Penultimate Day 2016

[Originally posted on my personal blog (http://mojoreisen.com/blog/?p=1866) on December 30, 2016]

Today is December 30, 2016, the penultimate day of the year, a day I review and contemplate the events of the year and, hopefully, set goals and intentions for the coming year.

It was another year in which I didn’t actively participate in social nudity. While I would have liked to have visited nearby venues or traveled northeast to hike Chautauqua Gorge, other things came up or the effort and expense didn’t seem worthwhile. Essentially, other things in my life took priority over getting naked with strangers. Will that change in 2017? I won’t even try to make a prediction. I suspect that getting naked with others will likely remain a low priority.

This year my financial situation changed drastically and I began reevaluating my memberships and subscriptions. Among the memberships that fell under the magnifying glass were my AANR and TNS memberships. Although I appreciate the work they do for nudism and naturism in general, I had to evaluate them from a more personal level. Was continued membership worth $50 to $60 each on the off chance that I might find my way to Cedar Trails, Paradise Gardens, or Sunshower Country Club for a day of social nudity? This year, I decided they didn’t. Maybe next year, I might chose one or the other.

In October I learned of the existence of a non-landed club, Dayton Warm Breezes, that’s practically in my back yard. I’ve made contact with them but, thus far, I have not been able to attend one of their events. The October swim would have been an ideal opportunity but it was canceled due to problems with the pool. The November and December events at member homes conflicted with other engagements. Their next swim is scheduled for mid-January. Maybe I can make it to that. In the meantime, my interest in joining fluctuates from one day to another. Getting naked with others, as much as I miss it, isn’t really a high priority these days.

Over the year, my ideas and attitudes about nudism and naturism have evolved. Actually, they’ve been evolving for several years but this year I really began to give it more thought and write more about it as can be seen in several of this year’s posts. Rather than reiterate them here, you can go back through the posts and read them yourselves.

One change I made to my blog was to only allow comments for the first 30 days after an article has been posted. It resulted in a significant reduction of spam comments. I might miss some legitimate comments but I figured that if no one commented within the first 30 days, I wasn’t likely to get any.

What does it look like for getting naked in 2017? To tell the truth, I haven’t a clue. I’ll continue to be nude when I can and I’ll continue to promote nudity as our natural state and advocate the legalization and decriminalization of simple nudity.

I still see the need for less anonymity and secrecy among nudists within nudist groups and in social media. As nudists and naturists, we proclaim that the unclothed human body is natural and decent and that being naked is not shameful, yet we insist on anonymity and secrecy in pursuing our clothes-free lifestyle or activities. People are naturally suspicious of any activity surrounded by anonymity and secrecy.

I think it’s about time we learned to live with the ever-present technology that nearly all us possess, namely mobile phones. Personal privacy has become a very rare and precious commodity. That’s a reality and we have to learn to deal with it. Banning mobile phones or any other device that might have a camera at nudist events and venues seems short-sighted and, ultimately, not very practical. Pictorially documenting my naturist activities as I would equivalent activities in a clothed environment shouldn’t be difficult or even impossible. Shouldn’t we have more trust, respect, and accountability among ourselves?

 

Sorry for getting up on my soapbox but those are but a couple of my frustrations with the current nudist paradigms.

the dream of me

Making my way clothes free over the past few years has changed the dream I have of myself.

For as long as I can remember, I opened new chapters in my life with a dream image of myself. January 1 was certainly a consistent key point, along with the beginning of the school year in August. I would often spend time in deep reflection just before those periods. What was my weight? How did I look? Was I happy? These questions turned in my spirit, and I committed each season to addressing them with love. And yet, somehow, the dream I had of myself was never who I really was.

Whenever I wrote in my journals or sat staring out the window, the dream of myself was always white, thin and with long hair. This is something I didn’t notice until recently, within the last week. As vacation wound to a close, I considered what I needed to do in order to be healthy upon my return to work. Just before vacation, I had taken to unhealthy habits in order to cope with anxiety and pressure. So, the break was quite healing for me. In fact, I was able to let go of many unhealthy coping mechanisms. My body is healing and my heart feels at peace.

As I considered ways to continue balancing my wellness, the image of the dream of me resurfaced. White. Thin. Long hair. Happy. This time, however, I recognized what I was doing and I stopped myself. “Who is that person you keeping dreaming of? Why does the dream of you NOT reflect who you really are?”

Recently, I was listening to one of my favorite comedians, Iliza Shlesinger. One bit she did for her show “Confirmed Kills” addressed body image. She talked about how black women have an unshakeable confidence, which is something I’ve often heard. It seems that many people assume that all black women are confident in their skin and in who they are. Yet, the reality is that we are human beings just like everyone else. Some of us have eating disorders and body image issues. We wrestle with self-acceptance and self-love. Like any other group, we have a variety of body types. And just like everyone else, media and society impact us and we have to heal.

So, as I sat with the realization that the dream of me had nothing to do with who I actually am, I began to make edits. Indeed, this is what we must do at times: take conscious steps to change our framework. I took that image of a thin, white, long haired woman and gave her my locs. Then, I put my body on the image. Finally, I pulled up pictures of myself, recent and older, and put the visual at the forefront of my mind. “This is who you are. Darling, this is who you are.”

