I crawl out of the office after a long day and see a bird of prey flying high, doing circles in the sky. Instantly, I feel what it would be like to dig my talons into the earth, hunting for food, enduring the freezing cold of the mountain wind. It would be grueling and hard, but the upside would be to experience complete and utter freedom. It dawned on me that we have traded in our wildness for comfort. Was it worth it?
Human animals are wild at our core yearning to explore and use our senses to navigate the world. We yearn to experience something rather than read about it or watch a video. Maybe that's why we are seeing a surge of interactive and breakthrough creative media. The best way to fall in love is by feeling the impact of a person’s presence, or a product or service has on our physical and emotional bodies.
These bodies we tote around aren’t just for show. They aren’t just for our brains to be able to have something to sit on top of. They aren’t here to do the same thing every day, to sit in front of one screen then another screen and then another tinier screen until the walls close in on us. We are here to experience what it feels like to be wild, free, and embodied. But, how, do we reclaim wildness in our day-to-day existence?
We don’t necessarily have to quit our day jobs and take to the woods and hunt our own food. We don’t have to go out and buy a Harley and take to the highway. (I mean, you can if you want to). We need to reconnect with our bodies, our blood and our senses in whatever ways are available to us.
Ever leave the office after a long day, drive home, get inside the front door, finally relax and feel your body again and then start a meaningless argument with your spouse or roommate (or pet)? The nervous system is thawing out and blowing off steam. We’re not meant to spend the entire day sitting still, acting perfect, and ignoring our bodies and our emotions.
Companies are noticing that employees are overworked, stressed and underperforming or over-performing until they crash and burn. They are introducing “mindfulness” practices. What about "bodyfulness" practices? Meanwhile, the work days get longer to fit in company culture activities, taking time out to go to the gym, etc. If it’s adding to the stress, it’s definitely not doing what it’s supposed to be doing.
So, what do we do in the short amount of time that we have? How do we reclaim the parts of us that are wild instead of denying and ignoring and shoving down impulses and emotions? I don’t think it’s a quick fix, but instead a personal and potentially cultural overhaul that can start with very small steps. Bringing in a hint of wildness back into your daily routine could be a potent dose of much needed relief from the tension of constantly trying to perform.
- Stand up for 1 minute every 30 minutes. Set an alarm on your clock if you need to. Science shows that this simple action can add up to three years onto your life!
- Try to go on a walk outside every day, even if it’s for 5 minutes. Notice everything around you, the tiniest blades of grass, leaves, pay attention to all of your senses.
- Try to notice where your feet are, you can even ask yourself, “where are my feet?”
- Take time to write, draw, doodle, color, paint, or play with legos, clay, or something tactile.
- Genuinely connect with people around you whether it’s at work, home, a support group or community meet-up. Look into their eyes. Can you see yourself in them?
- Dance. That’s it. Just put on rocking tunes and dance. It’s amazing how it can help move emotions through, change up your mood and get you to a creative breakthrough.
- Try something new or try doing something you’ve done a bunch of times differently. Use your non-dominant hand to open doors or pick things up. Notice how you feel or how your thoughts change when you are doing this activity in a new way.
Working long hours in corporate world glued to the back of a chair or even working from home on the computer all day can drain us of our life force. A lot of folks aren’t happy in their jobs or living their dreams, and that’s okay for today. It’s hard to see where we want to go if we aren’t in our bodies right now. Acceptance is key to claiming our stories, moving closer to living our dreams and letting the wildness within us breathe (even if it's just a little bit).
I want to hear what you do to reclaim your wildness! Comment below with what activities you do or what you think could be added to the list.