A Writer’s Guide to Rewilding
Instagram is a wonderful thing – without it I don’t think I would have connected with quite so many like-minded individuals such as the fabulous Jess – a wild woman, writer and creator of The Soul Sessions, working from her studio by the sea in Cornwall, creating courageous content for authentic brands worldwide. So I’m delighted to have her guest blogging for me today on the topic of rewilding – a timely post given our first book club read this month (please see the video of our live chat here in the Facebook Group).
Rewind to three years ago and a very different woman would be standing before you. I was heading up a thriving content marketing agency, writing for The Guardian and hitting deadline after deadline, in a cycle of never-ending success.
Except I wasn’t all that successful because all I did was work. I’m not going to say it was an easy path from there to here. In the process of finding myself I lost my business, some very inauthentic friendships and my entire life turned upside down but now I’m here I realise that losing my agency and leaving everything false behind is what gave me the opportunity to rewild myself and quite literally find my true nature.
What is rewilding? It’s pretty much as it sounds, about going back to the wild, finding our wild selves and switching off to the modern world. It meant saying goodbye to a life of deadline after deadline, laptop living and snack food as a form of sustenance. Above all it was about the growth of myself rather than the growth of my business. Here is my mini guide on the things that helped me to rewild myself and my work.
Such a simple thing to do yet it makes the biggest difference, I started journaling every morning. I would just sit and write, whatever was on my mind. Sometimes I would ask for advice in my journal and then I would write the reply but from a deeper more instinctive place, free writing, scribbling to keep up with my wild mind. Journaling helped me to open myself up and to spend time tuning in to my inner voice, my innate wisdom.
Time in Nature
One of the most essential things to do when rewilding is to get out in nature. I’m lucky enough to live near several beautiful beaches and deep leafy woodland areas. I began to carve out time each day to go on coastal walks, woodland wanders and simply sit in my surroundings. I believe that time spent focusing on the bigger picture, on the simplicity of the elements, on the beauty of a tree you witness each day as it goes through the different seasons is what leads to perspective, acceptance and introducing some much needed calm into our lives.
Being authentic is something that was foreign to me in the marketing world. Sure, I thought my agency was authentic but it’s very hard to be yourself when you don’t know yourself. And the truth is, corporate ladder climbing rarely leads to enlightenment! I had fallen into a trap as so many of us do, of “behaving”. Behaving as a marketing agency should, behaving as a woman should, and more specifically, behaving and remaining the “good girl”. In becoming my true self I was able to say that I’m not that clean cut. And I’m not all that good. I’m real. I asked myself ‘what do I want to teach my daughter? Do I want her to learn how to behave, to be compliant, to be declawed?’ I had to accept myself in all of my feral beauty. Once I had done this, I then built my work with my feral nature at its core and surrendered the idea of behaving a certain way. I also stopped working with clients who weren’t in line with who I was and how I work, which opened me up and began attracting like-minded clients and partners.
More White Space
Instead of living deadline to deadline, project to project, I realised I needed to actually get a life. A life rich with experiences, memories and friendships, not just emails and meetings. I knew I had to introduce white space – time for nothing. Time to just be open, to think, space to receive. This is when the most creative ideas come, when the magic happens. Without space, you’ll end up burnt out and always feeling behind. Like a computer with too many files, you’ll operate slower and struggle to function efficiently. Once you take regular morning or evenings off, weekends, holidays and consistent time scheduled in on a weekly basis to just sit with yourself, you’ll see the benefits in your energy and your output almost immediately.
Embrace Your Spiritual Side
I happen to be a very spiritual person but somewhere along the way, I lost this part of myself, in the buzz of the business. Stripping back allowed me to access this spiritual part of myself and really explore what that meant. Although it’s different for everyone, whether it be religion or simply some soul time, I think it’s good for us. For me it meant time in nature, reading books that spoke directly to my wild side (everybody read Women Who Run With The Wolves), collecting crystals, introducing yoga and non-negotiable morning and evening routines that allow me to do some gentle exercise, spend some time on my own, write, breathe, sit in silence, go for an early morning sea swim or watch the sun rise.
I think above all, it’s about taking time to be yourself, to listen to yourself and most of all, to trust yourself. Sometimes you end up on a road that exists to teach you a lesson, but deep down you always know your true path and often going off-road is the best way to reach it.
Thank you Jess for such a wonderful insight into your life and what rewilding means to you. You can find Jess at www.jesscollins.co.uk.