It Worked! – Some Intitial Plans

Happy Tyr’s Day!!!

So the switch in address worked and so I can post to Facebook again. What this does inspire me to do is break down some objectives and start setting some vision for myself. I have four, maybe five areas, of my life that need some work and development of habits to reach and I am hoping this blog will do what it has always done – keep me on task and focused.

  1. Career – The issue is for me putting my Poltical Science degree and my desire to be more educaitonally focused into practice. From a habit standpoint, I have a certificaiton that was delayed due to COVID-19 issues but now I need ot finish it by February so that I can be in a postion to look for new jobs early on. The habit is simply to get some things done every day. That’s all I feel comfortable sharing as recent events show to me my haters are still active.
  2. Health – Need to get back to weightlifitng and nutrition being solid. Going ot the gym and keep the bad food out of the house are good first objectives. My main goal is to get back ot where I was early 2020 and then go from there. Once the weather clears up around here- walking and hiking will be back on my list as well.
  3. Atheist Activism – My YouTube channel is a start but writing and being invovled with other things will lead ot other opportunities. Just need to do some things so my channel is better and more active.
  4. Writing – easist one to see. Need to read more, write more and blog more.
  5. Technical Hobby – this is a new one and still in its infancy as far as an idea. I want a hobby that invovles something technical or scientific – mostly just ot push my mind a little.

All in all the issue is ot get back ot regular habits that keep depression away and make progress on these areas.

As for this blog I am working on a regular rotation along with some posts that are more freestyle so to speak. The one thing I want for sure is to keep them shorter. A blog article from start to finish should take less than an hour from sitting down until ready to post.

Thanks to all of you for sticking with me.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“April Fools Day Cancelled” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day!

I have noticed that the jokes this April Fools Day seem to be either very subdued or non-existent.  My guess is the current situation is stealing a lot of people’s sense of humor. Practical Jokes are not really funny right now.  The real world intrudes.

See the source image

My real hope for all of you this April 1st is that you are all alive and well and enjoying life as much as you can. No Fooling.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“One More Quick Post” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Mani’s Day!

I had originally planned on getting back to normal posting this week but real life intrudes and given the COVID-19 issues.  I came home exhausted of mind and body after a long day of watching people acting in fear.  Time to relax and chill.  I plan on revealing my new goal this week and formalizing my stuff the next so that will happen.  I also need to keep the score of this past year’s goals near the end of the month.

In any case, this post keeps the posting streak going and offers a cute nurse for soon vaccination of COVID-19 – one hopes.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

 

“The Grey and Spirituality” – Odin’s Eye

Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day.    

Discussion:

This is not a ‘The Grey and The Wayfarer’ post.  It is more of a reflection on how The Grey affects and has affected my spiritual life over the years.  In the beginning, I think the grey was caused by guilt from not living up to a religious standard that was impossible to live up to.  Always wanting to please God and falling woefully short.  If you add in an abusive babysitter (mentally and sexually), then you get a mix of other issues.  Deaths of significant male figures in my life – both my grandfathers and then my father before I was 30 thrown in and then you get a lot of reasons to fight depression and The Grey that comes with it.

The grey is not so much depression as the result of when I have to shut my emotions down to cope with the heavy feelings that come with it. The Grey is something I would call a chosen numbness in order to not feel the pain of sadness and loss. Very few people understand it and those that do get my attention because it means they care a great deal about me or at least want to know me enough.

As my history of the last few years involved my loss of religious spirituality, I have come to know a different kind of spirituality to cope with The Grey, one that still involves meditation and connections. Just not of the imaginary variety anymore.

Time to Look Through the Eye:

“To see the truth, change one eye for another”

Meditation:

I reflect on connections the most because it has been on the one hand these connections that are often the most effective in getting me out of both depression and The Grey. They also have made the most vulnerable to being hurt some more and giving me more cause to experience depression triggers and thus more of The Grey.  Miss Salty was the latest of these, she seemed to know what to say every time and then when she left me I felt so betrayed that it hurt very badly for a long time. Still does. I often simply have to find a way to counterbalance things with other coping strategies at that point. Meditation on the virtues helps in a spiritual manner in this regard, but so has throwing off the imaginary sky dad and it is ‘all going to be better bye and bye’ bullshit.

Mystery:

Relationships are helpful to the coping with the Grey, but I find them so mysterious at times as far as trust, loyalty and so forth.  I trust even less these days.  I find new friendships difficult at best and nearly impossible with some people. I wish i could find my way past this as they are often the best things for me in dealing with The Grey. I jsut live so far from my friends and this needs to change if I am going to make any headway in the ‘friends for me’ department.

Spirituality:

I have the simple act of living the virtues under spirituality and they work for me many more times than not. I just find them growing a little more tedious because I use them so often, but habits have that tedious aspect to them at some point when developing them. These are no exceptions.

