For me, some clothes free activities like reading, writing, yoga and meditation are both routine and special. Lately, actually, I have found myself creating a little bit of ritual around these activities without even thinking about it. In a recent conversation with Isis Phoenix she encouraged me to establish some rituals for myself to more deeply connect with my experiences and how I feel.
Normally, I am not one for ritual. My family had a rough go when I was little, a lot of financial turbulence, split family, losing homes, between homes, etc. As a result, we didn’t cultivate a ton of rituals. There were some things around occasional gatherings that we would do, like deep prayer circles or going on long walks, but not much else. I very much treasured those “rituals,” but I didn’t really take any with me once I left the nest. I kept thinking, “What’s the point? Everything is just going to disappear anyway.” That was the life I knew, everything disappearing.
Lately, though, what Isis said to me is sinking in. Often times in this busy city and the busy life I created I find myself scampering about not really taking in what’s going on or feeling. Getting into clothes free life has helped me to step back and soak in the moment. More specifically, it is these quiet activities like reading, yoga and meditation where I have to be still and turn off all other distractions that I am able to sink in and connect. For some reason, it takes the routine and ushers it to the level of “special” where both my body and spirit experience peace. Perhaps because of that, whenever I am about to step into one of these activities, I usually prepare myself and my space to fully enjoy it without distraction.
Today, I shut off the TV, washed dishes, brushed my teeth and set my spot with pillows and water. I have several books nearby as well as my journal. The first selection I am reading is “Undersong,” a book of poetry by Audre Lorde. A few weeks ago I had gone to a bookstore, roamed to the poetry section, plopped onto the floor and starting aimlessly shuffling through books. One of the staff came over and pulled this book off the shelf for me to consider. She flipped to the piece called “Gemini” and swore I would want the book after reading it. While I found that one quite engaging, it was the piece called “Separation” that muted all sounds around me and stilled the minutes.
Today, I am enjoying more of Lorde’s poetry in this book. Somehow the ritual of cleaning and preparing my space made me feel settled, focused and, interestingly enough, safe. I feel like nothing can take away this land of poetic expression, imagery and feeling from me. It won’t just disappear.
Here’s to Clothes Free Reading Day, sponsored by clothesfreelife.com. I celebrate something that, for me, is both everyday and deeply special.