25/04/2014 § 7 Comments
Here’s something I wrote last night, to help promote a workshop I am co-facilitating in London on Saturday – I quite like it so thought I would share it here…
Remember how it felt to be a child, running free in the woods, through the fields, exploring, playing, joyful. Can you remember before that time, when as a baby you could just be yourself, free to express all you felt, to wail, to giggle uncontrollably, to love freely and unconditionally.
We talk of “nature” as if it were somewhere else, out there, something to be fenced in and protected, ignoring the fact that we have come from, are part of and intimately connected to her.
We talk of “the wild” as if it is something a long way from our homes. found only in places beyond human influence. Yet wildness runs through all of us – we have just lost touch with this energy. In our rush to control and manage the non-human world, we have managed and suppressed our own wildness, an essential part of what makes us human. A sacred part.
Perhaps we are scared of what might happen if we unleash our inner wildness. What might we say or do? Quit that job? Drop that unhealthy relationship? Dare to tell someone close to us we love them. Stand up for what we believe rather than pretend to believe in nothing. That uncontrolled aspect of ourselves is at once scary and deeply thrilling.
You don’t have to leave the city to reconnect with your inner wildness. You just need to find a safe space, one where you can give yourself permission to let go, even just for a moment or two, and see what it feels like. It can be tremendously healing, exhilarating and deeply stirring.
This is the space that we offering to you on Saturday 10th May in the semi-wild surroundings of Hackney City Farm. We may dance, scream, hug each other, do some crazy painting, meditate or just sit quietly and appreciate each others’ presence. Who knows what may appear as we invite our aliveness, our fullness, into the space. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/journey-into-mastery-tickets-9772889977
Wherever you may be when reading this, the invitation is there to tune into your inner wildness right now. Because you are worth it 🙂
20/02/2014 § Leave a comment
A thought came to me while strolling this morning through an orderly, well managed village in the Rheinland Pfalz area of Germany where my “schwieger-eltern” (parents-in-law) live. Most of the plots are carefully controlled environments where no plant can grow without permission. Paths are neat and run in straight lines. Concrete predominates. There are few trees, but bushes grown in carefully mulched borders.
It seems to me that our efforts to manage and control our environment, to keep wildness out, are mirrored by our efforts to control our own inner wildness. We are scared of what we might unleash if we let our own tiger loose. So rather than risk it, we keep our inner tiger, our inner rain forest, tightly leashed.
I have noticed as I have got older and have chosen to follow my heart more, that my own inner wildness is expressing itself more. This might be in subtle ways such as allowing the curls in my hair to grow rather than maintaining a “short back and sides” look, or in being bolder with the colours I wear. I find this blog is a place where I can express some of my slightly wilder thoughts freely. And gradually I am giving myself permission to bring myself fully to my work, trusting that I can contribute with my slightly off-beat, unpredictable thinking.
In wildness is danger, chaos and uncontrolled energy. At the same time, without it there is no life. In our over-managed, over-safe, fear-ridden lives, we could all do with a bit more wildness. Couldn’t we?
PS. Microsoft Word has its own wild ways too, I am finding. I recently updated my version, and it now guesses what I want to write. I thought I typed “In praise of wildness” yet instead “In praise of writing” came up on the first published version of this blog. Yet you can’t do anything about Word’s wildness – it is a highly controlled, not really wild, type of energy. It just drives the user wild!
28/06/2013 § 2 Comments
My six-year-old son is a nightmare to manage. For a start, he simply can’t remember some important things. How many times have my wife and I reminded him to flush the toilet, not to eat with his fingers, to tidy up his paper aeroplanes, to tidy his clothes and shoes away, to use a plate. He’s brilliant at remembering some things (“daddy, remember that you promised me this morning that I could have an ice cream this afternoon”) while things that are peripheral to his vision, but important to me, he can’t seem to retain.
He is also challenging to communicate with. If he’s upset about something, you can sense it because his whole body expresses it, but he won’t talk about it unless you patiently sit with him and peel back the layers.
He is demanding, noisy, messy, irritating, makes no contribution to the family finances, leaves doors open and is constantly challenging.
He is also an absolute delight. When he giggles, it dissolves away all my cares. His innocent way of seeing the world makes me believe that anything is possible. His joyful engagement with life is a constant lesson to me. His high regard for me (he is only young, bless him) constantly calls me to raise my game, to do my best not just for him but for all. His vulnerability brings out the caring side of me, driving me to work hard to nurture and protect him. He is a ray of sunshine who lights up our house.
If he were a member of my team, by conventional measures I could hardly justify keeping him on. What’s his contribution to the bottom line? Well directly, nothing at all. In fact he takes up a lot of management time, not counting weekends. What does he bring in? He brings in mud from the garden, sticks, stones and precious found things discarded by others. But no money. No customers. Is he doing anything productive? Well, he makes at least 10 paper aeroplanes every day. He whittles away with his knife on bits of wood. He creates colourful drawings. Does that count? No, I didn’t think so. I suppose I could try to explain to my boss how much more joyful, exhilarating and rich life is when he is around but in the world of management this doesn’t cut the mustard.
He is the chilli in our chilli con carne, the fizz in our champagne, the yeast in our loaf. He brings a wildness – something uncontrollable, unpredictable and very much alive. It is in us too but more hidden, and he calls it out.
It is perhaps this exuberance, this sense of the wild and free, that is most sadly lacking in our workplaces today. In the drive to become productive, to contribute to serve the needs of the economy, we fail to serve the needs of human beings and, as an inevitable consequence, the needs of the non-human world, the needs of life! All workplaces need at least one Lucas, whether they contribute to the bottom line or not. Our workplaces are sadder and drabber places without them.