How Nature Helps Us Find Our Inner Wild Man


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The myth of the wild man is an ancient one. The wild man lives free and true, outside the boundaries we all share. He’s one with nature, one with himself. He fully knows himself, and he lives by his own code. He is strong, fierce, and helpful. A guide. A protector. But the wild man does not just live alone in isolated natural wildlands. The wild man lives within each one of us. But just like finding the wild man in ancient myths, it takes a real journey to locate him — even inside ourselves.

Your Journey Has Already Begun

Whether you’re very familiar or have never heard tales about the wild man before, if you’re here reading this, it’s very likely that your personal journey to find your own inner wild man has already begun. The search itself is part of what brought you here. See, we’re all looking for the inner reservoir of strength, freedom, and generosity that is so typical of the mythical archetype. All men seek to be strong, helpful, sought advice and protection, and able to give and live freely. It’s hardwired into us, whether we’re bodybuilders or book enthusiasts. It doesn’t matter what “category” we fit into. Every one of us is seeking our inner wild man in one way or another.

So embrace the journey. Focus on it and make the subconscious conscious. We have a much better chance of reaching our destination when we know where we’re headed. The best way to bring these inner searches to light and make them purposeful is already built into the 12-Step program of recovery. By regularly dropping inventory with our sponsor, we learn much about who we are and what we’re looking for. By beginning and keeping with regular prayer and meditation discipline, we allow our conscious self to become more familiar with our subconscious self. Practicing these things daily and weekly helps us become whole, unified people. Slowly but surely, they help us begin the journey of rediscovering our inner wild man. But we can go even further.

Let’s Get Wild

We may need to get literal about the search for the wild man within us. Luckily, nature is always ready to oblige. We don’t need to get lost in the wilderness for months or sell our belongings and live in the forest. Not at all. We can easily plan a hiking trip, a camping getaway, or mountain excursion of any kind. We can spend the day skiing, snowboarding, hiking, biking, or walking the trails. We can spend an afternoon in the forest. Depending on our proximity to nature, we can make a regular event out of spending time outside. We can explore, get active, or simply just be there. Whatever form our time away in nature takes is not important, as long as we take the time to really experience it. If we live too deep in inhabited terrain, nature may be hard to come by. That’s fine, too. We can all still make the effort to procure some time dedicated solely to “getting wild” in nature.

Why Go Wild?

Good question. Nature has been a source of connection and harmony for man since the dawn of our species. Nature is a powerful, sacred thing. It roots us to the past, present, and future all at once. It has always been what’s fed us, sheltered us, and made us strong. It was there for us throughout history. Nature made us the people we are. The natural world is all around us even now, though it can be hard to see through the cloud of our modern lifestyle. We see our food as something that comes from the grocery store, not something from the earth, but that is indeed where it comes from.

Nature is also our future. It will outlive us and be there for the next generation, as long as we act as shepherds of the natural world. This is how and why nature allows us to tap into parts of ourselves that get lost everywhere else.

Having a physical experience in the natural world is far more than anything we can simulate in a video game or see in a movie. Being out there, truly present in our body and with our surroundings, has a way of rooting and restoring us like nothing else. Whether we are engaged in a sport or a grueling hike, we’re connecting to our primal physical strength and our true inner strength. Pushing ourselves beyond our normal limits, clear of all distractions and judgments, we can just be. Nothing sets us free like time spent honing our mental and physical abilities and testing them against the obstacles of nature.

Everyone has a wild man inside them. Strong. Brave. Generous. Humble. Guiding. Free. These qualities live within us all. Tapping into them is only a few steps away. First, we take the 12-Steps, then we keep stepping until we find dirt and grass and rocks beneath our feet. Then we keep heading into uncharted territory inside ourselves. The rewards we reap will be beyond anything we can imagine. Prepare yourself for an adventure.

Jaywalker Lodge wholeheartedly believes in the transformative power of the wilderness. We root what we do firmly in the 12-Step program of recovery, but we don’t fail to take advantage of all the healing and life-changing activities available to us. That’s precisely why time getting wild is built right into our curriculum. Daily and weekly, we spend serious time outdoors, pushing ourselves mentally and physically. Whether we’re skiing, snowboarding, hiking, biking, or fishing, we spend intimate time in the wild learning about ourselves. Our nature expeditions help us grow beyond our limits, perfectly completing the inward expedition we embark upon as we work the 12-Steps. If you’re ready to explore the world, yourself, and life in recovery, then Jaywalker Lodge is more than ready to be your sherpa on this beautiful road. We are here to help and guide you every step of the way. Call us now at (866) 529-9255.

author avatar
Stefan Bate, MA, LAC, CCTP Chief Clinical Officer
Stefan Bate, BA, MA, LAC holds a Master's Degree in Applied Psychology from Regis University and is a Licensed Addiction Counselor in the state of Colorado. Stefan has wide-ranging experience in the field of addiction recovery including: working as a recovery coach, therapist, and program director.

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