WYLD Leadership’s Guide to A Reflective Solo Escape to Nature

WYLD’s mission is to draw out the unique greatness in people (fun fact, we wrote our mission statement on a team Getaway!). Through a blend of behavioral sciences, ancient wisdom, and the study of nature, we help you examine and craft a purposeful career and a life well-lived. 

If we want well-being and success in our personal and professional lives, we must intentionally design the way we spend our time, use our talents, and design our territory (environments). A Getaway in a dreamy cabin in nature feels like the perfect opportunity to reflect on this.

TIME

We believe time is our most precious resource. And yet it’s often the resource that feels most scarce and mismanaged. So, let’s look outside our cabin window; what can we learn from nature on how to use time more wisely? How does nature pace itself through the day, month, and season? The late cultural anthropologist Angeles Arrien reminds us if you look closely, everything in nature moves at a medium to slow pace. Nature trusts herself and the rhythm of beginnings and endings. Cheetahs (the fastest land animals) sleep most of the day, and plants often look like the embodiment of time standing still… until the moment comes to hunt or blossom. This intentional burst of energy is short, sharp, and succinct. Then it’s back to energy restoration. 

A great way to manage our days, especially when we are living at work and in the monotony of quarantine, is to create micro rituals to focus our mind, body, and heart.  

How you start your day is how you end your day… What is the pace of your typical morning?

We love to begin the day with a clear intention: How do you want to show up today? What three things do you want to complete?

As you wind down at night, how can you close out the day with gratitude? What did you learn today? What went well? 

What one or two items on your daily to-do list require a zero to 60mph Cheetah-like sprint? How can you be more disciplined and selective about how you use that finite burst of energy?

What two to 10 minute rituals can you incorporate into your morning routine and moments throughout the day to create intentional time to rest and recover? 

TALENT

We lean on Gallup’s 40+ years of research on workplace engagement to guide many of our WYLD experiences. CliftonStrengths is a behavioral assessment tool designed to reveal the pathways of our brain and personality. Our innate talents are tied to what gives us energy, our productivity, and our well-being. We highly recommend taking this assessment, but you can also reflect on Gallup’s 5 Clues to Talent as a strong starting point. 

  1. Yearning – What are you naturally pulled towards? Imagine you are given one month to spend in any way your soul desires (in a post-COVID world with no limitations to do whatever you wish). How would you spend your time? This could be something you’ve never done before! Exclude any “shoulds,” a.k.a. “I should organize the garage.”
  2. Satisfaction – What brings you immense joy? What activities can you do again and again? While yearning is like a fox who orients himself toward a scent (attraction), satisfaction is like a dolphin who never tires of playing in the waves (enjoyment).
  3. Rapid Learning – What subjects or tasks do you pick up quickly? What do you do well without needing much (if any) guidance? These are things that come naturally to you.
  4. Glimpses of Excellence – What are you known for? What activities do others want you to do more of? When we are in our purpose and using our talent, others applaud us, and we feel a sense of mastery.
  5. Flow – What activities create a sense of timelessness for you, where you almost lose yourself in the doing of something? These activities are those where you “get carried away”;  they engage your full focus and attention with pleasure.

TERRITORY

The territory within (our thoughts, feelings, physical sensations) and the territory around us (our environments and support systems) are essential drivers of our well-being. These spaces have the ability to drain or recharge our energy. 

INTERNAL TERRITORY: 

Our thoughts have more power than we often give them credit for. According to Dr. Alia Crum, our mindsets create our reality. Her extensive research on the impact of our thoughts teaches us that our perception of things like what we eat, our stress levels, and our physical activity actually influences our health. If we simply think about exercising, we are more physically fit than if the thought never crossed our minds.

The first step to shifting our thoughts patterns is to simply notice them.    

For the next few hours, track your thoughts… is the tone and nature of your thoughts primarily negative or positive? What patterns do you notice from that inner director? Remember that it is not about staying positive all the time, but rather about becoming a more conscious observer.

Step two is to put those thoughts running in the background into words. We say “name it to tame it” because we know that the articulation of our feelings brings us back into balance.

Use an existing anchor in your day (shower time, a standing meeting, dinner prep) to do an emotional temperature check. Before, during or after this “anchor,” write down or say out loud what you’re feeling. Notice your physical reaction (breath, heart rate, muscle tension, etc). 

Step three is to come up with simple strategies to intentionally create a more positive reality.

What people, places, things, songs, hobbies, rituals, etc. help you let go of any self-deprecating thoughts and shift into more positive thought patterns? Meditation and breathwork really work for us!

EXTERNAL TERRITORY: 

While our thoughts affect us from the inside out, our environments and relationships impact us from the outside in. During COVID, many of us have spent exponentially more time at home either alone or with a select few. The subconscious ways we used to be swayed by these people and spaces are now bubbling to the surface. What insights have you uncovered and what action steps have you already taken to create more supportive external territories? 

Intentionally cultivating our relationships:

Reflect on the way you spend your time with those you are in regular contact with. Maybe COVID has brought you closer together, or maybe it has exposed wounds in need of healing. Think about the quality of your communication… are you clearly articulating what you need from each other (share what you uncovered from steps two and three above!)? How can you more intentionally show up for one another?

What is one ritual you can introduce to recharge your relationships to make them even more supportive? One we love, from the Gottman Love Lab, is called Highlight, Hero, Hardship, Help — every day, ask a loved one what the highlight of their day was, what the hardship of the day was, who / what was their hero, and how can you help them?

Strategically designing our environments:

Our brains think in categories. How can you design your space to better address your specific needs? Do you have different set-ups or areas for play, work, and relaxation time? If your bedroom is also your office, what small changes can you make to create an energizing environment during the day and a calming space at night that allows you to shift out of work mode? 

How can you take inspiration from Getaway to create more space to rest, reflect, and recover in your own home? Is there a nook that can be designed for this purpose? 

“For me, the door to the woods is the door to the temple.”

Mary Oliver

Make sure to follow WYLD on Instagram to keep up with their team. Interested in trying out the WYLD experience yourself? Email them at [email protected] to get your session scheduled and they will match you with a coach that fits your professional and personal goals. Mention promo code WYLD20 for 20% off (this includes a CliftonStrengths code to take the behavioral assessment). A coaching session with a WYLD guide will be tailored to your self development needs, whatever you lead… a business, a family, a team, or your own self through the day, gift yourself the time and space to reflect and grow.

Ready to plan your next reset? Book your escape to nature today.