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.

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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!!!

“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!!!

“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!!!

“Taking A Few Deep Breaths” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Sif’s Day

These last two weeks have been interesting and challenging. I was in the doctor’s office on Thursday and as always a little anxious. I was there for my routine checkup and consultation. But as I waited I did some thinking.  I have had the following experiences this last couple of weeks.

  1. I have had more denials from potential employers in the last ten days than in a couple months previously.  It’s like all the applications I filed came back with nulls.
  2. At my current employer, I was passed over for a job and it was given to someone with no experience whatsoever.
  3. I have had another bout with The Grey and while it was not severe. The cause was known, however.
  4. I have had a doctor’s appointment and while a lot of the news was good, there was some news that reminded me I am getting older.   And that sucks by the way.
  5. The End of August marks one year that my wife and I have been back together after our separation last summer and that has lead to some very reflective moments about my marriage.

This post is about taking a few deep breaths and looking at each of these a little reflectively and spiritually.

Deep Breath. 

I guess I have to say the whole job situation has caused me to look at the basic fact that I have not really discovered what my new identity is. It is in-process both practically and spiritually and so there is that.  Mostly though the practical concerns will start to become forefront issues in the next couple of months I don’t find something better. For now, though my meditations center on who am I?

Deep Breath.

The decision at work at first angered me and then I just felt disrespected. It was like really, could have slapped all of us from the department any harder, especially those of us that work hard over here and have management experience?  Then I took a breath, realized that this is not my place, I am in my heart looking to move on to something better, so I might as well get about it.

Deep Breath.

My bought with The Grey recently was brought about by a song played on the radio at work. It was my song to Miss Salty and it triggered the whole mess of feelings involved in that.  One thing they never seem to mention about being empathic is that emotions experienced in certain situations stay and lay dormant until something triggers them and then there you are all over again. Which triggers a whole lot of meditation on the problem.  My most recent meditations have led me to a question: What exactly is The Grey?

Depression?  It involves depression but there is that switch that goes off to protect me from the sadness so I feel nothing. In that state, am I depressed or something else entirely?  I think I might have had an introspective moment because of this that might lead to an awakening.   I hope so.

Deep Breath.

I took a lot of those deep breaths before I met my new doctor. I just passed 50 so the protocol becomes: ‘You need this test done, you need to start this medication as a diabetic.’  I am like – what is this malevolent magic that took place where all this was unnecessary at age 49 and 364 days but one day later, a whole list of evil fairies have comes and makes you vulnerable to a whole new crops of shit. I hope my new doctor is a good salesman and explains things well, because if you don’t sell me – Yeah, fuck that shit.

The problem is that all my health indicators indicate I am healthier than I was last year, but somehow my medicines need to be increased and new treatments engaged for possible problems down the road. I hate American medicine, they either engage in damage control after the fact or their definition of preventative medicine is purely put more pills in your body. Not my thoughts on how to approach my health.

Deep Breath.

I don’t take too much for granted when it regards my marriage.  Our reconciliation is in truth a work in progress. I simply acknowledge here that It still might not work, something I started when we first decided to go down this path to my family and something I remind myself of right now. I want it very much to work, don’t get me wrong. But I also acknowledge the struggle in my heart between how much do I have to give up as far as my personal happiness to stay married? I shouldn’t be looking at it that way should I, but I am, and that is very troubling to me.

  1. My wife and I have very different values now.  That is basically because I ‘fuck it’ to my former faith and she has not.  What is important to me is very different than what is important to her.  And it is growing more divided.
  2. Our goals are very different and trying to find common ground either involves a lot of compromises or straight up, from my perspective, me giving up a lot of my goals entirely.  I am growing weary of having to give up what I desire simply to make my family and friends happy, and that is exactly the state of mind I was in that caused me to walk away a year ago. Not good.
  3. I now know what aspects of a relationship with a woman I am missing and still desire. It creates a longing in my heart that I cannot seem to shake.

Deep Breath.

I think it is time to look within.  Discover who I am again and out of that might flow a lot of answers.  It is time to awaken and to take that first breath of who I am now.  It is time to find that person and become them.

Deep Breath.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Thoughts on Health” – A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues

 

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Journal Entry:

I have been thinking a lot about health these days as I have hit some milestones regarding health.  1) I just passed my third anniversary of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and 2) I stepped on a scale at the gym and for the first time in roughly a decade, I fell below 282 lbs to 281 lbs. The first of these was a wake-up call as far as nutrition was concerned as I had relied heavily on exercise to keep my weight under control and it was not working as well as before.  The second is representative of losing 67 lbs. in the last year and watching my sugar scores drop accordingly.

I have to say the first thing I had to chuck was the traditional government recommended nutritional guidelines because after doing them for roughly a year, I was getting nowhere. So headed a different direction by basically dumping the idea that regular interval carbs were going to help me.  In fact, I felt it was kind of weird that the answer to having an insulin resistant body was to give it more work to do.  I found there were some doctors who agreed with me and the video below is one of them who did a TED talk. I share this for anyone struggling with diabetes, you may have to do what your doctor and nutritionist says is wrong but actually works.

