‘You were wild once. Don’t let them tame you’ Isadora Duncan
Have you ever wondered about the bizarreness of Easter? Why it is celebrated with a mix of chocolate, eggs, bunnies, chicks and palm crosses? Easter celebrations are an eclectic mix of various festivals all combined into one. The Christian church celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and before this paganism celebrated the Equinox; the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Lets face it, before there were supermarkets and electricity, life would have been pretty tough for our ancestors during the winter months. The coming of spring would bring the promise of warmer weather, more bountiful food sources and lighter days. I’d be throwing a big party too. Rabbits, hares and eggs were seen as symbols of new beginnings and the world coming to life again. With the coming of spring and warmer weather ahead and lighter days, even if we have forgotten how to listen, we feel the world coming awake and we feel something stirring in our own bodies. An invigoration and a surge in energy. With access to this extra energy, this is the perfect time for new beginnings and taking on new challenges.
Deep inside all of us something burns. For some it is a healthy campfire and for others it is a residual coal; still glowing, but smothered and lacking in fuel. I have always thought of this as the wild inside us, a primal drive. A drive that pushes you to explore your chosen environment, an awareness, an inquisitivity and a passion. It encourages you to be present in the moment, it makes you feel powerful, strong and in control. I believe we feel this most strongly when our mind and body are connected.
I know this may sound daft, of course they are connected, do they not inhabit the same space?
You would be amazed how many people I take outside that cannot feel their body. Their movements are awkward and they are unaware of the space their body inhabits. I have seen this more often recently with individuals who spend a lot of time indoors. I have seen with children that I work with that outdoor play and spontaneous movement encourages the mind-body connection to re-establish and can be beneficial for behavioural issues such as ADHD so surely this would work for adults too. The ability to sense where every part of your body is, the confidence that knowing you have the strength to support your weight, the trust that if you trip you will catch yourself emotionally and physically. The blood flowing through veins carrying endorphins and oxygen is invigorating and makes you feel alive. How often have you found that putting down your phone and going for a walk in the local park or for a run or a weight lifting session in the local gym has put life into perspective and helped you solve an issue that was gnawing at you.
“Deep inside us is a wilderness. We call it the unconscious because we cant control it fully, so we cant will to create what we want from it. The collective unconscious is a great wild region where we can get in touch with the sources of life.”
– Carl Jung
What is a Mind – Body connection?
‘the brain and peripheral nervous system, the endocrine and immune systems, and indeed, all the organs of our body and all the emotional responses we have, share a common chemical language and are constantly communicating with one another’ Dr James Gordon (founder of the centre for Mind – Body Medicine).
Simply put, our thoughts, beliefs, feelings and attitudes influence the systems in our body. On the flip side, any issues in the body can also influence the chemistry of our brain, this includes what we eat, how much we exercise, how we stand or sit (our posture).
We hear about emotional stress being bad for our physical health and this is why. The reaction to stress is often an accumulation of many stressors and is often a slow build. We don’t always notice the stress mounting up. Because of this we often fail to listen to or notice cues our body sends to our mind to say something is wrong and this can result in a loss of feeling connected with the body. Eventually something has to give to make you stop and this is often when we become sick or injured.
Dance in the rain – Get Outside…
Getting outside and spontaneously moving allows you to reignite the connection with yourself in some of the following ways…
Being outside allows you to express your feelings in ways you possibly can’t in every day life; through movement you can release tension, you can punch, hit or kick a punch bag. You can push emotions into your legs to bike harder, leaving your rage, frustration, unrequited love, whatever the emotion, on the trail. It allows you to find calm and alone time and in finding calm in your mind, it relaxes the body. Being outside helps build resilience, either through spending time in peace putting things into perspective or if you are pushing yourself physically and mentally and overcoming challenges this can transfer resilience into everyday life.
So with spring here why not unleash the wild within. Get outside, move freely and allow your body and mind to reconnect.
‘I’m happy out here, messy hair, dirty feet, wild water on my skin. Out here with the wild things; this is where I belong’. – Brooke Hampton