How Fresh Air Can Cure The Blues…

beautiful ocean sunset

There has been many a time I have stood in a place of nature and been awestruck by the beauty of my surroundings. In such moments nature has a way of instilling humility. Time and again my problems and concerns have faded to nothing as I feel the vibrant energy of the place sweeping through me. The experience, having delivered temporary reprieve from my internal dilemmas, allows me to return to my day refreshed, invigorated, and clear headed, with everything back in perspective.

It is hard not to have feelings of awe in nature when surveying a beautiful scene. Taking a walk outside, even just to the local park, helps lift ones spirits when one is feeling down, especially when you stop and just sit, paying special attention to a trail of ants, or an attractive flower. Nature draws you in, and gives you a moment of pause, of peace. In that moment, when you are drawn to start looking at, and feeling, something else, your focus on what has been bothering you drops away.

The same is true with anger. There are many times I have stormed off in a huff, walking away from an argument, retreating to my allotment. When I arrive after an altercation my urge is to yank out weeds muttering under my breath, and yet straight away I see the violence in this and my temper begins to abate. Within ten minutes I have calmed right down, and within thirty I can clearly see both sides of the story. A space opens up in my mind and becomes filled with understanding, ways to moderate my behaviour, change my approach, or even a potential resolution.

allotment scene

Why does this peace and calmness descend? What is it that touches us so deeply and transforms our mental state so rapidly and radically? It is the touch of the wild. We were born wild and inside of us, at our core, we will always remain wild. Nature is a part of us, and we a part of it. In our busy modern lives, where we barely take a breath of fresh air from Monday through Friday, we lose our essential connection; pressure and anxiety start to build. Without food your body goes hungry, without daily connection to the wilds of nature your spirit goes hungry – it’s as simple as that… 

My solution is to Rewild Yourself! To make a conscious physical connection to all that is wild and natural on a daily basis – standing outside with your morning cuppa breathing in fresh air and watching the clouds, walking barefoot in the park on your lunch break – you don’t have to live in the wilds to connect with them.

It is also essential to acknowledge the wild spirit in the wider than human world. We, humankind, are not alone we are part of a huge all encompassing energy matrix – don’t isolate yourself from this – acknowledge it. Talking to the birds and the trees, the wind and the sea, will draw you back in and deep down inside you will rebalance as your wild self will know it is surrounded by kin, that it is home…

Just some thoughts – a few days late for Blue Monday perhaps, but useful to remember whenever the blues hit!

If you would like to read more about my approach I recommend my book Rewild Yourself: Becoming Nature ~ or if you feel ready for a natural life changing process filled with easy steps to transform your life then maybe you should consider registering for Sacred Ecology: A Rewilding Apprenticeship which begins April 20th 2017. Either way ensure that you make time to feel the wind in your hair and the cold fresh rain on your face every day 🙂

Forget not the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair” Kahlil Gibran 

New Year, New You!!

So here we are, another new year, with plenty of good intentions, resolutions even. What are you planning for the coming year? What would you like to change in your life right now? After a fortnight of family time, parties with friends, meals out, treats and drinks I for one intend to eat a bit less, avoid alcohol and exercise a bit more – sound familiar?

But does it go deeper than that for you? Do you want to take it further than a few healthy weeks before slowly but surely slipping back into old patterns?

Rewild Yourself

Rewild Yourself

The most effective way I know to make profound and lasting changes in your life is to welcome in the wild. To recognise the wildness inside of oneself and nurture and feed that part. We all need connection with the wildness in the world, we were all born wild animals yet our lifestyles from birth have tamed us, domesticated us to the point of disconnection with the wider-than-human world, to the point where many people are stressed and anxious, trapped within the walls of our everyday, a circumstance of our own creation.

Humankind, through our high levels of consumerism, through treating the world as an inert object ripe for exploitation (with no come back), has broken off the deep levels of connection we once shared with all life. Instead we replace it with objects, we fill our homes with things to entertain us and in so doing continue on the path of destruction, mining , harvesting, damaging and destroying. We have become insulated from the destruction by hiding away in our homes, avoiding statistics about habitat loss, species extinctions, and pollution events. But it is still all there in the background and we know it.

Most people despite avoidance tactics still feel it, deeply in their hearts. You may not make the direct connection instead perhaps just feeling lethargic, depressed, anxious or empty – but that is a message from your wild heart telling you there is something more, something that you are missing.

