Rewilding – Naturism as Therapy

The call of nature to rewild one’s very being.

Naturism is a therapy, nature’s therapy for the soul. There is no better way to simply experience the fullness of being alive in the world than to make oneself fully vulnerable to that world. It doesn’t take long for a person to “fit” within the natural world, the world of nature, when one chooses to be intimately present.

Joy Nelson shows us just how powerful it is when one risks being fully and authentically present in nature, a process she refers to as rewilding. Tossed away are more than one’s clothing. One is stripped of persona and becomes the primal human, the original man or woman before the artifice of social constructs.

Nature in a hesitant tension.

Daring to be a primal man, I have found that I am able to get much closer to animals, to be seen as less of a threat when I put myself in their environment without need of camouflage, of clothing. When there is a need to hide, there is an aura of danger that then emanates from one’s body and psyche, an aura that permeates the natural world which then becomes wary of something unnatural in the shadows. Animals quickly disappear. Not only animals, but that vulnerable inner-self returns to the shadows to hide.

Becoming the hero of one’s own journey.

Yes, making oneself vulnerable is risky, very risky in our modern western world which understands that the norm is to be hidden in the shadows, to be cloaked in camouflage and disguised behind a grab-bag of roles. Strangely, the more we hide our essence as a human, the more we are trusted, the more we suffer. We find ourselves aching for something that has been lost somewhere along the way. Yet, we too often cling to the camouflage as though a child holding some sort of security blanket.

When we dare look within ourselves, beneath the layer of clothing and persona, we find a hero or heroine, a primal being that if given a voice and presence, teaches us that we are whole and healthy if only we dare to be whole and healthy.

9 thoughts on “Rewilding – Naturism as Therapy

  1. What a wonderfully written piece, Robert. To me it explains how we need to get down to the essence of our being to be truly whole. All of the “extras” we add throughout our lives only drag us down. We have to lighten our baggage to feel free.
    I’m rebloging this on my site. All the best.

  2. Pingback: Rewilding – Naturism as Therapy | A Canadian Naturist « Look at Both Sides Now

  3. Brief but true. I hunt but hanging my stand in the late summer heat I found myself enjoying the view naked when I was done as was the walk back to the truck. I did notice nature responded differently then when I walked in clothed.

  4. Your experience and mine are a bit divergent. I do find being naked in nature to be refreshing, invigorating, and even healing to an extent, but I don’t make myself vulnerable. Quite the contrary.

    I go frequently to a secluded spot in a nearby forest to enjoy a day of freshwater fishing, and there are things in the forest that are higher on the food chain than I, or that can be dangerous to my well being (chiggers, ticks, alligators, bear, poisonous snakes, etc.). So I assert my dominance, for sure (i.e., insect repellant). I do not make myself vulnerable to them. Neither do I become primal. I remain every bit the product of modern technology and society that I am. My cell phone is with me, allowing me to communicate with other members of modern society. I can do that while connecting with nature in my natural state, and without regression to a primal state. Removing my clothes is not an act of removing anything else. It simply allows me to connect with my environment and experience a pleasure and catharsis that is not possible otherwise.

    In a perfect world, you and I would not be the exception. Our natural clothing (skin) would be the norm, regardless of how different our experiences are. But since we obviously don’t live in a perfect world, we make our own worlds as close to perfect as we can.

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