I’m a self-help junkie. And it’s not so much that I feel I need a lot of help...I just have a natural curiosity that drives to me to learn more about our human hearts and souls. There’s always a different perspective out there and if there is something I can take away from a passage, a book, or a blog – I'm up for growth and connection.
Recently, there have been a number of different articles and blogs that I’ve read encouraging a drive to be wild. Explore Your Wild Side, Find the Wild Woman Within, and Living a Wild Life. Oh boy. For this girl that once got awarded a gift-certificate from local law enforcement for being a safe pedestrian decked out in reflective gear (true story), the mere titles had me sweating just a bit.
The thing is, there’s always been this desire to connect with my inner bad-girl.
Listening to retold accounts of wild behavior as shared by my friends has always brought me joy and a longing to break a few more rules in life. I, too, want to drive across grass instead of taking the long way around. The idea of hopping a fence to check out a restricted area makes my heart race with excitement. I marvel at those that will sneak into a second movie or ignore assigned seating at concerts and games. The thrill!
But the reality is, I will always put my cart away in a parking lot. My seatbelt is always buckled. I carry extra poop bags on walks incase my dog goes more than once. My kids aren’t allowed on trampolines. My sister has nicknamed me the #funsponge. And my sister-in-law and I coined the name Gwendy for me – a combination of the PTA mom Gwendolyn from Bad Moms and Wendy from Peter Pan. And to that, I say, “If the shoe fits!”
While this is one facet of who I am, I have learned that there is another side that I must embrace and she is in fact, wild. While “wild” could certainly pertain to those that have a penchant for breaking the rules, how does it fit for those of us that don’t? I pondered this for a bit and realized that I break rules ALL of the time. They're not the rules written in guidebooks and manuals. But rather, these are the rules that have unfortunately become our norms. With my reflections, I encourage you to:
Have a job that you absolutely love - one that can say that you are wild about. When you find that what you do brings you joy and passion, you have hit your sweet spot. Stay knowingly and wildly committed to seeking out a work-life that you love. As it’s been said, “Choose a job you love and will never have to work a day in your life.”
Be in a wildly loving relationship. I’m not talking unbridled, passionate love every night that has forced your neighbors to close their windows and call the cops for a noise complaint. But rather, find a love that is filled with few upsets, honest communication with a foundation of integrity. Create and nurture a safe space to grow as individuals in hobbies and passions, all while deepening the bond between you.
Love your children (and yourself) with wildly-freeing unconditional love. Children can challenge you in all of the best ways teaching in how to be present, how to laugh, how to take a break, and how to grow. When you create a space of safety and security for your children, you are contributing to the strongest of bonds that will foster honesty, integrity, and confidence. It’s the best gift you can give them.
Fill your days with wild, radical self-care. That would include ample sleep, moderate workouts, plentiful vegetables, lots of water, stretching throughout the day, and a consistently positive attitude. Journal or meditate in the morning, walk your dog, pack healthy lunches, read at night, and get outside. Listen to music, make music, paint, draw, and dance. Do stuff that brings you joy, peace, health, and laughter.
Wild doesn’t have to mean “bad girl” behavior. It can just mean less regard for what society shows us about how to be in our lives, our relationship, and our love...going against the so-called norm. Wild can mean living in a state of nature, remembering to live synergistically with each other. Thrive with the notion that we are all needed here in our borrowed time. Embrace and live with the knowing that our roles are all equally important as we live day to day. Remember that nature doesn’t complain; it adapts. When storms, fires, and man-made forces destroy it; it grows back. And when it needs to, it lets go.
Be like nature.