Naked in the Now
What if getting present was less like work and more like being seduced by a lover?
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Naked in the Now: Juicy Practices for Getting Present is a unique and playful guide for anyone feeling disconnected from their vitality and uninspired to make a change. Short, fresh practices arouse your curiosity, help you change your mindset, teach you about the power of vulnerability and authenticity, and allow you to experience moments of delight - available right now. Through self-compassion, mindfulness, and emotional intelligence tools, we learn to relax, befriend our thinking minds, stretch our limits, and restore and rejuvenate our relationship with ourselves and others. With a commitment to practice only minutes daily, Naked in the Now forms the basis for a sustainable, enjoyable awareness and self-inquiry practice that will leave you feeling juicy again.
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McCandless’s self-help guide combines spiritual techniques with nudity and intimacy. The presence of the terms Naked and Juicy in this book’s title and subtitle, respectively, initially give the work the vibe of a sex manual, and chapter titles such as “Seeking Satisfaction,” “Getting Lucky,” and “Slipping Into Something More Comfortable” don’t dispel this impression. But the author ably goes on to show that there are many aspects of nakedness other than the erotic. Being unclothed, the author writes, also means getting in touch with one’s authentic self, which exists apart from social conditioning. The book offers numerous practices that aim to show readers how to access this self, beginning with counting one’s thoughts and letting each one float away during meditation, as well as physically lifting particularly persistent thoughts up to the sky in one’s palm. Nudity is also characterized as a way to experience reverence; while bathing in a warm pool with other nude people at Harbin Hot Springs in Northern California, McCandless writes, she realized how beautiful all body types were. Shame is often associated with nakedness, but the author offers ways to heal from this self-perception. “Pink light” visualization entails imagining others with a loving glow, including those who’ve done one wrong. The author, who’s a sexual assault survivor, also discusses her reclaiming of the idea of being a “dirty girl” in the context of her erotic relationship with her husband. The book’s latter part deals with couples more specifically but effectively focuses on the emotional and spiritual aspects of their relationships. The book also explores some dark themes, but McCandless maintains a playful attitude throughout most of the book. She has a relatable style that reveals her own vulnerabilities in accounts of her husband’s infidelity and her negative thoughts about her own body. Her practices and techniques are inviting throughout, because they can be done anywhere, take little time, and require few additional materials. Refreshingly uncomplicated ways to improve relationships with a partner or with oneself. ~ Kirkus Reviews, Review
Naked in the Now presents a sensual, accessible, and playful guide for anyone committed to cultivating a nourishing spiritual life. Whether you’re a beginner, a dabbler, or a seasoned practitioner, this is a manual brimming with practical insights to help you forge a deeper connection with your own true essence. Consider this book a trusted companion that you will refer to over and over again for profound and delightful meditations and rituals meant to heal and enrich your relationships with yourself, spirit, and the world. ~ Ari Honarvar, author of the critically acclaimed debut novel, A Girl Called Rumi, and founder of Dance for Freedom, a project garnering global support for Iranian protesters
My drag is my personal practice of self-love, acceptance and expression — it’s my playground where anything is possible. I see the practices Marijke offers with her inner striptease doing the same thing. Her practices encourage us to discard old conditioning and reveal our wild and authentic inner selves. Either way, it’s about getting naked in the now! ~ Pattie Gonia, drag queen, community organizer, climate activist, and Instagram influencer @pattiegonia
Marijke is a beautiful writer who helps you create a more intimate relationship with the most valuable and worthy person in your life…you. ~ Susie Moore, bestselling author and top-rated podcast host of Let It Be Easy
If you have been interested in meditation but always found it too difficult—too time-consuming, and too boring, this book is for you. Marijke makes it as easy as (to use one of her own metaphors) slipping into a warm bubble bath. Then, once in, she gently guides you into the deeper waters of physical, psychological and spiritual practice, where you can begin to shed all the unwanted baggage that has prevented you from swimming in the now, naked and truly free! ~ Joel Morwood, Spiritual Director of The Center for Sacred Sciences, author of The Way of Selflessness
Reading Naked in the Now is like taking a masterclass on presence taught by a lifelong friend. Marijke’s gentle encouragement and relatable stories teach a new approach to life, one with less suffering and more joy. Through its playful and seductive language, we are reminded of the lightness that exists when we get comfortable with our naked selves, stripped of the thoughts and beliefs that no longer serve us. This book is a must-read for anyone who finds themselves constantly wanting more but unsure where to find real satisfaction. ~ Sanni Honnold, life coach and cofounder of OutWild, featured in Free Solo
A Fresh, Must-Read . . . Naked in the Now is for anyone that wants to accept a sacred and joyful invitation to play their way into the vibrant now. This book is much more than just a fresh take on meditation. Yes, it is lighthearted and fun, filled with creative, easy-to-understand exercises. But it is also deep in the most tantalizing of ways, with insightful new ways to view and practice age-old teachings. Without even trying, you will find your pain has been eased and you have a smile on your face. Naked in the Now will skillfully awaken a divine place in your soul that might just be dormant. And on the other side is a sense of aliveness - as if the silence and the space all around you have become lit up from within. ~ Marni Freedman, author Permission to Roar, co-founder San Diego Writers Festival
Naked in the Now takes the reader on a journey to bring more confidence and awareness to their mind, body, and spirit. Marijke naturally blends relatable lessons from her own lived experiences with supportive tools to help the reader tap into their own personal transformation and the transformation of their relationships. The exercises are meticulously designed to help the reader explore themselves on different levels and vary from easy-to-follow breathing exercises with big impacts to more introspective practices that you’ll find yourselves revisiting time and time again. ~ Courtney Sanford, event producer and community builder, cofounder OutWild
I strongly recommend reading Naked in the Now: Juicy Practices for Getting Present if you feel drawn to find your real, authentic self and want to find joy living in the moment. ~ Nere Lartitegui, PhD, author of The Missing Peace
Intimate, inspiring, and beautifully written, Naked in the Now is the ultimate guide to romancing your own soul. Embrace this book like you would your most sacred lover, for it delves deep into the essence of how to come back to ourselves, in fresh and exciting ways. It is a treasure trove of wisdom and heart with insights and practices to enliven and awaken us all! ~ Cherie Kephart, award-winning author of A Few Minor Adjustments
In reading this book, I am reminded to stay present at many levels. I love the manner in which Marijke shares her own journey as part of the process of helping the reader to be right there with her in the discovery of how to make the new connection to spirituality in the present moment. ~ Paul Steinkoenig, psychotherapist, former National Capital Area Disaster Relief assistant director for American Red Cross