A big part of the decision to reclaim our wild side is to get over our lack of confidence or worry about what others will think.
Dogs are domesticated wolves. This is a fact that I don’t think about very much, if at all. Yet, after meeting David Cote and hearing him speak, that fact takes on a whole new importance when I think about my wildness.
Cote is the owner of Crudessence–a raw, vegan restaurant–and at the beginning of his talk, he showed pictures of his romantic partner’s dogs–cute wee things with fairy wings on their backs posing for the photo. At first, he wasn’t so sure about moving in with his partner’s dogs. For him, they belong outside on a farm.
After living with them for a few months, he grew to like them, but also understood that it was necessary for the dogs to live with them. They could not survive in the wild because humans had bred the wildness out of them so they could cohabitate.
He also realized that dogs were bred in such a way as to be pleasing to humans. They now have cuddly characteristics. They are more like humans than dogs in the way they interact with people. In breeding them this way, dogs no longer have the survival skills that their ancestor, the wolf, has, said David, and because of that, humans are obligated to look after their creations. If they put all dogs in the wild, very few would survive.
It’s the same story with food we eat, says David. The fruits and vegetables we eat today have been bred to please the human palate, particularly people’s sweet tooth. In the process of breeding plants in this way, the wild elements have been bred out of them. Like domesticated dogs, domesticated food cannot grow on its own.
Take, for example, the carrot we eat today. It’s sweet, orange and bears almost no relation to its wild counterpart. The wild carrot, however, has potent properties that benefit the human body in a way that the domesticated carrot does not. So, not only have we bred the wild goodness out of our fruits and vegetables, we have made it so that they cannot grow without our help.
David advocates bringing more wildness into our diet. If we don’t, he says, we may be breeding ourselves into a state of helplessness sometime down the road, if not for ourselves personally, then for our grandchildren and their offspring.
This concern for future generations is something that podcaster and voice coach Rye Taylor shares. He had an exciting upbringing, spending a good part of his teen years in Africa where his parents were missionaries. When he returned to America as a young man, he fell in love, got a job, had kids and before he knew it, he was bored. He loved his family and providing for them, but something was missing from his life.
One day, his little boy said, “When I grow up, I want to have a big belly just like you.” That was a wake-up call for Rye. What kind of message was he sending to his two boys? What kind of legacy was he leaving them?
Determined to do right by himself, his kids and his wife, Rye set himself a path of daring adventures: climbing waterfalls, wrestling alligators and exploring foreign countries where he didn’t know the language or the lay of the land.
Like David, Rye was on a mission to put more wild back into life by being more conscious of the nutritional and mental messages they were putting into their body and out into the world.
A big part of the decision to reclaim our wild side is to get over our lack of confidence or worry about what others will think. In his Ted Talk, Till H. Gross talks about how he gained the confidence to do things that scared him. It all started with him laying down on the sidewalk for 30 seconds at the bus stop. At first, his heart was pumping madly but the more he did that sort of thing, the more it gave him the energy to go for his goals regardless of what others may think of him.
Till started a global movement called “Comfort Zone.” It has challenges where people all over the world moved out of their boring comfort zone and embraced their wild side–the side where their dreams and passions live.
With these three examples as role models, the path to your wild side is wide open. What fear will you overcome today?
Photo: Flickr/ Foundouq Foundouq