Conclusion:

I want obe much better, but certain times of the year and certain situations come up so often that The Grey is inevitable. I fight it but I wish very much I didn’t have to.  Most people want me to be just over it.  I simply know my soul will always weep and I will walk the grey in the rain fo my tears. I know this is my path probably the rest of my life, but I do find that the joys of spirituality in my atheist mindset have been the most helpful to getting the clouds to go away more often and with more sunshine.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Bare Skin Health” – Freya’s Chambers – Nudism

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day!

Discussion:

Disclaimer:  The topics covered in Freya’s Chambers include serious discussions of sex, sexuality and related issues.  If it isn’t your thing; you can move along, otherwise enjoy and feel free to discuss.  Given the nature of some subjects be prepared for nude images as there may be some.  I avoid genitalia as a general rule but is not always possible.  

Introduction: 

I want to make it clear hear that this article is not about research or careful study so much as opinion.  I am not a dermatologist or doctor so this is not a professional article so much as a reaction to what the commonly asserted as health benefits of nudism which not only apply to physical bodily health but psychological health.  I am providing three links that I looked at a part of my own research into this topic mostly because I am a practicing ‘at home’ nudist when no one is around.  I am simply going to take the common top seven things people say are benefits of being nudists from a health standpoint and speak to my own experience.

See the source image

Vitamin D Production:

This is probably more true for those who practice their nudism outdoors. I don’t so this is probably not something I would notice.  The interesting thing as someone who suffers fro minor depression I would probably find this beneficial.  The warning is of course too much a good thing as nude sunbathers can produce too much vitamin D.  For myself I guess I would like to try this at some point which would mean more social nudism which I am not sure I would announce publically.

See the source image

Healthy Skin:

This isn’t about the sun so much as what being clothed all the time does to our skin.  The main thing is that our skin has evolved to breathe and when it can’t it develops issues.  most notably the build-up of toxins in the body that we use our breathing skin to get rid of.  Not to mention the irritation that clothing causes to the skin as anyone can attest to in areas we keep covered all the time. You’re probably needing to scratch it because your clothing has irritated it.

I can speak for myself in this regard since practicing the naked at home thing, the areas of my body that used to have rashes or skin irritation have decreased significantly.  My psoriasis has diminished and I am not scratching as much.

See the source image

Blood Circulation:

This is also called the’ no red marks’ and probably affects women more than men with all their elastic clothing items, particularly bras.  For men, the main area for this is the waistline.  The point is that some blood flow goes through the skin and when this is cut off it can have a negative effect on blood circulation in certain areas.  This why women are encouraged when they get home to lose the bra.  Nudists would probably just say lose the clothes altogether.

For me, I have no read marks about circulation around my waist anymore and probably as a side benefit, my midsection has evened out a bit.  I still have some weight to lose but it isn’t as obvious because my midsection is not trapped upward by mt waistline of my clothes and belt all the time.

Accepting their own bodies as they are is especially beneficial for women and men who today are under constant pressure to... Body Acceptance:

There have been a few actual thoughts on this issue because psychologically speaking poor body image can be a part of “cover-up that part of your body because it is wrong to show it”. The reason is usually ‘sin’ or societal pressure. It has been said people who grow up nudist or people who have been doing it a while develop a much better body image of themselves as they can see what is actually normal, not based on models.  The genitals are not ‘dirty’ to a nudist or naturist, but rather normal parts of the body that have their function. People can be seen in all stages of life and show the body actually changes and it allows one to have a more realistic view of themselves.

I now reject the idea of the naked body being anything more than a naked body.  I have yet to experience social nudity.  I can, however, say that being naked more often and seeing myself in the mirrors more often that way has allowed me more to focus on where my body look unhealthy as a sign to work on my health rather than how my body looks.

See the source image

Self-Esteem:

One of the effects of losing low body image is a boost in self-esteem.  When you realize that people quite literally come on all shapes, sizes, and colors, you begin to realize both your uniqueness and quite frankly your body’s looks matter less as far as impressing people and you focus more on your actions being reasonable and kind. Far more important than how you look.

This whole at-home nudist experience has also made me realize actions are more important than looks.  Looks can be lost changed to be completely different.  What matters I health and how you treat others.  I know being nude while I meditate in the morning has been a revelation of sorts as far as what I really am when you strip everything away including my clothing and you know what?  I am not a bad person just one that struggles with a lot of things. Nudity taught me vulnerability is OK and brings enlightenment.

See the source image

Lower Risk of Infection:

The skin actually processes parts of the defense against infection and clothing actually hinders this process because it interferes with the skin’s ability to sweat to remove toxins and thus process infection. The best way to maximize this process is to not have any of your skin covered with clothes, makeup or anything else.  I have actually had several nudists tell me that they have never had any skin infections or fungus as well. Nor had they ever seen any long term nudist with them. Beginners yes, old hands no.

I don’t know if I can say I observe that I am healthier and suffer from fewer virus effects or anything like that.  I do know that sleeping nude which I have done since I was a kid makes me feel better. I also have to say colds and such don’t last long with me and part of that is even when I am sick, I dump clothing from time to time.