My response over the years has been search to for a lifestyle that is more fulfilling. That search has taken me back to my beginnings as a wild animal, dependent upon the world around me for nourishment, for energy, for a healthy state of mind and a feeling of purpose. That journey to wholeness has been one of rewilding and was the subject of my 2015 book Rewild Yourself: Becoming Nature.

Rachel Corby Rewild Yourself Becoming Nature book Gateways to Eden

Last year (2016) I ran Sacred Ecology: A Rewilding Apprenticeship for the first time, to pass on what I had learned to others that feel a similar call. Teaching and sharing what I know has been a great deepening and widening experience as I learned so much from my first year of apprentices, as they all learned not just from me and each other, but most of all from the wild lands which we inhabit, and their own wild hearts.

Booking for this years apprenticeship, which begins at the end of April, is now open. If you would like to remember what it feels like to be wild and free, to feel cold dewy grass on your toes, to listen to the whispers in the wind, to communicate with the Sacred Earth, to make natural medicines and ferments, to forage for wild edibles, to sleep under the stars, to develop your intuitive awareness, to know and move your body consciously, to be aware on every level – then you may just want to join me and see where rewilding yourself could take you. Full details of this years apprenticeship can be found here…

I would love to share this energising, life changing, empowering, rewilding, co-creative journey of reconnection with the wildness of the world and with your wild self, with you. Let this year take you beyond a few weeks of January clean up, let it infuse into every cell of you, make the change, rewild yourself!

Sacred Ecology: A Rewilding Apprenticeship

Sacred Ecology: A Rewilding Apprenticeship

former student communicating with plants

former student communicating with plants

The teaching year for me is almost at an end after a flurry of workshops that has been ongoing since the beginning of September. Next Tuesday evening is the final installment of a four part series and then I am done for 2015. For that reason the workshop page on my website is looking a little empty for the moment; until I get some ideas and dates fixed for next year.

The only event currently listed for 2016 is Sacred Ecology: A Rewilding Apprenticeship.

So what is it? Well firstly I guess I should explain what I mean by apprenticeship, as here in the UK it has a kind of industrial feel. According to the Merriam-Webster online entry the definition of apprentice is: 1b :  one who is learning by practical experience under skilled workers a trade, art, or calling

So my apprenticeship is all about learning by practical experience the art of living more wildly. It is a calling. It is about unlearning the ways of domestication and rewilding. It is about learning to live more in line with natures ways.

It won’t just be me; I have also invited Kamaldeep Sidhu and Poh Eng San to share their wisdom and knowledge in the ways of the wild. read more about them and their areas of expertise.

And the content? We will take time to develop sensory acuity and visceral wakefulness. To work with our bodies through eating cleansing foods and self-massage. We will forage for wild foods and medicines making ferments and remedies from our quarry. We will learn about the livingness of the world and how it feels to inhabit a place where everything is alive! We will talk to plants; and they will talk to us. We will learn from the trees and the rivers. We will shapeshift into wilder, more robust, more aware and awake, versions of ourselves.

lake where we stay in Wales

lake where we stay in Wales

When and where? Our journey into Sacred Ecology, into the rewilding of ourselves will be spread over five months; from early May until mid September. During that period we will meet four times in all. Three of them in Somerset, the other in South Wales.

view from compost loo,somerset

view from compost loo, Somerset

At all stages of this Sacred Ecology journey so far I have been drawn to pray and to celebrate the magic and the sacredness. I was delighted a couple of weeks ago to receive the first deposit payment. I have my first apprentice 🙂 ❤

The question is would you like to join us? To co-create with us? To share and explore with us?

I can promise it will be a deeply magical and life-affirming process.

For more background on my style and the content of the apprenticeship read a copy of my latest book Rewild Yourself: Becoming Nature, upon which the apprenticeship is loosely based.

Join me!

