Break On Through. Thanksgiving Sky. November, 2015. Desert Hot Springs, CA.

Break On Through. Thanksgiving Sky. November, 2015. Desert Hot Springs, CA.

“It’s European style,” says the Desert Hot Springs spa owner. Let’s call her Ann. “Clothing optional.”

I stare at the phone in disbelief. Look down at my sweater, flowy French dress, suede boots. Then burst into laughter.

“You okay with that?”

“Perfect,” I say. “Something new.”

I don’t tell her I’m raw from a recent breakup. Seeking rebirth.

That first night, Thanksgiving, the one I was supposed to spend with him — I furtively shuck my towel and slip into the nightdark jacuzzi. Disappear beneath bubbles.

It is a moon-splashed womb. A watery respite from heartbreak.

Let us give thanks.

The next morning, I take a shower.

Though my muscles are still deliciously loose from last night’s soak, I sense a tightening in my stomach. My shoulders tense, rise up around my neck.

Am I afraid of being naked? After all my adventures?


It’s not fear.


I don’t want to be naked in front of the spa owners. The other guests. It’s that simple.

The resistance is a camel, stubborn and sullen. Stuck in sand.

If only I had cut-offs!

I flash on the character Tobias Funke in the cult comedy show “Arrested Development.” He was a NeverNude — the condition of never being able to be completely nude. He always wore a pair of jeans cut-offs underneath everything. If those cut-offs were revealed, Tobias reacted as if he were nude and freaked out.

What if I were a NeverNude? I’d throw on my cut-offs and that would dissolve the discomfort!

How sublimely, absurdly ridiculous.

That’s when I make a decision.

What I know from business, what I coach my private clients in, is how to face resistance. Move toward — then through it. Fastest way to accelerate growth.

Big time.



This is how you embody business.

Resistance pops up when there is something you need to break through.

Sometimes it’s in the body.

When you break through, the results show up in your body, your mind — and in your bottom line.


I fling a towel over my shoulder and, buck naked, stride over to the breakfast lounge like I own the joint.

Past the burbling hot springs, through the clean, pure desert light, through the sliding glass doors.

I am Athena. I am the Bionic Woman. I am Beyonce.

When I enter the lounge, only the owners are there. They are both robed. It’s all I can do not to turn on my bare heels and run for my room.

“Well I did it!” I say, stupidly. “I’ve never done this before. Er.”

The owner takes pity and drops his robe so I’m not alone in my awkward nudity.

There’s no intrigue. No mystery. No seduction.

Everyone is achingly human.

“This is how it started,” says the wife. She stands before me, drops her robe and shows me her reconstructed breast. The scar on her belly where they doctors drew flesh to rebuild her right breast.

“When I was 38, I got breast cancer,” she says. Her husband nods.

“Before that, I was always jealous,” he says.

Turns out, her doctor used her as a case study. She was endlessly naked before a parade of doctors, med students, nurses.

When she was cured, her husband — a pastor — began a six year inquiry into nakedness.

Why was nakedness considered a sin? Was it art? What did the Bible truly say?

Along the way, their aging parents faltered, needed care. They were again confronted with nakedness at its most essential.

Twelve years ago, this 41 years-long-married, devout couple and parents of four took a stand. Got kicked out by their church. And here they are, hosting the Living Waters Spa (Living Waters Spa). Where wanderers like myself can come for recreation. Rebirth.

And a deep, liberating sense of self acceptance.

Because when I faced and moved toward my resistance — when I moved through — that’s when the couple shared their story.

That’s when I opened myself to other experiences out there in the desert, to sweet unexpected connections, and vowed to keep my heart tender and open — in business, and in life.

Because all this talk in marketing about being authentic, honest, vulnerable — what is that if not a call to embrace being naked? To connecting on the most primal, pure level?

It’s all about connection.

Your path to authenticity is through resistance.

Pay attention to your own.

Then — even if it feels crazy uncomfortable and you want to wrap yourself tight in a Turkish towel, or hide in the hot springs — go toward that resistance.

Then through.

Great gifts are waiting for you on the other side.