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Neat Feet Treat

A prompt to encourage your practice of creativity this week from Riversider and local author Larry Burns.

Photo by Nick Page / Unsplash

Do you need a low stress way to include seven minutes of creative contemplation into your week? Consider this your helpful nudge towards a slightly more creative life. If it helps, come back every week for a quick hit of creative contemplation. Each week I’ll share a new nudge. It will include a Thing (T), a Place (P), and a Sense(S) for your focus, a TPS creative nudge.

Last week we conquered new culinary terrain by inviting our fave food into every meal. Was it too much of a good thing? Did you feel like the IE’s Giada De Laurentiis or more like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein? Whether your idea was tossed in the trash or written down in a recipe book, what matters is you cultivated your creative core and today you’ve come back for more!

What grounds you, what keeps you connected to the things you need in life? Your feet of course. Unlike trees, which build a complex mycorrhizal network, an elaborate partnership of roots and fungus, our feet speak for us by taking us everywhere. Our feet helped us climb out of trees and crisscross the planet. They get the job done not by staying rooted in place but by carrying the weight of our bodies anywhere our heart’s desire.

Your creative nudge this week: take a walk in your bare feet. You can try this for a few minutes, or a few hours, or the rest of your life like Joseph DeRuvo Jr. However long you can bare it is going to build your creative energy store. Walking is a healthy activity for mind and body. Even a few minutes can add productive years to your life, which you can fill with more creative activities and explorations of your personal space.

You can sit still with your feet in cool grass or dig your toes into warm sandy soil. Try your next athletic activity like a jog or round of golf without footwear. Don’t remove your shoes when you come into the house, toss them aside and truly step into the world today. Try a walk that takes you over different terrain – sandpaper cement sidewalks, a dry dusty trek along the Santa Ana River, or warm asphalt. Feel the stability of wooden planks on a bridge.

Desire something less tactile and more cerebral for your foot exercise? Consider this: the Earth at your feet is the only thing keeping you from being pulled into space by the sun’s gravity. O take it down a notch and keep it on the first floor with a writing prompt: stare at your big toe and think up slang terms for feet. You can do better than “tootsies”. Care to guess which culture group calls feet “uggies”?

Afterwards, take a moment to appreciate what grounds you and what it means to connect with others through your environment. As you put on your shoes and continue your journey, take a deep breath and see if you can carry that sense of connection throughout the rest of your day.

Note: portions of this prompt created using the tool ChatGPT.