Why I Love Rain

Let me qualify the title of this post, or perhaps just add “in moderation”! I don’t love it when it rains for days on end, when the sky is battleship grey and everything is damp, in that sense I am the same as most other people. However, every now and then, I do so love a good blast of the wet stuff. It is not just because I am a lazy gardener and a decent cloud soak means no need for the watering can for at least a few days. It is because something beyond my conscious mind recognises the nourishment that rain is, the fact that it is a source of life, without it we would not thrive, we would not live.

roof tops of Siem Reap, Cambodia

roof tops of Siem Reap, Cambodia

When it has been dry for a long spell and the rain starts to gather over a distant horizon I start to get excited. I love that you can smell approaching rain as well as see it. A few years ago I was in Siem Reap, Cambodia at the tail end of the rainy season and what amazed me there was that you could hear it coming! The downpours were heavy and many of the roofs in town made from tin and so you could hear the thunderous deluge as it moved in closer from the edge of town, that was worth getting excited about!

One of my favourite places to experience rain is the desert. When I lived in New Mexico the earth was often parched, not much more than sand and dust. Occasionally I would notice the sudden presence of big black clouds rolling down the I-25 from Santa Fe, and the smell, it was so very strong, scented with approaching dampness. Of course the dramatic skies were also very beautiful adding even more theatre to an already dramatic environment.

view from my window of plants singing in the rain!

view from my window of plants singing in the rain!

Despite all my travels there is no place like home. It has been a long dry summer. Those that spend most of their days indoors may disagree but I garden, I am outside everyday, and certainly here in Gloucestershire it has been dry. So when the rain does come I celebrate. I can feel the energy of the plants in my locale rising, being around them after a good cloud burst you can practically hear them sing.

When the breeze picks up and the first misting of moisture arrives I love to stand and catch the breeze in my hair, the moisture on my skin. It is enlivening, it makes me feel vibrant and wild. To step it up a notch is to go outside and stand barefoot when the raindrops are plump and falling thick and fast. Most other people at this point run for shelter. I recommend pausing for a moment or two to feel the fat velvety rain kiss your face, caress your skin.

I talk about taking a shower in the rain in chapter 6 of my latest book Rewild Yourself: Becoming Nature There I talk of rain appreciation of the highest order, an activity for which you need a degree of seclusion or privacy to undertake without unintended consequences, but worth it nonetheless.

Without water, like plants, we shrivel and die. Next time it rains go outside intentionally, feel that rain on your skin, feel it nourish, feed and awaken you. It is one of Nature’s gifts, it is part of Gaia, part of you, love it! ❤

Pause To Remember Your Wild Heart

I wrote the following last autumn during the closing stages of finishing the text for my latest book (Rewild Yourself: Becoming Nature  😉 ). I had been sat inside writing, concentrating, for so long that I was in danger of forgetting that which drove me, that which I was writing about in the first place. So I went outside just to feel, just to be, to rekindle that wild, alive, feeling that dwindles when you are inside for too long and don’t feed it, that essential wild spark that we all hold within ourselves.

fallen leavesIt is easy to forget that it exists at all as I sit tamed behind my computer. Stiff from hours of sitting and intense concentration I stretch in my chair once more. Looking up I notice the beautiful blue sky through the skylight in my office. It’s time for a break.

I go downstairs and open the back door. It hits me with a tingly rush, the freshness of the air. The concrete yard is carpeted with the fallen reds and oranges of Acer which sit in pots between bamboos creating a living screen for the brick wall behind. I climb the ugly grey concrete steps and duck to avoid disturbing the intricate webs strung accross the path above my head. Already I feel more animal.

I breathe deeper. My shoulders roll back. The rusty faces of St Johns Wort flowers long since bloomed, medicine lawngreet me as I reach the garden. Leaves and fallen plums litter the medicine lawn ~ my grassy patch. I stop a while and listen to all the birds and other rustlings. I disturb a grey squirrel who dances across the top of the wooden fence and shoots up the trunk of the nearest tree. I breathe deeper still.

There is a delicious warmth to the sun and I sit with my eyes closed, face turned upward toward the fiery disc to receive it. Legs straight in front, arms propping me up from behind, hands broad and fingers well spaced. I can feel the pulse of the Earth rising up my arms. I feel invited to lay back. My spine feels supported by the gentle undulations of the ground beneath me. I kick my slippers off and feel the sticky grass with my toes. Time melts, my pace slows.

I breathe it all in, all the mulchy autumn smells. I turn my head and watch the insects in the grass buzzing between late flowering herbs. I am full, full of joy. The whole of me feels alive and my face is full of smile. I remember. I remember that I am part of this and my heart beats a little stronger.

