Oct 8, 2014

Barefoot Halloween Costumes

barefoot cavewoman costume
Barefoot cavewoman costume
Click here for more info.


Have you ever worn a barefoot Halloween costume? By that I mean a costume that can or should be worn barefooted. For instance, if you dress as Tarzan or a Hobbit you would not wear anything on your feet. A pair of shoes that look like bare feet are not what I'm talking about here.

Well, I have gone barefoot on Halloween as a pirate, Tarzan/jungle man, and Tom Sawyer, and I had a blast.

So the question is, where can you go barefoot on Halloween night? How about trick-or-treating? Yeah, if you're still at the right age or you have kids of your own, you certainly want to give it a serious thought as it's really fun to go out barefoot on Halloween. You can also attend a party wearing a barefoot costume.  Don't be afraid of getting dirty feet. You can always wash them later.

Obviously, if you're not going out, you can be barefoot at home while hosting a Halloween party or just entertaining the little ghosts, goblins, and witches. In this case you don't even have to worry about getting your feet dirty or cold.

Needless to say, you have to use common sense. You should go out barefooted on Halloween only if you live in a warm place where it's still quite comfortable to be barefoot outside that time of the year. You also need to make sure you're in a safe and well kept neighborhood where there aren't a lot of broken glasses or other sharp objects on the streets because remember, you will be walking around in the dark for a good part of the evening.

So what characters can you dress as barefooted? I mentioned Tarzan and jungle man earlier, and they are the simplest characters to dress as, since all you need is a loincloth! But if you prefer to wear a fancier costume, they are available too.

Barefoot caveman costume
Click here for more info.



Other similar characters include Jane, Jungle Jim, and caveman/woman. My friend Tania loves to wear a jungle woman costume like the one shown at the top of the page.

OK, what other characters can you dress barefoot as? Here's a list. Some of them are pretty obvious while the others are not, but they look so natural in bare feet.

  • The Flintstones
  • The Hulk
  • angel/fairy
  • Native American
  • pirate
  • wench
  • hula dancer
  • witch

Can you think of anything else? Put it in the comment below. But you get the idea. So, why not wear a barefoot Halloween costume this year and impress your friends and family.

Sep 12, 2014

Barefoot at School Again | in the Principal's Office

By Sharleen Wailani

Note from Tania: my little sister Sharleen wrote this story and asked me to post it here. Enjoy!

I wish I had gone to one of the public schools that allow students to go barefoot to school. Actually, I almost transferred to one, but for a number of reasons we finally decided against it. So what's a barefoot girl to do? Well, try to go sans shoes at school as often as possible which I did, and this time I got to do it in the principal's office.

This took place when I was in elementary school. 4th grade to be exact.

One Saturday morning I went out shopping at the mall with my mom and little brother Kevin. As usual I was barefoot. Yeah, in the beginning mom didn't approve of me and my sister going barefoot in public places but she finally gave in and now she's ok with it.

As we were walking around in the mall we ran into my school principal Mrs. Scott (not her real name). We were both surprised to see each other. I was expecting her to say something about my lack of footwear, but to my surprise (and delight), she didn't. Apparently she didn't think anything of it. After all this is Hawaii, right? Quite a few people especially kids go out and about in their bare feet.

Before going our separate ways she asked me if I would like to take a picture with her. I said "sure." So mom took our picture and it turned out really nice. I was wearing a light purple polo shirt and white shorts, and my bare feet were in full view. Mrs. Scott was wearing a long dark blue dress. The colorful tropical flowers in the background made it picture perfect.

I was really surprised when I went into Mrs. Scotts's office about a week later and saw that picture hanging on the wall. I said, "wow, Mrs. Scott, you have our picture on the wall!" "Yep," she replied. "I really love it! You look so natural just like an island girl with the beautiful flowers in the background."

There were other pictures on the wall of her with a bunch of students together, but there was none with just one particular student. So I felt kinda special.

Anyway, a couple of weeks later Mrs. Scott asked me to help her with a special project which required me to spend about an hour or so with her in her office every Friday after school for a few weeks. So the first day I was sitting in there working I thought to myself, wouldn't it be nice if I could be barefoot? Wonder if she would let me. Well, let's find out!

So I went over to her and asked, "Mrs. Scott, uh...is it ok if I take my shoes off? I would feel more relaxed and be able to get things done quicker." That last part was actually bs which I felt I needed to throw in to help convince her :)

She was a little hesitant but finally said, "Um...well...ok, go ahead!"

I was like "yes!" (but didn't vocalize it though). So I sat down and took my shoes off. Since I wasn't wearing socks, I was immediately barefoot. Mrs. Scott noticed that and said, "Oh, your not wearing socks!" What? Did she think I was wearing socks and was expecting me to keep them on instead of being barefoot?

"Um...no," I replied thinking to myself, sh1t! I hope she won't tell me to put my shoes back on, and I certainly hope she won't smell anything (after all I had been wearing shoes all day at school) for that would be a major embarrassment.

"Well...that's ok. Just put your shoes under the table over there and put them back on before you leave."

Phew! So there I was still in full uniform including the tie but with nothing on my feet. Oh, and my feet didn't smell that bad for I was wearing a different pair of shoes every day.

As you probably know, your feet tend to stink more if you don't wear socks, but I hate wearing socks because it's a hassle and I don't like the feeling of my feet being wrapped. I prefer the freedom of being barefoot inside my shoes. Besides, I love to show my ankle bracelets.

That's why mom bought me 3 pairs of shoes so I could alternate them but still, at the end of the day my feet would smell a little. Yeah, just a little, and that's a small price to pay for freedom, comfort, and looking cool! :)

Then Mrs. Scott said this. "But hey...don't tell everyone at school that you were barefoot in my office."

