I have a wall hanging, a sign that says “get NAKED.” It’s a gift from a loved one who is very special to me, and when I was challenged by her recently to be more open, I remembered this sign. So I used its message to help me reflect on some key points I learned from my conversation with her.
“Get naked. Drop the wet blanket of acquired and long-practiced habits. Be vulnerable, be exposed to the big picture. You can extend opportunities to others to do the same – to drop that blanket and show awareness of others’ needs, to act in ways that are generous and caring and that recognize your own needs, or that you have needs that they can help you meet. When they do that, they are not only helping you, but also helping themselves to be their best selves. Don’t foreclose on someone’s ability to respond with their best self. Keep giving opportunities.”
This reflection has to do with metaphorical nudity more than actual nudity, yet the two are related, and the imagery is what helps me remember to be more open. We naturists and nudists often claim that when the clothes are dropped, so are the prejudices and the closed-mindedness, the vulnerabilities and the fears. While that’s not always exactly true, or completely true, it certainly does happen frequently and powerfully. It’s something like that catchy Funkadelic album title, Free Your Mind… and Your Ass Will Follow, except backwards… Maybe it’s more of a feedback loop – one end helps free the other, no matter which gets “free” first!
Whether literally or figuratively, the message to “get NAKED“ is a vital one. Spending more time unclothed, especially outdoors and in a group, is terrific for all aspects of health – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. And getting naked in the sense of opening up to others, allowing yourself and others to be their best selves, is just as important on all levels.