Maintaining an Open Heart in the Midst of Tragedy


Sole Prescription Pharmacy Dr. Shannon Bindler, M.A., C.E.C.
There are times in life when it’s natural to want protect yourself, but a small “peep” or opening at the toe of your shoe encourages one to maintain an open heart (even in the darkest of days). The Peep Toe has an opening at the toe-box that exposes the toe line. A hint of skin makes the peep toe chic yet subtly provocative. A peep toe is common in many shoe styles, including slingbacks, pumps, platforms, and booties. A peep toe assists one in remaining open to love in all forms while providing a substantial degree of protection and security (physically and emotionally).
A peep toe is prescribed to individuals suffering from one or more of the following feelings or experiences: feeling emotionally closed off, needing protection, afraid of getting hurt, feeling attacked or wronged, a sense of vulnerability.
Wear may create a sense of connection, trust, and openness. May lead to falling head over heals in love with oneself or another. Must be worn with caution while vacationing in Las Vegas!
For those that know me personally, they can attest to my generally positive outlook. Even with a naturally upbeat disposition, life can get strange and upsetting—and I suppose in times like these it’s necessary to call upon all of the tools that I teach and have diligently studied over the years.

A coyote killed my beloved pup a couple of weeks ago, and it’s brought up all sorts of issues to work through. I was outside with him at the time, and I’ve experienced a ton of self-judgment about having him outside in the dark, not keeping him closer, and not doing something, anything, differently.

The only answer is self-forgiveness. Forgiving myself for any and all of the judgments that present themselves. Forgiving myself for not being a better pet owner, forgiving myself for not installing a 10 foot fence, for not having a gun with me (although even if I had one, I don’t know that killing another animal would have really been the answer)… forgiving whatever strange (and most of the time unreasonable) judgments that surface. Most of them have an underlying theme of me being an awful person who allowed this tragedy to happen.

When I’m not judging myself, I’ve found myself judging God. Who created this food chain anyway? I mean, throw a bunch of living beings on a planet, and most will survive by eating each other? Seriously, Supreme Creator, that was kind of a twisted plan! I’m sure there is some really reasonable and divine explanation for that apparently cruel setup; I’m just having difficulty understanding it in this moment.

_DSC0457Valentino peep toe pumps shot by the talented Victoria Flower.

It’s times like these, when life becomes surreal, that we most need to open our hearts. For me, that means opening myself to receiving support and love from friends and family. Opening my heart to self-compassion and self-forgiveness. Opening my heart to the Universe—trusting that this is an important lesson, that I will ultimately serve the highest good. I want to blame someone or something, even if that person is myself, but when I tap into the higher aspects of my being, I know it’s really not about blaming anyone, but about loving everyone. Loving my dog, loving the coyote, and having compassion for the woman who did her best in an awful moment.


I stand wearing a pair of peep toe shoes to remind me to maintain an open heart—especially when it comes to my own judgments of myself.

I’d love to hear how you’ve supported yourself to move from self-judgment to self-love?


Subscribe!– I give away free shoes!

A special thanks to Victoria Flower Photography for shooting the stunning images for this post!

Let’s Take the Long Way Home

Shoes by Valentino

Where I grew up, there weren’t many exciting options for teenagers. There were no movie theaters, arcades, or dancehalls. No ice cream parlors, skate parks or malls to wander. What we had to work with were rows of tree-lined forest, cascading waterfalls and empty dirt roads. And, most importantly, we had driver’s licenses.

My social life consisted of a few good friends “touring” back roads in our various vehicles. For fun, we drove around. Yup, you read that correctly. It was rarely about a destination because, hey, driving to a river gorge or to an abandoned fire road was not exactly that different or mind-blowing. Even so, we had some of the best times on the various rides we shared.

I now live in Los Angeles and hardly ever drive anywhere just for the heck of it. I avoid traffic at all cost. When I do have to face it, it’s a chore, not a hobby, something I do my best to get through without yelling, cursing under my breath, or, God forbid, hitting or being hit by someone. What used to be my personal mantra (it was even my senior year quote), “Let’s take the long way home…” is the exact opposite of my current mantra, “Get me the f#$ck home as fast as possible!”

I am struck with the age-old saying that it is the journey – not the destination – that we should be appreciating. Things that were so simple in our youth can become complicated in adulthood. There is always somewhere to be, something to do. These days, I can’t imagine having four consecutive hours to drive around and hang out. And that might be exactly what I could use right now.

This week, I’m making a commitment to put on a pair of driving shoes, get in my car, and just go. I’ll invite a pal, and we will intentionally “take the long way home.” And hopefully my friend will drive for a while so I can put my feet up on the dash, stare out the window, and allow my mind to explore the vast, unscheduled terrain.

I suppose sometimes we need to go “nowhere” so we can sit back and simply appreciate the ride.