Why I LOVE taking my clothes off, and you should too
Why I LOVE taking my clothes off, and you should too.
What does it mean to be naked?
What does it mean to be stripped of everything you thought you were, only to be left standing bare?
"In order to find anything, one must lose everything" --- Scary isn't it?
Who am I when I am left with nothing?
Every September there is a week long festival that takes place in the Matong State forest of Australia's dusty outback. The festival is a branch off event of Burning Man, found in the Nevada Desert. The similarities are uncanny, we survive on 10 basic principles of the Burners (follow http://community.yerdle.com/the-10-principles-must-know-rules-for-burning-man-newbs/ for the full break down). The first two principles are as follows.
1. Radical Inclusion
Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.
Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.
And my favorite (if you could favor)
5. Radical Self-Expression
Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.
To begin, I am going to tell you a story that takes place in the Matong State Forest. The place, Burning Seed. We have survived together in the desert for a week now. Embracing the 10 principles of Burning Man, co-creating a space where we are, as we are.
Gathered around the effigy burn, you hold your hand on your heart. You're apart of something. Feelings of gratitude arise. When you look around the paddock and see hundreds of beautiful faces lit up by the ablaze, you fall so deeply in love. How did you even get here? How is this possible? Feelings of community and support take over. Grounded in yourself. The energy here is some of the strongest you have ever felt.
The burn has lasted for over an hour now. You, and thousands of others have remained silent for the better part of the ceremony. The silence is nurturing. In this you are able to seek within the moment, within the self. Memories arise, friends and lovers of the past. When left alone in silence we often face our deepest fears. We untie the knots in which we lived in ignorance with for so long. Nothing but breath, this is where you leave your past to heal.
Moments like these bring clarity and reassurance to the journey. Surrounded by love. Surrounded by fire.
When the wind blows, dust tornado's take flight in the flames. The Universe is sharing it's dance with you. Smiling, crying tears of release. Close your eyes. Breathe.
You know those moments when you feel like you're exactly where you are suppose to be?
This is one of them.
Opening your eyes, you are given a gift. A letter, wrapped in the most beautiful ribbon.
"This gift is yours to burn. Here you leave what no longer serves you well. Burn."
(We left a number of things in our gifts. Here we burn our insecurities, burn the pain of our past, burn abuse, jealousy, rage. Burn the broke childhood. Burn the shadow. Balance light. Forever thankful for this moment.)
One by one, burners bring their gift to the falling flames. Holding letter to heart, closing down the eyes, embracing this moment. Breathe. And the letter falls to fire.
The burners take a step back, and embrace hands. No one speaks. No one needs to. You are all here, together. Sharing this moment. For the first time in a long time, that alone is enough.
So what does this moment have to do with the naked self? What do these three lessons have to do with being naked? Sharing YOU. Everything that you are, and everything that you are not. Accepting the moment for what it is, and not what you may want it to be. I am able to give more, without expectations. I am able to accept others for who they are, when first I accept myself. I am able to gift openly when I am am the gift itself. I am able to express openly, when I accept others to do the same.
This is the moment I found the courage to BE me again. This is the moment where we were left with nothing, and... Everything.
Stripped of everything I had no choice but to embrace who I truly am. Embrace this moment for what it is, and not what I wanted it to be.
Remember when you were a small child and you frolicked naked? You weren't restricted to age, gender, or your physical appearance. You were you.
One by one, the clothing came off. In time, you joined. Fearful at first. What if they look at me? They will see my flaws? They will see I am not... Perfect. I am not one of these people. I am too insecure to be here...... I do not have this forever ever beauty that they speak of.....
So what made you do it?
Here's what made me do it. The child self. In this moment I saw a little girl named Katelyn. She used to play without boundaries. She wasn't restricted by her thoughts, she was freed by her imagination. I wasn't going to let her down now. I wasn't going to let her be silenced again and again. I came out here for this very reason.
So did you.
Before you know it there are hundreds of you, dancing naked around a fire. Her