I have a few friends who are currently investigating the Naturist philosophy and lifestyle. I thought I might make it simpler for myself by writing down some ideas for how my friends could start the journey themselves. There are other great websites and blogs with ideas as well but here are a few of my thoughts.
Look at yourself. The shower/bath – as the saying goes, we are all nudists under our clothing, so why not extend your shower time to an extra 5 minutes in front of the mirror unclothed. Stop and look at yourself. If you have a partner with you, ask them to give you 5 minutes alone. Look into your own eyes, how do you feel looking at yourself? Extend your gaze to your whole face, is this person in the mirror you? Now extend your gaze to your upper body. For a male to look at his own chest is typically something that isnt an issue. Men are used to being shirtless on the beach and around the home, but women, look at each breast. If your not used to examining your own breast for lumps now might be a good time to start Breast cancer self examination link. Look at each breast, are they the same size, can you stare at your breasts without feeling insecure? (Men can do the same because there are cases of breast cancer in men )How are you feeling right now. If you keep a journal it would be great to write down your feelings and thoughts. If you are uncomfortable, leave the exercise for now and try it again tomorrow, and the next day.
The next time you can try to extend your gaze to your genitals, look and feel them. this isnt about sexual arrousal, its about discovering yourself. Try describing in words your body shape and size. Recite the description back to yourself as you look at yourself in the mirror.
If you have feelings of fear, anger, self loathing or shame, it might be worthwhile contacting a trusted friend, counsellor, doctor or Pastoral carer to talk these feeling through. I believe that if you can look at your body and know that you are created in the image of God, wonderfully made. You can feel better about the rest of yourself. Our bodies aren’t the most important part of us, but I believe we are meant to be whole in body, mind and spirit and the body image is attacked daily by media and advertising ( and friends) selling a false description of an acceptable body type.
Would love to hear peoples comments as they try this exercise.