Healthy Nerves and Brain Activity:

Our skin is loaded with nerve endings and clothing shields us from feeling much of them.  Pleasure, pain, wetness, dryness, all kinds of varied experiences are available in the senes of touch and our brain receives all of that as additional information it process and improves working memory in one study of barefoot versus shoes alone.  Image what this would do with the whole body.  Awareness is improved as people are much more aware when they are naked than clothes.  Part of this might be the cultural issue of nudity, but one might theorize that this harkens back to survival instincts when our whole race was naked apes.

I know I am much more aware of my surroundings even while at home in the buff.  I am far more sensitive to changes that affect my sense of touch the most and have discovered certain feelings of touch, particularly involving the movement of air and temperature, which are much more apparent to me. I know my meditation is much more effective when I am naked. The vulnerability of body and mind leads to a greater understanding of both.  I would say it goes a bit toward fighting my depression as well.  My nerve endings across my body are stimulated and that helps me feel better.

See the source image

Conclusion:

If anything my experience with nudism at home has opened my mind up for mote possible discovery of its benefits.  I wanted simply to highlight the benefits to my mind and body at this time. I am of course understandably ready to explore more of this area of my life more and see the one thing I have yet to experience, the benefits of social nudity.

Oh, one more thing. I did indeed write this post in the buff.  I find writing naked at times opens up my senses a little more and makes it a little more fo a pleasant experience.

My two cents.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

Links:

https://www.today.com/health/health-benefits-being-naked-how-stripping-down-good-you-t44911

https://www.indiatimes.com/health/healthyliving/top-7-health-benefits-of-being-naked-236343.html#7

https://www.medicaldaily.com/3-benefits-getting-naked-public-taking-your-clothes-boosts-happiness-body-409623

“Legalizing Prostitution” – Freya’s Chambers – Sex

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day!

Discussion:

Disclaimer:  The topics covered in Freya’s Chambers include serious discussions of sex, sexuality and related issues.  If it isn’t your thing; you can move along, otherwise enjoy and feel free to discuss.  Given the nature of some subjects be prepared for nude images as there may be some.  I avoid genitalia as a general rule but is not always possible.  

While the subject is prostitution, I want to discuss economics for a minute because what prostitution is in most of my country is illegal (except Rhode Island and Nevada).  The reasons given for this are basically moral and trying to keep morality but like most things with good intentions cause a great deal of harm.  Economically speaking this harm is felt in the fact that black markets have an unknown and unstable economic effect.  Mostly it causes us to misinterpret data and the effects can create shortages and other negative economic impacts.

More gravely for prostitution in particular, much like the drug war, the negative effects of making prostitution criminals are far more detrimental that the supposed crime, if you can call it that.  As a libertarian, my definition of a crime includes actual harm was done and a victim to be considered a crime at all.  Prostitution has neither as it is a) voluntary and b) technically causes no harm.  Most of the negative effects of prostitution are caused because it is illegal not because it exists.  Voluntary consensual transactions should never be criminalized.

See the source image

The standard five reasons for legalizing prostitution are 1) reducing the influence of organized crime, 2) Health Concerns, 3) Protection for the vulnerable and underage, 4) Taxation revenue and 5) Morally there is truly nothing wrong with consensual sex.

See the source image

Reducing the Influence of Organized Crime

If prostitution is legal then if a woman is attacked by a client she calls the cops and the man is arrested.  She has rights and she can utilize the authorities to protect her and if she protects herself in self-defense then she would not be held responsible.  Without this currently pimps pretty much can do to the women what they wish and often it is a form of sexual slavery.  A woman who engages in sex work on her own runs a great risk of attracting the wrong attention and rival pimps are often violent with each other for territory. There is a sense of ownership organized crime has of prostitution as shown by the fact that pimps put their tattoos on their girls.  This would effectively end if decriminalized.

See the source image

Health Concerns:

Health reasons have been listed for legalization probably the longest.  You can require licensing, so you would have better numbers of actual sex workers.  This licensing could carry the requirements of regular monthly health screening to maintain and this would help prevent the spread of STDs along with perhaps mandating condom use and birth control to prevent pregnancy. The point is these workers would be allowed to practice freely and yet be required to get health screenings.

See the source image

Protection for the Vulnerable and Underage

Thirdly the subject of protecting the vulnerable and underaged is key.  The reason sex slavery exists, for the most part, is that prostitution is illegal.   There is no control directly on this black market at all and so anything goes. If prostitution is legalized, then they legal brothels, etc. would most definitely blow the whistle on anything illegal in order to remove competition and because of basic human decency. But also children of the prostitute cannot be used as pawns as the prostitute could call on help for them if needed and they were threatened.

See the source image

More importantly, the sex workers as rule would have legal protection against rape and violence otherwise the recourse is to just take it and then recover as best as possible with the perpetrator getting away with it.