"Why, Mrs. Scott?" I asked.

"Well, because the rule says you must wear shoes at all times while on school grounds. I would have a lot of explaining to do to my staff should they find out that I let you go barefoot in my office. Heck, I have had a hard enough time responding to people's comments about our picture over there."

"Wow, really?" I said.

"Yeah, because people would see the picture and ask 'is that Sharleen?' I tell them 'yeah,' and their like 'how come she is barefoot?' and I'm like, 'I don't know, that was taken at the mall, not here at school!' and their like, 'oh!'"

I laughed thinking that was funny.

So I was working at the computer desk when suddenly there was a knock on the door. I felt my heart skip a beat. What if that was a teacher or school staff? Well, I would just stay put right there and hopefully they wouldn't see my feet. But Mrs. Scott calmly said, "come in!" The door opened and there was Mario from the sanitation department coming to clean the office.

I breathed a sigh of relief but still felt a bit uneasy because Mario would eventually see me barefoot as he worked his way around the office. But judging from Mrs. Scott's attitude, it seemed everything was pretty cool.

"Hi Mario!" I waived at him and smiled. "Hi miss Sharleen!" he replied. Yeah, just about everyone at school knew me by name. How do you like that?

I had to walk around the office doing different things while Mario was there and at one point he glanced at my bare feet but said nothing. After he left, I asked Mrs. Scott, "Mario definitely saw me barefoot in here, is that ok?"

"Oh, don't worry about him. He doesn't talk much," she said. Hmm, cool!

When it was time to leave I grabbed my shoes and sat in the chair. I looked at my soles, and they were slightly dirty from walking around in the office. So I rubbed them against each other to get some of the dirt off before putting my shoes on again. I thanked Mrs. Scott for letting me go sans shoes in her office. She reminded me not to tell people about it.

From then on, every time I arrived in her office on Friday afternoon I immediately took my shoes off without even saying anything and she was cool with it. Mario always came while I was there barefoot and he never said a word about it. Well, until ...

One Friday afternoon I walked over to Mrs. Scott's desk to show her my work. I calmly sat in the chair in front of her expecting her to tell me I did a good job. So you can imagine how shocked I was when she yelled at me instead.

"Aw Sharleen! I've told you I didn't want you to do it this way! You weren't listening to me, you just wanna do your own thing!" I was a little shaken as that was the first time she ever scolded me.

"Oops, I'm so sorry Mrs. Scott, I forgot but I can fix it easily." I said nervously.

"Well, hurry up then! I'm tired, I wanna get outta here!" she yelled again. Wow, she surely was in a rotten mood.

"Ok, ok..." I said scurrying back to the computer.

As I was sitting Mario looked at me and smiled. I giggled softly feeling a bit embarrassed. Then the unexpected happened. He came to sweep the floor under my desk, and out of the blue he said, "No shoes, miss Sharleen?"

I was already a bit jittery to begin with and his question just caught me off guard. "Huh?! Oh...uh...yeah...my feet were hurting so I took off my shoes," I said (of course, I lied :p) with a smile trying to act calm.

He just chuckled and without saying a word continued sweeping. I was puzzled, wtf was he thinking? He had seen me barefoot in there several times, so why did he just ask me about it that day? Maybe he thought striking up a conversation with me would help me relax? Well, with THAT question the effect was quite the opposite but whatever!

Anyway, I fixed everything and Mrs. Scott was satisfied. As I was leaving she apologized for screaming at me earlier, she said it had just been a long day. I told her it was ok, it was my mistake, and wished her a wonderful weekend.

The following Friday mom was coming to pick me and my sister up at school for we were going shopping. So while waiting for mom I chatted with Mrs. Scott. She asked me if I always went barefoot outside of school and I told her most of the time. Otherwise, I just wore flip flops. I only wore shoes to school.

She said she kinda envied me. She wished she had grown up in Hawaii where many kids go barefoot, but now it was too late. Although some adults also go barefoot in public, she wouldn't want to get caught doing it now that she was a school principal and everything.

My phone rang, and it was mom telling me that she was already in the parking lot. Suddenly I had a crazy idea, and so I said to the principal, "Mrs. Scott, my mom's already out there waiting for me. Can I just carry my shoes and walk barefoot to the parking lot?"

She gave me a stern look and wagged her finger saying, "Nice try kiddo! You know the rule. Now put your shoes on!" I just giggled and said "ok" and put them on. I was still giggling as I said goodbye and walked out the door, and Mrs. Scott was shaking her head. Oh well, I tried :)

But I had nothing to complain about though, because after all she gave me a pass to go barefoot in her office, granted it was at the end of the day when most people had left, and there was no one who would knock at her door except Mario. That was huge and I consider it another victory for me in going barefoot at school (read about my previous experience).

So was that another one of those "magical" instances that Tania often talked about? Well, you be the judge :)

Aloha, and have a magical day!

Credit: Photographer - Jorah Mormont

Sep 4, 2014

Favorite Barefoot Sports

Since my little sister Sharleen and I love going barefoot it's only natural that the sports we choose are those that can be done in bare feet. We both can't stand having our feet enclosed in shoes for any length of time, especially while playing sports where we (and our feet) tend to sweat more. So what kinds of sports/exercises are usually done barefoot? Following are a few that my sister and I routinely do.


Yoga

I love yoga because besides exercising your body you also exercise your mind and spirit. You get to relax and experience inner peace. Out of respect for other students in the class though, we are required to have clean feet as we do the exercises in close proximity to each other. The teachers know that some of the students are regular barefooters like myself, and it's hard to get our feet really clean.

