In recent years, there’s been a burgeoning interest in rewilding, a movement that’s resonating deeply with people around the globe, particularly among women. It was this call of the wild that lead myself to make the life-changing decision to train as a safari guide in South Africa, where I spent a year living in the bush amongst elephants, lions and giraffe, learning about this fragile ecosystem, meeting like-minded people, and understanding on a deeper level how us humans fit into this earth.

The famous quote by John Muir,

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it is attached to the rest of the world.”

John Muir

came to life before my eyes and I will forever remember this year as the most life-changing. But, and I’ve written about this in depth in this article, what I discovered in the years that followed, is that it’s not enough to make a geographical change like that.

Today, I’m on a journey that feels even more profound: I’m rewilding myself, not just on the outside, but also on the inside.

If this is a journey you feel called to undertake as well, you’ve come to the right place.

I’m discussing all things “Rewilding” fortnightly in my podcast THE EARTHY WRITER: My Rewilding Year, and I’m diving deeper into the concepts I talk about in written form, here on my blog.

This article serves as an introduction to the rebellious, yet grounding and gentle idea of rewilding, explaining first what it is, and then leaving you with powerful steps you can take right now to feel more connected to the earth again.

What Is Rewilding?

The concept of rewilding no doubt speaks to an intrinsic yearning within us—a yearning for a profound connection with the natural world. As our planet increasingly beckons for a transformation in human behaviour, a growing number of us feel compelled to revisit and redefine our relationship with nature. But this isn’t just about fostering a renewed appreciation for the world around us. It’s also about rediscovering the untamed wilderness within our own souls.

The Dual Meanings of Rewilding

Rewilding operates on two significant, interconnected levels: the rewilding of the land itself, the nature that has been depleted by decades of extraction, but also the rewilding of the soul.

Rewilding the Land

At its core, the rewilding of the land involves restoring natural landscapes to their original, wild state. This process often includes reintroducing species that have been extirpated or endangered, dismantling man-made barriers to wildlife migration, and allowing ecosystems to regenerate naturally. By doing so, rewilding aims to increase biodiversity, bolster ecosystem resilience, and create environments where nature can thrive autonomously. This not only benefits the land but also enhances the health of our planet as a whole, contributing to climate stabilization and improved human well-being.

And while this all might sound like something that happens on a political level rather than in your own backyard or neighbourhood, it couldn’t be further from the truth. As Jane Goodall so famously said,

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

Jane Goodall

In Jane’s spirit, here are:

Tangible ways you can get involved in rewilding efforts

…and help foster a more biodiverse, resilient planet:

Start with Your Own Space
  1. Native Plants: Transform your garden or balcony with native plants, which are crucial for local birds, insects, and wildlife. These plants require less water and maintenance as they’re adapted to the local climate.
  2. No-Mow Areas: Designate a section of your lawn to let grow wild. This small act can provide essential habitat for many species.
  3. Create a Wildlife Pond or bird bath: A small pond or even just a bird bath can be a vital water source for birds, insects, and other wildlife. AND you will soon feel the joys of watching the local wildlife frequent your little watering hole.
Engage in Community Actions
  1. Support Local Rewilding Projects: Volunteer for or donate to organizations engaged in rewilding parks, reserves, and public spaces. Your involvement can range from hands-on work to educational outreach.
  2. Citizen Science: Participate in wildlife surveys and other citizen science projects. These initiatives help track the progress of local biodiversity and are crucial for conservation efforts.
  3. Advocate for Green Spaces: Lobby your local government for the creation and maintenance of green spaces that prioritize native species and biodiversity.
  4. “Petition Friday”: A little habit I have started, every Friday I browse the internet to look for new petitions I can sign. It doesn’t cost me anything, but if my signature can help make some noise, I give it gladly.
Broader Impact Actions
  1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: A sustainable lifestyle helps lessen the overall strain on the planet, indirectly supporting rewilding efforts by reducing habitat destruction and pollution.
  2. Educate Others: Share the importance of rewilding and biodiversity with friends, family, and community members. Education is a powerful tool for change.
  3. Wildlife Corridors: If you’re in a position to influence larger land use decisions, advocate for the creation of wildlife corridors that connect isolated green spaces, allowing animals to migrate safely.
  4. Support Eco-Friendly Companies: Choose products and services from companies that commit to environmentally responsible practices, including supporting rewilding and conservation efforts.
  5. Donate regularly: Cancel one of the streaming subscriptions you have and donate the money to your favourite NGO instead. Doing this on a regular basis helps them to. plan longterm.

