I’ve been thinking a lot about labels and about following the rules. What I mean by that is, what does it mean to be a nudist/naturist? What does it mean to be vegan? What does it mean to be pagan? Is there some sort of plan I have to follow?
Living the rules of a vegan naked pagan?
When we decided to become vegan, it wasn’t out of some sort of “save the animals” notion. It was health, my health to be specific. I knew I wasn’t well and then I had a heart attack. Game over! I changed the way I ate.
As I researched living a vegan lifestyle, I found all sorts of people telling me by blog, book, and video that I had to think a certain way, live a certain way. I was supposed to be an animal lover, earth lover, and quasi-hippie sandal wearing misfit.
Now, don’t get the wrong idea. I am most of those things, but I don’t like being told that I have to be them or do them. I care for animals, but it’s my survival I’m concerned about. I care for the planet and want to put pollution away, but I want to live another day, week, year.
The same was true with nudism.
I heard people say that if I wanted more than to just be naked, then I wasn’t a nudist, I was a naturist. Naturists care about the earth, health, and respect others. Nudists just want to get nekkid.
Well, I do care about those things, but the first thing I do when I get to our club is not a dozen pushups, or go pick up some garbage, I take my clothes off. I like being naked! Now I do the pushups so my body is in better shape, and I pick up garbage so my world will be cleaner, but I like being nude!
When I left the church and began to dig into paganism, there were many voices again telling me what to do. I had to believe in “the Goddess” or I had to believe in many gods and goddesses. I had to look for fairies and believe that the earth itself was a god.
Much of that just isn’t me.
To be true to myself, yourself, you have to decide for yourself what it is you believe and why you live life the way you do. It can’t be anyone else telling you these things. Sure, you can listen to them and pick from the things they say for yourself, but you have to make up your own mind.
If you are a vegan, vegetarian, or whatever, it has to be you who makes that decision. For me, it’s about my health, pure and simple. I said, as I lay in that hospital bed recovering from the heart attack, that I would do whatever it took not to ever go back on that table again. If it meant eating raw living snails, I would do it. I am a vegan because I believe it is the healthiest way for me to live.
If you are a nudist, or just want to be, then you must make up your mind. It can’t be anyone’s decision but yours whether you are or aren’t. I am a nudist because I get much pleasure from it. I believe people who are nudists to be friendlier and less unsure about themselves. When I’m naked, I’m free. I love being free.
If you are a pagan or a Christian, Muslim, or Jew, it has to be your decision. How can you believe in a God(s) that is not yours? How can you have someone tell you what to believe and then believe it with any conviction. You have to own it for yourself.
I am a pagan because I find God in nature. I sit on my deck right now, naked and listening to the wind in the trees and feel the breeze and sunshine on my skin and I feel the presence of the Divine in ways I never did elsewhere. I choose to believe this way because it is what works for me.
What are the rules to life? Well, this will sound simple, but the first rule might be to live the way that makes you whole. Certainly you have to consider others, but you cannot live a good life by living their rules. You must live the way that brings you to wholeness and completion. You must find your path and walk it every day!