Letting It All Hang Out: The Freedom of Being Naked

“My wife was afraid of the dark… then she saw me naked and now she’s afraid of the light.” – Rodney Dangerfield

Complete Freedom To Be Yourself

I want to share a little secret with you…..I have never been naked in a public place before. However, this changed a few days ago. I have been living in South Korea for nearly a month, and so far it has been an amazing experience. One of my unique experiences was going to one of Korea’s many public bath houses and spas called “Jjimjilbangs”. They are a place where you go to get away from it all and simply relax.

As I am in the locker room surrounded by hundreds of Korean men and with only two of my expat friends being the only foreigners, a subtle uneasiness creeps in. I am continuously in an inner space of being a passively alert observer of myself, so I try to stay a witness in order to learn from these thoughts that start arising within me.

As I get down to my boxer shorts I see all my conditioning rush across my mind’s eye. Thoughts that being naked in public is weird, awkward, and embarrassing. But being able to see it and remaining impartial to it, I quickly brush it off, and off come my boxers.

As soon as my boxers came off a certain calmness and freedom comes over me, and the quick realization that being naked is the most natural thing in the world. Even though being naked is the most natural thing in the world, we have somehow in many parts of the world have made it the most un-natural.

Our society has somehow convinced as that our bodies are something that we should be embarrassed and ashamed about. Maybe this is how they are able to create their ideal of beauty and then are able to sell us a solution. Our bodies are amazingly complex and beautiful, a work of art really, and we should be grateful that we get to experience this world through them.

The problem is that our society makes us suppress many of the things that are totally natural and healthy for us, and through this suppression it becomes expressed in our society in perverted and unhealthy ways. This is why the pornography industry is so huge, because we have suppressed and condemned our sexuality for so long. Sex is one of the most basic and fundamental aspects of our biological nature. Anything that you suppress gets pushed into your unconscious and will become a corrupted energy within you. You become confused and divided.

It was a very liberating feeling walking around that huge spa, because there you “are”, with nothing to hide behind. When there is nothing to hide behind, a deep acceptance comes over you, and through this acceptance a deep relaxation is possible. You relax into yourself.

I would just like to share this experience of being naked in public as an example of learning to let go, to accept things as they are, and being fully present. If you remain aware you can use it as a way to transcend your conditionings and gain a deep acceptance and love for your body. Your mind and body are not separate, they are one, even though you feel they are separate because you mainly live in your mind. So in accepting your body a deep calmness will come over you. You will see the absurdity in constantly comparing yourself to others or to what society deems as being beautiful.

So if possible I urge you to find a spa or a nudist beach and let it all hang out, it could be a great learning experience if you bring enough awareness into it. :)

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(editors note: originally posted 03/15/10)

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21 Responses to Letting It All Hang Out: The Freedom of Being Naked

  1. It definitely is hard to understand this because of all the conditioning I have undergone but I believe you! What an experience–and something to apply to all areas of life.
    .-= Meghan Fife´s last blog ..About This Blog =-.

    • The first time I bared all on a nudist beach I was quite nervous, but it was quite liberating to strip off first time. I now stop by regularly. I expected the clothed people who stroll past to stop and stare, but they didn’t. Only once have I ever heard anyone titter’Ooh look he has no clothes on’.

  2. LOL…I don’t know if I’m quite ready for that…I cringe at just the thought of one other person seeing me naked, let alone a whole group.

    However…I love that you handled it so well…and learned a little about yourself in the process.
    .-= Dawn´s last blog ..Happy =-.

  3. Hi Ivan, maybe I won’t be naked in a public place, but I am more accepting of my body as it is, or as I take care of myself. I wear some scars with pride and dress up with confidence that suits the occasion well. Being comfortable with what I am in the vessel where my soul lives. I am aging every year but its ok.

  4. Awareness has always been to key for us to be above the conditioning of our mind. You are fortunate to have come to that level of consciousness where others fail. In life, if we want to see the bigger picture, we have to strip the control of our mind and let our higher consciousness dominate. :-)

  5. You are amazingly insightful. I haven’t been on your site in awhile, but I’m back and ready to learn :) I agree with what you said. Our society has stuffed our minds with the idea that our bodies our something to hide and to be revealing is to be frivolous. I would definitely try a nude beach, but there aren’t many beaches in Colorado. Maybe in new Zealand. I miss you Ivan and so does Wells Fargo, LOL. Keep shining my friend :)

  6. Ivan, brilliant post as always! Love how you applied your experience in Korea to something so profound. We should all learn to let go once in awhile and just be carried along by the flow! :)
    .-= Jared´s last blog ..The Unbreakable Bond =-.

  7. Congrats for just going for it! I know that weird feeling of being naked…. Years ago my sister and I crashed a 4th of July party at Esalen Center, a spa/meditation/yoga place in Big Sur, California.
    Everyone was naked in the hot tubs, and we didn’t plan on skinning it. But at the last minute, my very shy little sister said “Oh, F#*ck it!” and took her clothes off. I was so impressed with her sudden courage, I did it, too. Turned out to be a turning point for both of us-we shed more than our clothes that night. We shed our insecurities!
    .-= Maria Brophy´s last blog ..WHO ARE YOU? YOUR PERSONAL BRAND IN A FEW WORDS =-.

  8. Well done, Ivan.

    However, I’m a rather fat old man and I would prefer physical nakedness to what I’m now called on to do – that is, being spiritually and emotionally naked at all times. Being physically naked could allow someone to kick you in the nuts :) …being spiritually naked can lead to even more pain…as in possible rejection of your very Self.

    But it’s all good. Total exposure and disclosure is the only way to find one’s authentic Self…and those who are drawn to you in that naked condition know what they’re getting, and they like it.

    Peace and blessings.
    .-= Michael´s last blog ..A Tap on the Shoulder =-.

  9. I had a similar liberating experience when I worked as a shot boy at a gay bar in Detroit… I originally took the job to be with friends and try something new. It was and easy money-maker and made me a “VIP” in the nightclub scene… what started as a silly side job, being a nearly naked shot salesman, became a wonderfully liberating experience.

    Listening to my internal reactions and voices to situations and people — the fact that I was in a vulnerable, potentially-dangerous position — helped me accept people as they are. (There’s A LOT of population diversity and diversity of expression)

    Great article, Ivan. x

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