Visit my “Rewilding Library” for a list of my favourite nature & rewilding books.

Rewilding the Soul

Parallel to this ecological aspect and the bigger picture of rewilding, there is also the rewilding of the soul. And while this is a very personal, transformative journey that goes inward, it is just as important for us, especially as women, to reclaim our own WILD and question, then dismantle, systems, mindsets and ways of life put in place by the patriarchy.

Rewilding the soul is about breaking free from the constraints of modern society that dampen our innate wildness and disconnect us from the natural world. Rewilding the soul involves reigniting our primal connection to the earth, embracing our true, untamed selves, and cultivating a life that harmonises with nature’s rhythms. It’s a call to live more authentically, passionately, and freely, in alignment with our natural instincts and the ecosystems that surround us. If this sounds like something worth exploring to you, I’m so thrilled that you have found your way here.

There is, I believe, no greater and more important adventure to undertake in this time we were born in. And if I may, I would like to give you permission to listen to this calling, to question the status quo and to rebel against this hustling culture that teaches us to strive for more, when really, what the Wild is asking us to do, is do less and be more.

Listen to my podcast episode “Unplug from toxic social media and embrace feminine, joyful living” if you’d like to dive deeper. (transcript available at the link)

6 Ways to Rewild Yourself

So, rewilding yourself is a deeply personal and profound journey, and it involves listening to your own, innate needs and desires. The following are six ideas to embark on your wild path.

  1. Spend Extended Time in Nature: Regularly immerse yourself in the wilderness, for longer periods on end. On the daily, go for hikes, wild swim, or simply sit by a tree. Let nature be your teacher. But also: consider if your next holiday could go somewhere wild and remote, so you can unplug and listen to what’s coming up for you. It takes time to become still. And you deserve to discover what happens in the silence of your own life.
  2. Keep a journal: The way I use it? I talk to the Wild, the Universe, Mother Nature… whatever you want to call her. My diary entries are conversations with that higher power. I’m asking question and then I “pretend” to be Her, answering, guiding me to my truth. It’s a wonderful practice I do every morning and a simple yet powerful daily reminder that I am part of the Oneness of this planet, that I am part of this Universe (something we tend to easily forget in the hustle and bustle of our daily life)
  3. Learn About Your Local Flora and Fauna: Knowledge of the natural world can enhance your appreciation and understanding of the interconnectedness of life. Go get yourself a little pocket guide to learn the names of trees and plants.
  4. Eat more plants: Eating more plant-based foods reduces your environmental footprint and aligns your lifestyle with the cycles of the natural world. This is, I believe, one of the simplest yet biggest steps you can take.
  5. Limit Technology Use: I know it, you know it: Disconnecting from digital devices regularly is crucial to unplug, unwind and relax. Dopamine addiction is a terrible, terrible thing, but did you know that phone usage, especially right after we get up in the morning or before we go to sleep at night, leads to high cortisol levels, which can have all kinds of nasty effects on our health? On top of that, I’m making the strong case that it’s actually not possible to reconnect with your inner self and the natural environment if you are constantly plugged into the lives and energies of those two billion other humans on Instagram.
  6. Engage in Physical Activities: Humans were not meant not sit around on the couch. Embrace activities that challenge your body and spirit in the outdoors. Have you ever seen a wild animal that’s overweight? – No, because that is something no truly wild being can afford. If you have the luxury of a healthy body (and I truly hope you are so blessed), take pride in moving this vessel, in making sure it works the way it’s supposed to. Stretch, walk, dance, lift weights (SO important), and make sure you eat lots and lots of protein.

Wild One,

embracing the concept of rewilding, both of the land and the soul, offers such a wonderful pathway to a more fulfilling, sustainable, and deeply connected existence. And as we journey through the process of rewilding, we not only contribute to the healing of our planet but also rediscover the untamed, wild spirit that resides within each of us. I’m excited to share more. Indeed, it’s a theme that strongly features in all my books, as well as my podcast THE EARTHY WRITER.