Allowing 100%: A Stocking to Myself


Sole Prescription Pharmacy Dr. Shannon Bindler, M.A., C.E.C.
The ballet flat is prescribed for individuals who want to experience a greater sense of balance in their life. The design was modeled after a soft dance shoe. They are traditionally flexible with a hard sole and no (or very thin) heel. Some styles feature a decorative string throat, reminiscent of the ballet slipper's drawstring.
Signs of erratic behavior or mood swings, extreme or irrational thoughts, imbalance in how time and/or energy are spent, instability (emotional, spiritual, physical, or mental), lack of harmony between life roles (work, family, projects, etc.).
May cause steadiness, a state of equilibrium, emotional and mental stability and centeredness. Extremists beware: continued wear may create an even disposition.


I hate to sound like Scrooge, but the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas tend to be my least favorite of the year. I love Christmas Eve and the actual day of Christmas but can do without crowded mall shopping, blasting holiday music, and the general feeling of overwhelm that seem to accompany the season. Every year, I tell myself I won’t let the holiday season stress me out, and every year it does (or, rather, I allow it to).

I’m a bit of a mess right now, but a little less of a mess than in other years because this year I made an oath to take care of myself. I’ve never been one to buy myself birthday or Christmas gifts, and even though holiday shopping can be overwhelming, I adore giving presents to friends and family and would normally never dream of spending part of my gift budget on myself. However, this year I decided to make myself a stocking that represents my commitment to taking care of myself in the next year.


As I wondered what fully showing up and supporting myself meant to me, I was surprised to discover that what came forward was the concept that I deserve to experience the feeling of something being 100%.

That might sound like a strange concept, but growing up in a large family living on a modest income, I became accustomed to making things work that really weren’t 100%. For example, when I was given a pair of hand-me-down boots that were a size too large, I wedged toilet paper in the toes and gratefully wore them. I trained my eye to see past small stains on t-shirts or piles of other people’s things cluttering the living room. None of that was bad, but I’ve also stayed in relationships and work situations that no longer served me 100%.


I’m not willing to settle for 90% anymore. I’m worthy of 100% of my own attention to details. While I haven’t worn clothing with stains for years, I’m aware that I still sometimes allow people, situations, and items into my experience that aren’t up to par.

My stocking is a metaphor for entering a new phase of my adulthood where I take 100% responsibility for caring for my well-being. If something is not at that 100% level, I need to make it so or let go of it. I realize this might be tough, especially when it comes to aspects of my life like relationships and work, but I think it’s possible to make subtle changes that will shift those experiences. I might need to give more of myself to bring an experience up to the 100% mark, to share my authentic 100%, communicate at my 100%, love at my 100%, accepting myself and others 100% …


My stocking contains simple but significant reminders:

Shoe Sizers, because I have 9-and-¼ sized feet. I’ve spent my entire life sizing up or down, and from here on out I am taking an oath to add a Sizer to every shoe that doesn’t fit 100%.


A pair of Keysocks, because sometimes I want to wear socks with heels and find myself settling by showing socks that I don’t 100% love or choosing not to wear a pair of socks even if that means I’ll get blisters. No more!


And, finally, a pair of foldable Butterfly Twist ballet flats, because I hate lugging a second pair of shoes around when I wear heels; or, worse, keeping on a pair of heels when my feet are sore. These flats can fold into a clutch and allow me to tap into being 100% balanced anytime I want.


Bring on 2014, because I’m embracing 100% of it!


What does allowing 100% mean to you?


In the spirit of easing into the holidays, this will be my last post until 2014. I wish you and yours a fantastic New Year.

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How I Became a Shoeologist

Shoeologist Shannon Bindler

n. a person who studies shoes and the effects they have on the mind and behavior.

That’s me—I’m a Shoeologist. How does one become a Shoeologist? Well, I’ll tell you. For the past several years, I’ve worked as a Style Editor and Life Coach and have been referred to as a “couture hippy,” which means I love exploring spirituality (I even have a Masters in Spiritual Psychology) but also have a great passion for clothing— from designer to vintage, knockoff to haute couture. Some might consider fashion frivolous, but I’ve never put down the important role it plays in my life. A girl’s got to look good to feel good, right? And I don’t know about you, but when I visualize my future, it certainly includes a pair of killer heels. I’ve found shoes can sometimes be the best therapy around. They inspire, motivate, and keep me centered.

I discovered this was real for me a few years ago during a meditation retreat, when a fellow student accused me of being materialistic. I was upset by my choice of shoes for the day—but did that mean I was materialistic? I truly admired spiritual leaders—think Gandhi and Mother Theresa—who had forsaken material possessions to focus on inner peace. True, I owned a meticulously curated shoe collection, which I kept organized not only by style and function but also by the way the shoes made me feel. (My guess is that lots of women organize their shoes this way, at least subconsciously…) Somewhere inside, I knew there was something special going on with my relationship to footwear.

My big “sole awakening” happened when I was having one of “those days.” I felt blue and off balance and couldn’t shake it. I glanced at my feet and wondered if my wobbly heels had something to do with my unsteady state? I kicked them off and slid on a pair of ballerina flats I keep in the back of my car for emergencies. I suddenly felt more grounded than I had all day—not just physically but emotionally, too. I love the elegant simplicity of a ballerina flat; the versatile design works comfortably with almost any outfit. I envisioned myself moving with a dancer’s steadiness. My shoes supported my posture and helped me shift my inner experience.

I playfully tapped the heels of my soles. Something came over me… What if there was a shoe that could help with almost any situation? Could shoes be used to help heal a broken heart, for example? Could they give you strength? A sense of peace? Rev up your sex life? It was in that moment that my calling as a Shoeologist began.

I started by scouring Amazon for books that might tie into my newly invented profession. I stumbled upon some NASA—yes, really, NASA—research about forming new habits and found myself engrossed. The study showed that when we repeatedly think a thought, physical changes in the brain occur making it easier to think that thought and, more importantly, act on it. Basically, repeating positive thoughts can actually reprogram your brain and behavior. No joke! The rocket scientists say so.

While it wouldn’t be on the same level as a NASA experiment, I wondered if I could use this forming-­new-habits approach with my shoes? I could pick a pair that would act as a reminder of what I wanted, then focus on my goal while stepping into the shoes in the morning. Getting dressed was often my favorite part of the day, so it’s not like I’d forget to do it. And since the shoes drove the other sartorial choices I’d make, it seemed like a good fit.

My shoe closet became my medicine cabinet, and I became the pharmacist. I dove into footwear history, studying thousands of shoes. I used that knowledge to line up shoes with corresponding qualities, creating my “Shoe (Rx) Prescriptions.” I didn’t stop until I had uncovered a “sole­-ution” for just about every issue my life might present.

I wasn’t concerned with price tags or brand names. I focused on a shoe’s design and history, which together held the power of each quality I wanted to embrace and empower in myself. The prescriptions worked just as well with designer shoes as they did with H&M knock­offs and the pairs I borrowed from my sisters. The positive results came from what I created while wearing them.


If you love shoes as much as I do, you may be curious to learn how to hone their powers for yourself, so I’ve created this pharmacopoeia of shoes, arranged by the qualities I see in them. Maybe it will help you look at your own shoes in a different light and even help you use them to feel better about yourself.

I’ve used these Sole Prescriptions with dozens of women, all with encouraging results. While meditation and/or visualization can work well for some people, for others, shoes are just what the Doctor ordered. Stepping into a new sense of self is easy with a shoe prescription. Simply put, I believe you can change your life, one shoe at a time!


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