Heart Opening Moments

BLOG of a Spiritual Stripper

Being Naked

innocence of a child

What was your true face before you were born? How far can you strip away the layers of personas, protections and beliefs? And what will you find at the core of who you are?

When was the last time you felt naked? Totally unprotected and exposed? I don’t suppose it was very pleasant for most of us. However “being naked” is exactly the doorway leading to the most profound spiritual transformations.

So much of our lives we dress ourselves up in a persona. “I’m the thriller-seeking skydiver triathlete doctor.” or “I’m the successful microbiologist who published twice in Science magazine.” or even “I’m the  geeky shy guy who is awkward at parties.” These are the beliefs of who we are – that is who we are to the external world. We often live our lives according to a defined persona by choosing what to say, eat or act. Other people see us as this persona and they tend to categorize us into various boxes to know our likes and dislikes. There’s an invisible line that we never speak of or cross. We are careful maintaining a safe distance with each other. As long as we see each other as their persona they we can all be safe.

Sometime ago a friend learned that I practice Isha yoga and meditate everyday for at least two hours, I visit temples and ashrams,  and I’m an animal lover. So he assumed that I am either a vegan or a vegetarian and do not drink a drop of alcohol. When I told him that I was craving steak tartare with a healthy glass of red wine he looked at me with shocking eyes and a hint of disgust. Just to pierce through his illusions further I told him that I was once addicted to video games and didn’t sleep for three nights and I love playing jokes on people I love. I think he had a heart attack weeks after our conversation.

Psychologically we feel a need to protect ourselves from the opinions and judgment of others around us in order to feel safe and accepted. We think we must maintain a self-image at all times. Earlier in our childhood we need the physical protection of our care-takers in order to survive. If we behave the way they approve then we get food, shelter, and love. Bit by bit we learn that it is not okay to be who we are but we must present the correct self-image to the world in order to survive. We must be a certain way to obtain love. It is well documented from the works of Sigmund Freud that we struggle with life instincts he called the libido or sexual desires. In my view the expression of sexual desires is a life desire for love and intimacy. We instinctually desire to love and be loved. Yet our personas and layers of protection meant to keep us feeling safe become exactly the barriers that keep love at bay. Then instead of uncovering our unconscious tendencies that push people away we blame others for their “inadequacies”. Anna Freud popularized the ego defense mechanisms through her research and identified various unconscious psychological strategies we use to shield ourselves from perceived danger. It is said that we all carry a self-image like a shield over our chest. And an ego defense mechanism only becomes pathological is when its use leads to behaviors adversely affect the physical or mental health of an individual. From what I’ve seen, most people are in denial about how their ego defense mechanism is taking control of their lives. If you watch yourself closely and be very honest, you will begin to notice how you make your everyday choices is controlled by a perceived danger from your external environment. In short, our shield’s function was meant to keep our mind feeling safe but the side effect is pushing love away.

I know a lot of people but only a few individuals can truly open themselves up to True Love and intimacy. Sexuality is easy, True Love is intimidating. It requires one to be completely naked. Only through our nakedness can we truly experience who we really are. Only through our nakedness can we truly connect with another on the most fundamental level. And only through our nakedness can we know life as it really is. Lately I’m getting tired of being superficial in some of my friendships. I’m a person who needs depth and substance. I want to see you, I want to feel the depth of your being, and I want to dance with the mystery within the core of who you are. My desire is to be naked and see you naked. It doesn’t matter to me if I don’t fit into your box of proper personas. What’s important to me is to be true – to you and to me. I am not here to indulge your neediness or to help to inflate your ego. I am here to wake you up – to your own nakedness – to your own mystery – and the ultimate adventure of being completely intimate with Love and all that is.

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June 7, 2012 - Posted by | Death & Rebirth, Inner Growth, Self Realization | , , , , , , , , , ,

14 Comments »

  1. If this isn’t synchronicity, I don’t know what is. This is the complete and full fleshing out of a currently burgeoning thought of my own that I am tempted to call an epiphany, but is more like a reaffirmation. Everything written here resonates so strongly with me and my own journey that this could be a page from my very own autobiography. Absolutely perfect timing too… This is excellent, beautiful, and powerful. Thank you for sharing this Flo. One Love.

