The journey from pre-wild to rewild isn’t always a quick snap of the fingers or a smooth ride. It takes its sweet time, years in most cases.
As I reflect, to share with you my story from tamed to wild, I want to cast my mind back to a “moment” when it all fell into place – but that simply isn’t true. Know also that this story isn’t a complete journey. Know that I am daily still rewilding, know, also, that there isn’t a destination to arrive to, no Wild Town on the map. It’s a constant unlearning & relearning cycle of self-discovery.
My story to get me to where I am now was a long & slow ride. Granted there were big and bold truth bombs that hurried some things up, but there were also uncomfortable truths that kept me stuck and safe for longer than I care to admit. We are working with – and against – so much indoctrination and conditioning we have to first realise and then welcome and then work with before we can get anywhere near the next step.
And that’s the thing – there’s no “done”. There’s no fully “wild” just like there's no perfect - we never will be and I think as long as we know that, it allows us some grace. It takes away the striving. It removes the ego & the masculine from trying to get “there”.
The wild is the way of the feminine, it is she who reigns.
I believe my journey towards rewilding – which I didn’t know was rewilding at the beginning – started when I was in a very unhappy previous relationship. I suppose I thought I was happy when I was in it, for a time (it’s harder to recall now), but as soon as I was out of it I realised just how toxic it was for me. I realised how in that relationship, in those sets of circumstances, while seemingly the most free (in terms of money, security, stability) was actually the time in which I felt the most trapped & the most tamed.
During that relationship I was not myself. I was playing a kind of role in order to fit the expectations of someone with a joint mortgage, an impressive pay packet, nice clothes, and bottles of wine at the weekend. But I was playing a role that was more limiting than allowing. It was a role in which I felt if I put a toe out of place (like smoke a cigarette, which I did back then) or drink too much (which I did back then) I’d be eye-rolled and tutted at in disappointment. So, I felt I had to hide the “darker” parts of myself in order to be accepted. I felt I had to be someone else in order to fit in.
My intuition, which knew better, didn’t get a look in. Oh, I squashed her way down. I thought – conscious brain – that I knew better than my gut feeling (hello programmed masculine over feminine). And I knew to grin and bear it, shut up, and count my blessings that I had a roof over my head and could afford everything I wanted – which a lot of other people do not and cannot.
I was classically tamed.
For one, I was fearful of men – not physically – but subconsciously, in that I was afraid that if they didn’t like me, then what would happen? If I didn’t impress them, then what did I have to offer?
I validated myself through the male gaze.
For two, to support the above, I used my sexuality to be liked. I used sex as currency (mistaken for power). I gave my body away in order to please – which I know now is actually giving my power away. I thought, if I didn’t offer my body, then what possibly would keep them interested?
For three, I had little self-belief, really. While I did have outward confidence, it was misplaced and fear-based. Again, I felt I had to prove myself. An undercurrent of not-enoughness & self-doubt permeated all that I did and all that I was. But it didn’t look like that on the outside. I was good at hiding it under the latest season’s clothes, a nice but naughty attitude, and charm.
There are many other ways in which I was so far from “wild” at that point in my life, but those are examples I clearly remember and still hold tenderness when I see them played out in others.
Over time, in that toxic relationship, I slowly began to realise, honour and validate my own feelings. I remember reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Ruben and that was a big moment in realising the lack of real and true happiness in my own life and what I needed to do to become more happy.
I saw big warning signs of how the life I was leading was not happiness-inducing. I saw unfixable issues with said partner at the time and realised that I wasn’t ready – or willing – to make them better, that actually leaving and starting anew felt more true and more happy.
I read a number of other inspiring books quickly after, I can especially remember Cheryl Strayed’s Wild (not so ironic) and Sacred Journey of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman. Both inspired in me such a calling to escape and to find true freedom in order to discover what it is I really wanted – outside of what was expected of me by society and by being in a womxn’s body, I was slowly learning.
Little did I know, in just over a year after reading those two books, I would have sold back my share of the house, left that relationship, handed in my notice, sold all of my belongings, and be on a plane, with a one-way ticket, headed to Bangkok.
When I made the decision to prioritise myself, my happiness, and my freedom over anything else, I found myself magnetising so many opportunities and abundance that would support me towards this awakening, towards this rewilding.
I went back to London in between that relationship and flying across the world, and that year offered baby steps towards my awakening, too. While I was very much still indoctrinated in the “system” in many ways (oh, those conditions and toxic patterns still had a hold, keeping me well at bay from true connection with my body, my power, and my purpose)
I had made the decision to leave stable employment with nothing really but trust that I’d find my way.
I was slowly beginning to stand against the hyper-masculine achievement-based mindset in favour of feminine flow & while there was a deeper change happening within me, I couldn’t really name it, or even at times, really appreciate it.
I think it’s important to note that one of the catalysts for this rewilding was an unignorable desire to be free. I had – and still have – a huge desire to do what I wanted, and an unquestionable pull to finding out and claiming what it was I wanted and who it was I wanted to be. At that point, though, there was still a way to go in regards to claiming any Sovereignty over my body; I still used my body as a tool for a good year after. That pattern was a hard one to recognise and to break.
When I made it to South East Asia, it was so easy to perpetuate this disconnect through a lack of responsibility and accountability with the hedonistic traveller’s lifestyle. But I knew, in my guilt-ridden hungover moments, that I was ignoring a deeper calling and deeper journey.
A deeper turning within was necessary, but I just wasn’t giving myself space to feel, or to quieten down. I did not prioritise the feminine.
I wasn’t ready to understand that in order to find a deeper meaning and a rewilding (I didn’t know that existed!) was to get into my body. I had no connection to or respect for my inner wisdom and my body at that point. I did not feel that my power was within me, either, as I used my body as a tool for attention (thus giving my power away & seeking external validation) or I simply disrespected it through what & how I consumed. A story that I think was also quite evident throughout my life in disordered eating behaviours and an unhealthy relationship to alcohol.
You could say during my travels I was extremely free in a physical, lack of responsibility sense, but really I was chained down still by worry, guilt, and not enoughness – all conditioned feelings thanks to the society we live in. I didn't feel free in the deeper - wilder - sense that I was to learn later on...
TO BE CONTINUED....
I'd love to hear about your rewilding story & to support you along your journey if it hasn't quite begun yet.
Perhaps you find parallels in parts of my story, to your story -
+ you might be in a relationship that you know to be bad for you;
+ you might have trouble connecting to & honouring your body through the foods that you eat & the lifestyle that you live;
+ you might be struggling with oppressive expectations putting you in a box or a role you don't want to be in....
But know that this doesn't have to be the way. Know that it can change. That when we invoke & embody our wild, our radical freedom, to trust ourselves & our inner wisdom, we can create for ourselves the life we want.
And don't be fooled, our journeys can be long and arduous, overwhelming, & quite contradicting when we're still battling old belief systems & developing our inner wisdom at the same time. But womxn, you are wild, within. She might just need to awaken.
My Awaken Your Wild eCourse is the perfect introduction for an early foray into discovering your wild womxn, or if you'd like more intimate tailored support, sisterhood, & guidance, my 1:1's and immersions allow for a profound process of rewilding over a 1-3 month period.
Get in touch to find out more. I'm here for you.
PS: art by the incredible Dimitra Milan