In most Asian cultures it is common practice to remove your shoes before entering a home. This is because it is well understood that low level energies tend to sink to ground level, and some of these inevitably get stuck to our shoes as we walk around.
Their thinking is: Why on earth would we want to trample a whole mish-mash of physical grime and unwholesome energies through our home when we can simply remove our shoes at the door and leave the dirt and energies outside where they belong? They do no harm there. The problems only start if you bring them inside.
Somehow this innate wisdom about shoes has not passed from East to West. The current fashion for cream or beige carpets means that some western households do have a shoes-off policy when entering the home these days, but this is more to avoid marking the carpets than because of any energetic awareness.
Of course, leaving your shoes outside your front door is not the most sensible option anywhere in the world. They tend to get stolen, rained on, heat-baked, chewed by dogs, or worse. So is there a better solution?
My personal favourite is to have a shoe cupboard somewhere just inside the main entrance so you can take your shoes off as soon as you enter and store them hidden from view. Why hidden from view? Because arriving home to see a jumble of shoes on the floor or on an open rack does not uplift your spirits or create the most welcoming sight for you or your guests.
As any feng shui consultant will tell you, when it comes to entrances, first impressions count, and your main entrance is one of the key areas of your home to get right. Whatever your senses are greeted with when you first enter sets the tone for everything that happens there, and shoe clutter does not create the best visual, olfactory, or energetic effect to benefit you or anyone you live with.
However, in many homes there’s simply no space to have a shoe cupboard close to the main entrance. So what can you do about that? The next best solution is to take your shoes off when you enter and carry them to where your shoe cupboard is, which can be just about anywhere except your meditation room (if you have one) or your bedroom.
‘Oh no!’ some of you reading this may be saying at this point. ‘I always keep my shoes in my bedroom. There’s nowhere else to put them.’
This would be an absolute no-no in most Asian countries, but it’s all too common in the West. There may be little you can do about this in your current home, but if ever you move you can certainly put a shoe cupboard near the front door firmly on your wish list. In the meantime, here are some tips to help mitigate the effects of storing shoes in the bedroom:
- Keep them inside a closed cupboard rather than out in the open
- Don’t keep them under your bed or close to the head of your bed
- Create an organized storage system rather than throwing them into a heap
- Have regular clear-outs to get rid of any shoes you never wear
If you’ve always worn shoes inside your home, there will be a gunky layer of energy at floor level that probably feels normal to you, and it won’t make a heck of a lot of difference if you stop wearing shoes now or not. But if you make a fresh start by cleaning your carpets and washing your floors, and especially if you space clear your home too, then a no-shoe rule will make a difference that is tangible. You’ll wonder why you never thought of it before.
Interestingly, while writing this article, a telephone engineer turned up to repair our line, and all I had to do was look at his shoes and he instantly got the message and took them off. I thought perhaps this might mean this behaviour has become more commonplace than I thought, but it turned out to be a simple case of beige carpet syndrome that had conditioned his response. Ah well, every bit helps.
Copyright © Karen Kingston, 2014