I’m glad that Daniel Vitalis put out this NakedSunTime Challenge for summer. At first I thought, there is no way for me to make this work. But my body and spirit forced me to find a way to get clothes free sun time in my environment as it stands.
Today, I snatched up an opportunity during Monday afternoon hours at the office. I have been dealing with a lot of different things on my heart, and today, after going to a clothed yoga class at a studio I found myself very jittery. My heart was racing, and I had a lot on my mind. A recent experience of one of my best friends came to my mind, how he talked about loving the sun and how much it lifted his spirit. “That’s exactly what I need,” I said to myself. Time to make it happen.
My settings are not ideal (many people’s aren’t) and my first clothes free vacation is still some weeks out, but my body and spirit could not wait. There was no way I would be able to calm my nerves and focus on work until I went outside. I don’t own a home; I live in an apartment building surrounded closely by other apartment buildings, in a neighborhood full of people (and cute bunnies) so there is nowhere for me to really setup outside in that area, although I wouldn’t mind the bunnies joining me were I to find a spot to be clothes free. Anyway, I do, however, have the good fortune of being at an office where it is possible for me, if I am careful and skillful in my planning, to put together outdoor clothes free time. I know people’s calendars and patterns, I know the hours of the building engineers and what to listen for in the environment. I knew that the time was right, so I took a chance, tossed my dress, opened the back door and sat there on the ledge.
I brought a journal with me, but for a while I simply sat there and felt the breeze slide across my skin. My ears soaked up the noise of the cars and trucks below. I observed people kayaking in the muddy river and gave thanks for the sun’s presence. I even enjoyed seeing flies buzz here and there, rather than getting nervous and jittery. I got to JUST BE.
A few lines manged to travel from my heart to a page in my journal, but not much. What I needed most was to just stand and sit there without doing much of anything else. I needed the blessing of the sun, the stillness away from the emails, phone calls, walk-ins and worries. I just needed a moment. After stepping back in, I noticed that my racing heart had calmed, such that I was able to sit down and type out this post without my hands shaking (which they usually do when I’m otherwise too jittery or charge). I can feel my breath in my lungs. Tension and strain in my shoulders have taken a rest.
I’m glad I stole an opportunity to be clothes free. I know it’s not an opportunity that everyone has. Really, even I shouldn’t be doing it, or so our Department of Human Resources would say. But the reality is that people everywhere work a lot of unpaid overtime and sacrifice their health to get work done, not just for a season or one project, but ongoing for years and years. Today, as I sat on the stoop, I thought, “Yes, I am going to take care of my responsibilities, but I am not a robot. I need sun. I need peace and quiet. I need time to acknowledge that I am human, that I am an animal.” I still make a point of getting my work done, sometimes by extending my day longer or doing some work from home early in the mornings well before showing up to the office on time. But, now, I also make a point of giving my human self what it needs.
Today I needed the still sun and soft wind, so I took a chance and put the clothes aside for a few minutes and gave myself permission to be an animal on the deck, relishing in the peace of the moment.