soles of your feet. It’s about walking in your own shoes and in the soles of your soul.