    Comment by Daiikiru Akasha Maximillion | June 8, 2012 | Reply

  2. Being naked isn’t only the physical element that we fear, it is the true exposure on what we are. We “cover” ourselves to shed away onlookers to our nakeness with clothes, voices and actions in order “seamlessly” protect ourselves. yet, if we only believed that true nakedness is the true plan that God has in all of us, to be true to ourselves, in turn we become true to everyone around us.

    Comment by John Gormally, MBA | June 10, 2012 | Reply

  3. Where does the courage to get truly naked come from? Do you find it in meditation, or some other ways?

    Comment by Renee Wade | June 11, 2012 | Reply

    • It is a willingness of have no agenda, to just listen, and be intimate with all that is. It can be scary and the mind thinks we need courage. It can take that route, or you can just totally relax into your own being. It’s not about control, but about letting go control. Whatever comes up in meditation or a conversation is fine. Whatever comes through your awareness is just raising out of No-Thing, just watch it like you are watching a plant sprouting new flowers.

      Comment by Flo Li | June 11, 2012 | Reply

      • Wonderful post! Adding to Renee’s question, does any experience from your Isha/other practices made you fearless this way? Even-though your post makes some sense to me, I am still bound by the fear that I will lose out on this or that etc and hence am feeling that I cannot be without agenda.

        Comment by Praveen DS | June 18, 2012 | Reply

        • Fear is a natural reaction when we are moving into the unknown. In the past before our spiritual deepening, we live on the surface of life using our conditionings and walking through life with what we thought to be true in our separate minds. Living in the known and just say I can be naked on the surface is easy but walking into the unknown might be simple but very challenging. It calls for your whole being to surrender into nakeness. Once the door opens for us into the unknown and we are invited to walk forward into a land we are not familiar with, fear naturally arises.

          The beauty of a spiritual practice such as Isha meditation is that it allows you the space into quiteness, into awareness. Only from a place of deep serenity can we then see that our fear it not who we are. Notice that the fear is within you, it is happening within you, and the you that is calm and serene is much bigger than the fear. This is true with any emotions. As we become relaxed, calm and quite, we can see fear, anger, sadness are all just floating on the surface of our existence. They are not who or what we are. They are just a very small part of our experience. The key is to notice and not to be fixated on the fear. There’s a great book called “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway”. Just know that fear is there, but you are much much bigger than the fear, in fact, you are infinitely large.

          To know this and to feel the Truth in your head, heart and your gut, you must first become very quite. That is the beauty of sitting meditation, energy meditation or even moving meditation like aikido. Use your practice to help you find that quiteness within you, then you are equipped to bring awareness to fear. Perhaps the willingness to go through this process is called courage. But courage is not forcing something to happen when it is not happening. If you don’t get to the serenity in meditation then no matter how courageous you are and how forceful you are God will not yield to you. We must learn to accept our fear and be gentle with ourselves, yet still walk into the unknown.

          Comment by Flo Li | June 20, 2012 | Reply

  4. Nakedness is really very simple, we were born naked and our yearning to go back to that moment is more of a dream that reality. We are naked to ourselves, that alone should bring some sense of comfort. Why the need to show this to others takes away the whole deep feeling. When we are in our “skin”, we need to remember that our inner self is the most challenging critic of our choices and decisions. Once we have complete “fulfillment” with ourselves, we believe others should feel the same way, that is where the choice of “clothes” come in. We begin to dress ourselves up just to reach a point of mutual nakedness and the beautiful sexual connections. yet, even after that feeling and expression, do we feel better about exposing our nakedness? That is where shame comes from, the feeling that you made the assumption that people want their naked to be shown, and that self-control lever holds us back to being what we believe as the true self.

    Comment by John Gormally, MBA | June 11, 2012 | Reply

  5. I’m glad that you seem to be doing well.

    I read through your interesting thoughtful words and I found myself asking lots of questions, questions that I’ve struggled a lot with throughout my life. For example — What is “True Love”? How do you define that? And, how do we know when we are truly experiencing who we really are? What is the “true self”?

