Until my young adulthood, I found my life was fulfilled with usefulness and was still strongly connected to Nature.
As a geosciences student, I had faith that my master’s degree will be the gateway to a fulfilling professional life. I was convinced that it would allow me to contribute to the conservation and restoration of ecosystems. This cause matters to me as I believe that the beauty and diversity of ecosystems is the key to our physical and mental well-being and is what makes life worth living. At the same time, my implications in youth movements allowed me to spend most of my weekends and holidays educate young people in Nature, help them acquire new social skills and become autonomous and critical individuals. Build huts, swim naked in cold streams, walk barefoot, cook on a fire, sleep under the stars, stare at the sunset, listen to singing birds, climb rocks and trees, run in the forest, pick wild fruits were activities that occupied an important part of my daily life. These have always made and still make me feel truly and deeply alive, human and connected to the wholeness of the universe.
But when I started to enter professional life, things have begun to change.
I felt more and more deprived of the deep connection I had with Wilderness. Paradoxically, as a geoscientist working in the field of climate change research, I have spent countless hours in offices working behind computer screens rather than study and learn from the field (even if I’ve had the chance to participate in 3 field expeditions in polar regions). Although I felt much more connected to Nature than the majority of people around me, I had reached a point where I considered myself nothing else than a typical product of the 9-5 rat race lost in a city, totally disconnected from what makes him a human being. Moreover, I had a growing feeling that my job was not in accordance with the faith I expressed as a student. My feeling of usefulness was decreasing as I realized that the very narrow topics I was working on did not satisfy my natural tendency to constantly start to explore vast new domains of knowledge and did not provide any positive tangible impact on daily people’s lives or nature conservation and restoration. I had the growing sensation that I was wasting my time and my talents in a context of nature deficit disorder. This situation was meaningless.
I needed a serious change.
This is the reason why I decided that my life should be more focused on what is really essential to me: spend more active time in Nature while getting involved in what I consider truly useful projects that would allow me to exploit my full potential. But how to achieve this while earning an income? I had found a purpose but I didn’t know how to reach it yet. I first had the idea to create a remote freelance business based on my scientist and IT skills. I imagined it would provide me enough flexibility and freedom to take back my lost connection with Nature. But in the end, I came up with the conclusion that doing so I would still spend too much time behind a computer screen working on what David Graber would call bullshit jobs. I was craving for more coherence between the values I preached and the behaviors I adopted, between the science I read and the conclusions I drew from it in my life. This coherence is essential because it is what makes you feel aligned and makes it possible to denounce, by mirror effect, the incoherence of the society around us.
And so I came up with the idea of creating a nature-based business.
This would be the perfect setup to regain my connection with Wilderness while experiencing a deep feeling of usefulness. I consider this feeling of usefulness to be the meaning of life rather than the endless pursuit of happiness. The latter explains why we collectively buy stuff we don’t need, spend time with people we don’t necessarily appreciate and try to work hard to get the approval of people we don’t like while the former drives us to create, share and add something to society. I wanted to do something that would make a difference. I had a variety of ideas in mind ranging from guided hiking tours to hosting forest bathing events for urban dwellers until, while doing research on the Internet, I stumbled upon the concept of human rewilding. This concept immediately appeared as the missing piece to my personal quest for an authentic and meaningful professional activity that totally resonates with my aspirations and my personality.
Rewilding lifestyle inspirer became the specific nature-based professional activity I wanted to develop.
Being outside in contact with the elements and discovering the world is part of our deep nature. Since the dawn of time, humans have lived and flourished in full immersion with Nature. But modern life is becoming more and more complex, the digital world is taking hold of us and the pace is accelerating both at work and in our private lives. We live more and more inside, disconnected from Nature and our world becomes more and more artificial and techno-centric. It seems like we are forgetting where we came from. We actually suffer from a lack of Nature disorder. This has led us to feel out of nature, to differentiate ourselves from it and to act irresponsibly towards it. This is a big mistake. As human animals, we cannot live and prosper without a connection to the natural world in which we have been shaped by hundreds of thousands of years of evolution. We need trees, animals, stars and elements. They are our masters and feeders and we need them for our physical and mental well-being. We urgently need to reconnect with our origins and introduce rewilding in our daily lives. I want to actively take part in the movement and as an aspiring rewilding coach. I want to raise awareness about this urgent need of a reconnection with our origins. This is crucial if we want to find health, vitality, serenity, meaning, hope, and joy again, especially in the anxiogenic context of our modern civilization, its propensity to make us addicted to digital technology and its systemic environmental crisis. I consider the Rewilding lifestyle as a transformational experience that is a radical political action. It could positively raise awareness about this urgent need of a reconnection with Nature, foster coherence in actions that people take and enable a paradigm shift in which we would be part of Nature rather than dissociated from it.