Getting Grounded

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Sole Prescription Pharmacy Dr. Shannon Bindler, M.A., C.E.C.
08/20/2017
Feeling a bit out there? A great way to ground your energy is to slip your feet into pair of Birkenstocks. The sandal’s footbeds are made of cork and natural latex and contoured in the shape of a healthy foot. The shoe is famous for keeping one’s spine and legs in alignment. The soles actually mold to your feet, making them arguably one of history’s most comfortable sandal designs. A classic Birkenstock is characterized by two leather straps that secure with large square buckles; however, the classic sole is available paired with a variety of uppers including clogs and t-straps.
Symptoms
A Birkenstock is prescribed to individuals suffering from one or more of the following feelings or experiences: scattered thoughts or energy, feeling anxious or worried, unfocused and easily distracted, not present.
Warnings
Wear may instigate a clear head and steady emotional state. Prolonged use may create realistic, satisfied and rational outlooks—which may bring pie-in-the-sky floaters back to planet Earth.

Being grounded means being present. When we’re grounded we are focused on whatever task is before us at that moment. Not focused on future fantasy, worry, or magical thinking. It also means not concentrating on the past with regret or upset. Being ungrounded can show up as feeling anxious, overwhelmed, and unfocused.

Have you ever parked your car and realized that you didn’t remember getting to your destination? It usually happens to me when I’m focused on something that’s about to happen or running a negative story of something that occurred in the past. Whatever I was distracted by was clearly not the task at hand (nor a brilliant way to drive through Los Angeles during rush-hour).

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Birk1Vintage fringe leather discovered at the bohemian paradise Tavin Boutique. Read an epic story about the fringe leather jacket my mother used to own and how it mortified me.

When we are ungrounded we lose our power. It can feel like a physical sensation of feeling lightheaded, or even airheaded, “Ummm, like, what was I doing?” All of us get ungrounded at times (and use the word “like” as a vernacular pause, but that’s an entirely different article…). These are a few of the tricks I use to bring myself into alignment when I’m feeling off:

Become aware of your body. Sit or lie down and focus on each piece of your body, starting at your head, down your arms and torso, all the way to your feet. When we bring our focus to our physical selves, it helps us become more present.

Bring awareness to the chatter in your mind. Have you ever noticed yourself running a story over and over in your head or thinking about moments that are upsetting? Sometimes the simple act of redirecting our thoughts to what’s happening at the current moment can change our entire mood. Repeating a positive mantra, affirmation, or intention can also be helpful if you notice that you’re having a difficult time remaining present.

BW-2.0Birk2Tunic by Isabel Marant, vintage beaded necklaces from Double RL & Co by Ralph Lauren.

Get your bare feet on the ground and/or wear Birkenstocks. Y’all know how much I love shoes, but physical contact with the Earth can really help us ground our energy. Kick off your heels and walk around on some grass or sand for a few minutes. Wiggle your toes and feel a connection with the Earth. Okay, maybe we can’t all walk around barefoot all day, so if you are feeling particularly ungrounded I highly recommend wearing a Birkenstock sandal (or one of the many versions that are available this season, from Zara to Givenchy). This type of sandal is designed to mold to the shape of your foot while providing stability, balance, and a physical sense of groundedness.

Drink water and eat. Hunger and thirst can exacerbate an ungrounded state. I know I get particularly cranky and unfocused when I’m hungry. It’s best to avoid low blood sugar in the first place by eating regular healthy meals and snacks.

Carry a crystal in your pocket, handbag, or wear as jewelry. All you couture hippies have permission to pull out your secret quartz stashes. Crystals have powerful cleansing and grounding properties, and I think they are pretty awesome-looking as jewelry, too.

BW-4.0 endThe classic tan Birkenstock sandal is the queen of cultivating a grounded energy.

Center yourself. Bring your attention to your energy, body, and mind. Visualize yourself connected from head to toe and rooted all the way to the Earth. See yourself whole and harmonized. I like to envision white light surrounding my entire being. I’m going to go super woo-woo and tell you about how I sometimes imagine that the water coming out of my shower is actually activated with cleansing white light. (That may have been a bit too much information, and you’ll never read my blog again without thinking about me taking a shower in my “special water.” A risk I was willing to take… you’re welcome.)

