In the other’s shoes: A revelatory relationship exercise

Healing & Meditation

A meditation technique that can be made in couples, two friends or partners, presented by Madhuri.

two pairs of shoes seen from above credit Callum Chapman

This is one of the most valuable techniques I have ever encountered for dispelling misunderstanding between people – whether a couple, or friends, or family members.

My own experience is that this work can give you a profound understanding of that-which-is-not-you – whatever, whomsoever that might be – and as you look from the inside, your compassion, love, and appreciation for the other are enhanced to a transcendental degree.

People who are different types than you are suddenly comprehensible – perhaps for the first time.

When you read about it, you might think, “Oh no, I can’t do that! it won’t work!” But, just as in Family Constellation workshops, everyone can actually channel everyone else – it is incredibly simple and takes no effort at all. In fact, if you make any effort, you will mess it up! That is the only way to mess it up.

So I invite you to just try it… get out of your own way and allow whatever happens.

You will need:
  • An hour of time without interruption
  • A way to mark the time: alarm clock or phone alarm
  • Tibetan bells or chiming bowl or other way to signal beginning and end of exercise
  • 2 cushions or chairs
  • A shawl or blanket for each
  • A quiet place in which to be – a house or flat works great (though you could try it outside if you like)
  • A partner with whom you are having trouble, or just a willing partner who is interested in going deeper
  • The house-shoes of each one of you – or, if you are outside, then outside shoes
The process:

Keep the cushions, chairs, shawls off to the side for now.

Sound the gong.

Stand in an open part of the room or garden, facing each other. Bow in namaste, saluting the god or goddess within the other.

It can be helpful to say aloud: “I bow to the god in you.” ” I bow to the goddess in you.”
Have eye contact for a moment as you speak.

Now, consciously step out of your own shoes, and at the same time step consciously out of yourself.

Walk around to the shoes of the other, and step consciously into them; and into the ‘self’ of the other.

Just become the other. Do not try to do this! It just happens. All you need is the intent.

Both of you are doing this at the same time.


Set an alarm for 30 minutes.

Now, go around the house or garden ‘as the other’ – simply resting in the being of the other, you are doing what comes naturally. Make tea, rest, walk, pace, fiddle around – whatever arises.

Do not speak to or touch the other.


After 30 minutes, come back together, and sit down on cushions or chairs facing each other.

You are still the other person!


Set alarm for 10 minutes.

Decide without words who goes first – who is A and who is B.

A now has 10 minutes to share as the other – whatever she/he feels like sharing – about anything – how they feel, how it is to be them.

B simply listens. No touching.

When the alarm goes, change over.


Set the alarm again for 10 minutes.

Now B shares whatever she/he is feeling/experiencing as the other. Using always “I”.

A simply receives. No touching.

When the alarm goes, stand up, make a namaste to the other; then consciously step out of the other’s shoes and being; walk around, and step back into your own shoes – and being.


Set the alarm for 10 minutes.

Now each of you, as your own self, goes to a comfortable place alone where you can lie down on your belly for 10 minutes and just Be.

It can be a bed or meadow or couch – best in separate rooms, or areas of the garden.

This is integrating time – just be silent with closed eyes and do nothing; simply being, on your belly. Do not cut this time short! Take the whole 10 minutes. If it is cold, make sure you have a shawl or blanket so you are comfy.

Do not ‘cross’ – keep legs and arms separate from each other.

When the alarm goes, get up slowly and come back together. Sit facing each other on your cushion or in chairs.


Set alarm for 15 minutes.

Now you can both share with each other – how you feel, what it was like, what you learned – anything you feel like sharing. When one is sharing, the other listens. Make sure you both have enough space to share.

When the time is up, sound the gong for finishing.

Thank your partner – and have a good hug.

Credit featured image: Callum Chapman via Unsplash


Madhuri is a healer, artist, poet and author of several books, Mistakes on the Path being her latest memoir.

Comments are closed.