So our soles don't have to be squeaky clean, just not filthy that they are disgusting to look at. Although I enjoy having my feet dirty, I can appreciate that not everyone likes looking at them. OK, I know some guys do, but that's another discussion for another time, lol.

Sadly, I have seen people do yoga wearing shoes and socks (not in our class, fortunately), and they have even come up with the so-called "yoga socks" to protect your feet from germs, and get this: they say it feels just like being barefoot! I'm like, huh?! So why not just go barefoot and save yourself some money? Unless there's an open sore, germs can't penetrate your skin. So lighten up people, and enjoy life the way it's meant to be!

Martial arts

My sister and I also love karate. We learn self defense and build our confidence. Although we get yelled at sometimes, it's a lot of fun and we get to do it in bare feet. I know many people like doing martial arts wearing shoes, yikes! Thank God, at our dojo we are actually required to be barefoot in class. Unlike in yoga though, they don't care if we come in dirty feet.

Swimming

Swimming is second nature to most people living in Hawaii. For us, it's even more convenient as we live just a block away from the beach. We swim almost everyday. It's so refreshing and invigorating. Yes, of course we do it barefoot! Who in their right mind would wear shoes or sandals swimming? Unless they happen to fall into the water by accident, haha!

Gymnastics

This is one of Sharleen's favorite sports, and she is really good at it too. She does it once a week, and her teacher requires everyone to be barefoot and of course, she loves that.

Those are the sports/exercises that are best (and should be) done in bare feet. But there are others like barefoot hiking and running which have gained popularity in recent years. Have you tried any of them? What's your favorite barefoot sports? Share with us in the comment below.

Jun 3, 2014

No Shoes No Shirt No Problem Sign

Hey, how's it going? Some of you are probably sick and tired of seeing the no shoes no shirt no service signs posted in front of many businesses. Luckily we don't see too many of 'em here on the islands. In fact, there is 1 store I know of that has quite the opposite sign on their window. You can read more about the barefoot-friendly sign shown below in the article I wrote about our vacation on Kauai that's published on Jonathan's site.

No shoes no shirt no skirt no problem sign



Pretty cool, huh? Hopefully, more businesses will follow suit and post a similar sign. Wishful thinking? Maybe, maybe not. Remember, we can all create magic in our lives by focusing on what we want.

Anyway, In case you didn't know, June 1st is National Go Barefoot Day which was a couple of days ago. So did any of you go barefoot that day? Did you enjoy it? Did you donate your shoes so you can go barefoot all the time now? Haha, wouldn't that be cool?

Someone asked me why I didn't make a post about the special day. Well, to be honest, I didn't pay much attention to it since I go barefoot everyday anyway. So to me it's just another day. Besides, the real purpose behind that "holiday" is to encourage people to donate their shoes to underprivileged kids. While helping others is a good thing, I don't think shoes are among the top priority items that those children need. Most of them are quite happy walking around in bare feet. My little sister Sharleen and I are not underprivileged kids, and we choose not to wear shoes.

Nevertheless, we always try to look on the bright side of things, and the National Go Barefoot Day does have one and that is, to encourage people to go barefoot even if only for a day. Some who have tasted the freedom and sensuousness walking barefoot offers may want to continue doing it. So yeah, the question is why limit it to just 1 day? Do it every day if you enjoy it!

No shoes, no shirt, no problem!

Have an awesome day!

May 22, 2014

Clean Vs Dirty Bare Feet

If you have ever gone barefoot outdoors for any length of time, you know that getting your feet dirty is inevitable. Habitual barefooters can basically be classified into 2 groups: those who like having their feet dirty, and those who simply enjoy the freedom and the wonderful sensation of walking on different surfaces that going barefoot offers, but don't care for dirty feet. I belong to the former while my little sister Sharleen (a.k.a. Lynn), the latter.

girl with dirty feet
Getting your feet dirty is fun.
To take it a step further, those who like dirty feet, especially guys, think they are attractive, and they get "excited" looking at them if you know what I mean (I have to be careful with my choice of words here in order to keep this blog family-friendly, lol). While I'm not one of them, I have to admit sometimes it's fun knowing that some guys have a time of their lives staring at my dirty soles. Well, I won't go much more into it as that's not what this blog is about. But you can read my previous post: barefoot in the library and see what I mean.

I like having dirty feet because it shows others and reminds myself that I am an avid barefooter who is also care-free. Besides, it makes me look "different" and I love being different. So I don't wash my feet very often. I also go to bed in dirty feet which used to drive my mom nuts! :)

My sister Lynn on the other hand, does not like having dirty feet. Actually, being a habitual barefooter herself, she doesn't mind getting her feet dirty while she is outside as she herself said, "it comes with the territory." But inside the house, she prefers to keep her feet clean, especially when she goes to bed. She also thinks clean soles look better, and can't really understand why some people find dirty soles attractive. Well, to each their own, right?

But even her soles have never been squeaky clean since she became a regular barefooter, for it's virtually impossible to have your soles completely clean. There's always a few dirty spots that remain unless you use sandpaper or something, haha!

Lynn and I would often argue about clean feet vs. dirty feet. She told me I was gross for not washing my feet very often, for only God knows what we step on outside with our bare feet.

Washing feet in the lawn. Get 'em clean, baby!
She used to wash her feet every time she came home before entering the house. I told her she was becoming a clean freak like mom, and she didn't like that.

"Don't even compare me with mom! She won't even walk barefoot indoors!" she replied vehemently, and I just laughed.

