I’m an advocate for getting naked. Especially with your truth. Last week in Barcelona, and for the second time in my life, I found myself on a nudist beach. It wasn’t intentional, but that’s where I ended up. I took this as a sign from the Universe to get naked more, both on the outside and on the inside. But let’s start with naked on the outside, shall we?
A Barcelona Beach : Playa Mar Bella
The beaches along the coast of Barcelona are as gorgeous as the people. We chose Playa Mar Bella after much deliberation and research. On the long train ride in from our AirBnb, we pictured a beautiful, soft, sandy beach with chair + umbrella rentals in front of a little beachside snack bar. Imagine our surprise as we descend the stairs to the beach to encounter is a 60-year old Spaniard with all of his goodies hanging out in the sunshine. He was rinsing off the salt of the ocean in an open-air shower. It was a pure moment of, “Oh, so this is what this is.” I nodded my head in acceptance as I scanned to my right, along the shoreline, wondering how we didn’t come across this little fact in our research. As far as the eye could see there was beautiful glistening bodies at every age, from 12 to 80.
If you’re purely an American reader, then you may be a bit taken aback by that last statement. (Or maybe you’re giggling right about now.) Please recognize that this is simply a different culture. This is just a way of being. Nudity isn’t a big deal because it doesn’t necessarily mean sex, even if there is a delicious, sensual quality to it. I, for one, think this mindset is gold.
Ladies, consider the freedom that this kind of outlook could mean for your sex life : what would it mean if nudity wasn’t this over-sexualized, commercialized, oh-em-gee-did-you-see-that thing that we make it in America? What if we saw the nature and the beauty first? Did you just feel your self-esteem level rise? Because honestly, can you feel the vibe when you take the pressure and drama OUT of the equation, and instead focus on the beauty of these bodies we’re given? So many women I know worry about sex, because they’re super concerned about getting naked in front of a man (or woman). But, my darling, did you just read that? S/he just won the freaking jackpot. Recognize the diamond that you are, my souladventure goddess.
I suppose what I’m saying is that we can learn a thing here. Stepping onto that beach was kind of freeing. It helped me let go of perfectionism and step into the grace of beauty (the men + the women + the kids). These lovelies on the beach were so chilled out in their element, so I felt that energy and rode that wave while still in bathing suit. (I was with my mom, which would have just been too weird. You’re welcome, mama.) Third time’s the charm?
A Barcelona Sight : Park Güell
Barcelona is best known for the architectural triumphs of Antoni Gaudí. He completely revolutionized the industry with his innovation in Modernism. #geniustothemax More than anything I was inspired by his heart-led intention. He created slowly, using different materials and developing new techniques, to craft his vision. As Gaudí says, “My client is not in a hurry.”
Artists like Gaudí were so clearly beyond their time, and I can only imagine the accompanying struggles. As an old soul myself, there have been many times when I felt disconnected from people. But I imagine that to be so next-level artisan would mean next-level isolation despite public adoration. I have immense gratitude for the Internet, which connects me with like-hearted souls. But, Gaudí, Michaelangelo, and the like didn’t have that. It’s a wonder to me that despite the isolation, despite the fact that no one or very few “got it,” they kept getting naked with their truth for their art over and over and over again. We learned a lot about him while on this bus tour of the city, but by far, my favorite space was Park Güell. Rather than blather on about this and that, I’ll just share my three top tips. (1) Look up the entrances with escalators. (2) Book your tickets the day before on the OFFICIAL website. (3) Show up on time, because they may not let you in if you are late.
A Barcelona View : Castell Monjüic
My trip to Castell Montjüic was an accident (read : grace). I really just wanted to ride the cable car, which felt like an amusement park ride to the best view in all of Europe. Not knowing much about the castle ahead of time, I hiked up the winding hills to the base of the mountain rather than take public transport. As I rode the cable car to the top, as the city expanded below me. That wasn’t the only view my fellow tourists enjoyed; while paying the 5 euro entrance fee to the Castle in 50cent pieces (cause a girl has to lighten her load), I flashed the line of visitors as my shift dress blew up Marilyn-Monroe style. I guess I was a bit too right when I decided a shift dress would keep me cool. (I didn’t really consider the wind at the edge of the world. #kindanaked)
I strolled in and around the castle looking at cobblestones and wondering how many millions of people have trod on this spot or that. But I never expected to find an edge with a pure panoramic ocean view. To be fair though, this is usually what happens when I venture out without many expectations : I find limitless appreciation. Not unlike the Castle Sao Jorge in Lisbon, I had a pretty riveting experience of self-immersion. I was without WiFi, without a person, and even without book. I was with myself. This crazy thing happens when you let go of all the people and all the stuff : you find yourself with more to give. And somehow a castle on a hill puts me in that space. So I sat with the ocean and asked the question which has been coming up more and more often these past few months.
How can I contribute more deeply? To which I received this answer…
Get naked with your truth.
Keep stripping your conditioning.
Keep shedding your fear.
Look out for Pt. II Staying Alive in Barcelona for the nuts and bolts like accommodations, restaurants, transportation, etc. As always, you can subscribe to the right!