By Caitlin Weatherstone.
Nature is the forgotten necessity in our modern society. With the domination of concrete, buildings, cars, phones and deadlines, we’re more stressed and anxious than ever before. We are not designed for this world. And yet we continue to perpetuate this frantic existence as we create the next generation of frazzled humans, even more disconnected from nature and their own selves than the last. Rewilding has been proposed as a remedy for this deficiency of nature. Originally a term used by ecologists, rewilding refers to the process of restoring landscapes back to their natural state. Rewilding can also occur in humans, with the difference being that there is a focus on rewilding our inner landscapes. This process involves connecting with our roots and recognising that we are human animals who were once capable of surviving (and thriving) in the wild.
Rewilding = Reconnection
Rewilding in our modern world isn’t easy. With technological devices attached to us like extra limbs, how do we switch off? How do we find our wild? What does that even mean? The answer lies in disconnecting. Disconnect to reconnect. I’m not suggesting that we all go back to our caveman ways and ditch our smart-phones, don loin cloths and run around in the forest. But I am proposing that we disconnect from our modern ideals in order for the human race to move forward sustainably. We need to reconnect with Mother Nature and our true selves in order to find our wild (and our sanity) again.
Here are some simple steps to get wild:
Adventure in nature frequently. Find a new waterfall, tree, beach, path, dune, creek or forest. Appreciate nature’s beauty and breathe in the fresh air.
Whilst on your nature adventure, take your shoes off. Literally ground yourself.
Ditch the chemical-laden cosmetics, products and foods. Go organic, sustainable, natural and wholesome.
Learn traditional bush skills. It’s a great way to connect to nature, get your hands dirty and encourage self-sufficiency.
For at least one hour a day and a whole day on the weekend, turn your phone onto flight mode (aka. off) and actually connect with someone: yourself, your mum, your child, your best friend or partner. Give yourself permission to go deeper.
Get a sisterhood/brotherhood
Share the wild love! Organise nature adventures, skill-share workshops and nature gatherings for your tribe.
I challenge you to disconnect, reconnect and rewild your lives. Nature is calling you back. Some of the pleasant side effects of rewilding may include feelings of self-love, confidence, calmness and resilience. You’re actually nicer to people and have a greater respect for all living things, you can craft all sorts of wonders with your hands and you are guaranteed epic adventures in nature. You may even make some new wild friends (animal and human), your legs may become stronger (and hairier), your feet dirtier and your grin wider!
About the author
Caitlin is a Wildlife Ecologist and owner of Wild Search Byron Bay, an environmental education business. She runs Rewilding Women workshops and women’s circles in the Byron Shire. www.rewildingwomen.com.au, www.wildsearchbyronbay.com.au, Instagram @rewildingwomen @wildsearchbyronbay