So I went Paleo for the most part.  I have my cheats so I can enjoy some of the things I love to eat from time to time but it is for the most part severely limited to a couple times a week.  The results speak for themselves. That said healthy living is more than about living better and hopefully longer. I find what I have to do to get there each day is a direct reflection of my Self Virtues of Discipline, Perseverance, and Fidelity.

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 follow A FULL Paleo Diet Plan from April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020.

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

Nutrition is the main focus of health when it comes to discipline.  The discipline of going to the gym when I can and walking are both almost automatic for me.  The real struggle and the real key to long term and lifetime results are watching with discipline every single day what you are putting into your body.  It really has stretched my notion of discipline being applied to specifics such as exercise and events with a time limit.  I now extend the idea to the overall lifestyle which is much more important.

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.

In weightlifting, we talk a lot about pushing to failure. It is intentionally taking that last set until you can’t do another rep.  It is intentionally failing so that you can get results through perseverance. It has changed my perspective about failure as a tool for getting better results. To intentional push things until you can’t do anymore – you fail.  Then the next time you do that same thing you often find you can go a little further, lift a little heavier, etc. Probably a mindset that is applicable to more than weightlifting.

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

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

In all of my health pursuits, I find that this is where I feel the most loyal to myself. I am not doing healthy things for anyone else.  I won’t say no one else benefits but the bottom line, the person who most directly benefits from me eating right and exercising is me. There is no feeling like being healthy and that is totally directed at me.

Higher Virtue – Wisdom: 

The wisdom of all this extends far beyond all the health results that will allow me to live long enough and healthy enough to dance with all my granddaughters at their weddings (the oldest of them is five and the youngest is one).  It goes far more into a spiritual vein as well as all the things I do are leading to me the wise paths of discipline, perseverance, and fidelity.

Weekly Routine: 

  1. Weightlifting/Stretching – Minimum 3 days per week.
  2. Walking – Minimum 3 days a week
  3. Job Search – Minimum 3 days a week
  4. Cleaning – 3 days a week.
  5. Writing – 3 times a week
  6. Latin – 3 times per week
  7. Cheat Meal Count: 3 per week.

I really want a full week of routine this coming week.  I need to prove this is practical and not a time consuming or realize things need to be changed so they are both practical and not time-consuming.

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

Goals Achieved: 2

  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

Bucket List Items Achieved: 0

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Meditations of Iron” – A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Journal Entry:

This last month and a half’s progress has been greatly aided by my return to a gym.  This is not just true of my body although stepping on the scale this week and seeing that I am 281 lbs., which is the lowest I have been in a decade, was a particular thrill.  As most of you know the thing that I enjoy about lifting is the mental state it trains in you. Meditation is central to lifting in that every set, rep, and exercise has a way of challenging your mind as well as your body.

The goal is actually not weight loss either, but fat-loss coupled with muscle gain which is an entirely different thing.  I measure this with a mirror. This is Jack LaLanne’s method of staying motivated, which is to step out of the shower and gaze at your naked body in the mirror until you get angry enough and motivated enough to do something to change it and reforge it.  I do this every day.

See the source image

I still have a long way to go.  But the goal is to trade fat for muscle, not just lose weight, so I meditate on the best way to do that.

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 follow A FULL Paleo Diet Plan from April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020.

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

My diet has been more spot on and for the most part, this is due to the fact that every time I eat something off plan it makes me feel like shit. Not because I don’t make allowances for cheat meals or carbs during the day, but it literally makes me feel a little queasy and I think my body is trying to tell me something.  I think I am ready for some more purging of things I shouldn’t have in my diet.

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.

The exercise plan is coming along, I just need to make some changes as far as routines and when I do things to have it completely consistent. There is a spiritual side of all my exercise.  Weightlifting is not alone in that regard as hiking and stretching have their meditative side.

I have been saving for the tattoo.  I am currently engaged in the process of deciding what to do first.  Much has changed since I last spoke on this but there are some tattoos that keep rising to the top. The question is which one would be the most significant as the first one. Right now I leaning toward something like this as it is the most complete expression of my philosophy I have seen in a single tattoo:

The only problem would be where to put it.

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

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

My wife and I are scheduled and we both have the time off for June 9th through the 11th and we have our reservations at a hotel so the mini-vacation is set.  It is less than a month away so it is something we are both looking forward to.  There is also this family vacation on the horizon, so the next goal of saving for that might simply fall into place.

A genetic test is not beyond the realm of possibility within the next year.  Once I know the results I can start the research into where my ancestors got on the boat and got off.

Higher Virtue – Wisdom: 

The wise choice in this is to take care of my body and be loyal to myself first. Something I meditate on often to assess whether or not I am staying true to this. If I don’t do either of these things, the rest of it becomes jeopardized.  Painful but important lessons learned.  Wisdom gained and being implemented.

Weekly Routine: 

  1. Weightlifting/Stretching – Minimum 3 days per week.
  2. Walking – Minimum 3 days a week
  3. Job Search – Minimum 3 days a week
  4. Cleaning – 3 days a week.
  5. Writing – 3 times a week
  6. Latin – 3 times per week
  7. Cheat Meal Count: 3 per week.

