Omer Day 40
25 Iyar 5780
Tuesday 19 May 2020
Today is Day 40 of the Omer. The Israelites wandered in the Wilderness for 40 years before entering the Promised Land. It is said that the renowned Rabbi Akiva had not studied a word of Torah before his 40th birthday. Similarly, the study of Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism, is forbidden in some traditional circles until the age of 40. 40 days and nights it flooded in the time of Noah. One can imagine how it felt to take their first step back on firm, dry ground after such a cataclysmic event.
So today, we channel Noah and his family after the flood and our wandering Israelite ancestors by taking a walk outside. Barefoot.
Walking (and generally moving more) barefoot yields an impressive array of benefits, from strengthening the muscles and tendons of your feet and legs to helping address hip and lower back pain to improving the proprioceptive connection between our brain and body. Yet how often do we walk barefoot outside the house (or for some of us, even inside the house)?
It’s also quite fun. So for today, find an area nearby where you can safely walk outside barefoot. Yes, there may be sticks and stones and dirt and mud. That’s part of the fun. You can always wash them afterwards.
☀️Omer Day 40 practice [25 Iyar 5780 | Tuesday 19 May 2020]☀️
- Go outside, either barefoot or with shoes if you need to travel to a safer location nearby. Ideally no further than one minute walk away.
- Set a timer for 5-7 minutes (depending on distance from home). Remove footwear, if still wearing.
- Explore this area barefoot for the full duration of the time. Notice the sensations, walk at different speeds, walk quietly then heavily, feel the textures and temperatures of the ground … etc.
- At the end of the time, thank the ground for holding you up, and thank your feet for supporting you.
- Outdoor location suitable for barefoot walking — need not (and ideally isn’t) perfectly smooth but should be free of dangerous items;
✨Practice Notes ✨
- While this practice is best done outside to most easily access a diversity of textures and terrains, accessibility may be an issue for some folks. If you really cannot do this outside, then we suggest you create a little indoor playzone for your feet. Find objects and materials from around your house that you can lay out on the floor or in a container. Perhaps you create multiple containers of materials to step your feet into.
- Another option is to make an eye cover with a bandana or the like and (carefully) walk around your house, feeling by touch. This will force you to rely more on your bare feet and other body parts and senses, rather than on sight. Bonus for this version is that it makes it a lot easier to find the toilet at night when you’re used to walking around without sight!
☀️This post is part of our Omer Wellness Series – a daily 7-minute opportunity for introspection and intentional focus on caring for ourselves, each other, and our environment in this incredibly challenging time.☀️
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