Rewild Yourself: Becoming Nature by Rachel Corby

Rewild Yourself: Becoming Nature by Rachel Corby

That is the feeling that I attempt to convey In Rewild Yourself, the reconnection with the rest of nature, that feeling of vitality, of being abundantly alive. We don’t need to go far to find it because it is within us all, we were born wild animals, we each still have it within us. So when you are feeling tired or weary, down or ungrounded, disconected or disappointed, just take a moment of time, go outside, find a patch of grass and lie down, take it in, remember… Rewild Yourself!
For more rewilding ideas, to remember you are Gaia, to draw nature into your life more and more, I invite you to grab yourself a copy of my latest book Rewild Yourself: Becoming Nature 🙂

Rewild Yourself: Becoming Nature

Yes the day has finally arrived, my third book, Rewild Yourself: Becoming Nature, has hit the shelves 🙂 I am so happy, it has certainly felt like a long time coming…

Rachel Corby, a talented and sensitive writer, has done it again with this intriguing and powerful invitation to experience the power of the Wild. Immerse yourself in this exciting and enjoyable book.”

LUCY HARMER Celtic Shamanic High Priestess, Feng Shui and space clearing consultant, author of Discovering Your Spirit Animal and Shamanic Astrology

Rewild Yourself: Becoming Nature by Rachel Corby

Rewild Yourself: Becoming Nature by Rachel Corby

“Rewild Yourself: Becoming Nature is a brave and important book of our time, helping us to turn our thinking around, to follow our instinctive nature, to find, experience and fully use all our senses, and to remember that we are intricately connected to everything around us. There are so many different layers to this wild and inspirational book, ensuring you will want to read it again and again. I absolutely LOVE it!”

GLENNIE KINDRED, author of Letting In the Wild Edges

Wild Heart by Wendy Milner

Wild Heart by Wendy Milner

Over the last millennia or so, as humanity has become more civilised, humankind has found itself increasingly removed from its own innate wildness. At the same time society has found itself beset with ever greater incidences of mental illness, stress, depression and antisocial behaviour. In Rewild Yourself: Becoming Nature Rachel Corby addresses the longing search for meaning, what she calls the dark cries of the soul, that have emerged alongside the human-nature disconnect.

Rachel writes with a passion and a deep love for the wild. In developing ones senses and natural instincts she invites you to join her in finding ways to redress the balance. She encourages you to find the wild place inside and overcome a little of your own domestication, to rebuild connections and communications with nature allowing for a free-flow between the wildness of the world and your wild heart.

Considering many aspects of our modern lives, this book offers a path which leads to a personal and cultural transformation; a future where there is space for the wild to grow.

Wild Body by Wendy Milner

Wild Body by Wendy Milner

“Rachel Corby writes beautifully as always, here eloquently expressing the seriousness of our need for the Wild, for the deep and true medicine of nature. A compelling read and a wonderful reminder that the earth is powerfully alive and magic is afoot all around us even under the tarmac.”

PIP WALLER, herbalist and plant spirit medicine practitioner. Author of Holistic Anatomy – an integrative guide to the human body, The Domestic Alchemist, The Herbal Handbook for Home & Health.

Wild Spirit by Wendy Milner

Wild Spirit by Wendy Milner

“When you weep from the profound beauty of a sunset, listen to the symphony of the forest or drink water that gushes from the earth a part of you relaxes and you begin to remember. You remember who you truly are – a wild being with an indigenous soul within a spiritual ecology. Rachel Corby helps ignite this memory in her latest book, Rewild Yourself: Becoming Nature, as she reminds us that our resilience, depth perception and ability to adapt, crucial skills during these times, are directly linked to our wildness, that part of our self that never left the Earth.”

PAM MONTGOMERY, author of Partner Earth; A Spiritual Ecology and Plant Spirit Healing; A Guide to Working with Plant Consciousness.

So I hope that has whetted your appetite for more!

To get your paper copy click here…

If you like your reads paper free click here…

And please don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon 😉 thanks ❤

“With a voice of fierce passion, Corby unapologetically charts a map for our return to the territory of wildness inside and out.”

JULIE MCINTYRE, clinical herbalist, educator and ceremonialist. Author of Sex and the Intelligence of the Heart; Nature, Intimacy and Sexual Energy.

%d bloggers like this: