Our bodies are a vase, our spirits are the flower. The weekend I made friends with my naked self.

It was late, and I was alone, when I pulled into Harbin Hot Springs for the first time. It was about a 3 hour drive from San Francisco, a little more with the Labor Day holiday traffic, but I didn’t care. I was free for 3 whole days. I didn’t know how long I was going to stay at Harbin, for once my plans were open and I was playing it by ear. What I did know was that I was not due back at the office until Tuesday, it felt like I had a lifetime ahead of me.

I had never been to a “clothing optional” anything before, and here I was at Harbin Hot Springs, a clothing optional hot springs resort. The keyword, for me, was “optional”, I was determined that I would not be getting naked whilst there, I would happily go topless, I am European after all, but bottoms, well, they get to stay on.

Earlier that afternoon I had stood in my partners corner office. Joined by the 5th year associate I worked with, they were taking bets how long it would take me to get naked. And I held the line that there would be no getting naked thank you very much.

To be honest, I wasn’t really sure of what I was doing. I had woken up two days earlier screaming to get out of my life. And there it was a holiday weekend coming up and for once I didn’t have a deal closing that needed me to work the weekend.

I was actually free! I booked a convertible rental car, I bought a pair of jeans, my first pair on over a decade-I was starting to lose some weight, I went to North face and bought a sleeping mat and bag to sleep out on the deck at Harbin, the only available space st such short notice.

And here I was alone, late on Friday night, alone but for all the people around me on the sleeping deck under a mass of stars.

I don’t know what I expected, it was pre everything internet so I couldn’t look up much other than the home page and a few photos, and they can never prepare one for what to expect in a place where people don’t wear clothes.

Within 10 minutes of arriving I was walking down to the hot and cold plunge pools, completely naked with my towel over my shoulder.

I don’t think I had ever felt as free as I did in that moment. Feeling the earth beneath my feet, nature all around, quiet murmurs of happy humans, and all overlooked by a blanket of stars.

It was a far cry from the city and the fast paced life that consumed my every waking moment.

Looking at the bodies that passed me on the path from the redwood deck to the pools, along with those in the big open co-ed changing room, I was struck by something I had never noticed before.

Here we were, all these bodies, so many different shapes, colors and sizes. And within each body is a spirit, our bodies are just the vases that hold our spirits, each one beautiful in it’s own right.

What I couldn’t know at the time was that this was to be a defining weekend in my life, one that would have me writing about it 16 years later.

I went to sleep that night listening to one of my first books on tape, After the Ecstasy the Laundry by Jack Kornfield. The moon was full and fat in the mountain sky. Little did I know the forces were all lining up and little would be the same by the time I would leave on Monday.

Once i got naked I would never look back. Something deep within shifted that weekend, and I will be back tomorrow with more of the magik that was to unfold.

I’d love to hear from you about how you feel about gettin gnaked around others, do you hide and cower like I used to do, or are you free to just be you in all your naked glory? I have to admit I am now in the latter category and I often winder what I did before I fell in love with my naked self.

It’s time for me to walk across the orchard to out bedroom under the stars, I will be back tomorrow for day 38 of daily writing.

Sending you so much love
Sat nam