Staying Grounded in Times of Uncertainty

Many of us have, until recently, been living life in the fast lane with our foot pressed firmly on the accelerator, our gaze fixed on some desired distant destination. Quite often our minds are either living in the past or cast far into some future hope, dream, or worry. We sometimes forget to enjoy the journey and stop to take in a breath-taking vista or notice the changing scenery as we pass by. How often do we notice the visceral experiences that our 5 senses bless us with? Do we see them as mere pleasantries, superfluous to one’s utmost benevolent strivings? Truthfully, they are vital instruments in building our own reality and teach us about the world and our place in it.

It’s easy to understand why we sometimes ignore our senses and live in our heads with the complexity of 21st Century life. Our brains have never had so much information to consume. Constant information is now flowing from various channels and we seem to have become incessant consumers of it. With a pursuit such as this and a failure to live presently our minds can easily become disconnected from our moment to moment physiological experiences.

How often do we notice the way our heart beat increases in rate when we feel anxious, or how relaxed we are when we consciously take a moment to fill our lungs with fresh air? These seemingly simple and insignificant phenomenon are what help maintain a connection with our experiential reality.

Life has dealt us all a curve ball with current circumstances and, with almost everything shut down, maybe we have a little more time to be still and enjoy a diary that is not booked up for months in advance. We have an opportunity to think differently about our lives and the course we could take. As we evaluate and assimilate these new ideas and objectives for our lives moving forward let us include goals for our wellbeing and mental health as a high priority.

It is often said that joy can be found in the simple things of life so here are a few suggestions or conscious challenges that can help you stay grounded in your experiential reality and improve wellbeing:

Eat a meal mindfully

Who doesn’t like to eat? I have yet to meet someone that doesn’t, however do we give full attention to this mostly enjoyable experience? Go ahead and try eating with your full attention. Turn off all distractions and sit comfortably at a dinner table. Observe the colours of your food and how it looks. How does your body respond to what you see? Eat the food and notice what sensations and flavours you experience. Try closing your eyes and see if that changes anything.

Connect with the natural world

Many of us are now enjoying walks in the countryside or getting out to a local park for fresh air and social distancing. It is well established by research the benefits that nature has on our health and wellbeing. Go for a walk by yourself in the woods or some natural environment. Consciously breathe in and out deeply and rhythmically as you go. Notice any smells or noises that your nose and ears bring to your attention. You may hear the sound of the wind brushing through the leaves in the tree or the sound of a myriad of birds singing their joyful songs or simply the sound of your body walking on the earth. Count how many colours you observe. Stop to look at the detail and structure of a flower or plant. What thoughts come to your head while you are walking?

Get creative

When engaged in a creative process it is difficult to be worried or anxious about anything else. Whether you love to draw, paint, sing, dance, crochet, play sport, complete a puzzle, write poetry or any other activity; you may find that it serves as a great way to escape or soothe feelings of anxiety and worry. Whatever you choose to do, give your full attention to it. Be spontaneous leaving behind any expectations of yourself and let your curiosity guide you.

You may want to keep a diary to record your observations and experiences. You will find that through practice of these exercises the detail will become richer and more meaningful.

If these suggestions don’t suit your needs then come up with something that works for you. Pick an activity of daily living which you take for granted or consider to be menial and live the experience fully, being mindful of any thoughts that come to you. Observe those thoughts and judgements and let them pass.

Ultimately, each of us are responsible for taking care of ourselves. To become more useful to others we first have to replenish our own resources. At Really Wild we understand the importance of the relationship between our environment and our personal development. We teach people to become observant and knowledgeable to the resources around them. When equipped with the right knowledge and skills an individual will feel confident in any environment.

Confidence is a huge contributor to wellbeing and those who tap into this state of mind regularly find that they are pushing the boundaries of their existence (or in other words they grow)! When we grow life becomes meaningful. When life is meaningful, we have purpose and when you have purpose you find joy.

Sam Ambrose
BA Hons Person-Centred Psychotherapist

An Introduction to Really Wild

The Really Wild Borneo Expedition Team on a hot humid day in the Jungle

Our Approach to Education and Personal Development

At Really Wild we believe that every student and every member of a school’s staff or leadership team is meant to thrive. They are destined to do so because our ability to rise to any challenge, to overcome odds and to create incredible solutions and new ideas are at the core of our DNA.

These abilities have not changed since the dawn of time and have been demonstrated in our species at every juncture of the human journey, from the moment we left the wild plains of Africa to venture into the extreme environments of the north, through to further exploration of the globe, periods of great developments such as the renaissance, and all the way through to modern times.

“Every creature that is alive is descended from literally an unbroken line of successful ancestors and the field is littered with the corpses of contemporaries which were not. We are the elite descended from the elite of every generation in the past.”

Richard Dawkins

Our latest achievements have seen us communicate seamlessly in real time across every location of the world and even land on planets and asteroids in the far reaches of space. We have overcome famines, diseases, natural disasters and the turmoil we have created ourselves only to thrive on a scale that dwarfs any other species.

With such a history, and despite our weaknesses and foibles, humans are pretty amazing and so too is every single person on this earth. If we can convince our students believe this – which we do! Then we can help them achieve the most incredible of things.

At our core, we believe that if we can teach someone how to survive and thrive in the wild with few or apparently no resources, we can certainly show them how to survive and thrive in life at home, at school and in their professional lives too.

We have worked with students who have overcome selective mutism, secured the job opportunities of their dreams, overcome shyness, improved their discipline, focus and academic results and who have greatly enhanced the quality of their lives and others about them too.

We seek to ignite in our students the belief in their amazing inbuilt ability to succeed (original human success™) to inspire them to act and to equip and enable them to succeed with the right attitudes, behaviours and tools to do so. Hence our tagline, Ignite, inspire, achieve!

Time and time again, pupils join a Really Wild Programme as every day children or young adults and leave confident and focused to handle the challenges of life and to excel in a manner personal to each back at home, in the classroom and in their future academic or professional lives too. And it rubs off on their teachers too!

Our approach is simple but effective:

  1. We follow the simple belief that education has to be:
  • Highly inspiring
  • Personally relevant
  • Practical
  • Long lasting, and
  • Life changing
  1. We teach the most fascinating outdoor skills or relate to stories taken from wilderness survival or people overcoming tremendous odds and use this to inspire our students.
  2. We teach skills to the highest standards so pupils can be truly proud of very real achievements.
  3. We take them to places that include experiences that no other company can offer.
  4. We link all activities and lessons to experience of the student’s own personal life and help them see how they can be applied in practical terms
  5. We use a team of highly professional and experienced staff taken from the world of education, business, expedition leadership, survival and bush craft training, coaching and mentoring.
  6. We deploy our proven methodology for success The Really Wild Method®. This ensures outstanding results are achieved, that they last and that students enjoy a competitive advantage and personal development outcome that matters the most to them.

In addition to our outdoor based programmes, we offer coaching, mentoring and advisory services on the subjects of leadership, management, wellbeing, business development, entrepreneurship and strategy too, for example. We provide these to SMT’s, pupils and prestigious organisations in the corporate and government sector too. This underpins our belief that all things must be valuable and relevant to people’s actual lives.

As we enter out tenth year of business the values we hold dear remain.

We are not any ordinary outdoor provider. We are not just any travel company. We are an education and personal development partner that really makes a difference to pupils’ and teachers’ lives.

This is why we do what we do and why we are proud to introduce ourselves to you.

Steven Shove and Mat Barsnsley