Let’s Get Naked (for We are All Made of Hearts & Bones).

Via on Sep 29, 2013
Self-portrait of author
Self-portrait of author

“…I thought about how difficult it is to live in this world without any clothes on. I know it’s the gods who determine who among us is fated to go through life with her clothes off. When the gods gather around a baby in its cradle and dole out their gifts and curses, this is one aspect of things they consider. Most people live their entire lives with their clothes on, and even if they wanted to, couldn’t take them off.

Then there are those who cannot put them on.

They are the ones who live their lives not just as people but as examples of people. They are destined to expose every part of themselves, so the rest of us can know what it means to be human.

Most people lead their private lives. They have been given natural modesty that feels to them like morality, but it’s not…it’s luck. They shake their heads at the people with their clothes off rather than learning about human life from their example, but they are wrong to act so superior.

Some of us have to be naked, so the rest can be exempted by fate.”

~ Sheila Heti, How Should a Person Be?

As Managing Editor at elephant, I read a variety of comments—some are kind and thoughtful, some constructive in their criticism—many that are plain nasty…and then there are the comments that make me want to reach out and hug the world. Last night, I read a comment that has stuck with me and settled into the space in the front of my chest. Earlier in the evening, I had posted a quote and photo by one of our greatest loves, Rachel Brathen, aka yoga_girl. I’ll paraphrase the comment: it’s easy to take two minutes to write something fluffy about letting go, but it’s hard to do it—and the author of the comment went on to say that they wished that we all spent more time writing about the flip side—aka, the tough stuff. It should be noted that Rachel wrote a great piece that you should read about this stuff—and if you are a regular elephant reader, you will know that there are many others who continually strip themselves down in public, exposing everything that they are to the world, because that’s what the beat of their hearts tell them to do.

(Don’t believe me or new to elephant? Check out this, this, this, this, this, this and that. By no means is this list done—I could keep going and fill pages of articles that touched me, made me think—and also showed me how human and vulnerable we can be, if we so choose.)

I write time and time again about the dark and the light in my life; I do this because I have no choice. I don’t want to live behind a facade of “happiness”—I’m a yoga teacher, a yogi, an artist, a writer, an editor—I’m a walking heart beat  of a human being and my life goes up and down and I want you to know all about it because I want to know about your roller coaster ride, too. I want for us to start speaking honestly, truthfully, authentically about what makes us tick and what knocks us down to our knees, leaving us a broken pile on the bedroom floor—and I don’t want to edit myself because my sadness might make you uncomfortable—I want to know yours, and I will sit and hold space and love you from near (or far) when you let your truth unwind itself and in the process, start to open your heart to everything it’s capable of. The only way forward, for me, is in truth—this is how I believe we will change the world. Personally inspired by the beings around me that post photos of themselves with inspiring words, I started to post self-portraits of myself (which I’ve been making since who-knows-how-long) with words sharing where I am in the moment, whichever moment it happens to be. Lately, I’ve been sitting with heartbreak—and have also moved into what I’m certain is the world’s smallest apartment with my three fur children.

I am a mess, most of the time.

I have my practice (confession: my mat and I haven’t seen in each other in over a week); I have juicing (confession: I juiced once yesterday but what I’m craving is vegan poutine and big glasses of beer) and I have this: my words (confession: they are fucking hard to share, sometimes). In an effort to move toward transparency in my life as a human, I’m sharing the following posts that I published on my personal Insta-Facebook page over the past few weeks; this is raw, honest and it’s not all about feeling good.

This is about being present to every experience in life—and not just the ones that make it rain kittens and rainbows.

(Oh: here is what I ask of you…(did you know this was coming?)—don’t look to others to show you the way. If you feel sad, if you feel happy, write about it, draw it out, share it—don’t let it sit like a weight in your heart. Be honest, be thoughtful—check in with your ego to see if it is ruling the show and if your intentions are true, share the things you want to most hide away.)

 

Self-portrait of author

“how to be alone on the first friday in your new (tiny-ish) apartment: cry (a lot); it’s your second night in the space and you’ve discovered that you have “too much stuff” and so you will spend the day in a rental eco-car with the dog (head out of the window, catching sunlight with his smile) delivering your history to the Salvation Army, Value Village and to a stranger you met along the way; allow love from all directions and distances as you shift and cringe and feel uncomfortable and ugly and everything that you are scared of feeling but must in order to be human and be where you are, here, now. (there is sunshine; you can see it sparkle in the tree tops outside of your new window…and you can feel it in the hot(ish) bath you soak your bones in at night…but it will be awhile before your heart vibrates and you feel alive enough again to wrap your arms around the world.)”