See the source image

Tax Revenue

Tax revenue is always an issue for those of a more non-libertarian persuasion that is why I promote decriminalization for the most part as I would rather have it be that taxation was not part of it. But if you regulate it and charged a fee for the license to administrate making sure sex workers are screened then some revenue would be required. But there is much like legalizing drugs and taxing them an opportunity for state revenue and that cannot be denied.  Nevada reports that brothels generate on average 50 million dollars a year in tax revenue.  Multiply that by fifty states and that is a lot of revenue.

See the source image

Morally the question comes.  You can have sex – no crime and you can make money – no crime.  But somehow doing both together is a crime?  It also has some hypocrisy to it.  For instance, in the pornography industry, a person is technically making money having sex.  The only difference is that it is on camera. The point is there is no victim and no harm is done in the sense someone is forced, threatened or defrauded and if those things are absent I simply don’t see the point of making sex work illegal as it seems to only benefit a small group of people – notably organized crime and law enforcement. Legalizing it would change that.

See the source image

Conclusion:

It is my opinion that the making of sex work illegal has a lot of unintended consequences that are more dangerous and more damaging both socially and economically than if it was simply legal and regulated for those same concerns.  There are many arguments for this and I have listed some of the main ones.  I have never been to a prostitute myself, but I understand why some people would engage in it if they have no other recourse or as clients – options. I simply know that black markets are caused by government laws and often the results are more dangerous and damaging than if the activity was simply licensed and regulated.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Getting Ripped” – A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day. 

Journal Entry:

Since my post last week in Self Virtues where I pointed out that I have had pretty good results as far as weight loss and my A1c, I have been meditating on how far I could take this.  How much fat can I lose and how ripped can I get.  I like this feeling to be sure, but it is also a matter of setting my sights on a goal I have never achieved – being ripped and leaned out as much as possible.  To look in the mirror and know that I have sculpted a work of art using nutrition, weights and walking.

I am still looking at my bucket list but I also want to set out a preliminary plan to engage from now until the end of March 2020 to do one thing – get ripped.

Discipline:

“Discipline is the willingness to be hard on oneself first and then if needed help with the development with others, so that greater purposes may be achieved.”

Principle: Apply discipline to every aspect of life that it can be applied.

Goal: To be following a full Paleo Diet by March 31, 2020.

Bucket List: Do a rebellious act on April 30th, 2020 – Beltane.

Nutrition is the lynchpin on this.  I need to truly get serious about the paleo diet and be doing ti as completely as possible. If I can do it from now until the end of the holidays in December, I will have taken a big step in mastering nutrition.  Not that I won’t have cheat meals for the purpose of celebrating moments but the daily carb allowance needs to stop altogether.

My bucket list item will mean all the more to me if I am in great shape.  No change to it, just a heightened sense of anticipation.

Perseverance:

“Perseverance is the ability to stand up and return from defeat and failure”

Principle: Keep getting up after every defeat or failure.

Goal: To engage in an exercise program that involves weightlifting, hiking/walking, and stretching/ yoga an average of three days a week from April 1st, 2019 to March 31st, 2020

Bucket List: To get at least one tattoo by March 18th, 2020.

One of the things I said a long time ago is that the reason I want fit body is so the tattoos I want to get will be on a canvas worthy of art.

I need to make sure my routine is more scientific in the sense it has an exercise that hits every single muscle in the split and truly helps both metabolism-boosting and the look.  Stronger happens just by weight lifting.  what I need is to make sure I am sculpting my body, not just doing whatever.

Fidelity:

“Fidelity is the will to be loyal to one’s Gods and Goddesses, to one’s Folk, to one’s self, and loyalty to one’s friends was as valued as highly as loyalty to one’s family.”

Principle: Be loyal to those who have been loyal to me.

GoalCelebrate my wife and I’s 30th anniversary (June 10th, 2019) with a mini-vacation (achieved)

Bucket List: Discover all the countries of origin from my genetics and visit them all by March 18th, 2029.

Health is the main objective here.  I only have one life and I want to live it as long as possible and with the highest quality of health possible.  The person ultimately responsible for that is me.  I do want to visit all the countries of my ancestors and I want to do that standing up and strong.

Higher Virtue – Wisdom:

Of course, there is more to sculpting yourself than just your body. Sculpting your mind and heart is good too. It has amazed me how my dwelling in the land of fitness has crossed over with wisdom for other areas of my life.  Mostly the need to lean out from things I no longer need that just weigh down my life and are not healthy for me to have. Then building strength in places I do need.  It seems to carry over to all of life really.

Rest Day Routine: 

  1. Morning Routine
  2. Wife: Communication / Cuddle Time
  3. Blogging – Organize, revise, write a new post for the next day, 15 min. work on fiction.
  4. Cleaning – varies but one room of the apartment at least.
  5. Reading – half an hour for enjoyment.
  6. Writing – 1 hour

I added writing and took away walking.  It is getting cold, so in November my walking will be a half-hour during my workout instead.

