One of the things that has led me to believing that naturism provides a portal into self-healing has been my personal experience. Long before I was aware of the world of therapy, back in the days when I was a teenager struggling with issues of sexual abuse, incest and other issues that came out of living in chaos; I had stumbled upon my sanctuary in nature. My home was filled with siblings where there was no place, no space, no time that could ever be considered a safe place in spite of all efforts. One day in desperation, I fled into the pastureland that was near my family’s home, a place that had small copses of trees within which I could hide and find silence. The discovery of that space changed my life, perhaps saved it. It wasn’t long before I would retreat into this safe space with a book of poetry that was a gift from my maternal grandmother before she passed away a year earlier. As the temperatures warmed in the spring that began to turn to summer, I found sitting against a tree even more comfortable without the confines of clothing. There was something so innocent and pure about being alone with a book in my hand and my clothing set neatly nearby. It was as though in removing the clothing, I was removing all those things that had stained my soul, wounded my soul. For the first time since early childhood I felt I could finally breathe freely without fear.
Today, I begin each day with time outside when the weather permits, or indoors, with nude meditation. I track the breaths in and out and watch as thoughts arise and fall with similar patterns as my breathing. It is a time when my ego gets to rest while the psyche investigates the shadows that wait for their turn to be shown into light and to be recognized. Morning coffee and conversation follows as I sit with my wife while still clothing free. Then, the spell is lifted as we have our breakfast before heading out for a beach walk which require at least a minimalist bathing suit. The beach walk is another form of meditation as ten kilometres of walking on sand or in the surf at the edge of the sea over a period of two hours finds us back at our starting point. Then, usually, we go into the sea for another half hour to cool down. For me that means removing my swimming briefs as soon as the water’s depths allows. The briefs become like a torc worn on my upper arm as I float free in the sea. Back at the casa, a quick shower in the garden beneath a hose is typically followed by a sun bath where my wife tells me the heat of the sun cooks the devil out of me.
This is just part of my naturist day, a day in which the work of welcoming light and consciousness becomes almost a ritual. Now in my 65th year of life, I find myself at peace with myself most of the time. There is no question that naturism has been a key strategy in my own journey to the healing of my soul and psyche.