 

 

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“how to be alone on a saturday night: say yes to your neighbours when they ask if you can babysit their sleeping kiddos for a few hours; work a bit, drink tea (from Paris…oh la la), try to write, get stuck and decide it’s time to stick your head into a real live book with ink on paper and everything. before you settle in with the 813 page book you are reading, slide into the bathroom and discover that while you cannot write, you can find a way to make something…ah, yes, the bathroom yoga selfie. magic. (oh, and wear the big orange scarf that makes you feel like sunshine but also smartly hides the family of blemishes that has moved in on your chin in honor of your impending move.)”

 

 

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“try as i might, i can’t seem to shake the gloomy mood that woke me up this morning…and so i breathe and cry and sing and breathe and drink juice and snuggle the dog and love and love again.”

 

 

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“how to be alone at a party: breathe into the fear of being in a crowd, find the hostess and wish her love, drink half a glass of bubbles, have a tarot reading and your palm read too (keep breathing…don’t stop breathing) make your exit quietly (and vow to toss the bright magenta tights that you’ve had to keep adjusting the entire hour you’ve been out just as soon as you get home). oh…and wear something that makes you feel like sunshine (which is clearly not the magenta tights).”

 

 

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“some days feel sad…and on the days that do, i’m most grateful for sunshine, furry beasts, homegrown veggies, skype emoticon conversations…and for pants that make me feel like a superhero.”

 

 

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“how to be alone: cry, laugh, dance, sing, pray, move, cry some more, breathe, wear something that feels like sunshine, love, repeat…every single day.” This is how we love; this is how we set ourselves free. The only way we can continue to evolve as humans is if we decide that the way that we do things isn’t serving us anymore—and so, we have to change.

This is me—heart, bones and all.

Can you toss your smile-mask aside and show me what you look like on the inside? Let’s get naked.

#loveeverydamnday

 

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About Bryonie Wise

Bryonie’s life is rooted in the belief that when we come from a place of love, anything is possible. When not teaching yoga or writing her heart to the bone, she can be found frolicking in the sunshine with her camera and her dog, Winston, living her yoga. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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44 Responses to “Let’s Get Naked (for We are All Made of Hearts & Bones).”

  1. This. is. rad.
    Bryonie, you've officially outdone yourself. Love, love love—and I love you too, naked woman!

  2. Love you dearly. Heart, bones, words, juice and all. xo

  3. Erica Leibrandt Erica says:

    This article is beautiful and important. Thanks for the journey inside your brain and the fellowship you've made me feel as I take my own. I really dig you, soul sister. XOErica

  4. Tamara Star Tamara says:

    So beautiful Bryonie. What a way to start my week after reading this….
    "Let's toss the smile mask"….yes yes yes yes here's to naked authenticity.
    xo

  5. yogicrystal says:

    Love love love. Thank you for always sharing your heart. Your honesty and courage are refreshing and therapeutic. <3

  6. sophie says:

    I’ve been following your series on instagram and love the beautiful honesty of it.

    I went through an awful heartbreak 7 years ago. Nothing made me feel better for more than a year. Extremely bad.

    One day I decided to take one picture a day. Something that I truly saw and enjoyed in the moment. It helped me turn my gaze out into the world again. It was a great therapy.

    All is a matter of perspective.

    Take care.

  7. Jamie Khoo says:

    Oh wow, just when I didn't think your posts and photos could get any more spectacular – and then you write this brilliant piece of magic! <3

  8. Ben Neal bneal817 says:

    Yes. This.

    Yes to heartbreak and pain and tears. Yes to wild spontaneous laughter. Yes to the wild, roaring river of life that just keeps carrying us along from one experience to the next, without mercy. Yes to sharing it all, spewing your guts out on the page, and baring your soul to the world.

    Nobody does it better than you, Bry.

    Love,

    ~ Ben

  9. elephantjournal says:

    (Speechless). Thank you Ben. xoxo

  10. Ashley holly says:

    Your rawness is truth and your truth is beautiful. Love to you Bry :)

  11. tim says:

    thank you for being so brave and sharing your true emotions with us.
    your honesty and openness is greatly appreciated and highly valued.
    what a different place the world would be if only more people practiced this…
    big love, tim

    • elephantjournal says:

      if i'm totally i'll honest i would tell you this: as soon as i posted this i wanted to delete because i felt naked in public. it took every ounce of strength and willpower to leave it up, open.

      thank you for reading and for your support, always xo

  12. Auki says:

    "Let's get naked!" is a misleading & emotionally manipulative title to this article. Sex can sell and get you more blog hits. However, the author suggests that writing with emotional nakedness (or vulnerability) is a virtue. And yet, one cannot have emotionally vulnerable writing while manipulating people with sexy sizzling headers & titles. Let's keep it real please!

