What’s Your Wild Soul Story?abracad, · Categories: environment, externally authored
Perhaps as a child you played by a creek entranced by the tiny tadpoles that swam in the flickering depths. Or there was a favorite tree you could never pass without swinging from her branches. Perhaps, caught in a thunderstorm, your spirit rose to the immensity of energy that swirled and crashed around you.
In these moments, we feel a deep connection to the natural world. We feel part of something alive. We are living our Wild Soul Stories.
Our Wild Soul Stories can occur at any time, from childhood to the present. Often they catch us unawares, as when, after a long, hard day, we watch as the setting sun splays purples and pinks across the sky and we are touched, unexpectedly, by a sense of awe.
And yet, in a culture that doesn’t honor our integral connection to nature, we often let these moments slip by too quickly. We rarely stop and consider how they shape us, shift us, or grant us insights into our own true nature.
How often do we make time to think about how our relationship with the natural world affects who we are?
My own wild soul story has it roots in Positano, a village along the Amalfi coastline in southern Italy. I was born in London, in the mid 1950s, and between nannies and naptimes my life was orderly and structured. But in Italy, as a chubby little girl, I ran free. I dove into sapphire waters of the Mediterranean and swam out among the brightly colored fishing boats. Introduced to gypsies, my brother and I slept in caves, told stories by moonlight, rode a pig called Romana over dusty mountain trails.
Positano introduced my soul to a wilder, more enchanted, more alive way of being, Even as I grew older, and felt my own soul tamed, something of that wild freedom remained. Later, the seed of that wildness would help me to find the courage to leave a secure career as a copywriter and editor, to make my own path as a writer and facilitator of poetry and journal therapy working to bridge the false divide between outer and inner nature, Earth and soul.
So my question to you is this: However big or small, is there a story of connecting to the natural world that is rising in you right now? It can be a simple as the joy of walking through piles of autumn leaves, or as thrilling—or tender—as an encounter with a wild creature.
As you begin to tell your wild soul story, by writing it down or speaking it to a friend or loved one, you might want to reflect on these questions:
- How old were you when the event occurred?
- Where did your story take place?
- How did you experience the event in the moment? What are some of the sensory details you could share about it? Touch, sound, fragrances, feelings, etc.
- What do you believe is the most significant outcome of that moment of connection for you today?
My brother loved Positano. But it didn’t shape the arc of his life, as it was to shape mine. We are drawn to certain places, creatures, and experiences because of some quality of nature within our own wild souls.
In the words of the writer Laurence Durrell, “Each landscape asks the same question, I am watching myself in you–are you watching yourself in me?” In the natural world, we discover a map of the human soul.
What’s your story?
Mary Reynolds Thompson is a fresh voice in the spiritual ecology movement. She helps people to experience a deeper, wilder, and more creative way of living than is readily available in our high-tech, high-stress world. As an author, life coach, and facilitator of poetry and journal therapy who is passionate about the Earth, she creates a bridge back to our wild souls by helping people awaken to Earth’s landscapes as part of their own psyches and souls. Using poetry, metaphor, and immersion in nature, we discover a manner of living that allows us —and the planet—to thrive. She is author of Embrace Your Inner Wild: 52 Reflections for an Eco-Centric World and the recently published Reclaiming the Wild Soul: How Earth’s Landscapes Restore Us to Wholeness. You can learn more about Mary, and listen to a variety of Wild Soul Stories, by visiting: = http://maryreynoldsthompson.com
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