When we’re in a grounded, steady state we are able to be the best versions of ourselves. Aren’t we lucky that the Birkenstock sandal is having another moment in the sun this summer? I have a pair on right now!

How do you keep yourself grounded?

 

*Photography by Jade Loop, retouching by Sesha NYC.

A Pair of Sandals Saved My Life One Summer

Gladiator Sandal Courage

Sole Prescription Pharmacy Dr. Shannon Bindler, M.A., C.E.C.
08/20/2017
The gladiator sandal is prescribed for individuals who want to increase their sense of courage. Originally designed as footwear for gladiator fighters, the sandal has a hard, protective sole that is attached to the foot with leather straps, cords or braided thongs. Many styles are embellished with studs to provide security and act as a weapon.
Symptoms
A gladiator sandal is prescribed to individuals suffering from one or more of the following feelings or experiences: cowardice, spinelessness, fear, inability to stand up for oneself or speak one's truth, feelings of dejection and/or weakness of spirit, gutless thoughts or actions, urge to flee uncomfortable situations.
Warnings
May inspire bold behavior, even when you’re scared to death! Wear can create an increased sense of bravery, greater nerve, gallantry and valor. Discontinue use if you develop a dangerous desire to wrestle lions.

In my hometown, teenagers spend their junior-­high summers lounging by the river. The summer after 7th grade, while I wasn’t legally old enough to work, I landed the only under­-the-­table job my small town offered—I’d be pedaling an adult-sized tricycle around town, selling ice cream out of a large cooler attached to the front.

Every Wednesday afternoon, I’d cover several miles of the town’s main streets, strategically ending at the park center where a small orchestra played. This was a smart business move, as most of the townspeople gathered there to listen to live music and get in as much gossip as they could before winter. My boss had an inkling that ice cream would be a colossal hit with the summer crowd, and his inkling proved correct.

I was an athletic preteen. I hiked, biked, and swam at the town waterfall most mornings, so the several-­mile ascent up Mountain Street didn’t scare me. There was something, however, that I found terrifying about the new job: the all­-white safari uniform and oversized straw-­brimmed hat I had to wear. I wasn’t thrilled about working all those summer evenings, but now I’d have to parade around town like a big, white, ice­-cream­-selling park ranger. I wasn’t sure I could stand the humiliation, and the more I thought about it, the worse I felt. Quite possibly, this job could equal social suicide.

I went home, flopped onto my bed, and stared up at my bedroom ceiling, in tears. Then I remembered the promise I’d made to myself: I would work as hard as I could every summer between then and my senior year and save every penny, so I could go to college. I knew my parents wouldn’t be able to pay my tuition, and it was either this or winning the lottery. Even as a kid, I knew my odds were better with the ice cream trike, so I weighed my options: four to six years of small town mockery or a lifetime working at McDonalds… That was it, I was going to ride the darn thing and rock that safari hat as best as I could!

The only freedom I had with my uniform was my choice of shoes. I took the decision seriously—they’d need to be perfect if I was going to have a chance of getting asked to the prom one day… I’d recently studied Roman History in my Global Studies class and learned all about gladiators—their harrowing bravery as they fought, often to their deaths, for the mere possibility of eventual freedom. I saw my Creamsicle-­on-wheels as the arena, and my college future as the prize. Now all I needed to do was to find my pair of studded gladiator sandals, which would give me enough courage to fight to victory.

After locating them under a pile of winter boots, I latched on the sandals and prepared for battle. Climbing onto the tricycle, I found out right away that the heavy cooler made it frighteningly unwieldy. My thighs burned over the steep hills, and my calves hurt from braking though the valleys, but like a warrior, I kept going. I rang the bike bell loud and clear and braced myself before the final hill leading to the park center. The looming descent was no problem on my pink Huffy, but I wasn’t sure I’d be able to balance the Ice Cream Trike of Death. I looked at my sandals. I was going to do this! I pushed off and courageously glided down the hill.

