Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Nourishing the Wild Self: Part 1- What is the Wild Self?

Today, I’m not here to tell you what to eat, what is or isn’t right or healthy, but to encourage you to connect with your most wild, vital self- and discover what nourishes and feeds THAT self on the deepest most vital level.  Granted there are some basic nutritional parameters for a generally healthy functioning human body, which we’ll go over briefly, but lets explore deeper than macro and micronutrients, and find what truly NOURISHES the wild in you, and around you.

Ask:  What does the term Wild bring to mind? 
            What does it mean to “be wild?”

What is the Wild Self?

Wild: 1 a : living in a state of nature and not ordinarily tame or domesticated
b (1) : growing or produced without human aid or care 
c : of or relating to wild organisms
2 a : not inhabited or cultivated
3 a (1) : not subject to restraint or regulation :
(2) : emotionally overcome ; also : passionately eager or enthusiastic
c : going beyond normal or conventional bounds
d : indicative of strong passion, desire, or emotion
4 : uncivilized, barbaric
5 : characteristic of, appropriate to, or expressive of wilderness, wildlife, or a simple or uncivilized society
6 a : deviating from the intended or expected course

From Merriam-Webster dictionary online (www.merriam-webster.com)

For our purpose the WILD SELF is :  The self that is uninhibited, untamed, free from restraint and regulation, passionate and emotional, that goes beyond what conventional culture expects of us.

The wild self does not submit to “rules” about which diet or kind of food is “right” without question or thought.  The wild self knows instinctively what feels most nourishing, but has often been locked away, cajoled, coerced and silenced by a culture that imposes its rules of what is right for our bodies and our lifestyles.

How many of us find ourselves deviating from the “normal” diet, the normal “work”- feeling that something is amiss with the expectations set before us?  Do you fight internally or externally against what is expected of you?  Against rules that were ingrained since childhood? 

For a moment, I want you to recall a moment in your life when you felt most alive, awake, and in touch with your hearts wildest callings and emotions.  This could be a moment of passion, fear, righteous anger, or peace/bliss.  Perhaps it comes strongest while sitting alone in the woods, while defending someone you love, when following your passion for making music or gathering plants, or while swimming naked in wild water.  Find the place in your body where you feel this wildness emerges.  Somewhere between your sex and your heart?  Feel that place in yourself.  Feel your wild self and its urgings.

Ask:  Where do you feel that?  What feelings do you experience?

  Remember and feel this place when you begin to explore what your wild self needs to be nourished.

The Wild is also our wild, living planet that endlessly and graciously provides for us- air to breathe, sunlight to warm us, cool waters to drink, plants that grow for food, medicine and materials for creation, animals for food and inspiration, the list goes on.  We are not separate from this wildness of the earth. 
Our culture insists that we are; and goes to great lengths to make us believe that we are separate from Earth- that our food only comes from markets and factories, that our work must be done inside buildings in front of computers for a paycheck each week, that our families must fit into a traditional man, woman and child structure.  But the earth has provided for human kind, animal kind, and all of living creations long before our culture came to impose its rules.  We too knew where to find food from the wild earth, our lifestyles used to provide days of leisure time each week (after hunting or gathering enough food to eat), which we used to create, share, relate with our communities and families.  A community which includes the land on which we live. 

 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more  value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you,   Matthew 6:26-30

It is so that what nourishes our wild self: body, mind and heart also nourishes the wild earth, as we are not separate from it.  And what nourishes the wild earth, nourishes us.  A land ravaged by chemical fertilizers, pesticides, monocrops and factory farms with unhealthy animals crammed together suffering and creating waste is certainly not nourishing the Earth.  How can this model nourish us then?  It can provide calories, and fill an empty belly certainly.  But is that true nourishment?  Does it feed your body with vitality from the lifeforce of what you have eaten, both plant and animal?  Does it fulfill your bodies nutritional needs completely? Does it create health? Does it make your heart sing with joy and gratitude? Does it provide for your community economically? Does it respect and protect the wildness of the Earth that provides for all her creatures, not just human kind?  The answer to these questions is inevitably NO.

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"The mother of us all, the oldest of us all, Hard, splendid as rock, Let the beauty you love, be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth"~ Rumi ~