Two weeks ago, my mother, aunt, brother and I went up to Manhattan for the day. As we ventured through Times Square, we came across a group of bare chested women body painted in red, white and blue who permitted tourists to stand with them and take a picture. I paused in my steps and, after a few deep breaths, shared that I wanted to take a bare chested picture with the women. This would be my first time telling my brother and aunt about my bare-chested and clothes free life. My mom was over the moon and shouted ecstatically, “My daughter’s a naturist and she’s going to take a topless picture with these women!” in the middle of Times Square as she snatched my phone to capture the moment. It was heart-warming to see her excitement. I pranced over to the women and informed them of my request, and they expressed some excitement given that I, too, would be standing bare chested, enjoying the right to be. The moment I freed my chest, the breeze brought a refreshing breath to my skin, and I felt like …
2015 has easily been one of the most challenging years of my adult life. To be fair, many positive experiences colored these 12 months, including a trip to a clothing optional park with my mom, clothes free camping & events in the summer with a dearest friend, and a topfree walk in Washington, DC just a few weeks ago. As marvelous as those experiences were, they also shook how I saw the world, how I thought my life had to be, and, most importantly, who I truly am. With all of these questions rising to the surface, I felt it imperative to listen to the voice in my heart and make some significant changes in my life.
What do I see in me? How do I resonate with others? These questions have floated to the surface as I continue to wade deeper into the waters of my clothes free journey, which encompasses every aspect of my life, really. It has come to a head especially in the past few months.
“I didn’t know if you would like to walk over here to us or if you would rather us come pick you up,” read my phone’s face. I knew exactly where they were parked: right in front of the studio where I practice and assist class. I also knew that 1) there were about 60 yoga people there, 2) that they were on lunch break for their weekend yoga teacher training session, and that 3) this would likely mean folks would be sprawled out on the sidewalk in a rainbow stew of spandex and lycra. All this is also in the same neighborhood as the place where I work. I texted Gingerbread back, “I can come to you.” In fact, I had already left my office and was just around the corner from meeting my new friends for my first ever topfree walk in the midst of clothed society.
Did I do the right thing? Wonder how does it ring In my heart when I think All had changed in a blink Did I make the right move? If so, how would I prove That this was the truth? How might I sleuth? When I stand in my skin I connect deep within With a sense undefined That interprets this kind It knows, yes or no It knows stop, wait and go And when unaligned I feel its remind No matter my feeling Whatever the dealing It gives me direction Through innate inflection So when I have doubt I stop looking far out I shed all the noise And naked find poise In the pureness of nothing I tap into something And there shines the ray To light me the way –hontouniheart 23 novembre 2015
Yesterday gifted me a surprise revelation: I had stopped being naked.
Fall is here and winter is coming, and in some ways, that means that I am having to put on more layers: jackets, leggings, hats. I’ve been stubbornly avoiding closed-toed shoes, but as the temperature drops and the chill in the air raises the hair on my skin, I find I need to cover myself a little bit more every few weeks, and warm shoes are likely the next surrender.
My naked yoga practice never gets old. In fact, the more I do it, the deeper it connects to all aspects of my life journey: physical, mental and spiritual. It has, over the past year, become my soul food, in fact, the foundation upon which I stand in the midst of storming changes. One of my favorite pieces of literature is a book by TKV Desikachar called “The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice.” At first, I thought that this was the 900th book on poses and sequences for a physical home practice. To my joyful surprise, the personal practice described here is a much deeper work about the practice of the heart.
Now is the season where things descend where trees and sky in the elements bend And all that was lifted inverted and high lowers and hovers and exhales a sigh Often I think the change will be smooth with warnings and breaths anxiety soothe But this time it’s sudden it caught me asleep now I am scrambling for something to keep Raga, attachment it comforts me so and yet with each season I have to let go Fall with the leaves and melt in the snow allow something new to take seed and grow –hontouniheart 20 septembre 2015