Dirty Feet

Have you let in dirty feet this week?  What did they drag in with them?

I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.


How far did they get?  Only to the kitchen where a quick sweep could take care of the dirt?  Or upstairs, ground into the carpet and staining it?

Have you left the door wide open and a host of dirty feet came in?

I thought about this as I swept up dirt that had come out of the grooves in my sneakers.  You see I had been outside picking up sticks in the yard that had fallen over the winter. (They seem to have multiplied like rabbits!)  The ground is soft in places, and my shoes picked up the dirt in the grooves.  I should have worn my gardening shoes, and I should have taken them off – and did neither.

I wiped my feet on the doormat – quite a bit in fact.  Yet despite my effort, a lot of dirt ended up in the kitchen and bathroom, and anywhere else I walked.

I didn't realize it right away, as I was focused on what I was doing.  It was when I went into the bathroom that I saw the clumps of dirt shaped like sneaker treads.  And then I saw they were in other places too.

The same was true in my mind this week.  I let dirty feet track through my mind in the form of negativity, discouragement, fear of failure.  And it was WAY more dirty than the dirt on the floor.  So what did I do?

  1. Saw the door was open and closed it.
  2. Got out the broom and started sweeping.
  3. In some cases, I needed more power.  I had to vacuum it up.

I brought that dirt to the surface.  Shone the light on it.  Called it what it is – dirt.  Then I purposely chose to fill my mind with what is good, pure, excellent, praiseworthy, and true.  Clean.  And beautiful.

Your mind can't focus on dirt and beauty at the same time.  You can't be both stressed and grateful at the same time, or negative and positive.  And you can choose which it will be.

What should you do right now?

  1. Ask yourself – “What am I thinking right this minute?”
  2. Am I letting dirty feet track through my mind?
  3. If not – great!  Keep it up.
  4. If so, how can I re-frame my thinking.  Not later, but now?

Repeat throughout the day.  Whenever you think of it.  And while you're at it, put on a new door.  One that opens to what will transform your mind for the good, and slams shut when dirty feet come to call.

What dirt have you let into your mind this week?  What would you like to focus on instead?  Add to the conversation by leaving a comment below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Infused with incomparable energy, your writing inspires and motivates me today. I love the last paragraph especially, the image of the new door—which implies a new threshold—and all that beckons beyond. Thank you, Kathleen. You never fail to lift my spirits.

    • Laurie, it IS fun to think of the adventure the beckons beyond the new door. I love the way you put that. So poetic….as indeed you are. Any idea what’s beyond your threshold?

      • Yes, thanks for asking. I’ll be seeing some of our National Parks this year! It’s stretching for me to travel, homebody that I am, so giving myself the right “messages” is vital. And so much beauty and surprise awaits . . . :)

        • Beauty and surprise indeed. My husband and I took a trip on our motorcycle to several national parks in the west. It was the trip of a lifetime. Can’t wait to see pictures from that camera of yours…and some poems too!

  • I have a lot of head trash going on in my mind. I work in law enforcement and I and 2 weeks away from my 20th anniversary. I am also staring to lay the foundation to start a new career. At my current job, I have to wear a shiny gold and silver badge all of the time and I refused to for a long time because I felt like an ego maniac. But as the head trash got bigger and bigger I started praying for help from above. I then felt the Holy Spirit tell me, wear your badge, not because it represents your authority but because it represents the shield of faith. It has helped me tremendously moving forward. And it’s keep those dirty feet out of my mind!

    • Edwin, I can’t even imagine how much head trash you would have from a 20 year career in law enforcement. I love the way you’ve re-framed your badge as a shield of faith. How has clearing the head trash helped you to thrive at work and lay the foundation for a new career?

      • I became paranoid that I was going to get fired and that I was not doing my job. It was really affecting me in a bad way. The shield is a protection against all unfounded lies that try to penetrate my mind and my soul (since the two are closely knit). Once I used this shield, it has freed me to think clear and start laying the foundation to me new a career search. I hired a career coach and he gave me some homework that I needed to do. It took me six weeks just to get started but once I used the shield of faith, I just literally took off and made SO MUCH progress in just 25 days. My next review is in September before we move forward. I believe I will reach my goal by then: 2,000 connections on LinkedIn! I’m already close to 1,200 and counting. Thanks for the awesome post!

        • Wow, Edwin! You are SO on your way. Let me know how you’re doing. We will celebrate when you get to 2,000. And then looking forward to hearing more from Edwin Soler. Rock on!

          • I most certainly will! Thanks for the encouragement!

  • Great reminder Kathleen that no one can hurt me psychologically unless I first give them permission. I am ultimately in charge of how I think. At times it does not feel like that and so it is vital I find to begin each day centred on God and His grace to me.