Goals and Bucket List Items Achieved (Since Summer 2018):

Goals Achieved: 4

  1. Graduated College with a BS in Political Science and minors in Economics and International Business – December 2018
  2. Finalize last requirements for my degree – Internship by May 2019 – May 2019
  3. Celebrate my wife and I’s 30th anniversary (June 10th, 2019) with a mini-vacation – June 2019
  4. Maintain a daily blog streak of one post per day for an entire year (365 days).

Bucket List Items Achieved: 0

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Scattered Grey Showers” -The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer – Part 21

Happy Sif’s Day

Of course in the middle of the triumph of achieving a goal, The Grey would have to make an appearance and the problem is it is not one single thing causing the issue but several scattered showers of shit I would rather not deal with; but there it is.  There have been all kinds of scattered Grey showers this week and I haven’t been able to control them all the time which has led to some sleepless nights and emotions that have been less than happy ones.

It actually started the day after I achieved my one-year blogging goal with the simple thought of – ‘yeah that’s great, but you still don’t have a better job yet.”  I hate moments like that because they seem to take all the joy of succeeding at something away from me in a second. I shell up and just exist. I need a new job it’s true, but blogging every single day without fail is an achievement,  I know and anyone who blogs knows it is. It’s just The Grey has a tendency to crop in after I have a high moment.

If this wasn’t enough, I am working one day and over the speakers, it becomes clear that they have at long last changed the loop of songs to something new.  Cool right?  Except that now twice a day it seems I hear the song I don’t want to hear.  “All of Me” by John Legend.  It’s not that I think it is a bad song, it’s damn skippy good.  It is also connected emotionally to Miss Salty in a very strong way and then the whole memories shit of that relationship comes up and I want to cry.  Yeah, 6’4″ 275 lbs. weightlifter crying at work.  So The Grey kicks in as a protective measure and I try to ignore the song.  But later catch me singing it and thinking about her. What the Fuck?  This is why I avoid this song in the first place, and now I can’t avoid it at times.

So, I finally get a day off and I go to bed the night before and I have a dream. Yeah, it’s about The Dirty Pig.  Nothing big or symbolic just him making fun of me and laughing. Him doing his thing of doing things for his own entertainment and throwing me under the bus to that end. I used to be able to control my dreams a little, but as I grow older that ability seems to be lost. I think I still have enough ability to keep the ‘night terrors’ I used to have a bay.  If they come back, that will not be good.

I wake up and then I had to get up for a bit.  Kind of alarmed my wife as it is unusual for me to let my insomnia get me out of bed. The whole extreme anger thing is high with him.  Hard to control.  But then there is my old friend/enemy – the Grey and I head back to bed and fall asleep.

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My personality type makes me emotionally intelligent.  Sometimes called ’empathic’ and it’s pretty high in me.  The curse is that strong emotions in others or in songs or from my past experiences get supercharged because of it.   The Grey has developed in me as a counter to that. When things get too negatively strong, it kicks in to keep me sane. Cool huh?  But the downside is I don’t give a shit about anyone else in those moments.  I have also noted that The Grey occurs more frequently when I am not taking care of myself as far as self-love.  Loving myself keeps the emotional balance better, but I have to really work at that as it is much more natural to help other people than myself.

The other defense is introversion, but that isn’t good for me either.  Part of self-love is receiving love and you can’t do that by yourself.  This what led to the problems of last year.  My wife was penciling me into her busy schedule and I wasn’t a priority.  The church was taking a lot out of me and not giving much back in terms of emotional support and school wasn’t the outlet for my attention like it had been.  Along comes Miss Salty who absolutely understood this and BAM – affair, breakup, getting fired, near divorce, life turned upside down.

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The problem is I am absolutely terrified of letting someone else in right now.  Miss Salty leaving me and The Dirty Pig betraying my trust and leading the other friends I had at the church to fire me have all given me current trust issues off the chart at times. I function all right with people, but let them into my life to love and be loved by them? – yeah, no thanks.  Got my family, a couple close friends and that is it.  My wife helps a lot, but we both have to work and she is extroverted so she has to get away from the apartment or she would go nuts.  That leaves me alone.

The other downside is I get along better with women than men.  Men are comrades in arms but it takes a self-confident guy to be a friend that I trust..  I always feel men are competing with me rather than trying to be a friend. If you are that insecure, yeah, I don’t like you; because I know you’re going to brag about shit in front of me and I don’t do that.  I don’t need to because I am pretty secure in my masculinity.  I don’t have to prove my manhood to anybody.  Only one other guy on the planet gets that right now and that is why we are best friends.  Most men can’t handle that so they shy away for me or our relationship is the joking sarcasm of guys doing the same job and dealing with the same shit.

