As summer rounds to a close, I continue to reflect on the clothes free vacations from the season as they were huge eye openers for me in terms of what I love, what is important to me, what is healthy and good for me.
There are many things to which I had been resigned. I thought that life had to be a certain way on so many levels. I didn’t really see any freedom to change how things are. Here is my job. Here is all the other work I do. Here is where I live. Here are my routines… the list goes on. It was just the way things had to be.
But this summer of clothes free vacation broke me of that thinking. Going clothes free camping, living and breathing fresh air for days on end, it wasn’t just this sense of amazing wellness for my body, it was a resuscitation of my heart. I had been sleeping, I had turned off certain dreams and wishes, certain “wild” or “out there” considerations. These summer experiences, though, woke me up and showed me that there is more and that I create a life that is truly beautiful and healthy. The possibility of having more sun in m life, the option to cook outside, the possibility of reading in the grass and falling asleep under the sun. The possibility of so much more in so many areas of life. I came out of the coma.
Returning from clothes free vacation was difficult for many reasons, given the new feeling of awakening. Of course, coming back from any vacation I often struggle to pick up the daily grind again. But this time it wasn’t just about that. I came back home and looked at my living space. I saw junk everywhere, piles of things that didn’t make sense anymore. I went into work, and felt like I wasn’t there anymore. Something just wasn’t right.
The past few weeks have been emotionally challenging, therefore, as I’ve excavated and sorted through my feelings. The hardest part of all was for me to figure out what to do. There are many big changes I want to make in order to create a life that is good for my body and soul… something that, as it feeds me life, frees me to create space for others to do the same. But making such massive changes is too daunting to me. I remember crying these past few weeks while talking to my mom and one or two friends about it. It all felt so impossible. And yet, because of the possibility to which my eyes, heart and bones were opened through my clothes free experiences this summer, I knew I had to do something. Even my boss recognized it. In a meeting with her last week, in fact, she said to me, “You should see how you light up when you talk about clothes free life. It sounds like you’ve found a calling, that you have and can inspire others to heal. It might be time for you to step into that kind of work and study. Things related to therapy.”
Yeah, it is time, I thought to myself as I listened to her words. I had been roaming around my post-college years feeling lost, feeling as though everything I did was a kind of masked self. I did things, because I thought they were the right thing to do, because it was just what people did. I went on trying to follow the rules and meet expectations rather than moving from heart. And I knew all that time that something was off, I knew that something just wasn’t right…but I didn’t have access to a deeper truth yet.
But my clothes free life this past year has slowly ushered me into these deeper waters. It was the same feeling as when I went to the clothing optional beach with my friend, and I was mortified to step far into the water. I don’t swim well, and most terrifyingly of all is that I never know when the floor will drop in the ocean. And I could clearly see him standing there chest deep in the water, but somehow I couldn’t believe that it was meant for me despite seeing all the other people out there. I couldn’t, not until he took me by the hand and helped me. “See?” After a few breaths, I felt quite at home in the warm water rising just above my chest while under the sun. That is what had been happening my whole first year of clothes free life. Step by step I went deeper into the waters of truth, and discovered what was real. And this summer completely blew me open, what with the amazing clothes free vacation. I don’t even recognize myself anymore, and yet, the truth at the core of me, feels somehow familiar, like I met it a long time ago and am returning to it. It’s as if I’m sitting down having a cup of tea with it, asking “What’s new? What’s been going on all these years since last I saw you?”
In the weeks following the clothes free summer adventures, I struggled with the new truth ignited inside of me and the cobwebs forming in my surroundings. This weekend it all came to a head and something hit me. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I grabbed trash bags and to everything in the place, I asked myself, “Is this still true?” Was it still true to who I am? I went through and asked myself that over and over again, “Is this the truth?” And there was a lot of “No, this is no longer true.” So for everything that was no longer true, I let it go. “If I drove out of the state today, would I carry this with me?” I disrobed the place, I stripped it of all the things that didn’t make sense anymore, and I let it all go. (I might have let go one a little too much but…oh well.)
I don’t know what is next, but what seemed initially daunting and unfathomable has now been chopped down to size. I’ve gotten one step closer to the truth, and today I rest in that.