Being Wilder: An Inside Job

 

When I first read Mary Oliver's quote, I felt a stirring inside I could not deny. I took her question seriously and pondered it fully, asking myself:

 

If my life was truly wild and precious,
what would I do differently with it?

 

Well, it turns out a lot.

 

Before Mary's beautiful question, I wasn't able to fully listen to my essential self. My social self and her band of chatty monkeys ruled my day.

 

After her question, I found myself with a new perspective. It centered me. It helped me exam my life and my healing from a new vantage point. And what I discovered was something pretty amazing. I saw a pattern I could not have imagined. 

 

When I was wilder, I healed.
When I treated my life as precious, I healed more.

 

I also discovered the opposite was true.

 

When I was being tamer, I didn't thrive. I didn't live life to the fullest. I didn't act like the real me. But most of all, I didn't heal. In fact, I backtracked. I lost my way. 

 

Of course, "being wilder" is a pretty subjective concept. What's wild for me, may be tame for you. What's tame for me, may be incredibly wild for you. It's personal. 

 

Perhaps it's the journey I'm on that makes Mary's question so much more poignant. But it's become the only way for me to live.

 

Now, my daily goal is to live a bit wilder. In every new situation, I ask two questions: 

 

"What would the wilder version of me do?

What would the tamer version of me do?"

 

It's nice to see the difference in my options when I view my opportunities this way. And while my absolute wildest version of me doesn't usually prevail, I consistently find myself comfortably north of neutral on my wild to tame scale. My tamer version of me just doesn't make the cut. 

 

To keep tabs on myself, I record my wilder ways each night before bed. Since I started recording my daily acts of re-wilding in June of 2016, I've seen some really interesting patterns as well as a growth in joy, happiness, and wholeness. 

 

My wilder self prevails when I am proactive about it. And this new way of operating feels like a living answer to Mary Oliver's beautiful question. 

 

Thoughts to Noodle on and Share: 

 

  • What are your keys to living wilder? 

  • If you could re-wild yourself, what would you do?

  • How can you bring a little more wild into your life?

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