This routine needs more dedication, but it is solid as a plan.

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

Goals Achieved: 2

  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

Bucket List Items Achieved: 0

I added the completion of my internship this week and thus the requirements for my degree are finished.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues – Realigning Discipline

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Journal Entry:

Discipline is a very interesting word as it defines a lot of different things. Mostly in this context it is doing the things that need to be done every day to achieve the goals you want to achieve. When coupled with perseverance, it is an unstoppable force to getting where you want to go.  I was recently browsing through Barnes and Noble in the business section and found that there were at least ten books on discipline and many others where discipline is a key element among a very few.

For me discipline expresses itself in routines and doing things when they need to be done. The issues for me; most of the time, are procrastination and The Grey.  In any case though the one thing that keeps me moving forward the most is discipline and both those opposing problems are overcome by 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.”

I don’t really have a problem with this virtue as it is written. In fact, it is one of the best definitions of discipline I know.

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

Don’t really have a problem with the principle either. It has kept me thinking on the issue of connecting my life to discipline.  No the real issue is the goal and bucket list item. Both have to be self oriented and connected with discipline. I originally thought my weightlifting would be a good fit, but in truth while this can be hard at times, it is not the self-discipline I struggle with the most.  No, that belongs to Nutrition.  At the same item as I looked at the other goals and bucket list items, weightlifting does not fit anywhere else all that well. I realize the whole issue of health fits here as it is the most easily seen thing where discipline leads to results but at the same time.  The weightlifting, nutrition and walking all are part of this taking charge of my body and living healthy as possible. So which to choose.

This is the point in the realignment that I realized that a complete rewrite of some goals and bucket list items might be needed to make this realignment a reality. I also looked at my goals and bucket list items and realized some just straight up don’t work anywhere.  This is particularly true for the bucket list.  So what goal to set and what bucket list item to pursue? It also becomes clear at this point that may goals I have currently are not that SMART. Goals should also have a singular point not be multifaceted.  Simplicity here is key.

Goal: To follow A FULL Paleo Diet Plan from April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020.

Nutrition is by far the most challenging thing for me and it is time I take in on full speed.  This gives me the rest of March to prepare.  I also can start to look at what items I can eat and drink.  Mostly, what I see is eliminating dairy and the other items in my diet that I need to purge. Coming up with Paleo alternatives is going to be the real challenge and I hope a fun one.

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

Smoke a Joint, Get Drunk, Visit a Nudist Resort. I haven’t decided yet. Something along those lines.  My tattoos are not on this list because they will be connected with Perseverance. The idea is to plan an act of rebellion and execute it. Live life a little as a reward for successful discipline.  Something undisciplined to counter all the discipline.

One other thing.  This realignment thing has pointed out that I can streamline the A Skald’s Life posts. I can do this by including the specific goal and bucket list item under each Virtue as well as the principle.  This would allow me to consider them together.  I will start this process next week.

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.

I think I have spoken enough on this today, but there will be changes to the routines that reflect all this.

Perseverance:

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

Principle: Keep getting up after every defeat or failure.

As I said my tattoos will probably be here as the Bucket List Item. The goal might have to involve exercise.  I do two things for this Walking and Weightlifting. How to couple these into one exercise program. Stretching fits in here too. Something that involves a complete exercise program is what I am thinking.

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.

Still thinking on this one but it involves relationships so my marriage. family and friends come to mind.  Mostly though I think both the goal and bucket list will be about my wife and I.  It may involve family and friends but it is going to focus on the two of us. I have some ideas but I will keep them to myself for now.

Higher Virtue – Wisdom: 

The wisdom of all this realignment is centered on two principles – minimalism and simplicity. The goal is a more streamlined system of working the virtues out in my life that is simple.  So the effort required is much less. I want o achieve my goals as efficiently as possible and that involves making the pursuit less time-consuming and yet remaining effective.

Weekly Routine: 

  1. Weightlifting – 4 days per week.
  2. Cleaning – 3 days a week.
  3. Walking – 4 days a week
  4. Writing – 4 times a week
  5. Cheat Meal Count – Currently 2

The decision to go full Paleo Diet and next weeks exercise changes will involve some rewriting of the routine here.  I am hoping it will make these things more likely to get done.

Evening Routine:

  1. Take supplements and medications.
  2. Brush and Floss Teeth
  3. Out the Door Preparation
  4. Reading – 15 min.
  5. Go to Bed

Still need an effective trigger here. But also look at the idea of beating diabetes so the first one just says supplements.

Nutrition:

Full Paleo by April 1st.  Means doing some homework and dumping some things from my diet. I still think a cheat meal once a week is a good idea. Keeps you from going completely bonkers with cravings.

Weekly Recap:

The weekly recap is going to change because I think I can divide what I normally do here among the three A Skald’s Life posts as well. But a weekly recap is still needed on Friday but it might be where I keep my Goal and Bucket list Counts as well as have a more general feelings about the week and what needs work.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!