You see, we are actually best friends, and enjoy having little fights like that every now and then. I'm not sure if what I said had an impact on her, but she later became less anal about it, and now she lets her feet stay dirty if she knows she will be going out again later in the day.

When I asked her about it she said the reason was to conserve water. We both are environmentally conscious, so I'm cool with that reason.

This is what her soles typically look like after going out barefoot. Dirty but not really filthy I guess, haha!

Dirty soles
She still washes her feet at the end of the day though, and would never go to bed with her feet dirty. Well, I shouldn't say "never" as there have been a few exceptions. Like one night she came home pretty late and was totally exhausted that she just jumped into bed immediately without washing her feet.

The next morning when I saw that she had slept in her dirty feet, I couldn't help laughing, and I had fun giving her a hard time about it. I told her she should eat her own words. As usual, she made faces and stuck her tongue out at me when she lost an argument. She said she was really tired that night, and wouldn't make it a habit. Uh huh...but it happened at least a couple more times, right sis? :p 

Well, you know what? The good thing about being a barefooter is that you have a choice. If you like dirty feet, then keep them dirty. Otherwise, you can wash them as often as you like (at the risk of being labeled "clean freak," haha just kidding!). None of us can really say that one is better than the other. It's a matter of preference.

So with that said, which do you prefer? Dirty feet or clean feet, and why? Post your comments below (just click on the "Comments" link if you're reading on the home page). But please remember to keep them clean. I don't mean your feet <lol>, but your words as this is a family-friendly blog. Come on, don't be shy! :)

Credit - Photographers: D. Sharon Pruitt, Jorah Mormont

Apr 19, 2014

Barefoot in the Library

I'm a college student, and I go barefoot to school on most days. The only days I wear flip flops are when I have yoga class (which is on Tuesdays and Fridays) as we have to have clean feet. Yeah, my feet get pretty dirty by the end of the day from walking around campus.

barefoot studentI love our college library as it's a great place to study and to rest. They have benches with soft cushions where you can lie down and relax or even sleep. I often take a power nap in between classes in the afternoon which is great cos when I wake up I feel really refreshed, especially when I've been burning the midnight oil.

One day I was doing just that. I was lying down on one of the benches taking a nap with my dirty bare feet hanging over the edge for everyone who passed by to see. Some would be turned on, some would be disgusted, so what! lol.

I woke up after about 20 minutes and sat up. There was a guy sitting at the table across the aisle looking at me. He quickly looked away as I looked at him. I bet he had been eyeing my bare feet the entire time I was sleeping. I just know his type, lol.

I put my legs up and sat cross-legged so one of my dirty soles was partially visible. As I was straightening my hair I noticed that the dude was looking my direction again. So I glanced at him and smiled. He was caught a little off-guard. He smiled back but quickly looked down at his book on the table.

I had about 20 minutes before I had to walk over to my next class, so I sipped my cold orange juice (ahh...that felt so good!) and started reading my lecture notes. Then I received a text message from my boyfriend. I giggled as I read it. Sorry, I can't share with you what it said though, cos it was...uh...X rated hahaha! <blush>

At that moment the guy across was looking my way yet again. And like the previous times, he quickly looked down as our eyes met. That actually made me giggle even more. I don't know if he realized that, though.

Now it was time to leave the comfortable library and head over to my next class, so I finished my OJ, put all my stuff in my backpack and got up. I looked at my admirer as I walked pass him. He looked up briefly, and I smiled and said, "bye!" I bet he didn't expect that at all, but I heard him say "bye" faintly in reply. I just had the feeling that he was staring at my dirty bare feet as I was walking out of the library, but I didn't look back to confirm it.

So, that was my brief post about one of the interesting things I experienced while being barefoot at school. Hope you enjoyed it.

Image credit: Hilda Barefoot Art Edit ver. 1 by AzraelFinalstar at deviantART under Creative Commons license.

Mar 15, 2014

Going Barefoot at School

Going barefoot to/at school is quite common in some countries like Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and India (see the picture at the bottom of the post). It was also quite prevalent in the US in the old days. A few elementary schools in Hawaii still allow their students to attend school in bare feet.

Unfortunately however, most kids today are denied this wonderful experience. So can you blame them for cherishing every chance they've got to go barefoot at school even if only for a brief moment?

My little sister Sharleen (nicknamed Lynn) and I went to a private elementary school with a rather strict dress code. We had to wear uniform everyday that included a tie and white closed shoes. White socks had to be worn at all times in the beginning.

Being an avid barefooter, I always wanted to be barefoot as much as possible. So I would usually take off my tie along with my shoes and socks on the (city) bus, and walk barefoot home from the bus stop. Lynn would never do that, however. She said going barefoot while in the school uniform just didn't look "right" and she would feel embarrassed.

But the funny thing was, when she got home she would often just change her shirt, leave her uniform skirt on, and go out in bare feet (just like in the picture below). She said it was OK since she wasn't in full uniform.

barefoot girl in uniform skirt
Playing at the beach after school
Later they dropped the socks requirement. There was no clear reason given although I heard it was because the rule had become rather hard to enforce due to the popularity of "no show socks."

Believe it or not, I still chose to wear socks because they help reduce foot odor. Lynn however, was only too happy to not have to wear socks to school ever again. That way she could also show off her fancy ankle bracelets. Mom bought her 2 additional pairs of shoes though, so she could alternate them to prevent having stinky feet, lol!

There were a few instances where the strict dress code did not apply, and one of them was an art class which was an extracurricular activity, where students had to work with a lot of paint, and to prevent the uniform from getting dirty, students were required to change into old clothes and take off their shoes (and socks if worn). That was one of the reasons Lynn loved the class.

