Mindfulness of Nature

Reflections on ‘Rewilding’

Dear friends,

This weekend, I listened to an excellent podcast conversation with Micah Mortali which I want to share here. I strongly invite you to set aside an hour of quiet time in your week to listen to this.

It’s clear to me that the way in which we relate to the natural world matters immensely. It’s also clear to me that, in the words of Micah Mortali, we need to “reactivate a way of being in relationship to the earth that’s been dormant for years”.

Why? Because we are nature. Nature isn’t “out there” – it’s right here, in our bodies and in our minds. It’s what we’re made of. And I believe that the disconnection from this undeniable reality is utimately the root cause of most of the unnecessary suffering we see in our world – physically, psychologically, culturally, politically and environmentally.

Do we want to bring increased aliveness, peace and well-being into our human lives?

Do we want to support the well-being of other species we share the planet with?

Well, I believe these all start with connecting, listening and paying attention to the natural life within ourselves and around us.

‘Rewilding’, like ‘Mindfulness’ and ‘Forest Bathing’, has become one of those buzz words with connotations and controversies which we spend many hours discussing. At times, such academic debates feel frustrating as all are essentially the same practices pointing to the basic, urgent, vital need that: we must reconnect with nature holistically, in order to heal our separation from the natural world and shift our relationship with nature from one of separation and control towards one of connection, belonging, and humble listening.

So, how will a holistic reconnection with the natural help? Well, as Micah Mortali says:

“Rewilding can help us reduce our stress, and boost our immunity, and sleep better, and reset our circadian rhythms, and all these things that are really important. But it can also, as we get to know our lands, as we get to know our watersheds, as we get to know the animals that migrate through our areas, and we start to appreciate their presence, and we start to learn from them, that actually can change big decisions that people make in their local areas, in their towns and their cities.

It’s these experiences of appreciation, of gratitude for all of the gifts of our environments, that compel people to work to develop land trusts and get into conservation and get out and start growing food in their backyard. And all of these little changes, if more and more people start getting outside and not just hiking, through the woods with their earphones on, but listening, feeling, awakening their senses and paying attention, I think it can reactivate a way of being in relationship to the earth that’s been dormant for a couple hundred years.

The podcast explores our ‘species loneliness’ and our thirst for simplicity and aliveness and includes a beautiful, inspiring account of an encounter with a bear during a ‘Sit Spot’.

The conversation is a refreshing, down to Earth view on rewilding that takes us beyond semantics and into the reality that it’s vital that we all begin our rewilding now, wherever we are.

You can listen to the podcast here…and do share any comments below!

… and if you’re keen to explore your own rewilding a little further… join us for our spring ‘Rewilding the Mind’ weekend at Trigonos Retreat Centre in Snowdonia 10-13th May this year. Find out more here.

Take care,

Claire x

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