7 Keys to Self Wilding: Freeing Your Inner Self

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Do you feel like you just want to escape? You might be wrestling with expectations at work, at home, among friends, or within a relationship. Or, you might be a perfectionist getting caught up in your own trappings. You know you can be free from this feeling overwhelmed and trapped with a little self help, right? Freeing the nature within is what I call ‘Self Wilding’ and in this article, I list the seven keys to my Self-Wilding. See also More Ways to Self Wilding and How to Use Your Ego to Find Fulfillment.

What is Self Wilding?

Self Wilding is about freeing your inner nature to be who you need to be to be you. It is not about loneliness in the wilderness or the brash kind of wildness. It’s about feeling whole and balanced and connecting with the nature within and the nature around you. Some would call this freeing the inner child  — “the feeling part of us that loves to play and explore…that thrives on ‘simply’ being instead of achieving….the vulnerable, feeling, spontaneous, creative self”.¹ Others refer to it as the spiritual self. But for me, it is simply our inner nature.

Look deep into nature, and there you will understand everything better ~ Einstein

Why is Freeing the Self Important?

We have our ego, our personas, and other’s perspectives that ride us, day in and day out. While these outer layers have a place, the importance we give to each or all of them in determining who we are, or what we do, matters. Giving too much credence to them drains us of our true essence. That’s my take. It inhibits us and we feel trapped.

Carl Jung described the persona as our outward mask and the self as our ultimate aim to give use the sense of unity or wholeness ¹.

Jung argued that “man’s progressive alienation from his instinctual foundation” contributed to modern life’s problems ².

…”your challenge is to take the ego from its dominant position and pull it back so that it’s in service to yourself.” ~ Caroline McHugh in the Art of being Yourself.

true self vs ego
Diagram of the Self within layers of the Perspective, Personas, and the Ego. Adopted from Caroline McHugh, founder, and CEO of Idology

Here’s an analogy…

Visualize a boat as you.

The part above water is the ‘you’ influenced by waves and other external factors (others’ perspectives), and the furnishings and fittings (your personas and your ego).

The part beneath is the ‘you’ (the inner self) that needs to be in good shape to keep the boat afloat and on course.

The part above the surface may look nice and shiny to the outside world, but if the part beneath the surface is in disrepair you risk sinking or falling apart at sea.

Some of this is about being in balance and the more balanced you feel, the freer you are to sail through life.

# 1 Caring About Me, You, and the Universe

For a strong connection to self, start with giving. Cut yourself some slack first. Be nice to you, give yourself a gift, a reward. You’ve heard that before, right? And, then extend this to the outer nature. What you give out, you get in return multiplied. You’ve got it.

To attain inner peace you must actually give …

Peace Pilgrim

Balance the giving to yourself with the giving of yourself to others for inner peace.

#2 Outdoors is Home to Me (I Am Part of Nature)

Get outside. Connect your inner nature with the outer nature. The more you get away from the artificial and soak up the negative air ions and sunshine that nature offers, the better your mood and health will be.

Whenever I have found myself stuck in the ways I relate to things, I return to nature. It is my principal teacher, and I try to open my whole being to what it has to say.  ~Wynn Bullock

Walk, jog, or play with your dog in the park. Walk along the beach and notice the different shells and crabs. Go camping, hiking, kayaking, paddling, biking, or do some other outdoor activity. Maybe just sit.

Key: Balance the amount of time you spend indoors with time spent in nature to foster peace and happiness.

#3 Nose — Nourish Your Mind, Body, and Soul

‘Nose’ means to detect, search, suss out, sniff, or pry. Stop, look, and notice patterns and possibilities. Explore. Enquire. Appreciate your nature within and the nature around. This is all about self improvement through opening yourself to possibilities for a naturally passionate life.

You can use all your senses in this way. Some examples:

  • Taste This might mean a new cuisine.
  • Touch Make sand castles in the sand, swim or paddle in natural waterways.
  • Sound Listen to nature — the birds chirping and chattering, the sound of a babbling brook or flowing water over rocks, or the ocean pounding against the shore.
  • Smell Inhale the scent of wildflowers or daisies in the garden. Experience the aroma of fertile earth, the beach or the bush, or the coolness of air after a storm.
  • Sight Observe the magic of sunset, sunrise, or rainbows; the moon shining across a bay or a field; the many shades of green and brown in the forest, woodland, or bushland. Notice the enormous diversity of color, texture, and shape in nature.

Key: Get a hobby or pastime that speaks heaps about your inner nature.

#4 Notice What Your Intuition Tells You

This will arise more when your mind is still, as in the meditative state or with other activities that get you into the flow. Sometimes even when having a shower, ideas pop into my head. It’s a simple matter of allowing space for this type of thinking.

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Tune into your intuition for insight, but don’t confuse intuition with wishful/fearful thinking (if there’s a feeling of anxiety then it is probably not your intuition).

Key: There’s more to nature than logic.

 #5 Enlighten and Enjoy Yourself

Find a hobby or pastime to enlighten yourself. Exercise and express your mind. Expand your horizons. Set yourself challenges. Most of all, make sure you enjoy it. Having a passion is the spark of life.

The aim is to open your inner Self to the magic of the world around you.

Be creative. Maybe craft something new from old. Or, search Wikipedia for info on three things you observed in nature while you were outdoors.

Key 5: Make time to have fun and seek to ‘stretch’ your mind, body, and soul for enlightenment.

#6 Cultivate Courage Rather Than Fear

Show courage over a fear of the unknown. It is more than positive self esteem. It may mean taking a leap of faith, changing your current trajectory.

Cultivate an attitude of feeling safe and a behavior of self confidence. Try imagining yourself facing your ‘lion’ and the lion bowing down to honor you.

Key: Put your fear into perspective. Fear is often one’s biggest stranglehold.

#7 Take Time Each Day to Reassess Yourself

Allow time to remove old attitudes and instilled behaviors and develop the new in tune with your true nature.

Be persistent, but patient.

The aim is to make life easier and fulfilling.

Daily habit examples:

  • Keep a diary or journal for reflection.
  • Schedule in time to assess your ‘Self Wilding’.

Key: Balance action with reflection.

C O N N E C T is the One Key

Each of the above starts with a letter that together spells the key message of this article — CONNECT. Realize everything is connected and that we are not machines. We are part of life on this planet and by nature we are connected.


Finally, always remember… to C O N N E C T:

  1. C for care,
  2. O for outdoors,
  3. N for nose,
  4. N for nurture,
  5. E for enjoy,
  6. C for courage, and
  7. T for taking time.


  1. Jung, C. G. (1947). On the Nature of the Psyche. London: Ark Paperbacks.
  2. Jung, C. G. (1958). The undiscovered self. New York: New American Library.

See the list of published works on how our connection with nature is important.

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