This Naked Mind is such an interesting name. What exactly does it mean? Find out what inspired Annie to use this unique name for her book and what exactly it means to have a ‘naked mind’.

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What Is A Naked Mind?

Ned asked this question. It’s cool because I haven’t actually been asked this before. I thought really long and hard about how to title the book, This Naked Mind. One day I was eating some Bear Naked granola, which is organic granola without preservatives or chemicals, and the idea of having a naked mind when I knew I had been putting so much, well, preservatives and chemicals into my brain, and intoxicants, and whatnot. The idea of having a naked mind and just the idea of how good it felt to put something organic and chemical-free into my body and thinking, “Oh, well, I’m going to be doing that with my mind as well because I’m not going to be putting in these neurotoxins. I’m not going to be putting things into my mind that change my thinking or change my behavior.”

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Being Naked With Your Mind

That idea on its surface of just being naked within your mind and really taking life with how you were born to take it instead of believing that I needed all this other stuff, all these other kind of cushions, or self-medications, or crutches to survive it had a lot of appeal. It’s not the easiest idea, and it can be terrifying at times. Because if there’s one thing you know that I would say if you asked me do I miss anything about drinking, I don’t miss anything about drinking. What I miss is the idea of drinking. I miss the idea that there was something that I could have put into my glass to take away the anxiety or take away whatever. I’ve really proven to myself through self-experimentation that that doesn’t happen. It makes it worse over time, and I’m a much less happy person when I drink. The idea that there is some magic thing that does me no harm, that doesn’t make things worse over time, that can go in my glass, that was an attractive idea.

Live Naked

Equally, the idea of not needing anything to live my life and take my life just how it is, how it’s been given to me, and live it naked, with a naked mind I think is kind of this really, really appealing idea. So, the first answer is that it came just simply from this idea of not having anything in your brain that’s going to take it away from how it was kind of created, created naked. We came out of the womb naked. Not needing intoxicants. We didn’t have self-medication devices. We didn’t have crutches to relax us, and just this idea of being naked.

Being Whole

Then, the other idea is more about coming back to being whole again. I think when you were young, when you were a baby, you had these ideas that you would cry when you needed food. You would throw a temper tantrum when you were mad. There wasn’t a lot of things that you did that you beat yourself up for. There wasn’t a lot of division inside yourself about, “Oh, man. Well, you know, I shouldn’t cry because I need food,” or whatever.

Then, you become an adult and you start to do things that you’re not entirely comfortable with, and especially around drinking because you have this very conscious desire to drink less, at least I did. It was strong, conscious desire to drink less. Another thing was happening in my brain, another thing was going on where despite my conscious desire to drink less, despite my conscious desire to be healthier, to live a life without chemicals. I had this other thing that was making me want and crave alcohol, and it was something I didn’t understand.

It’s Everywhere

After years of research and my experience with some pain that I realized I was burying kind of deep within my psyche, I came to the conclusion that this other thing was this deep unconscious desire that had been ingrained in me since literally since I can remember seeing people drink, seeing adults drink, seeing the adults in your life drink, seeing drinking on TV, seeing drinking at every conceivable social occasion. The last funeral I was at, there was drinking. The last baby shower I was at, there was drinking. There’s nothing we do as a society, it seems, without alcohol. So, we’re led to believe that it’s this really vital piece of life. So, I had this deep, deep in my psyche belief that alcohol was a vital piece of life and that life needed alcohol and alcohol needed life.

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Special music thank you to the Kevin MacLeod Funkorama (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
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