I live with a wild mind. I always have, but didn’t realise for a long time.
I thought I was just a bit of a failure of a human being, someone that couldn’t do the things that other people find so seemingly effortless. Little things like finishing the dishes in one session, being on time, sticking with projects long enough to complete them, keeping a home tidy.These were all great mysteries to me. Other people seemed to be able to hold one job, or at least, career focus, hold onto relationships, be happy where they live, and have clear plans for the future. I drifted through life, changing jobs, postcodes, men, friends and dreams with the winds.
Always creating my own personal hurricanes around me, life was never simple, storms of chaos and drama raged both within and around me.
I started to find the stillness in my wild mind when I learned to love walking and being in nature. The inner peace, mental stillness and calm that climbing a mountain began to calm the storms. Some of them. I was going through some particularly turbulent storms at the time, reeling from the death of my brother, trying to make sense of my extreme and complex reaction to his death. Being in the wild soothed the wildness inside me. Walking on winding mountain paths allowed me to think in straight lines. This was new, and I liked it. I may have had many straight lines running parallel, but I could at least make sense of what they were, instead of the maelstrom of thoughts I couldn’t even separate from each other at other times.
When the storms escalated and utterly devastated my life, I turned to Yoga, diving in deep to train to be a teacher, utterly unaware that I would begin to find myself in the process. Yoga helped me to see the wild woman and learn to love her. To stop seeing her as fundamentally, hopelessly flawed, and to see her as a passionate, valuable spark of divinity with a real purpose in life. I might not have known what that purpose was, but I knew I would find it one day.
Yoga helped me to see at last the cage I had built around my wild self, and the chains I had shackled myself with over the years. My bars were made of self loathing, desperation for love and acceptance from others, fear, shame and so much more. The chains were made of alcohol, drugs, risky behaviour, cigarettes and rage. As I learned to calm the storms inside, I began to see and love my wild, to see that I am perfect in my flaws, and that my difference is part of what makes me so.
And then I discovered that there was a reason for the wild.
I wasn’t just awkward, catastrophic, flaky, chaotic, hopeless, a fucking idiot, and all the other things that I and others have called me in the past.
I have ADHD!
My wild has a name, and is recognised all over the world.
I found my people, my fellow wild women, and discovered that I am FAR from alone in the storm.
There are women who will laugh and share their equally funny stories when I talk about leaving the freezer open all night, or leaving my keys in the front door, rather than looking at me through rolled eyes, and shaking their head in despair, with the question ‘what the hell is the matter with you?’ hanging in the air.
I have medication that helps to tame the wild so that I am able to actually sit down at my laptop and do my work. I even manage to not only finish washing the dishes, but clean the whole kitchen in one session sometimes!
I have tools at my disposal, tools that Yoga has gifted me, that soothe the wild when I get agitated. They help me to keep my emotions at a manageable level, rather than the Everest high peaks, and ocean floor depths I used to experience.
I am still wild. I don’t want to be tamed. I don’t think I can be, and that is fine by me. Being wild gives me so much. Life is a real adventure. There are so many things I want to do, things I want to learn and explore. Life is fun when you’re wild. Even every day living feels like an adventure, I never quite know what the day will bring, what new mental wanderings I will go on, what delights I will find to explore and enjoy, what will make me laugh at my own absurdities, and what fun I will find in the mundane.
My still wild mind is bursting with ideas, dream, hopes and adventure.
And yet, I need to still my wild mind. Left unchecked, the wild can quickly turn into storms that rage and leave me feeling broken. So I turn to my Yoga mat, to my breath, my postures, my stillness. I move my body to release the excess energy. I dance, I workout. I walk. I release my emotional energy through my daily writing practice, through my breath, and through gratitude and self care.
My wild mind needs to be wild, and it needs to be stilled. I can embrace and enjoy the wild only if I bring the stillness, not to tame and cage my wild, but to soothe and channel it. The wild is my essence, it is who I am, but without the stillness, it will devour me.