As I write this piece, I hold that image in my mind. The dream of me is no longer the most followed woman on Instagram or the most liked pictures. The dream of me is just who I am today. Of course there are things I want to do to balance my spirit. For instance, dancing has to come back. Dance is where I channel, let go and experience the freest most authentic expression of energy. I know how I want to feel after I eat, and I know that I don’t want to eat my feelings. Camping, water, nature all make me feel happy, connected and balanced. Meditation practice presences me to what is real, so that is something I must continue. So, the dream of me is no longer just a static image of someone I’m not. My dream looks like balanced content me.

Everyday clothes free living presences me to this practice. I see the initial dream from past socialization, and then I go stand before myself. I smile in the mirror at the woman in front of me and say, “I love you.” Doing my naked yoga practice always surfaces feelings of power, pride, strength, freedom, joy, appreciation and love. Sometimes I go through my photos of everyday cooking, reading, writing and cleaning to remind myself of my beauty and reality. And with that, I’ll get up and do something, anything, to get in touch with how I feel.

I can’t claim to have solved all of my body image issues, but the dream of me is becoming more real. And it’s a living breathing dream about balance, peace, conviction and love. It’s something I recognize not when flipping through Instagram, but when I sit in nude meditation. In that naked moment of non-doing, I realize that the dream is actually alive here inside of me and that it has been here all along.

2016 year in review

Globally 2016 has been a tumultuous year seismic shifts have rocked societies on both sides of the Atlantic. Our year in review hasn’t  been anything I would call seismic, but there have been several significant changes at clothesfreelife.com. We took another step towards being a full fledged web magazine by moving to our server and off the WordPress.com blogging platform that had been our home for over five years.

The move has allowed us to add several new features to the site like a web directory, quizzes, polls and an enhanced review system  and a new clothes free readers bookshelf library. We have added some new contributors including a new one from across the pond  and lost a few to changing circumstances. We started several podcasts some of which are still going. We began operation of a fledgling social network for those engaging and exploring clothes free life.

We ran a successful poetry contest for the fourth year in a row. We launched the more than pics blog award to support and promote blogs that do more than just post photos. We ran a couple photo challenges promote ordinary expressions of clothes free living. To support the needed infrastructure for the new server and features we opened an online store and started  offering ads to interested advertisers.

We did all that and provided curated news and original content from our contributors covering naturism, nudism and clothes free life. Here are our most popular and most viewed post for 2016.

Top ten most viewed posts in 2016

  1. Black to the future:Naturism,nudism, and clothes free living African Americans and the clothes free community – clothes free life February 29, 2016
  2. There are negros among us – Naturism, nudism and clothes free living African Americans and…
    February 22, 2016
  3. The skinny dip – review October 28, 2016
  4. Harley Quinn #8 2016 comic book review – November 24, 2016
  5. Does my bum look big in skin? September 29, 2016
  6. My Nudist Massage – October, 10 2012/a>
  7. Does my bum look big in skin? – A cold wind blowing – October 11, 2016
  8. The Facebook Frenzy October 22, 2016
  9. Naked Yoga School Review – December 12, 2013
  10. female nudity vs male nudity – is one more acceptable? December 7, 2016

Thank you to all our regular and guest contributors who make this collaborative online effort possible. A special shout out to co-editor Hontouniheart whose is pivotal in keeping things moving.  A big thank you to the 23,000 visitors who generated 100,253 page views reading an average of 5 pages since September. Nothing we do would mean much if you didn’t read what we produced so thank for the support. Finally thank to all our thousands of loyal followers on social media who share our content with their followers and friends.

When I decided to launch this venture in 2011 it was an effort to express my experience of the transformational clothes free life. It has become so much more and with the continued support of our contributors, reader and supporters I envision even more in the new year, so stay tuned. Until then here’s wishing you all a happy and prosperous new year

EarlD

Pres. CFL Group Media

Editor/Founder Clothes Free Life

Amy Molloy strips off in the name of neo-nudism (via NewsComAu)

I NEVER thought I’d strike a business deal while sitting in a hot spring, totally naked except for a pair of sunglasses, and sharing a plate of hummus and carrot sticks with a tech executive, a medical student and the CEO of an online shopping website. But that’s exactly how I recently found myself spending a Saturday evening, in the middle of the desert, two hours from the heart of Los Angeles. Source: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/sunday-style/amy-molloy-strips-off-in-the-name-of-neonudism/news-story/88ca775e8ee77f6bc6890c939aad6e3f

Mayim Bialik nudity is ‘freeing and awesome’ (via Fox News)

Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik doesn't shy away from writing about anything on her blog Grok Nation.
Most recently, in honor of National Nude Day, she shared her views on nudity especially when it comes to teaching your kids about it.

“I don’t want my kids to grow up afraid of their bodies,” the mom of two wrote. “I don’t want them to think of their body as something that is shameful or needs unnecessary protecting.”
Source: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2016/07/15/mayim-bialik-nudity-is-freeing-and-awesome.html