So women are easier to get along with for me. You can imagine how this is a downside. Today in the western world, 1) showing a woman some attention, 2) understanding her emotions and 3) being self-confident in your own masculinity equals flirting. Like, it comes naturally to me and that has lead to being flirted with back in return more than once.  Pre-affair this was just fun and a way to play around that broke up the monotony of life.  Women made my life more bearable with this flirting with boundaries thing.

Post-affair?  You draw your own conclusions but I have some women now that it is purely professional much like I act with guys.  But my natural tendencies are still there and so subtle I don’t often realize I am doing it.  Getting close to another woman as a friend is just difficult and undesirable given recent events.

So, I am left with my one friend who lives far away who thankfully calls me every few days to check on me and my wife.  My wife and I get along and she now very much understands that you can’t just pencil me in to be my lover/friend.  I have to be much higher on the priority list than that because I am high maintenance when it comes to internal emotions.

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That’s the bitch about being INFJ.  Perfect personality my ass.  Yeah, from an external point of view, we function and don’t appear to need human interaction as much, we navigate emotional situations well outwardly and get along pretty much with anybody.  The price tag of those positives is high internal emotional costs. We pay every part of that cost ourselves for the benefits others enjoy.  No human is strong enough to take that all the time and so the trade-offs are: 1) We disappear for a while, 2) it gets to a point of overload, so we develop coping mechanisms (aka for me The Grey) or 3) Eventually we explode and do something tremendously stupid or risky.  It’s a ticking time bomb that needs to have minutes added to the clock by #1 and 2 or #3 is inevitable.

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On top of it all, today (October 5th, 2019) is the 25th anniversary of my father’s death. Yeah, that always is a grey shower no matter what I do.  I still miss him.

But I keep walking. Ravens on my shoulder and wolves at my feet. My coat and cloak pulled tight against the storm.  No rest for the weary or the wicked.  The showers will eventually end and I will be that much stronger for walking through them.

Still Walking,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Qualities of Spiritual Nudity” – Freya’s Chambers – Nudism

 

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Disclaimer:  The topics covered in Freya’s Chambers include serious discussions of sex, sexuality and related issues.  If it isn’t your thing; you can move along, otherwise enjoy and feel free to discuss.  Given this week’s topic be prepared for nude images of people engaged in spiritual and other activities.  I avoid genitalia as a general rule but is not always possible.  

On May 17th, 2013 I started a series on my old blog All Things Rabyd called Naked Before God with the post; The Positive Spiritual Side of Nakedness. Back then I was still a devout Christian that was struggling with the simple fact that while Christianity basically had strongly connected nudity. sex and sexuality: the Bible had not.  If anything the most positive time in humanity’s existence in the story of the Bible is when Adam and Eve are in the Garden – naked and unashamed.

That series was about the spiritual side of being naked before God and how nudism could be considered a Christian spiritual discipline or at least a metaphor of how one could picture oneself before God and develop a sense of enlightenment about that relationship. That was over six years ago and a lot has changed but the main principles of spiritual nudity I think are still solid and deserve a second look.

I listed six positive spiritual qualities that nudity possesses: 1)  Vulnerability, 2) Openness, 3) Intimacy, 4) Genuineness, 5) Wholeness and 6) Equality.  I would say that all of these are still valid but need to be rethought without all the ‘how do I draw the line and avoid sin?” question. For me, this question no longer even exists so I want to see how things change from what I felt and thought then to what I feel and think now.

What follows will be excerpts from that old post with commentary and changes to reflect new attitudes:

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Vulnerability: 

“While it could be argued that vulnerability is a weakness and at times it is, there is a positive side to it.  In the Garden of Eden we see this in Adam and Eve as they are completely vulnerable to God’s presence, each other and the world around them.  Because of this, they have to develop interdependency with each other and God.  In all person to person relationships, vulnerability is the key to opening up intimacy and ultimately love.  To love someone, you must make yourself vulnerable to them and take risks that they will take advantage of this vulnerability, but when vulnerability is rewarded with returned vulnerability from the other person intimacy and love grows”. – The Positive Spiritual Side of Nakedness – May 17, 2013

I suppose the easiest way to edit this would be to remove all the lines about the garden of Eden and leave the rest because I think it still is a positive quality at times. I think one could experience the vulnerability to other people and the world around them and just drop the divine parts unless that is part of your spiritual goal of being naked.  I know that for myself this is a longing of my heart but I have experienced vulnerability being naked with my wife. There is something about that that opens the door to intimacy.

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Openness:

‘It is really hard to be closed off to people when you are naked.  …  Reading the testimonies of practicing nudists, particularly people who are sharing their first time is interesting in this spiritual aspect of nudity.  Even naked, they try to cover themselves up and present themselves in ways where their perceived ‘bad features’ are less noticeable.  In the end, they give this up and just allow themselves to be themselves…. –  The Positive Spiritual Side of Nakedness – May 17, 2013

As you can imagine this one is pretty edited down and much simpler without the God of the Bible involved.  It suddenly switches the spiritual focus from the divine to humanity and being open to our fellow human beings. This a shift that actually gives this author a cause for pause, because the question becomes is openness truly possible without being naked in front of someone else?  I can do this with my wife but that is it, so the spiritual aspect of openness is left to that relationship. This is simply a spiritual quality that you are either open to others around you or if you are more spiritually minded – the universe. This brings up a limitation that depends on one’s willingness to be naked in front of others.