On the first day she was very happy to be able to be barefoot at school. At the end of the class (which was on Fridays) she didn't change back into her uniform, but put her shoes back on like all the other kids. The following week she thought, "What would happen if I didn't put my shoes back on, and just walk barefoot to the bus stop and all the way home with my sister? Would I get in trouble? Well, there's only one way to find out!"

So this very pretty yet rather naughty 9 year old girl put her shoes in her backpack and walked out of the classroom in tank top and shorts to meet me by the gate and walk to the bus stop. She was relieved that no one confronted her. I was a little surprised to see her in bare feet. Although at that time she was already going barefoot quite often, she had never done it at school (outside of her art class).

"Wow, you're barefoot!" I said.

"Yep, it feels good," she replied.

"You won't be embarrassed riding on the bus barefoot?"

"Nope, 'cos I'm not in uniform. You're the schoolgirl, and I'm just your bratty little sister tagging along!"

"Hahaha, my little sister has come a long way!" and we both laughed.

At the bus stop some people looked at her and smiled. Although she tried not to show it, I could sense that she was feeling a bit uneasy. But she calmly boarded the bus when it arrived, and was more at ease after we sat down.

The third week was a little different, however. Like the previous, Lynn put her shoes in her backpack and started to walk barefoot out of the classroom when she suddenly heard someone call her name, "Sharleen!"

She turned around and saw her arts teacher (whom we will refer to as Mr. B) standing there and gesturing to her to approach him, "Come here!"

You know that sinking feeling, right? "Uh oh, here we go," she thought, "I'm gonna get in trouble for being barefoot at school. But I'm gonna keep cool and try to look really cute, and who knows he will let me off the hook." She said she had been rehearsing this in her mind so in case she was ever confronted, she would know how to respond.

"Yes, Mr. B."

"Where are your shoes?"

"They're in my backpack," she said with a cute smile on her face.

"Why are you not wearing them?"

"Uhm...because...I hate wearing shoes!" she replied with a little giggle.

"You know the rule. You're supposed to wear shoes and socks at all times outside of my class, and class is over!"

"Uh...just shoes, sir. Socks are not required anymore," she said playfully, again giggling a little.

"Ah, that's right. I forgot about the amended rule," he said with a lot less stern voice. In fact, he almost cracked a smile. Almost! "But you're not wearing shoes. So you're still breaking the rule!" he continued.

"But school is over, and I'm not in uniform, so people may not know I'm a student here. Besides, I'll be out the front gate in just a couple of minutes, so I thought it would be OK," Lynn calmly responded, trying to reason her way out.

"The thing is, everyone knows you around here, and you're still on school grounds nonetheless." (Lynn was quite a popular student who was involved in a lot of activities, and they even had pictures of her in the school catalog).

"Oh...so...it's not OK?"

Duh! Obviously it wasn't, otherwise he would not have scolded her, right? She actually realized how silly and maybe futile her response was, but she just didn't know what else to say. Was it time to admit defeat, and just be a good girl and obey the rule?

At that point if Mr. B had said something like, "No! You have to wear shoes at all times. That's the rule, so put them on right now!" Lynn would have had no choice but to comply.

But either she had managed to charm him with her cuteness, or the goddesses were on her side, for he instead said, "Well, I personally don't have a problem with it..."

Immediately the smart girl knew that she could now tackle the guy and win the argument. Her confidence was restored and was stronger than ever. It was as if she had been handed a magic sword that would seal her victory.

"Oh, so it's OK then?" she quickly interrupted, jumping at the opportunity, but still with a sweet smile.

"Well, I don't want anyone from the administration to see you barefoot in school and give me trouble about it."

Aha! Apparently he was a wuss who thought covering his own ass was more important than enforcing school rules.

"Oh, don't worry Mr. B, should anybody say anything, I would tell them that you have spoken to me about it, and you could tell them the same thing if they talked to you."

Simply put, she would take full responsibility for her actions banking on the likelihood that no one (from the administration) would ever see her barefoot.

Mr. B just shook his head and sighed saying, "OK, just...just go! Quickly, before anyone sees you!"

"Thank you, and have a wonderful weekend, Mr. B!" said the spunky 3rd grader as she walked briskly out of the classroom feeling victorious.

When she finished telling her story we both smiled and high-fived each other, and exclaimed the word "Magic!" We both believed in magic, even when we were kids. Not talking about magic tricks or anything really supernatural here, but magical experiences that we create in our lives by always having a positive attitude.

So that went on for the rest of the semester. Class over, shoes in backpack, and girl happily barefoot all the way home. No one ever confronted her.

So, have you ever gone barefoot at school, or maybe you're one of the lucky students who go or have gone barefoot to school? Share your experience by posting a comment below.

kids barefoot at school
Kids go barefoot at school in India.
Update - 9/12/14
Well, she did it again (went barefoot at school), and this time she was in the principal's office. What kind of trouble did she get into? Read and find out! 

Update - 4/23/14
Fast forward a few years. This little sister of mine is very free-spirited and playful. Well, actually we both are. But you won't believe what she did at Starbucks one day. Read what she wrote here.

Mar 3, 2014

Barefoot Sisters

I am the 3rd child in our family of 5 children. It's interesting that the ones who have any interest in barefooting at all are the girls (although I was the only avid barefooter in the beginning, and the most rebellious). I would go barefoot just about every chance I had, to my mom's dismay.

My big sister Debbie would go barefoot in public every once in a while when she was "in the mood" for it. My little sister Lynn was a barefooter at heart as she said she enjoyed the feeling of her soles touching the different surfaces, but she didn't like getting her feet dirty, so her barefooting was initially limited around the house. My oldest and youngest brothers (Steve and Kevin) have zero interest in going barefoot.