I managed to get to the bottom of the hill alive, but that wasn’t much consolation when I noticed my friends gathering in the park. I contemplated turning a street early and discreetly wheeling the freezer back to my boss’s house. Just then, an older boy rode up alongside me on his mountain bike and said, “Hey, what a fun job! Can I ride with you? Oh, cool sandals…”

He wanted to ride with me, Ranger Nutty Buddy? He didn’t seem to notice my goofy outfit—he was too immersed in a story about the restorations he and his father had made to his mountain bike. The next couple of hours flew by. My wingman stayed cooler­-side throughout the concert, and my friends came by to say hi and buy a cone or two. I was glad I hadn’t chickened out because I now was hanging out and making money. For the rest of the summer, I’d spy the curly­-haired boy on his mountain bike, and he’d chivalrously escort me and my freezer to the park. I even scored a two-­dollar raise from my boss, who was impressed with how many cones I’d managed to sell.

Gladiator sandals became my footwear of choice from that summer on. The following year, when I was of legal working age, my boss offered me a legitimate job at the Creemee Shack, selling cones from the store window. By the time I was seventeen, I graduated to become a rollerblading waitress at the A&W drive-­through the next town over. I managed to climb the ice cream ladder all the way to college. And somehow, I still got asked to prom… by a certain curly-­haired mountain bike rider… And that was cooler than ice cream.

 

Just for the record, while the above are beautiful, this is more what the actual shoes looked like:

gladiator sandal

Friday Sole Candy


All photographs by Hadrien Lacoste

It’s Friday! I don’t know about you, but I’m moving into August summer mode. There are things my mind believes I should worry about, but I’m finding it easier than usual to set them aside and enjoy some family, fun, and of course fashion.

In that spirit, I wanted to share something playful and colorful, something that fits my current mood. And I found just the items.

My friend Hadrien Lacoste from A Private Collection hits all of the important fashion shows throughout the year, and I love checking out his behind-the-scenes photographs and musings. He recently took some fantastic street shots while attending Paris Fashion week and agreed to let me play with and share some of them here.

They conjure feelings of boldness, joy, and power. What do they bring up for you?

 

Check more street style accessories from Paris Fashion week here

Have a sole-ful weekend!

 

Wonderful Happens

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Shoes by Paul Andrew

This past weekend I accomplished something wonderful, I finally figured out how to use Adobe Photoshop! The above image is my first attempt; clearly I need a bit more practice, but hopefully you’ll watch my skills grow over the coming months.

If understanding Photoshop has been a dream of yours, I suggest enrolling in Blogshop—they offer classes worldwide! Blogger extraordinaire Bri Emery of Designlovefest and Photographer and Commercial Director Angela Kohler pack the program’s essentials in a fun-filled two-day course. And this isn’t some stuffy conference room filled with geeky IT guys. On the contrary, it felt as if I stepped into the pages of Designlovefest and got to live there for the weekend, not to mention receive an unexpected goody bag that seemed more suited to a high-end boutique opening than a computer class—you’ll never catch me complaining about awesome perks like that!

It was also an opportunity to meet all sorts of funky and stylish bloggers on the rise (check out what some of my new friends are up to: ruthielindseydesign, redlovinpixie, tadpoleaudiomissglamdan). Most importantly, I walked away with a real understanding of Photoshop, which is more than I can say from the boring as hell DVD tutorial that’s been collecting dust on my bookshelf for almost a decade.

Then there is the why behind my newfound skills. I finally have the right tools to properly showcase my favorite “shoespirations!” This week I am dying over Paul Andrew’s spring collection. The brilliantly bright colors just feel like summertime, don’t they? And the light and airy designs are as refreshing as tall glass of lemonade.

Andrew has been designing behind the scenes for years with Narciso Rodriguez, Alexander McQueen, Donna Karan, and Calvin Klein, and his debut collection will undoubtedly establish him as an innovative and creative force in his own right. It shouldn’t be much of surprise that his personal line is beyond…

Try on a pair on at Bergdorf Goodman, Barney’s New York or Saks Fifth Avenue—spoiler alert: his pre-fall and fall collections are pretty off-the-hook too!

It all makes me wonder, what wonderful things are happening in your world?