"Poor attitudes about our bodies not only block our path to
spiritual awareness but also interfere with our physical and
mental health."

By Daniel D. Ziegler

OUR SPIRITUAL PATH is the process of seeking self-acceptance at the
highest level--the level of our spirit, our higher Self, our divinity. Spiritual
awareness, then, is spiritual self-acceptance or acceptance at our highest
level of existence.

The journey toward spiritual self-acceptance is precluded, however, by
self-acceptance of our lower levels of existence--of our physical, emotional
and mental bodies; and spiritual awareness is actually blocked if we hold
negative judgments against these lower levels. Thus negative judgments
against our bodies, such as shame, embarrassment and disgust, are
barriers to self-acceptance of our higher self.

The path to spiritual self-awareness, then, must begin at the very
beginning--with body acceptance. Unfortunately in our society, we are
bombarded from early age by negative messages about out bodies.
Religion, entertainment, the advertising industries, as well as other sources,
contribute to poor body image and a lack of self-esteem and
self-acceptance. Before we even reach an age of self-awareness, we have
already developed deeply ingrained negative attitudes that cloud our

Poor attitudes about our bodies not only block our path to spiritual
awareness but also interfere with our physical and mental health. By sending
negative messages to our bodies and by mistreating them in the name of
religion, fashion, or whatever, we cause our own dis-ease and illness. Body
acceptance, then, not only removes the barriers to spiritual self-acceptance
and awareness but also removes the causes of many health problems. A
body that is fully accepted and loved thus opens the pathway to spiritual
self-acceptance and awareness as well as serving as a healthy physical
statement of that spirit.

Many self-help books suggest that in order to improve our self-image we
should stand naked in front of a mirror, telling ourselves that we are beautiful.
While this practice may indeed make it easier for us to stand naked in front
of a mirror, it does very little to dispel the notion that our bodies do not fit
within the normal range of bodies. That requires that we see other naked

Abraham Maslow, the famous psychologist, once made a statement to the
effect that nudism--that is seeing other nude bodies--is a therapy in and of
itself. Nothing is more healing to a poor body image than to see other real
bodies because real bodies seldom look like Madison Avenue would have
us believe. Real bodies come in such a wide variation that it's not hard to
dismiss the idea that we don't fit in somewhere.

To see real naked bodies is definitely therapeutic, but to be seen naked by
others is equally important AND necessary. Being seen and accepted by
others is the final step in learning to accept our own bodies. Once the
negative judgments that stood as barriers to higher awareness are removed,
we are healed of our negative body image and we are now free to move to
new levels of acceptance and awareness.

The path to body acceptance is often anticipated with a great deal of anxiety
because it is thought that it may require years of painful therapy or some sort
of traumatic psychological experience. Neither is true. The path to body
acceptance is quickly and easily accomplished--and it is fun. Since nudity IS
our natural state, so IS body acceptance our natural state. We are born with it
and we are simply returning to it; and since we have already been there,
there is nothing new to learn. It is simply a remembering of something we've
already experienced, and is accomplished with great joy and freedom--and a
sense of returning home. The path is social nudism or nude recreation. * * *

Copyright 2008 Daniel D. Ziegler
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Reclaiming Acceptance of our Original State