My theme for the month is wildness. When I tell people this I get funny looks. People assume I’m gonna be running around naked in the woods. While I’m not above doing that, it reminds me about how we’ve got the wrong idea about the wild.
As a word we equate it to something like frenetic, frenzied, chaotic. But true wildness couldn’t be further from the truth.
Somewhere back in the good ol’ bad days we started moving further and further away from our own wild natures. We had to become civilized. Now I’m gonna save the details and debate about that occurrence for another post, but I think it is safe to say, that by now, most of us are pretty darn cut off from our own wild natures. Some of us are down right scared of them. And in turn we are scared of the wild world.
Let’s look at our mistaken ideas about wildness as an example.
Research continually shows us time and time again that nature has a relaxing and anti-depressive effect on humans. Just a few minutes a day outside lifts our mood, calms us down, and improves our health.
Why then do we fear the wild.
I think the answer lies in our own mis-alinged relationship with it. As we moved further and further away from our own wild nature, the wilderness turned from something that supported us, to something we had to conquer. In the process we lost sight of the fact that for the vast majority of creatures that live there, the wild is a place of great peace, not great struggle.
Animals in the wild spend about 90% of their time resting and relaxing, and only about 10% in a frenetic chase from danger, or hunting food. But as humans, our interactions with the wild are so limited, that we tend to only see the frenetic 10%. (These are not exact figures, but google any study on animal sleep habits and you will see what I mean).
Increasingly in our stories and media we are drawn only to the struggle. We are addicted to reality shows where modern humans are dumped in the wild with no community, no ancestral heritage to draw upon, and no help. We look at that picture and think: nature is such hard work.
But the truth is, ancient man would have never been in that situation. Our wild ancestors were surrounded by community structures, and a spiritual belief system that supported their survival.
We have become strangers in our own homes.
Nature is our ideal environment. Being in nature heals us. Take your tired, computer strained eyes and just look at a wild green landscape if you don’t believe me. It is medicine for the modern world.
This is especially true if you are a highly empathic, intuitive or sensitive person. Nature is the exact medicine you need to stay grounded, in your body and restore your frayed nerves.
We need to get outside before we destroy what is left of our beautiful planet, so that we know what it is that we are losing before it is too late.
What is your relationship with the wild? Does nature scare you? Heal you? Leave a comment below and let me know what your journey with nature has been.