This week I had a dream where one of my fears – being ridiculed for being naked became real. This was after contemplating sharing openly how empowering it has been to be living my home life mostly nude in the Hawaiian Jungle. Before I knew it, the shame crept right through into my subconscious and I realized that although I was enjoying feeling wild and free in the jungle… I hadn’t gotten to the root of the shame.
In my dream I was back in High school and I was among my peers who were discussing a tabloid where some stars were being shamed for having their naked photos circulate. And then suddenly among them was a photo of myself naked. My ‘friends’ in the dream proceeded to point and laugh at me – much to my distraught. And I just froze, uncomfortable, crying, unable to respond…
Upon waking I realized that I wasn’t honouring my inspiration to share about releasing body- related shame by embracing nudity. I contemplated it for weeks and wrote about it in the closet where it would be safe and secret. But whats the good in that ? Clearly I was still working through what others that I knew and respected would think about it.
But really here is what practicing more nude living has done for me:
i) Its slowly taking away the charge/ reaction of being naked.
Much of our society due to sexual conditioning feels a ‘charge’ or has a ‘reaction’ when they see someone naked or almost naked. I did for the longest time too. And I realized that being in the practice of nudity is helping me take the ‘charge’ away from obsessing about the body. It wasnt long before.. I wasn’t even referring to myself as ‘naked’ anymore, I was just – Myself.
ii) Taking back my power as a sexualized gender.
We live in a culture that over-sexualizes us and then shames us for our sexuality.
So… which one is it ?
Its all well and good to have naked photos with sexual connotations designed to condition the population. But when people decide to be open about sex- oh no, no, Its taboo.
Often If a woman decides to enjoy her sexual liberation and allows herself multiple partners – she is a slut . If she dresses in a way that is creative or revealing, she is ‘asking for it’ or she is ‘showing off ‘ and ‘deserves what she gets for it’ .
And what happens most of the time is women often internalize this.
Ive internalized it. For the longest time I saw myself as a sexual figure too. But the truth is, that is not the entirety of who I am.
Nudity does not always have to imply sex – Its how we were born, naturally.
iii) Releasing objectification.
Often times Ive been refereed to as an ‘asset’ . Sometimes while walking with my boyfriend , guys would say to him “nice cargo bro!” . And my response is usually to look them in the eye and confront them for it .
“whats that supposed to mean? Im not property.. would you say that to your mother or sister ? “
Since older times a woman’s value in the world has been measured by how she fits into standard attractiveness scale created by society . And it goes back to decades ago when women were often regarded as their husband’s ‘property’ and were not allowed to own land. And if a man wanted to marry a woman, he would have to pay her family in exchange for marriage.
But times are changing as women are beginning to assert their place in equal partnership with the same opportunities as men should have. The battle sure is far from won, the patriarchy still is real- but we have sure made great strides since the early 1900’s
iv) Releasing the need to identify with sexuality as a “power” over men.
Yeah sisters… you know those days when you are feeling great in your body and all the guys can’t help but steal a glance. And that is just the thing- men are inherently visual beings. The moment we have their attention- we hold the cards.
However true ’empowerment’ doesn’t come from controlling others… but having true dominion over our own misconceptions of control and power within ourselves.
When we are not always leaving ourselves open to be preyed upon , we can have more awareness of our energy, not give it away for favours, or sell our creative spirits for attention. We then essentially have more energy to invest in ourselves and our creative ventures.
v) Conserving one’s energy rather than constantly giving it away .
What we give our thoughts and attention to on a daily basis is often connected to our energy levels and based on research – also our immunity.
What are some of the thoughts that you habour about yourself? Are they life-sustaining or life- depleating ?
Are we focussed more on our state of well being or are we constantly viewing ourselves though the lens of validation in our worth ?
vi) And finally – a big dose of acceptance.
There is something beautiful and pure about accepting ourselves as we are without any additions like society would have us believe that we need. I love this quote by Wes Angelozzi –
“Go and love someone exactly as they are. And then watch how quickly they transform into the greatest, truest version of themselves. When one feels seen and appreciated in their own essence, one is instantly empowered”
And as a final note: Nudity empowers some while Modesty empowers others .
(In fact often when women went on spiritual pilgrimages, they often wore veils and head-dresses so as to remain focussed on the task at hand – connecting with their ancestors and spirit. And this was considered a powerful position as they would be somehow camouflaged to those around them as they would not attract as much attention.)
Therefore my journey isnt to encourage one side or another. My journey is to share the journey of the latter .