At least a decade ago my feet started hurting. Not all the time, but typically only when I was in a more structured shoe like a tennis shoe. It was a stabbing, burning arch pain. I went to the doctor who looked at the flip flops or high heels that I was most likely wearing during that visit, shrugged and said “wear better shoes”. I had no idea at the time what a long journey it would be healing my feet.

Disappointed there was no resolution or plan, I just went on dealing with the pain. When I decided to train for a half marathon I thought maybe a shoe fitting was in order.

Maybe that would solve the pain.

I went to THE running shoe store in town that everyone recommended, went through a full fitting and left with a pair of running shoes that had so much support they might as well have had a brick inside.

The pain didn't subside. I ran the half marathon anyway.

Years passed. I hiked, walked, gardened and even occasionally ran with the pain.

After moving to Montana, I just couldn't deal with it any longer. There is so much more to hike here and, as you might imagine in a place named after its mountains, it's all uphill, which pulls on that tendon through the arch.

After months of painful yoga classes, my teacher suggested I try physical therapy. I made an appointment for an consultation and was told that they could probably help me.

But it would be months of therapy and thousands of dollars. I decided I needed to think about it.

In the meanwhile, desperate, and staring down a three day backcountry hike that I had booked months earlier, I booked my first reiki appointment. And it was like MAGIC! Three days of hiking and no foot pain! Could I be healed?!

But as the months passed, the pain crept back in. No amount of reiki could keep it at bay for long.

And then it happened.

Out on a springtime hike, up a mountain (like always), the pain got worse. Almost unbearable. When we stopped for lunch at a waterfall I decided to take my shoes off and put them in the icy water to soothe them. I was shocked when I got my socks off – the insides of both feet and arches were completely swollen.

This had never happened before. And now I was worried.

I hobbled back down the mountain very slowly and painfully. And decided I needed a podiatrist.

As luck (and my guides) would have it, a few days later I was at a business mixer and I met a podiatrist opening a new practice in my town. Done – I booked an appointment for the day they opened.

The verdict? Torn tendons. In both feet. Great.

Who tears tendons in both feet at the same time? Me.

It turns out that genetics were not on my side to begin with and after years of ignoring the issue, they'd finally had enough and now I was going to be down for the count for some time. Months, he said.

I was devastated. I had a friend visiting in a month and we had three days of hiking planned. A month after that was my 40th birthday and a hike to an overnight in a fire lookout had also been booked since winter.

This was going to wipe out my entire summer.

I decided I was going to rehab my feet like it was my job: physical therapy, twice a week chiropractic care, acupuncture, ice packs and lots of rest.

Two months passed and the swelling did not subside. The physical therapist wasn't happy. Neither was the podiatrist. He gave me a 30 day deadline – get the swelling down or I was getting a walking cast. I didn't even want to ask about how that works with both feet.

Cue the tears.

At this point I decided that perhaps I needed something a bit stronger to deal with this problem. Energy work.

I know that kind of sounds ridiculous coming from me. How had that not occurred to me until now? Sigh…..sometimes we just can't see the forest for the trees when it comes to our own issues!

So I book an appointment with a friend who does reflexology and akashic records readings. At the same time. She's fantastic. And part of what's fantastic is that she simply asks the questions. You decide what the answers are.

It's more of a guided meditation than a reading, with her intuition guiding the questions she asks.

I wasn't really sure what to expect in this session. But in pretty short order I saw myself on a battlefield in the 1920's, in Europe, missing my feet. We began to search for my feet and when I located them, she sensed that there was something hidden with my feet and asked what it was.

They had locks on them but I had a key to unlock them. When I unlocked the right foot, butterflies flew up into the sky. Unlocking the left revealed an empty box.

What was it for? she asked. I didn't know.

She quizzed me about how I had lost my feet in this war. I realized that there had been an argument or betrayal with my brother. He didn't want me to go and I was thinking about this just enough to be distracted. I couldn't tell exactly what happened, but as a result, I lost my feet in an accident.

This was like an AHA moment for me as to why I have issues with BOTH feet in this lifetime and not just one.

The severed feet needed to be buried. I saw a large oak on a hill, much like the property I grew up on in this life and buried the feet and the empty box. I was told that it was an offering for the earth.

We continued along in our journey. Although she doesn't call herself a shamanic practitioner, her methods are the same methods I've learned for soul retrievals.

I then found a little girl with giant, hairy, ugly feet. She didn't fit in.

It felt like a long time ago in a land far away. She lived in a small house with a thatched roof and had a plant she could climb to the sky, just like Jack in the Beanstalk.

A dragon lived in the clouds that she liked to visit, but her mother did not approve of this friendship.

I sat with the little girl and comforted her. Gave her some of the mothering love that she didn't feel like she had and invited her to rejoin me, and heal. She was a bit reluctant at first, but decided to trust me.

As the session came to a close, I was given some homework: practice being aware of my surroundings.

Ground my energy through my feet into the earth.

Because of the energetic separation from my feet, I try to hold too much energy in my body. I needed to visualize my feet being attached to my body and grounding through them.

I would like to say that I was magically healed after this session. But if you've done any healing and soul retrieval work of your own, you know that's not true.

This was just the beginning.

We met for five more sessions and I did quite a bit of personal work in between. We visited the little girl often in our sessions and after a few months, she shapeshifted into another form and showed herself as a guide to me to help with the earth grids. We are still working together now.

My feet are still on the mend, but after the energetic work, the swelling and pain subsided and I was spared from the dreaded “boot” – or two boots as the case may have been!

I'm now in custom orthotics (for life) and am paying penance for all of those years of fabulous shoes by now being required to wear comfortable and sensible (yet ugly) shoes every day of my life.

The orthotics were helpful, but in retrospect, I wish I hadn't spent so much time (and really, money) on the other efforts to physically heal.

It was an expensive lesson in trusting my own intuition.

I did it all on autopilot without pausing and asking what I really needed to heal this issue.

I also had to laugh at myself as I put all of the pieces together of this healing journey. As it turns out, I am OBSESSED with my feet in this life. Seriously.

Ask anyone that knows me – I don't go a few weeks without a pedicure and a number of years ago, as a joke, I started a 365 photo project online. Of my feet.

Then it caught on and suddenly it's how everyone seemed to know me.

In fact, I think my feet still have a flickr page.

People to this day will ask when I'm going to post another photo of my feet.

How did I not piece this together before? Although my feet may not function as well as I'd like in this life, I may be enamored with the fact that I have feet at all AND that they aren't hideous.

My parents to this day lament that they could not keep shoes on me as a child, in any kind of weather. Maybe I just wanted to see and sense the world through them!

Perhaps the next time around I will have healed what is needed to have perfect looking, perfectly functioning feet.

So there you have it. The long strange trip in which I healed my feet. What do you think? Have you had a lifelong issue that you healed energetically? Let me know about it in the comments – I'd love to hear your stories.

Energetic Healing | Shamanism | Healing my feet