What is REWILDING to me?
This is a concept that has pierced my heart and piqued my fascination for some time. REWILDING is not one thing – ask anyone. If they are acquainted with the idea, they likely have a personalized response, perhaps an impassioned one. Following are some of my ramblings on this frame of life I now live within and am writing my thesis on. I will continue to brain dump, as I feel called, should anyone be so interested in reading!
Several years ago, I picked up a photo book that drew me in – Cass Bird’s (no shocker) REWILDING. Long before that, as an adolescent, I fell head over heels for the writing of Jon Krakauer and the story of Chris McCandless in Into The Wild. Krakauer’s prose and their parallel stories illustrated something to me that was an idea, a whisper, something nameless – this call of the wild, of nature, that our human queries and pains have a salve in the natural world.
But REWILDING, to me, is not just communion with nature.
o REWILDING is a return to ourselves - to our innate intelligence, intuition and creativity
o REWILDING is connection to the natural world and organic matter
o REWILDING is about intuitive, holistic self-care: eating what feels right, doing what feels good, sleeping rhythms that rejuvenate, and recognizing and witnessing our bodies’ own wisdom
o REWILDING is emphasizing the importance of mental health, recognizing the mind/body connection and healthy levels of fear and anxiety to equilibrium and stasis
o REWILDING is the emphasis of healthy self-individuation and community engagement, returning to the cultural and tribal paradigms we are organically structured for
o REWILDING is REWILDING – recognizing your untamed and simply magical inherent self
o REWILDING is joy seeking
REWILDING is also emphasizing compassion. That might seem a radical definition, but it is not. All mammalian beings MUST be shown some compassion and love to survive infancy and childhood. All humans are hardwired to need compassion, which is why we all should feel an intrinsic connection to our inner source of compassion. Yet, many of us have lost the feeling, the frequency – the phone lines are down. Living life with compassion IS radical REWILDING.
The throb of modern-day society has deadened much of our connection with our true selves, our wellspring, our life force, but all is not lost. This is deeply personal to me. Over the last few years, I endured the most challenging time of my life – loss in myriad forms, intense physical and mental struggles, and the threat of most of what I treasure crumbling. Yet, I was also reborn from this fire. Just like that, I became who I always was within. While incredible humans held me near and far during this emotional and tumultuous time – a truth I will forever count my lucky stars for - I came to put a lot of my faith and reliance on nature’s rhythms. She reminded me I am body and soul and must nourish both. She reminded me I have instincts and intuition, that I can find concentration when I attend to all of the aforementioned and put my devices down more.
Thinking of my life through the lens of REWILDING, I moved to the outskirts of LA, nestled at the foothills of mountains, where I slumber to the sound of coyotes and silence, mostly. I entered graduate school for a Depth Psychology masters program and returned to a childhood world I’d once inhabited, where much of life can be seen from a mythological, storytelling, archetypal lens. I deepened my work with individuals and groups, spanning the globe, through my personal Coaching/Reiki practice and Of The Wolves. Then came the gift of working with wolves at Wolf Connection, a wolf sanctuary and at-risk youth empowerment program. Life became about reconnection in all possible ways.
Some of the resources and thinkers I call upon in this deepening of REWILDING can be found below and will be continuously added to:
o The Nature Fix by Florence Williams
o Jon Krakauer – most books
o Obi Kauffman
o Jacqueline Suskin
o E O Wilson: On Human Nature and Biophilia
o Outside Magazine
o Peter Levine
o David Abram
o Gaia & God : an ecofeminist theology of earth healing by Rosemary Radford Ruether
o The poetry of Pablo Neruda
o Wolf Connection
o Gabor Mate