I’ve just done something that has made me very, very happy. And I want to share it with you. I went swimming. Avid readers of my blogs will know I’ve been having a go at surfing for a month or so. But for that I’ve been dressed in a wetsuit. What made swimming so special on this occasion was that I went into the water wearing… nothing. And my partner wore the same.
Kinky? Just imagine this for a moment. A warm, sunny day and you’re cycling along a track beside a beautiful lake. You come to a spot where there’s a tiny beach. And there’s no one there. In fact, there’s no one to be seen anywhere. What do you do?
In my book How To Be Happier I stress the importance of doing what you want. I quote the English poet and mystic William Blake, ‘Sooner murder an infant in its cradle than nurse unacted desires’.
Our desire was to cool off. Our desire was to swim. We hadn’t brought costumes and we hadn’t brought a towel. But it wasn’t just necessity that made us dive in naked. It was for the feeling of freedom. Of spontaneously doing something we hadn’t prepared for. Of wanting to do it and doing it. No beach umbrellas or bags loaded down with paraphernalia. No excuses. No if only’s. Just us and Nature.
Let me tell you, if you’ve never been skinny dipping you haven’t lived. The difference between wearing that little scrap of costume and nothing at all is enormous. The sensuality, especially the first time, is hard to describe – always provided the water is at a comfortable temperature. But that wasn’t my first time. In fact, I’ve been doing it for years. I’ve also taken quite a few friends and, I can tell you, those who go through with it get as excited as kids at Christmas.
But could there be even more to it? Could the reaction to swimming naked have something to do with unconscious memories of being in the womb? That’s one of the things I’m investigating for my latest book, ‘Be Your Own Personality Coach’. The more research I do the more convinced I am of the importance of those prenatal months on the development of personality. The fact that you don’t remember them doesn’t mean they didn’t have an impact.
And, maybe, in certain circumstances you can remember them. That’s something I’ll be blogging about next time.