Angus and I love the story of how the wolves changed Yellowstone Park. You can watch the captivating video here narrated by George Monbiot. The video shares how wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park after being absent for nearly 70 years and shows the incredible and surprising impact on the environment that occurs from this rewilding endeavor. George Monbiot has also written a book Feral that illustrates his efforts to re-engage with nature and discover a new way of living. His book shows how, with rewilding, when nature is allowed to find its own way, damaged ecosystems on land and at sea are restored.
Angus and I see the parallel between the rewilding that allows nature to find its own way and the work we do with couples that allows their true nature to come forward and revitalize their relationships. So much of traditional couple’s work is focused on managing and taming ourselves and our partners through practicing techniques and strategies to cultivate change in personalities. This takes so much effort. It often feels contrived and can take the fun out of being together.
Instead of cultivating and taming the couples we work with, we see how, when they understand that their experience is internally created and look in the direction of their innate state of wellness and wellbeing, this reintroduces goodwill and joy into their relationships. Then there is a cascade of positive change that happens as a result of them stopping the self-management and stopping trying to tame their partner. They instead see how they can allow themselves and their partner to be their natural selves with the full range of human emotional experience and still enjoy the relationship.
We are rewilding relationships by helping the individuals in the relationships to relax into who they are and to look beyond their thoughts and feelings to the love and oneness that is their natural state. Couples often come to us struggling. They are frustrated with the distance in their relationship. Exhausted by the conflict. Feeling hopeless because their partner won’t change. This is all the byproduct of them getting caught up in their self-created narratives that take them away from their natural state of wellbeing so they lose perspective about themselves, their relationship, and life.
The mainstream cultural focus on things outside of us being the source of how we feel is pervasive and unproductive. It is an accepted belief that people can make us feel bad and that our happiness is determined by our partner being a certain way. And because we are victims in this setup, it makes sense that we turn to control and management as our solution. Managing ourselves by thinking I behave a certain way that will get my partner to behave in a good way. Controlling our partner through Micro-management, criticism, and passive-aggressive behavior designed to elicit certain results. Trying to tame your partner to suit your needs so you can feel okay.
What if none of this is needed? What if your raw and natural state, warts and all, is what nourishes relationships and allows them to thrive. What if the less you manage, work on, and try to improve yourself the more love, joy, compassion, and empathy you will experience? What if we, as a culture, have been looking in the wrong direction trying to fix what is not broken?
We have become obsessed with self-help and self-improvement because we are scared by the natural state of our emotional experience. Rather than understanding all of our human emotional experience is transitory and fluid and not who we are, we try to make it better thinking that is how we will feel safe and okay. But we don’t need to do that because we are the consciousness that experiences not the experience itself. Our human nature includes the capacity to feel the wildness of our emotional experience with its ups and the downs, but there is nothing to fix there. We experience our own subjective reality that is created from within. We see and experience the reality we create.
When we see our experience does not come from the outside, there is nothing to fix out there. And there is nothing to fix in our psychology either because that takes care of itself too. Thoughts and feelings always settle. But we try to change our state of mind all the time. I still sometimes fall into the misunderstanding of thinking my experience would be better if Angus were different or if my circumstances were different, or think I should have a better attitude. But it doesn’t work that way. The more we try to manage and change our experience the more we suffer. No matter how much we manipulate or control what is outside of ourselves it is does not make us happy.
So how do we feel better?
By seeing that the constant striving to feel better is exhausting and the source of suffering. Feeling better is the result of letting go of trying to make experience be anything other than what it is in this moment. We let go of the cultivated coping mechanisms we use to try and deal with our experience not being what we want it to be. It looks like if we could just have more good experiences then life would be better, but the controlling and the managing does not create more good experiences. It creates more problems of its own.
The alternative is to accept and to surrender to experience as it is no matter what it is and to allow the wildness of being human to remain untamed. This does not create any bad, crazy, wild behavior. Instead, it brings out the innate goodness and love that is inside each one of us. Beyond the myriad of thoughts and feelings we experience, is the oneness of love, wholeness, and peace of mind.
When we stop managing our thoughts and feelings, we experience more of what is behind them. We relax and get glimpses of the unity and taste the sweetness of letting go into who we really are — the formless consciousness that experiences it all, the formless intelligence that powers it all, the formless thought that creates it all. There is nothing to fix there. There never will be, and allowing your humanness to be is what brings out the best in you. Rewilding yourself brings a wonderful and unpredictable cascade of wellbeing into every aspect of your life.
Allowing yourself to be your natural state makes sense with the understanding that your experience is fluid. Your experience is not who you are. You can feel the truth of who you are even though it cannot be put into words. It is the essence of each of us. The one truth that manifests in the infinite multiplicity of form. The one intelligence behind it all.
Let yourself be wild and let your relationship be replenished by the natural vitality of your untamed self. Allow yourself to be in harmony with your true nature. See that the taming and cultivation of yourself is based on a misunderstanding that your wellbeing is determined by the world of form, including you, being a certain way. That is not true. Look toward your own wisdom. Look within to what is unchanging and see where your true peace lies. Your relationship will flourish as a byproduct.
Rohini Ross is passionate about helping people wake up to their full potential. She is a transformative coach, leadership consultant, a regular blogger for Thrive Global, and author of the short-read Marriage (The Soul-Centered Series Book 1) available on Amazon. You can get her free ebook Relationships here. Rohini currently has an international coaching and consulting practice based in Los Angeles helping individuals, couples, and professionals embrace all of who they are so they can experience greater levels of well-being, resiliency, and success. She is also the founder of The Soul-Centered Series: Psychology, Spirituality, and the Teachings of Sydney Banks. You can follow Rohini on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and watch her Vlogs with her husband. To learn more about her work go to her website, rohiniross.com.