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Intimacy:

Clothing prevents intimacy and in our world, this is often by design.  I am not going to say this is bad in certain contexts. Clothing is a barrier that is used to prevent people from knowing things about you.  Intimacy ultimately results from people discarding barriers and defenses.  In personal relationships, you don’t necessarily have to shed your physical clothes to be close to someone but you do have to let your guards down and let people know things about yourself that are sometimes uncomfortable and awkward.  In a real way, intimacy is achieved when you allow others to see that you too are human and you also allow them to show their humanness to you without judging them in return.  – The Positive Spiritual Side of Nakedness – May 17, 2013

I would still say that clothing is a barrier to intimacy in certain contexts.  Sometimes this is about security but also it can be about insecurity.  We all guard ourselves and cover-up both literally and figuratively.  Intimacy is just not possible without the shedding of all the barriers and one of them can be clothing. Learning to drop barriers and not judge when they do the same are the two key factors in building intimacy.

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Genuineness:

‘Hard to be false and deceptive about anything when you’re naked.  Everybody sees the truth about what you are.  This is particularly true with yourself.’ – The Positive Spiritual Side of Nakedness – May 17, 2013

I guess this still applies to spiritual things as well but I find that this is accomplished far more by looking into your own eyes. The principle is still true that when anyone is naked they are who they genuinely are. In my own life, this has become reflected in my morning routine of getting up and meditating in the nude which means I start with who I genuinely am and work the rest of the day from that point.  Being honest with myself looking in a mirror has been both a great motivator for health and fitness.  In any case, when naked every flaw, scar and what does not measure up to normal society is visible.  What can be changed for the better is obvious but also that which one cannot do anything about should be accepted.  Often what we think are flaws are simply things that make us unique.  This can be particularly obvious when standing in front of a mirror naked and honestly assessing ourselves.

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Wholeness: 

‘It is very difficult to see yourself compartmentalized when you are naked.  You actually see everything that you really are.  Clothing is used to define ourselves but in very limited senses.  We dress in work clothes to define our work.  We dress in athletic clothes to go work out.  We dress in casual clothes to relax.  We dress in sexy clothes to be romantic and make love.  We dress in formal clothes to impress people with who we are.  In a very real way, clothing is used to compartmentalize our life.  When you are naked all that is gone and the reality of ALL that you truly are is there: body, soul, and spirit in one package and there is no compartmentalization at all.  We simply and truly are what we are.’ – The Positive Spiritual Side of Nakedness – May 17, 2013

I would still stand behind the above statement.  Clothing seems to be about changing roles and gives only one facet of who we are at a time.  Take that away and you are what you are completely.  You are whole and not compartmentalized in that state.

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Equality:

‘It is very difficult to see yourself as better or worse than someone when you’re naked.  Want to make everyone socially, economically and culturally equal? Take off their clothes.  The housewife, businesswoman, prostitute, and debutant suddenly just become women when you strip them of clothes, makeup and jewelry and make them stand in a lineup.  Without their clothes, you can only define them by their bodies, personality, and actions and none of that necessarily reveals economic, social or cultural status.  Nakedness forces us to realize that we all came into this world naked and we all will leave it naked.  That is the great equalizer.’ – The Positive Spiritual Side of Nakedness – May 17, 2013

I still stand by what I said to here and I don’t want to give the impression that I am singling out women because the same is true for men and perhaps a little more visible. To most women, a man in a suit with an expensive watch is going to get a lot more attention if he is single than the guy in a t-shirt and jeans. Take their clothes off and then the factors of attraction change radically. The equality of removing fashion from the equation I think could be and perhaps has been scientifically demonstrated.

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A Word of Warning:

Now, this all said, there is a reality of the world we live in that cannot seem to grasp the concept that nudity doesn’t necessarily mean a person is being amorous or an expression of sexuality.  We live in a world where culture can be very sanctimonious and self-righteous and those that practice spiritual nudism are well-advised to take that into consideration. For myself, I practice privately and when alone. The whole goal for me is not to have people see me. Forcing your nudity on others might not be wise.  Fighting for equal treatment like the topfreedom movement does is one thing.  Shoving your nudity in the face of people you know would be offended is another.   The issue is to make these experiences, if they have a spiritual side to them, positive and not negative.

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Issues:

I think most of the issues involving spiritual nudity and if you want this as part of your life both practically and spiritually are solved with using reason and wisdom.  This is definitely one of those needs or wants that you should listen to the ravens first before letting the wolves be feed.  There are definitely spiritual and personal benefits and perhaps even social ones. The issue is ‘indecent exposure’ is a real legal charge and there are simply safety measures that you can and should engage.  I think privacy and perhaps going to a place where nudity is known to be accepted are probably the best options.

