There is a term called “re-wilding” often utilized within the frameworks of certain spiritual philosophies and areas of psychological study. To “re-wild” something means to restore it to its natural state or form. To reclaim and align with the truth of who we are, we are often asked to “re-wild” ourselves. The process of re-wilding can be tremendously painful and uncomfortable. We are creatures of habit. Most of us don’t volunteer to drastically change our lives unless we feel motivated by something more uncomfortable than the idea of the change itself. The Alchemy of Pain and Struggle It is often when we are in the midst of our deepest pain that our soul’s cry to return home is the loudest. We are unable to stay blissfully ignorant that the things we have felt most attached to or supported by may no longer be serving us. We are confronted with inarguable and painful truths. We find out that our lover has been cheating on us or break up with our significant other. We are fired or come to acknowledge that our career doesn’t excite or bring us joy anymore. We experience money challenges. We get into conflict with friends, family, or our children. We have to move for some unprecedented reason. We realize our sex lives and attraction to our partners are leaving a lot to be desired. We get into an accident or get diagnosed with a serious illness or physical condition. When chaos erupts in our lives and the foundations of our reality are shaken to the core, we are being guided with blazing clarity to re-discover the essence of who we are and align with the decisions and choices that support our highest expression. Our journey home to our deepest self begins when we shift from relying on the external world to define and guide us, to allowing the internal world to become our point of reference and ’North Star.’ Learning to Become Our Own ‘North Star’ When we are ‘externally referencing,’ we are allowing our beliefs, perceptions, and choices, to be influenced and continuously informed by the outer world. We are often operating strictly through the definitions and ideas of what society demands us to be. The process of learning to ‘internally reference’ is a shift from the reliance on the outer world to define our path, to learning how to trust in our instincts and inner guidance. This is what the process of re-wilding is all about, having the courage to embark on a journey that brings us into deeper intimacy with our true nature. When Breakdowns Lead to Breakthroughs When we initially wake up to the fact that we feel out-of-sync with ourselves and misaligned with who we truly are, it can feel tremendously overwhelming and scary. It can often feel daunting to recognize how far we’ve strayed from ourselves and the idea of finding our way back can feel like an arduous, painful, and impossible task. Although it might feel like the world is ending, I can promise you; it’s not. On a certain level, the breakdown we are in the midst of is a representation of the old paradigms or patterns in our lives being destroyed to make room for the new paradigm we are bringing in that is in greater alignment with who we are. There are a few steps we can take to support us as we initiate the journey home to our most authentic form. The first step to is to cultivate compassionate and non-judgmental awareness. The second step is to have the courage to recognize and be honest with ourselves about what isn’t working or serving us. The third step is to begin creating the time and space to reconnect and care for ourselves. As we fill up our own reservoir, we are more easily able to attune to our needs and boundaries and make more informed decisions and choices. The fourth step is to assess what choices, decisions, and boundaries need to be made to begin shifting and transforming the underlying circumstances creating misalignment. The fifth step is to take conscious action. How Awareness Empowers Intentional Action Taking action can often feel like the most challenging step because it is during this time that we usually need to have “the hard conversation, ” make a choice, or set a boundary, that will not only dramatically change our lives, but also have an impact on those around us. We often resist change because we fear losing an essential part of ourselves, relationship, or circumstance that has become deeply intertwined with our identity. Change in its purest form represents the vast, amorphous landscape of the unknown. It is neither quantifiable, predictable, or able to be controlled. Having the willingness to acknowledge what isn’t working or serving us takes tremendous bravery. Our courage and willingness to say no to what isn’t working means that we trust ourselves and our inner compass enough to choose a different path even if we don’t know the outcome. It also means that we are saying yes to our growth and wholeness and the inarguable inner knowing that we are deeply worthy of a life that is aligned with our highest truth and expression. There is an element of surrender that is an intrinsic part of the rewilding of ourselves. We have to surrender what we think we know about ourselves in order to find ourselves. It is within this act of complete surrender that we are brought into intimacy with the wild, untamed brilliance of our true nature.