Lately I find that nature is an organic shared gateway to healing, wellness and wholeness.
Saturday, I ran into a teacher whom I hadn’t seen in years. As we caught up, one thing she mentioned is enjoying spending more time in nature. And, if you know me at all, this is something with which I resonate deeply. I soaked in the joy and peace of her sharing how nature grounds her. Something about it just made sense for her, having that connection, being in that setting. And ever since moving farther out to be in nature, she reconnected with all the things she loves to do. Her share blessed me, because nature is also where I see my true self again.
For quite some time, I struggled to bring my passions to life. Honestly, I thought I was born without fire, determination, grit. But, ever since my first clothes free camping experience, I realized that I have all of that inside me. I just need nature to connect with it again (and again).
I spend much of my daily life in unnatural flow: long hours, fast-paced life, things being tumultuous all of the time. It’s as if people (and I’m included in “people”) only know how to live in the adrenaline rush of disaster. We don’t enjoy the subtleties of daily life, what we sometimes see as mundane. But nature never seems bored. Sure, it has disasters, but not everyday in the same spaces, right? Yet, I distinctly recall a teacher referencing forest fires as the way to approach yoga. And that’s when I realized that even our “wellness” trade is unnatural. So, of course I had a hard time connecting with my passion, because my environment was unnatural. I was unnatural. Returning to nature clothes free reconnected me with being well, organic, whole and powerful again.
Recent conversations with women show me that nature does this for many of us. We keep returning to nature. You see, nature is where we reconnect with clear seeing, autonomy, passion, being. And I think this important for naturism/nudism to keep in mind. Sometimes it’s not about shouting “I’m a nudist! I’m a naturist!” at the top of one’s lungs. For a lot of us, it’s just returning home to a place that does not judge or control us. And we might not connect it with “naturism/nudism.” We might simply experience it as going somewhere to reconnect.
we share nature
Why does nature work? One reason is that nature just…is. Trees don’t care whether we have pimples, stretch marks, or missing limbs. And grass receives our feet no matter who we are. Nature doesn’t require me to be a certain kind of black woman. And bugs don’t require that I fit into someone’s beauty and blackness ideals. I can honestly just be myself. And the sun cleanses me, no matter what, as long as I open myself to it.
But another important reason nature works, in my opinion, is because it’s a simple shared healing experience. To be completely honest with you, I lost a lot of energy for mulling through the “issues” in naturism/nudism. Part of me tired of reading opinions without having true conversations. In addition, I saw more people turning the focus from nonsexual clothes free living to sex. Including women. Now, there is nothing wrong with talking about sex. But the fact that so many tossed simple nonsexual nudity to engage sexual topics dismayed me for a while. It seemed there was no reason for me to share or talk about anything anymore. Because at the end of the day, sex trumped nonsexual clothes free living for most. So, why bother? I wanted to walk away from everything.
But then I realized something we do share: a deep appreciation for and experience of nature’s healing. What I shared of my experiences in this post is what others echo in their posts on nature. And whenever people talk about nature, that’s when conversations return to “simply being” without the sex, without anything really. Including clothes. That simplicity, that healing, that wellness is a common thread no matter what all else we do in our lives.
nature as healing context
That realization gave me peace and clear sight about sharing again. Even as I walk about the streets and eavesdrop (I know, I shouldn’t, but I do), people want to get back to nature. I hear it all of the time. Truly, people of all ages, genders, backgrounds seem to crave that simple connection again. Why do people crave nature? Maybe because nature perfectly embodies unconditional love. We can just stand out there and be ourselves. Living and breathing alongside everything else that lives and breathes. Being. Together.
For me, this common thread is a beautiful gateway. And I will pursue more of it, because there is something rich here. In many ways, I think the focus on nudity without things like nature makes it hard for people to “get” nonsexual nudity. It’s not that people haven’t seen a naked body. Rather, it’s that people usually see it in sexual contexts. And even in the clothes free realm, I see that tendency to connect or return to sex in some way. So the pattern continues. Nudity alone is not going to revolutionize our thinking. I believe that contexts like nature are what will help us reframe, reshape and heal our concepts. And not only about nudity, but about humanity, environment, wellness. Life.