One day Debbie and I (she was 16, and I was 12) conspired to do something pretty crazy. We were going to shop at the mall, and Debbie was in the mood to go barefoot. Both our younger siblings (Lynn, 9 and Kevin, 8) wanted to come along pretty badly as they wanted to visit the arcade. So Debbie and I told them we would let them come along under one condition: they had to be barefoot!

They were both quite reluctant in the beginning, especially Kevin. But the excitement of playing the games and possibly winning prizes was so great that they finally agreed to go in bare feet. Of course, we didn't tell our parents about it, and we never foresaw what happened later that day.

Close to dinner time our parents called and told us we were going to have a family dinner at a restaurant, and since the four of us were already out, we should just go straight to the restaurant and meet them (mom, dad, and Steve) there. We were like panic stricken for a moment. "Uh oh...but we are all barefoot. We have no time to go back home first, so what are we gonna do?" we said to each other.

We still didn't tell our parents though, for we would get yelled at. But it seemed we were going to get in trouble no matter what (you will see why later), so we decided to just brave it and go to the restaurant in bare feet. Poor Kevin was so scared that he was shaking.

When we got to the restaurant mom had the shock of her lifetime to see 4 of her kids barefoot. She was furious. She chastised each one of us in front of the restaurant, but Debbie and I bore the brunt of her wrath since we were the ones who "made" the other 2 go barefoot. Kevin was in tears as he didn't really enjoy walking barefoot to begin with (he said his feet hurt from stepping on "things" and they got yucky), and now he got scolded for it too!

Luckily, dad intervened. He gently pulled mom aside and told her to take it easy, as we didn't really do anything to hurt anyone or ourselves. Besides, many other people go barefoot in public including to restaurants here on the islands, and he was sure the restaurant wouldn't mind. That calmed mom down a bit, but she still argued that it was not "proper" to dine in a restaurant in bare feet. "Well, it's acceptable here," dad said calmly.

You see, mom is of the old school and the disciplinarian. She had a hard time letting Debbie and I go barefoot in public places in the beginning although she eventually relented. But seeing 4 of her children barefoot to a restaurant was something she had never expected - something absolutely shocking! :)

Dad on the other hand, is very easy-going. His principle is, you can basically do anything you like as long as it doesn't harm other people or yourself. He smiled and winked at us as we walked into the restaurant where we were all seated with no problem. What a relief!

Steve, our oldest brother is also very laid-back. Although he is not into barefooting, he was quite amused to see his brother and sisters all barefoot, and was having a hard time holding back his laughter the entire time. He comforted Kevin who was now sitting next to him smiling. He said it was a terrible experience, and would never do it again.

Lynn was entirely different. She thought it was a fantastic experience, and would love to do it again (yeah, good luck with mom, right?). She said she wasn't worried about getting dirty feet because she could wash them when she got home. I knew she was a closet barefooter.

Fast forward 3 months.

One Saturday morning when I was away on a school retreat, mom, Lynn, and Kevin were going out to shop at the mall. Lynn was trying to decide which pair of flip flops she should wear: the black one, the pink one with Mickey Mouse on them, or the white one with transparent straps that from a distance made her look like she was barefoot. Then a very bright idea came to her. She mustered all her courage and asked, "Hey mom, can I just go barefoot?" <gasp!>, the nerve she had! :)

"Uh...well...OK, if you're comfortable with it." replied mom with little resistance although she was a bit hesitant. Of course, Lynn was elated but not too surprised as mom had been pretty lenient about letting me go places barefoot lately (dad had managed to convince her that she should "hang loose"), so she figured mom would let her do the same. "Yay, thank you mommy!" said the pretty little girl with excitement as she jumped into the car wearing nothing on her feet.

"But mom, she's gonna have yucky feet!" said Kevin trying to give his sister a hard time.
"It's OK, she can wash them when we come home," replied mom.
Lynn stuck her tongue out at her little brother and giggled.

She then propped her feet on the dashboard, prompting mom to look at her and ask, "Are your feet clean?"
"Of course, mommy, I haven't walked outside yet."
"You can't do that on the way back!" warned mom sternly.
"OK, mommy!" Lynn replied with a sweet smile.

This sister of mine has a cheerful disposition. As a kid she was mischievous at times, like most healthy kids are, but always in a playful way, and she never had a tantrum. Even when she was little she already had a positive outlook on life. She believes life is magical, and always looks at the bright side of things. She is always kind to others even when they are not so nice. That's why everyone loves her, especially dad (she is daddy's girl).

I called her later that morning when they were in the mall just to catch up with my little sister who also was (and still is) my best friend. When asked if she missed me, she said she did, but she also enjoyed having the room all to herself (we shared a bedroom till I went to college).

"Hey Tania, guess what! I'm barefoot!" she suddenly said.
"What? Are you serious? And mom is with you?" I said in disbelief.
"Yep!"
"Wow, that's really cool! Are your feet dirty?" I asked just to tease her.
"Of course, duh! But that's OK, I'll wash them when I get home." and she giggled.

From that day on Lynn became a regular barefooter, and she never looked back. Like me, she would go barefoot just about everywhere. The only difference is, she always washes her feet when she gets home and if she's not going out again for the day. I on the other hand, like to keep my feet dirty for a while.

In the next post I'll tell you about her exciting experience going barefoot at school. You don't wanna miss it!

Note: this article is not about The Barefoot Sisters (2 sisters who hiked the Appalachian Trail barefoot).

