Hello, and welcome to the first Girl Gone Wild post! I’m so glad you’re here and I hope you’ll join me on a journey to find your wild and free your soul. xx
If you’d asked me 20 years ago what it is to be wild, I’d probably have recounted wild nights out; cocktails, parties and larger than life characters. (followed by a filthy hangover and a crippling amount of anxiety the morning after!).
Maybe you imagine that wild is that ‘once in a life time’ adventure in a far away wilderness, with glaciers and forests in a vast uninhabited landscape.
Wild has no boundaries, it is a world where you can be free. Where you co-exist only with the creatures and species that know of no laws, or rules or obligations.
“The truth is that we are wild. We were born wild”.
A miracle of nature, we were born into this world untamed and unadulterated. Before we became aware of what other’s think of us, before we became self-conscious, we were wild, and free to just “be”. We, as human beings have been wild for centuries before now. Wild is how we began.
Let me tell you a story that has been retold in my family ever since I can remember. When I was around 3 years old I was discovered unaccompanied on the high street wearing a teapot cosy on my head, and holding a fistful of foreign coins. My Grandmother who’d been walking down the street was astonished to find me there and promptly escorted me home. It transpired, that while my mum had been having a bath, I’d found some money in the house left over from a recent tour my father (a jazz musician) had returned from. I’d taken the money, let myself out of the house and toddled off down the street into town to buy myself some sweets from the local sweet shop. The sweet shop owner, on being offered foreign coins by a cute tea pot cosy wearing toddler had obligingly given me a bag of lemon sherbet for free.
Now, although this story is always told in jest. It is true. But there are dual layers to this story that have both unsettled and inspired me for many years. Firstly, why on earth was I wearing nothing but a teapot cosy on my head!? And more worryingly how had my mum not noticed I’d gone!? But what I find curious is that I must have been absolutely fearless. I knew what I wanted and I went right out there to get it, and I felt I was free to do so. My idea, my drive, my dream…..it was all completely possible in my mind. Despite the millions of reasons a child should NOT do this, none of this was a problem to my wild, untamed 3 year old self. This unsettles me. It unsettles me because I wonder what happened to that wild, untamed, head strong, determined little girl?.
“Something stirs inside me, something important….”
Something stirs inside me, something important, when I acknowledge that I am that little girl. But what also shows up for me is a clue… a clue about what is my ‘self’, what is at my core, what is in my soul. How it feels to be my true untamed self, and more curiously, how being untamed can bring freedom to be brave and dream big!
Now, I’m not suggesting I can find my wild again by wearing a teapot cosy on my head. (Although maybe I’ll give it a try!?) But more along the lines that… if I could somehow get back to that little girl. The one who was fearless, the one who followed her dream, who felt free to “be” whatever she felt like. Then maybe I can feel braver, and more bold and free again NOW?
So let me ask you something. Do you have a story like this? When you cast your mind back, even if you can’t remember the exact details, there will have been a time you did something that you only would have done because you were a child. The reason? Because you were untamed. Not because you were naughty, or uninformed, or uneducated or not old enough to know better, but because that is simply what YOU wanted to do.
At some point, (perhaps you know exactly when, or maybe it was a subtle shift), there was a point when this freedom came to an end. When you sensed, or were told, it was time to “grow up”. As the expectations of others began to mold and influence the direction you went in, an unspoken rule was made between you and the rest of the world. Your wild became a little less wild, and your freedom a little less free.
So, how can we find the Wild in us again? How can we unlearn these rules and experience inner freedom again…?
I believe that we can all find our wild again. Even if just fleetingly to begin with. We can do this by first finding the wild OUTSIDE of us, and then, respectfully inviting it to connect and invoke the natural wild INSIDE of us.
In doing this, we are not taking from nature, we are not using nature to gain, we are reconnecting, and by doing so we are reconnecting to ourselves. Rewilding ourselves. Reminding us of what we have, and what we ARE already.
You know how when you smell a certain smell it can transport you back to a memory? The time, the place, the way you felt, can all become tantalizingly real. Cinnamon to me is Christmas. With this smell it brings with it a warm, cosy, cared for feeling. Rosemary is Sunday roasts in the kitchen surrounded by family and a sense of hope. Lavender is my Grandma’s soap I used when I stayed over as a child and felt safe and loved.
What smells invoke a memory for you? How strong does it feel for you?
“When you purposefully engage your senses, you experience what is happening for you in a more meaningful way”.
So what happens if you invite the wild to transport you back to your wild, untamed self. Let it seep into your senses and invoke those lost memories, this forgotten knowledge. It is in your DNA. It resides in ALL of us. Sometimes we simply need to engage our senses in order to be reminded.
By spending time in nature, in green and blue spaces, being mindful of our surroundings, our senses can bring about change. It is widely documented that this alternative NHS (Natural Health Service) can reduce stress, boost our wellbeing, and even change our mood. By noticing the colours and patterns in leaves and flowers, the smell of coconut from the gorse in summer, the feel of the cool dew on the grass beneath your bare feet, the sound of the birds singing in the trees, the taste of salt on your skin when you’ve been swimming in the sea. It will all stir an unconscious long forgotten knowledge of what it is to be wild and free.
The power of nature runs through us, and as she does, she gently awakens all that was lost, but is now remembered, all that has been known for centuries before us. Nature reminds us that we are wild and that we can indeed feel free again.
This is the wild that I speak of.