Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.

window view

As so many people have over the last twenty four hours, I have felt sadness at the loss of Robin Williams. I thought, if only he had known how much the world loved him… but hopefully he did. I know that depression is not simply solved by love, that ugly black dog that nips and bites at so many people. Let’s stop and really listen to those around us… are they okay? Sometimes we have to listen very carefully to hear the things they aren’t or can’t say.

Another incident this week caused me to pause and ponder my luck in life. Sitting next to a colleague at an early morning staff meeting, I politely asked if her family were staying well; missing all the ills that are about us. I was referring to the influenza bug that has taken many of our staff and their families down in the past couple of weeks.

She replied, “Oh yes, they are well. My family is in Zimbabwe in the south and the virus is in the western countries.”

I realised that she thought I was asking about her family back in Zimbabwe and the ebola virus raging on the African continent, not her children here. I felt selfish and petty, for the all the small concerns in my life when so many other people face such momentous dangers, fears and emotions.

Grateful today not to be walking a mile in another’s shoes.


“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”

― Thích Nhất Hạnh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

10 thoughts on “Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.

  1. Your Thich Nhat Hanh quote is so appropriate to the subject of depression. When I was going through a particularly dark phase, a physical therapist told me to take off my shoes, sit down, and press my bare feet hard against the floor. As I pressed, she then told me to place my hands on my thighs and push them down until my feet were so firmly rooted to the floor she couldn’t move them by pushing them with her hands. The idea is to both physically and emotionally ground yourself in the present moment, and not allow all your negative thoughts sweep you away. The exercise also makes you recognize your strength, and how once grounded, you cannot be moved by anything harmful or malicious.

    It worked—well, that and antidepressants and a good therapist. Reaching out to help others is also a good way to break through the darkness.


  2. As I’ve struggled the past few years with foot pain and depression about how much it has changed my life, I have to frequently ground myself with gratitude for what I have…
    I am so sorry for Robin Williams family and people around the world who love him. Such a loss.
    I love the quote. Maybe if I allow my feet to kiss the earth I will find healing.


  3. It seems so simple, asking how another is. But it’s not. Kudo’s to you for realizing you were talking about 2 different things. Yes about Robin Williams. It’s a talent that will be much missed. And I saw just within the hour that the wonderful Lauren Bacall has also passed. It’s a sad week.


  4. Well said.
    Depression can’t be cured with a cup of tea and a chat. It’s an ongoing condition which the sufferer learns, or doesn’t learn, to live with.
    Perspective on our part is good too. Even with all of Ashley’s challenges we regularly are reminded how much worse it could be.


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