Final Barefoot Breathing Course

» Posted by on Apr 8, 2013 | 4 comments

Final Barefoot Breathing Course

Last year I took an unusual journey of exploration via a process known as Barefoot Breathing. I wanted to remind you about this course again because this month it will be running for the very last time.

I wrote about my experiences in this course way back then so I thought I’d repost it here to encourage you to consider taking this amazing journey for yourself.

If you’re ready to hop on over there now to sign up, just click on the image to the left and you’ll go straight there!


This is a unique course that provides the opportunity to explore our connection to the heart of nature and ourselves. I’m lucky because most of the participants are in the northern hemisphere where it’s still cold and even snowing in many parts, whereas I’ve been happily wandering around barefoot in the grass and mud and even standing in the river at one point. To their credit, many participants have still found ways to go barefoot for short periods, but I’m glad it was summer here!

As a precursor to this course, run by Essence of Wild, I completed the free course they offered entitled ’10 Steps to Soothe Your Soul in Nature”. This required us to find a wild place where we could stand barefoot, take some deep breaths, and complete a different assignment each day for ten days. We were invited to post our thoughts and photos on a forum to share our experiences and insights with other participants.

Some surprising things happened during those ten days. First of all I discovered and rediscovered some beautiful wild places within walking distance of my house that I had been taking for granted or was not even aware of. I found two places in particular that now feel like ‘mine’ – one is a wooden seat by the river just off a nature trail about 700 metres in from the road. I imagine most people would miss it if they weren’t looking closely, I have never seen anyone else on ‘my’ seat.

There’s a small clearing through the undergrowth in front of the seat where a few steps take you right down to the water’s edge. Here’s a photo of my feet in the water!

I came down here three times to do assignments and I noticed that each time I was visited by nature’s creatures. The first day, a chicken hawk soared above my head. The next day as I stood in the water trying to photograph my feet, a fish the length of my hand swam right across my toes (I didn’t snap fast enough to capture him in the photo unfortunately). And the third time it was a duck floating lazily downstream.

One assignment I completed there asked us to close our eyes, breathe, and then notice the first thing that caught our attention when we opened our eyes. This is what I saw:

Another day, we were asked to go for a walk using our intuition to guide us on which direction to go. I found a long stretch of green grass and trees beside the bay that, despite its beauty, is not popular with walkers because of its marshy swamplands, especially after rain. I started out on my walk feeling pulled in the direction of a steep ridge. I clambered up with bare feet, the dry twigs under my feet were painful but this was the direction I felt I had to go. At the top of the ridge I discovered a house with a ‘for sale’ sign on it. What an amazing spot for a house – I looked it up on the real estate site when I got home and they were asking $1.5M – it didn’t stop me putting it on my vision board though!

Next I wandered down the ridge back to the soft grass and around the corner I found two trees, a tall stark tree beside another tree with long leafy branches almost reaching the ground.  A few days earlier I had read a quote that said:

 “There is a tree very close to where you live that longs to hear your dreams, hold your fears and support you when you need a friend”.

I felt these were both my trees, so different from each other but standing together in quiet comradeship. I sat down between them for a while and waited to see if they had a message for me. The leafy one seemed to be telling me to keep reaching out as far as I can into the world, while the bare one seemed to tell me to stand up tall no matter how foolish I might think I appear to others.

I took a little souvenir from each tree to bring home – some leaves and bark – but I ended up returning them later in the week when I made a compass. During this walk I met two magpies, two plovers and a lizard, as well as a lady walking her dog wearing a beautiful red hat which I complimented her on. I was barefoot the whole time, it was a special afternoon – except for the insect bites!

I went back down to this place another day after it had rained for three days straight, there was about an inch of water still sitting in the grass which I squelched my way through to get to my trees. I felt like I was 8 years old again, I came home with mud between my toes and it felt delicious!

Most indigenous cultures view the four directions of the compass as having wisdom  and insights to guide us, so the next assignment involved discovering which direction called us most strongly. Using only what I found along the way, I created a compass by laying my gifts from nature on the ground to represent the four directions. This is my compass – some moss I found hanging from a tree, a fallen hibiscus flower with my tree’s bark next to it, my other tree’s leaves, and another trail of leaves I found on the grass.

After taking my barefoot breaths, I stood facing each of the four directions. East called most strongly to me and was where I felt most at home. In native American Indian symbolism, the east represents strength, endurance and vision, re-awakening after a long sleep and the power of new life. That certainly sounded right to me!

This ten day adventure opened up a whole new world in my own neighbourhood that I had been missing out on, and it also took me back to the Leanne I was in my childhood who would spend all day outside in nature. This Leanne has been indoors too long, and as I commence the official Barefoot Breathing program, I know that connecting with the earth and her wild places is a central part of my essence and as such will become a central part of my business.


If you’d like to take this journey yourself before it closes forever, click on this image to take you over to the Essence of Wild site. I’d love to hear about your experiences! 

In honour of full disclosure, I believe in this course so much that I became an affiliate. This means that if you sign up for it, I’ll receive a percentage! But even if I didn’t, I would still happily spread the word about it.



  1. Wow! This really calls to me. You are a gifted writer Leanne.

  2. Thanks Jane, I loved writing about it. The whole experience was magic, especially sharing it in the community of others doing the course with me :)

  3. What a lovely journey of awareness. Isn’t it wonderful to feel that connection.

    • It really is Kama :)


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