“Man is an outdoor animal. He toils at desks and talks of ledgers and parlors and art galleries but the endurance that brought him these was developed by rude ancestors, whose claim to kinship he would scorn and whose vitality he has inherited and squandered. He is what he is by reason of countless ages of direct contact with nature”
James H. McBride, M.D – Journal of the American Medical Association, 1902
‘Man is an outdoor animal’, how many of us believe this notion and actually embrace it? Until recently, I had never given great thought to my inner animal. For the most part, and I say this reluctantly, I label my existence as ‘human’ and in some way separate from all other living things. By repudiating our animality, we deny a part of our self.
We must nurture our inner wild and allow room for its existence. By embracing this intrinsic portion of our being, we can begin to build compassion on a personal and societal level.
So how do we connect to this inner wild?
Immerse yourself in nature.
Lose yourself in nature and the boundary between human and non-human communities becomes irrelevant. The built world is put on hold and we enter a realm of pure existence that radiates balance and unity. From this space, we can focus on how we relate to nature, as opposed to how we are separate from it.
This new understanding gives way to a more authentic and whole self that fully appreciates our connection to the earth. It is only from this genuine place that we will begin to produce holistic and sustainable solutions to our most prevalent environmental issues. It is only from this place that we will begin to create real change.