    • elephantjournal says:

      I guess it depends how you interpret "Let's Get Naked." It could mean many things and had I paired it with a nude or mostly nude or sexy image, I'd agree with you. But I didn't. I paired it with a self-portrait of myself in a difficult moment. Raw, naked, open honest. You decided how to interpret—what were you hoping for when you opened the blog? Were you confused at all by the rest of the title or did you eyes stop at the end of the word naked? How about offering some constructive feedback or showing something of yourself, too, because that's what this is about. ~ Bryonie

  13. Cindy says:

    I wonder why some people have to beat one thing down to lift up something else. I wonder what kind of loyal following the critics have; do they even write at all or is it easier to judge from a place of perceived superiority when one has never tried? We are all perfect until we make a mistake, get rejected, um….shall I dare say “get naked”? Thank you. I write daily. Sometimes I struggle. Maybe I should just begin by asking myself, “what’s up?” Nice post! :-)

  14. traci says:

    Love, love, love. Thank you for sharing, showing your raw, true self and giving permission to all those (us) out there (here) who often struggle with this. It's so incredibly healing and beautiful to witness.

  15. Pat McKenney says:

    Well, Bryonie Wise ….. this was lovely and refreshing … and exactly the thing. That other side … the one we're too _______ (fill in the space) to share …. mmmhmmmmm …. prolably exactly what oughta to be shared … thank'ee, ma'am, for helping to make this last few weeks of being just plain displaced, low-key pissed off a little lighter …. what a pleasure to read … mmmm …. the joys of rebirth into a new space … bless you with intense and tolerable experiences in your journey … lol … ain't it grand?

  16. Jenny says:

    Thank you so much for this. I was the one who left the earlier comment over the weekend. This is exactly what I needed to read. Thank you

  17. Shauna Gayle says:

    So beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  18. ridiculouslyrawradiance50 says:

    Ahh in perfect timing lovely! Today, along with so many other days, I found myself only acknowledging my sunshine and dodging the shit that was clouding my mind, taking center stage and really wanting to be seen. I am a naked loving woman who would love to live nakedly every day- what stops me is me and my strong suit of thinking I need to be what I think others are used to me being- I show up as I think they wish for me to be and NOT how I AM. I live nakedly with my emotions and my personality. I share ALL of me, sometimes it feels like too much (whatever that feels like) I want to be seen for ALL of me- perhaps that's why I've fantasized about streaking down a big long parade, perhaps thats why my lover and I spent a week at a Hedonistic Naked Resort, perhaps that's why I love when I let go and wear my heart and soul on my sleeve and perhaps that's why I love, love, love doing and being a part of on the edge things~ I see me, I totally think I'm rad, it's just that when it comes to other people, I have this game I play with myself called "I know what they're thinking and how they want me to be in order to be lovable".
    Honestly Byronie this article could NOT have come at a better time- I'm ready to be that 360 degree woman that I came here to be~ you just gave me the fire to blast myself off!

    Rock on!

  19. Ian says:

    To be as raw as this is to be as human as possible in our sometimes tangled, wandering, sweaty, crumpled, blessed, togetherness alone days that sing, shout, sob and stare into our eyes with utter, naked pure here-ness beyond words…

    Beautiful Bry. Your journey will build bridges to new lands beyond your wildest.

  20. theartsyfartsychick says:

    oh yeah… diggin' this… I get naked all the time (in public, on my blog), and I'm sure it makes people highly uncomfortable, but then, I think what if it reaches that ONE person that needed to read what I said and perhaps find exactly the THING they were looking for but didn't know what it was, exactly, so I do it anyway. <3 keep stripping the soul girl, you are glorious.

  21. BPJ says:

    Byronie,

    Thank you so much for sharing..I will duly oblige in the next couple of days (dropping my smile and happiness mask)..and share too. It has been 4 days of stress (family Wedding) dodging negative arrows (family Wedding) awkward dinner table semantics and the UBER big boss calling whilst en route.. to inform me my boss (who I adored professionally) has taken his own life..! I am lapsing from anger, love to tears to why to all of the above supported and roger ram-jetting chocolate in my face..like it is gong out of fashion.

    Bless you – stay strong -love,cry and love again..I hope there will be Sunshine here too today.

    BPJ :-) xxx

  22. whittemoreco says:

    Bry,
    I am so grateful for this piece, been feeling as if I am crazy to be so transparent these days, often feeling overexposed, and it is totally self inflicted. I have been puzzling, working, meandering through my life, the why and the why nots, and wondering why I expose when I do, is it ego food sometimes, or important life presence and what I truly believe. I am still pondering all parts. It is good, real work. For me. Your daily posts are grounding. This piece keeps me company. I HEART you.
    xo
    Daisy

  23. SJ says:

    Lovely…simply lovely.

  24. riley says:

    Thank you–
    I loved this.
    AND the selfies.

  25. rosekat says:

    Thank you for your truthful, soulful and beautiful words. You’ve inspired me on what has been a rather profound and emotional rollercoaster day. Perhaps I’ll write and share…!

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