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Personal Thoughts:

I am agnostic about most things.  I lean toward thinking deism might be an option but at the same time I have no active belief in anything divine, so on a practical level, I am an atheist.  I believe in spirituality as practicing meditation to calm my mind and focus my day.  I believe in the power of symbols to help conceptualize things such as virtue and principles. If spirituality is about virtue and relationships then I guess in that sense I am very spiritual.  My following of Asatru is more about the virtues and recovering the lost pagan heritage of my ancestors.

Nudism has a lot more to due with me just being truly who I am.  Being a whole person who accepts who they genuinely are without all the trappings. It’s about being honest with myself about what I can improve and what is simply what makes me unique.

The other aspects of nudism from a spiritual point of view are incomplete for me.  They are high in these regards when it comes to my wife, but other aspects of them are incomplete because of my lack of any kind of experience of communal nudity. Well, other than the locker room when I was an athlete. I don’t know if this would be so revelatory as to change my views on spirituality or not, but until I experience it I will never know. In the meantime, I stick with what I know and can experience.  One of the things I know is that nudity has other qualities besides the physical and those can be very positive.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Routine Rewrite”- A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day. 

Journal Entry:

Yeah. I am rewriting my routines again.   Mostly I am trying to make writing more central and along with that reading. This means shifting some things or resigning myself to the fact that days I work don’t have a lot of free time and that is OK.  I am working toward being a published writer and a solid secondary job that allows some progress toward my other goals.

My good report on my health is no cause to rest on my laurels.  I still don’t have a ‘normal’ A1c and I would like to get there. Exercise and nutrition are still central to this so we continue.  Some changes are needed as far as diet and getting back to walking more regularly before the snow flies, and that is all part of my routine as well.

Discipline:

“Discipline is the willingness to be hard on oneself first and then if needed help with the development with others, so that greater purposes may be achieved.”

Principle: Apply discipline to every aspect of life that it can be applied.

Goal: To be following a full Paleo Diet by March 31, 2020.

Bucket List: Do a rebellious act on April Fools Day, April 1st, 2020.

To be following a full paleo diet I need to do a couple more things.  One is to eliminate all liquids that are not water and two get rid of dairy products.  The first means slowly making sure I drink less and less of other things and put more water into my routine instead. The second is a bit harder, I like cheese and cheese has no carbs.  But I must see if full Paleo has solid effects before I modify it with say some Keto elements.

Another thing I am returning to is intermittent fasting.  Mostly from the time I get up until lunchtime.  I skip breakfast and any early snacking.

My cheats on this are to allow one thing I am craving a day and two cheat meals a week which are basically an hour slot of time where I can eat what I want to eat and drink what I want to drink.  Part for social reasons but also it’s nice to get off script every now and then.

Perseverance:

“Perseverance is the ability to stand up and return from defeat and failure”

Principle: Keep getting up after every defeat or failure.

Goal: To engage in an exercise program that involves weightlifting, hiking/walking, and stretching/ yoga an average of three days a week from April 1st, 2019 to March 31st, 2020

Bucket List: To get at least one tattoo by March 18th, 2020.

Weightlifting is doing well, but I need to walk more. Fall colors will be out soon and that is not something I want to miss as it is my favorite season.  But also this might be the little bit more that I need to get truly leaned out.

Fidelity: 

“Fidelity is the will to be loyal to one’s Gods and Goddesses, to one’s Folk, to one’s self, and loyalty to one’s friends was as valued as highly as loyalty to one’s family.”

Principle: Be loyal to those who have been loyal to me.

Goal: Celebrate my wife and I’s 30th anniversary (June 10th, 2019) with a mini-vacation (achieved)

Bucket List: Discover all the countries of origin from my genetics and visit them all by March 18th, 2029.

Goal achieved here.

Higher Virtue – Wisdom:

Being wise right now is key.  Balance and focus are all important and I need to order my life more effectively so that the things I do each day lead to my eventual success. The best course of action every day is what I am looking for now.

Rest Day Routine: 

  1. Morning Routine
  2. Wife: Communication / Cuddle Time
  3. Blogging – Organize, revise, write a new post for the next day, 15 min. work on fiction.
  4. Walking – 1 hour.
  5. Cleaning – varies but one room of the apartment at least.
  6. Reading – half an hour for enjoyment.

Of all my routines, this one will probably change the least.  This one is more about execution.

Goals and Bucket List Items Achieved (Since Summer 2018):

Goals Achieved: 3

  1. Graduated College with a BS in Political Science and minors in Economics and International Business – December 2018
  2. Finalize last requirements for my degree – Internship by May 2019 – May 2019
  3. Celebrate my wife and I’s 30th anniversary (June 10th, 2019) with a mini-vacation – June 2019

Bucket List Items Achieved: 0

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!