Dirt in your skirt blog

How Chicken Sh*t Taught Me Mindfulness

Posted on September 1, 2016 by Margaret Schlachter

Mindfulness has always been a personal goal. It is something for almost a decade I have been working to add more of to my daily routine. Practicing mindfulness in even the most mundane of activities. Most of the time my mind wanders away and I find myself not in the moment and not practicing mindfulness, but I keep trying.


A quick google search on the term mindfulness and you will quickly find an endless amount of websites, apps, and gadgets aimed to make you (the consumer) more mindful. In our present world it is so easy to go about our day without intention and without practicing mindfulness.

After our recent trip in the woods to unplug it only took a day or two to feel myself slipping back into the grind of the daily routine, moving about the chores and life tasks without a thought in the process.

But then one task changed that…


After a month in the woods, spending all our time barefoot both my partner and I find our feet have become pretty tough to nature. The normally rough wood chips on our backyard pathways seem less sharp and it’s nice to feel connected to the ground. Not including the health benefits (but that is for a whole other article at some point). Basically, being barefoot outside is a chance to stay grounded to the earth, feel it, move with it, and strengthen you feet in the process. Remember, that was the whole point of the Five Finger craze.

With this in mind, the day after returning from our trip I set out to do one of my favorite chores of the day, check for chicken eggs. Seriously, when I have a block in my work I will often go check for eggs, even sometimes knowing there will be none. I just like the little check in with the ladies. So the other day I did just this… only barefoot.


Walking through the coop area barefoot made me hyper aware of each movement each foot took as I gingerly walked softly across the straw covered ground. I would look before each step, step gently, and then repeat across the area until getting to the eggs in the coop. On the way back I would do the same. Each step required my full focus and attention, a miss step could result in a foot covered in chicken sh*t, not fun.

Now a few days into walking through the area barefoot I have noticed something, the times I walk through with shoes on I almost always end up stepping in some chicken sh*t. My mind wanders and I am less intentional with my foot placement. When I walk through barefoot, I have yet to step in a pile of poo.

It is fascinating how changing one little thing in the daily routine has given ,me such a change to practice mindfulness in a real way. For me practicing mindfulness can often come in the most surprising of places.

What small change in your life can you make to make yourself practice mindfulness?