“We use the word “wilderness,” but perhaps we mean wildness. Isn’t that why I’ve come here, to seek the wildness in myself and, in so doing, come on the wildness everywhere, because after all, I’m part of nature too.” Gretel Ehrlich
Gretel was considering wildness while hiking in the wilderness, but as I read her book: “Islands, the Universe, Home,” I’m sensing a connection between hiking the wildness of wilderness, and our personal growth retreats.
By chance, we recently met Gretel walking on a quiet lane between vibrant green fields of Kohala. We didn’t know who she was, nor did we recognize her NPR broadcaster husband, who was walking beside her. But she graciously gave us their phone number, offering to meet up for a future walk together.
Looking for wildness was why Jake and I moved to Hawaii. In New Mexico, we had all we needed for a beautiful life, but the adventure was missing. For our third act, we wanted to do something bold. I value boldness. Boldly being as alive as I can. Boldly doing something to wake me up from the comfort of some degree of non-conscious living.
I find that the exploration into the wilds of myself—with other like-minded explorers—at our personal growth retreats is a way to wake myself up, and re-view what I’m doing with my life so that I make the most of my time here.
With those thoughts in mind, I morph Gretel’s quote into something for myself, bridging her thoughts to what takes place in our Live Conscious Retreats:
Isn’t that why I come to these retreats, to seek the wildness in myself, and in so doing, to discover the wildness of everyone else who comes? We meet there in our human-ness, anonymously, taking on pseudonyms that represent something about ourselves that interest us—while curiously seeking what we inspire within ourselves.
Though I co-lead these retreats, I enter each week-long retreat in the same way I desire everyone else to. I come with curiosity about what I will learn and how I will thrill myself, and look forward to finding what experiences I’ll love the most.
I believe that if I seek to grow until I die, I will end up satisfied at my ending. If I do this, I’m sure I’ll have been more conscious and will have lived more open-heartedly while I was here.
Each retreat we lead is different. These retreats evolve as we evolve and if we come with an open mind, we all become more of who we are. With each retreat, I expand and discover more of myself and increase my willingness to live more boldly.
Another quote from Gretel: “Wildness has no conditions, no sure routes, no peaks or goals, no source that is not instantly becoming something more than itself, then letting go of that, always becoming.”
I invite you to your own becoming. And not to put this off any longer. For those of you who have done this before, know there is more of you to discover.
I once saw a humorous greeting card that had a little bird on the cover. Under the bird were the chirpings of the bird: “Cheer-up! Cheer-up!”
On opening the card, it said: “You haven’t got long.”
I often think that If I could live and seek wildness-in-me forever—that still wouldn’t be long enough. So here’s my call to you and to myself daily:
Wake up! Wake yourself up! You haven’t got long. This day and the rest of your life will go by so quickly.
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