These are some of the words that embody the intentions of this group.
Through several immersive experiences with indigenous communities deep in the Amazon jungle, much of the time barefoot, I began to remember what it feels like to be in balance with myself, with others, and with the Earth. I realized that I had spent my life complicit in perpetuating a broken story that we collectively created years ago that has made us and our planet sick, and that it was time to rewrite the story—beginning with myself.
It’s time to remember that we are of the earth, not separate from it; that all life, seen and unseen, is precious; that our Earth and all that lies beyond it carries a deep wisdom; and that everything and everyone is intrinsically interconnected in a beautiful web that extends beyond what we can perceive through our limited senses.
Each gathering begins with a sharing circle where we introduce ourselves, offer our intentions for the hike, and share anything that we are sitting with that we would like to release. We honor the sacred container by lovingly witnessing the humanity within each and every person, by keeping all that is shared solely within that space, and by only speaking words born of integrity and respect that uplift rather than put down and that create rather than destroy.
From there we’ll begin our barefoot hike, which is typically about 3 to 5 miles in distance. We will hold a noble silence for the entire duration so that we can practice being completely present with our thoughts, emotions, and sensations, while at the same time being aware of each person as we mindfully move together. During a time when we have become accustomed to constant stimulation, this is an opportunity to quiet the mind and reconnect with stillness.
Through being barefoot, we remember our connection to the earth. With nothing covering our feet, we are invited to slow down and practice being present with each step we take. The earth lovingly absorbs the things that no longer serve us and replenishes us with its life force. In that space, we begin to once again see the magic that we knew as children but long forgot, and we begin to hear the voice of wisdom that we each carry within ourselves.
We gather again where the journey began and share our experiences and insights with one another, and from there we are each invited to carry our lessons into the world and practice them in every moment of our lives.
With gratitude, Josip
——— More About Me
In July 2019 I left California’s Bay Area and moved back to Willowick, Ohio to support my aging father. Leading these barefoot mindfulness hikes has been a very important and deeply personal experience that I offered in California while I lived there, and which I am now excited to share in the Greater Cleveland area. As I am just beginning to familiarize myself with the hiking options that his region offers, I welcome all recommendations on parks and trails to consider.