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Feb 22, 2014

Barefoot Wonderland

Have you ever wished you lived in a really barefoot friendly world where going barefoot is widely accepted as a lifestyle choice, it's not looked down upon, and you see plenty of people going about their daily business in bare feet? Read the following story and see if together we can't create such a wonderful world for barefooters - a barefoot wonderland!

*****

I wake up as the bright morning sun shines through my bedroom window. That's my natural alarm clock which wakes me up every morning at approximately the same time.

I'm a freshman in college, and this is the last day of school before summer vacation. There's no more classes today, but I'll be going to campus to get the results of the final exams I just took. I know I'm getting all A's and B's, so there's nothing to worry about, but I'm still anxious to know how well I did. Besides, tomorrow I'll be leaving for the South Pacific with my boyfriend for an exciting vacation that we have been anticipating all semester, and I don't want to wait until I get back to see my grades.

I'll also be visiting the student health center to get an allergy shot. Yep, it's that time of the year when I sneeze a lot and my nose runs a marathon. It gets embarrassing when I have to keep blowing my nose in public.

I lift my leg and look at my soles. They're still dirty from a full day of barefooting yesterday, and I smile with satisfaction. I don't usually wash my feet before going to bed like many people do. I like to keep them dirty for a while as a reminder that I'm an avid barefooter. I go to school barefoot most of the time. I wear flip flops only when I have yoga class that day since they want us to have clean feet.

Suddenly I start sneezing. I should have taken the allergy shot earlier, but I was really busy with homework, finals, and everything else. My eyes are itching and I don't really feel like getting up just yet. After all, it's a leisurely day today. So I roll over and close my eyes.

I feel my nose running, so I reluctantly get out of bed and slowly walk toward the bathroom to blow my nose. Then I decide to just wash up and get ready to go to campus.

After my morning meditation and a light, healthy breakfast I head out the door with backpack on my shoulder. I walk towards the bus stop which is a few blocks away. Barefoot, of course. Although I have a car, I prefer to take the bus to school for a number of reasons: I don't have to struggle finding parking on campus, it's greener, and above all, I really enjoy the walk to and from the bus stop. That's when I really feel connected to Mother Earth, admiring the beautiful scenery along the way, breathing fresh air, and sometimes meeting interesting people.

Like this morning there is an older lady walking her cute dog. We both smile and say "good morning" as we pass each other. I tell her how adorable her little mutt is, and she is very pleased. At the bus stop there are only 2 people sitting there since it's later than the normal time I get there, and the rush hour crowd is gone.

After 5 minutes the bus arrives. I look at the driver as I board. She is a beautiful lady with a red hibiscus in her hair. She is wearing a uniform, but I notice something very unusual: she is barefoot! I figure her feet were probably tired and she decided to take her shoes off. She says good morning and smiles at every boarding passenger.

After getting the results of all my exams, I head to the cafeteria where I'm supposed to meet with my boyfriend for lunch. He is already there sitting at one of the tables outside, propping his bare feet on a chair. When he sees me he gets up, and we hug and kiss before getting our food. I'm fortunate to have a boyfriend who is also a hard-core barefooter. Although we are allowed to attend most classes in bare feet, barefooters are in the small minority on campus. So we give each other moral support.

After lunch my boyfriend and I walk to the student health center. He teasingly says he wants to make sure I don't cry when I get my shot :) At the health center a nurse greets me and says she has everything ready for me. She is a young lady wearing a purple scrubs uniform. Again, I notice something very unusual: she is barefoot! I can't hold back my curiosity, so I ask her why she is not wearing any shoes, and her reply: "Hey, if you can be barefoot, so can I! This is the last day of school, so I decided to go casual and leave my shoes at home."

Needless to say I'm quite stunned. That's it, really? Just like that? Don't they have a dress code for employees, especially a professional like her? She says, since it's the last day of school, they made an exception. Hmm... how nice! But I still find it incredible. Perhaps she is the rebellious type who likes to defy authority?

As she walks around I notice her soles are quite dirty. She comes back with a syringe in her hand and I cringe a little. Uh oh, here we go! She says, "OK young lady, it's gonna sting just a little, but it will be very quick. Ready?" Uhm... do I have a choice? I close my eyes as she sticks my arm with the needle. "Ow!" I really hate needles. She chuckles and says, "That's it. Enjoy the rest of your barefoot day!" "Thank you mam, you do the same," I reply, and we both laugh.

Fast forward 20 hours.

I decided to stay at my boyfriend's apartment last night. It would make it easier and quicker for us to get ready in the morning and head to the airport.

So here we are still hugging each other in bed but wide awake after a fantastic and restful night ;) We take a look at our soles which are really dirty from walking barefoot all over, and haven't been washed for 2 days straight. We won't even bother taking a shower this morning since we will be spending a lot of time at the beach later, and we decide to just take a shower before we go to bed tonight. I tell my boyfriend our feet will get even filthier after we walk around the airport later. They will probably be jet black! We both laugh in amusement.

Yes, we will be flying barefoot, and we are traveling light. Each of us carries a small suitcase and a backpack. We don't bring any footwear, not even flip flops. That's what I call total freedom. So after a quick freshening up and a light breakfast, we hop on the bus heading to the airport.

At the airport we see quite a number of barefoot people, about 1/3 of them I would say. Not the majority, but a lot more than usual which is quite (pleasantly) surprising. Flying barefoot is actually a great idea since you don't have to take off your footwear for security screening. That's one less hassle to go through. Maybe people have caught on. As we are seated in the boarding area we both look at our soles. Yep, they are filthy, alright! We giggle and high-five each other.

