You might already be aware of the fact that work takes up a lot of time for a large number of people in modern culture.You may even be one of those folks who feels like they spend more time at the office or behind the till or at the wheel or tapping on a keyboard than is ideal for human health and happiness. And it’s also likely that you, or someone you know, are one of those folks who just doesn’t see a realistic way to do things differently right now. Maybe there’s a job change in your future, maybe you’ll move to a yurt in the Andes or maybe you’ll figure out how to finance a simple lifestyle without living the nine to five. But for many of us, there are school loans to pay, a mortgage with which to keep up, kids to care for and cars to upkeep. I’m guessing leaving it all behind to move to a cabin in the woods sounds fabulous to many reading these words….but for a lot of people, it’s just not going to happen in the next week, or month or year. Maybe it will. Maybe tomorrow will bring a shift that will allow our ideal situation to come closer into being. This post isn’t about giving up on trying to live in a way that requires less money, resources or big life changes. But it is a post about what you can do right now to feel just a tad bit more wild in your day to day.
- Sit up straight. Pretend there’s a string attached to your head, pulling it toward the ceiling, roll your shoulders back and enjoy the crunching sound your shoulder blades make after a morning of hunching forward.Take a deep breath deep into your abdomen, hold it for three seconds and then breathe out.Repeat as often as necessary. When you feel out of tune, check in with your physical body. Feel the air going in and out of your nose.Remember you are a living, breathing human animal.
- Turn off the news. On your commute to work, during your morning coffee ritual, when getting gas at one of those stations that has TVs at every pump: Don’t engage. Don’t let the media dictate how you are going to start your day and what information is going to color how you perceive the world. We are bombarded with negative energy from all sides every time we look at a device, turn on the radio or walk down the street. Stay informed in a way that sets you up to be a positive force in the world instead of a way that is apt to send you into the depths of despair or hostility. You get to choose how much, when and from what source your information comes. You have the power to choose how you respond to what you see. Use your choice.
- Go outside at lunch or on your 15 minute break. This one is a no brainer, but it must be said. Get some natural light and fresh air, even if is raining or the sun hasn’t been out for weeks or you are deep in a concrete jungle. Look up at the sky if there’s nothing else natural to focus on. Remember that wildness is still the undercurrent of the world. If you want to get really crazy, take off your shoes and stand on the little patch of soil in between the sidewalk and the road. Honor the wildness that you feel when you engage with the natural air, and remember to notice it.
- Connect with someone different. That’s right – that person in the next cube over who chomps gum all day and is always talking about that band that you hate? Smile at her and ask her what the highlight of her weekend was. The guy who lives down the road who has his car plastered with bumper stickers of a political party you can’t stand? Hold the door for him when you see him at the grocery store. When we can reach out beyond our perceived differences, we create a world that isn’t so separate. And these days that’s really wild.
- Howl. Yes, you read that right. If you are up for a challenge, go outside right now and howl. If that’s not feasible for whatever reason, howl in your car on the commute home. You don’t have to do it in front of anyone else, but do it. Let your voice out. So often we feel caged in a system that doesn’t have a key. Perhaps part of the way out of the cage is to speak our truth. Whether it’s by howling like a wolf or simply speaking up for something that matters, hear the sound of your voice meld into the sounds that are surrounding you and know that you are part of the earth. Know that your voice matters.
What are your go to methods for adding more wildness to the work week?
This post originates at We Are Wildness U.