“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”
-Marrianne Williams

My name is Nikki and my goal with Guide to the Natural Self is to let my light shine, as I examine my thoughts, in hopes that it gives you a view into yourself. And then you can shine forth! I’m working towards radical self-acceptance as a woman in my thirties. Some days I’ll feel like a fraud, trying to guide followers to love themselves. Other days I’ll wish I could drag every beautiful being with me to the top of a mountain to cry out in ecstasy! And it is my searing desire that anyone who follows me will consciously learn about themselves. Even if you completely disagree with me from time to time, it will guide you to your deepest self. May we be adamantly curious, sometimes bold, and frequently vulnerable together!
I welcome you to my journey and possibly yours.

That’s what they call me, don’t wear it out!

I’m a naturist. It’s not something I mention all of the time and I don’t necessarily feel that it defines me. I exercise nude at home. Some people might think that odd. But I’m not a fan of doing more laundry than I have to, so it makes sense. I also appreciate just doing Yoga( or barre, Zumba, tai chi) and not pulling at my shorts or adjusting my top. I have no qualms walking the house naked as I dry off from a shower, but I feel like I have a “textiler” mentality as I’m always thinking, “What am I going to wear today?”

I’m a huge fan of dresses, feel that pants and shorts just suck, and tops… I’m real picky about those. They gotta fit just so. Too baggy and it becomes unflattering. But often fitting a little more snug and it grazes my stomach in a way that makes me grind my teeth. Why when I exercise everyday and eat well, do I still have this rounded tummy? Ugh. So, shirts are tricky.

If you’re reading this and you’re not a naturist, you might think that it’d be hard to be naked, especially socially, if I have these body “hang ups”. But, it’s amazing what I see in the mirror when it’s all off. It all works together. It looks like me. And I tend to prefer the way I look nude because it does just seem so familiar. Clothing can break up the body visually. Squeeze things up, distract with lines, blocks of colour, rusching.

We’re taught to be embarrassed about having a muffin top(extra body poufing out that didn’t squeeze into the jeans). But the muffin top isn’t your fault, it’s the jeans! I remember dress shopping in my early twenties and as I came out of the dressing room to take a peek in the mirror, I decided it wasn’t for me because it wasn’t flattering around my mid-section(which was significantly flatter then). A sales lady rushed to my side and admonished that all it required were some Spanx. (She must have been desperate to make a sale to venture telling that to a young woman.) I told her the problem is not with me, it’s the garment.I’ve gained the impression that non-naturists assume going au naturel is similar to swimsuit shopping, only worse. Can I just say here that I hate wearing a bikini? Holy cow is that unflattering! And plain no fun. Then take that bit of material off and poof! All better .

I do attend a naturist park once or twice a week. I’m there on Saturday primarily just to teach Yoga. Yes, everyone, including myself is nude for class. Some consider Nude Yoga a novel experience, but it’s just the same for me. The only difference is the sights I take in at times. But even then, I honestly just feel honoured that my students are that comfortable in my presence that they have no problem open up their most private of areas. That might be too strong a visual, but I wanted to mention it because of how it makes me feel. I’ve been a student in a nude class before and I remember how self-conscious I was in Happy Baby. The fact that I’ve got students who wouldn’t bat an eye? That’s pretty special.My Mom stays at the naturist park, and is obviously a naturist too. My Dad would prefer to never acknowledge anything about naturism. (They’re not together.) My husband is not interested in trying, even in a foreign country where no one would know him. But he does seem to appreciate my nude workouts and meandering around the house.

We’re an interesting culture of people. I’ve definitely met a handful of weird ones along the way. But mostly, my naturist crew are lovely, down-to-earth people who are honest about who they are and where they’re at. That’s why I love it. Sure, the sun on the skin feels nice. Not grinding teeth over how clothing fits, excellent. But the kind of people you meet in a place where we’ve agreed to shed the façade is a gem of a reason for social naturism