    Good insights on how we get caught up in creating personas to impress or garner approval. I marvel at some of the goofy, crazy, harmfull things that I’ve done to impress and gain approval. But, I think that we do need — it just needs to be honest.

    Comment by Ron Keesling | June 15, 2012 | Reply

    • I love your thoughtfulness and sincere seeking Ron! Are you familiar with the Tao Te Ching? “The tao that can be named is the not the real tao.” As one of my Zen teachers Adyashanti said that it is wonderful to have inquires, it is the questions and not the answers that gets you closer to the Truth.

      If you honestly ask yourself “who am I?” what do you find on the surface of your answer and what do you find in the depth of your soul?

      Comment by Flo Li | June 20, 2012 | Reply

      • Flo, I’m not familiar with Tao Te Ching. I just now browsed wiki articles on Tao Te Ching, and it looks very complex and esoteric but very interesting as well. It looks like something one could spend a lifetime learning. It appears to be a Classic Chinese Text that is “fundamental to both philosophical and religious Taoism.” It and its author Lao Tzu date back to 6th century BC. That’s very fascinating.

        I’d like to come to a basic understanding of Tao Te Ching, Taoism, and other Eastern religious faiths. I believe that these faiths have incredible wisdom to teach. But, I’m a Christian — a struggling, sinning Christian at times, but still a Christian. So, I believe that I have “the way to Truth, True love, and true knowledge of who I really am in relation to God and others” covered. This might sound arrogant, but I truly don’t mean it in an arrogant way. If I wasn’t a Christian — if I didn’t believe that Christ rose from the dead 2000 years ago — I’d probably be taking a serious look a Buddhism (the Pastor of my Church, an extremely bright well educated man — truly a philosopher-theologian — says that he “would” be a Buddhist if he wasn’t convinced that Christ rose from the dead).

        So, when I ask myself “who am I”, my answer has to be “I’m a redeemed child of God through faith in Christ.” I don’t think that I’ll ever be able to walk away from this core identity that I “find in the depth of my soul.”

        To be respectful to you and your faith, I don’t want to turn this into a forum for Christian witness, so I won’t take this much further. But, it’s interesting that a “Holy Spirit” led life of faith in Christ leads to some of the self knowledge (knowledge of who you truly are) that you seek in being spiritually naked. I was struck by this similarity when I first read your “Being Naked” essay. That, and wanting to wish you well, prompted me to ask questions. It was interesting to get your very thought provoking words and questions in response.

        Thanks for taking time to respond.

        Comment by Ron Keesling | June 22, 2012 | Reply

  6. “Sexuality is easy, True Love is intimidating.”

    I would say you have to experience the sex first, then the love comes next. Or at least that’s the natural order of things I feel.

    Comment by Drew | July 6, 2012 | Reply

    • I’ve found a book on amazon kindle that could help resolve issues with Christianity and nudity and how both are ok together. “Prudes Hijacked the Faith” by Mason Ball. In his book he says that It’s the responsibility of the one lusting to control his lust not the one being lusted after according to the Bible.
      I also like the anonymous quote. ” Love is when you feel safe being naked “.

      Comment by Delbert Jolly | April 19, 2013 | Reply

      • Thank you for this thoughtful comment. I’ve been struggle with the topic who is responsible for lust and I’ve always felt the need to shrink down and hutch my back so I can not be noticed. Sometimes when we give hugs to a friend can be a heartwarming gesture, yet other times this gesture can be taken wrongly and some men would take this opportunity to feel more. It used to disgust me to be taken so cheaply, it literally hurts my heart. In the past my way to deal with the issue is to hide – hide the radiance that is truly a gift of God. Nowadays I’m feeling safer to be in my own skin and appreciate the piece of art God has created. Thank you for your comment, I can go on being truthfully who I am, “it is the responsibility of the one lusting to control his lust not the one being lusted after. (BTW, which verse of the bible says that?)

        Comment by Flo Li | April 19, 2013 | Reply

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    Comment by tutorial | May 5, 2013 | Reply


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