Our airline is Barefoot Pacific Airways, and their slogan is "Fly in comfort, fly in bare feet!" As we board the plane we are greeted by the very friendly cabin crew. Their uniform is very simple and casual, yet elegant. It consists of a dark blue polo shirt with the airline logo on it and a name tag, and a pair of white shorts. That's it. What about footwear? None of the flight attendants, male or female, have anything on their feet. That's right, they're all barefoot.

As they walk around I notice some of them have slightly dirty feet (not filthy like ours, haha!) while the others have pretty clean soles. One of them approaches us and asks if we care for a pre-departure drink. She is a beautiful young girl who looks just a few years older than I am. Her name tag says Lynn. Following is a brief conversation I have with her.

"It's really nice to see all the flight attendants barefoot."
"Yeah, we are required to work in bare feet in accordance with the name of the airline, which we love very much as we are a lot more relaxed."
"So how come your feet are so clean?"
"Oh, we're not required to go barefoot everywhere. We can come to work in shoes or flip flops if we choose to, which I do. We just have to take them off once we get on the plane."
"Wow, that's really cool!"

Lynn smiles sweetly as she takes our order of orange juice.

Lunch is served after we're about an hour in the air. They give us plenty of delicious and healthy food. Lots of fresh fruit and veggies. I love this airline in more ways than one. After lunch I feel a bit sleepy, so I decide to take a little nap.

I feel a gentle tap on my shoulder and hear a sweet yet faint voice saying, "Miss Tania, would you please fasten your seatbelt? We will be landing shortly." I slowly open my eyes and...

I'm startled to find myself in... my bed! The sun is still shining through the window. I must have fallen back to sleep and dreamed of living in barefoot wonderland.

Dream vs. reality:

Yes, I will be going to campus this morning to check on my grades, but will my bus driver be barefoot? Not very likely, although it's not out of the realm of possibility. Her feet could really be tired or hurting from wearing shoes for long hours.

Yes, I will be having lunch with my boyfriend in the cafeteria later. Will he be barefoot? Definitely! I'm lucky to have a barefoot boyfriend in real life.

Yes, I will be going to the health center to get my allergy shot afterwards. Will I see a barefoot nurse? Nope, not a chance! With my luck, I will probably get a mean old nurse who will stick me hard and make me cry, haha! But at least my boyfriend will be there.

Yes, my boyfriend and I will be traveling barefoot to the South Pacific tomorrow, but will bring flip flops just in case. We are not yet living in barefoot wonderland, and we're not taking any chances that could ruin our vacation. You probably guessed it, we won't be flying Barefoot Pacific Airways, as that airline does not yet exist. Any barefoot entrepreneurs out there? Will we see any barefoot flight attendants? Again not a chance, unfortunately.

But hey, I can always dream it, right? Who knows, barefoot wonderland will be a reality one day as more and more people become aware of the benefits of going barefoot, and don't think it's taboo anymore. After all, many great things in life started with a dream.

Oh, by the way, Lynn is my little sister's name. She is not a flight attendant though, as she is still in high school. She is actually a sweet girl who also likes to go barefoot but doesn't care much for dirty feet. So she usually washes her feet as soon as she gets home after barefooting. She and I often argue about clean vs. dirty feet. I will have more stories to tell you about her in future posts. (Update: read Barefoot Sisters and Barefoot at School).

But the nice thing about being a barefooter is that you have a choice of keeping your feet dirty or clean. Whatever makes you feel good. I take a quick look at my soles and yes, they are dirty. At least that part wasn't a dream :)

I rub my nose with my fingers. Oops, it's wet and runny. That's because I never actually blew it earlier as I fell back to sleep. "Achoo! Achoo!" Uh oh... I jump out of bed and run to the bathroom. For real, this time.

*****

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The content of this blog is copyrighted, and may not be reproduced in full or in part.

Feb 4, 2014

Is going barefoot healthy?

In the previous post we concluded that going barefoot is not dangerous as long as you take certain precautions. The next question is whether it's healthy. Just because something is safe doesn't necessarily mean it's good for your health, right? In the case of barefooting though, the answer is a resounding yes! So, why/how is going barefoot healthy?

Well, let's start with the obvious. As I've mentioned before, the inside of your shoes is where bacteria, fungi, and other germs multiply, causing foot odor and infections like athlete's foot. You can avoid all that by going barefoot as much as possible. Yeah, I know, people keep saying you step on a lot of dirty stuff full of germs. Well, the good thing is, you can wash your feet as often as you like. When was the last time you washed your shoes, especially the inside part?

The next obvious reason is that most foot deformities are caused by wearing ill-fitting shoes. Again, going barefoot as much as possible can help prevent this.

You also get a natural reflexology treatment by walking barefoot outdoors as the uneven surfaces and stuff you step on (like rocks, etc.) stimulate all the reflex points in your feet which in turn rejuvenate the various organs and areas of your body.

Another health benefit of going barefoot worth mentioning is grounding. This is when the energy field of your body as well as your chakra get balanced. The effect is that your body becomes healthier overall, and you feel more calm and relaxed.

To experience the greatest benefit, you should walk barefoot outdoors, especially on natural surfaces such as sand, soil or grass. Walking barefoot on concrete surfaces or indoors may not be as beneficial, but it's still better than wearing footwear!

You don't have to take my word for it, though. Check out the video and links below to learn more about the health benefits of going barefoot.


This book also explores the health benefits of going barefoot. Just click on the image to check it out!



Further reading:

7 Healthy reasons to go barefoot outside

Surprising reasons why you should walk barefoot

Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV :) What I wrote above is based on my personal experience and knowledge. I'm not giving you any medical advice.