Silver Beach in St. Joseph, MI

There’s a line from one of my poems: I surrender to the radical pulse of love. To me, this is the essence of what it means to live with a wild heart—to live in oneness from that deep place within, allowing the pulsing desires of life to express freely. I love the word “radical” almost as much as the word “wild.” I think they’ve both been largely misconstrued. I feel like a “word activist,” rallying for the freedom of their true expression. How did the natural meaning of wild and the deep rooted meaning of radical come to be associated with crazy and out-of-control?

In this blog I will explore the ways of the wild heart—pose questions, share stories, and offer reflections. For my first blog post, it seems fitting to share the story of how the word “wild” captured my attention so fiercely.

It began with a piercing message during a dark night of the soul. Years ago, one wintry evening, I snuggled up with my mother’s afghan, a cup of hot tea, and beloved cat at my side. All good measures to warm the chilling angst that prevailed at that time. I reached for my journal and wrote a few pages in attempt to relieve my anxiety. However, on this night, spilling words onto paper was not working. I paused to stroke my cat, his calm purr urging me back to center, and was then inspired to ask my heart what it had to say. I shifted the pen to my left non-dominate hand—a practice that’s known to release the control of thought and encourage the freedom of feelings. It can be clumsy, yet what comes out is often revealing. This was no exception. The words came fast and furious. “I am wild and you are trying to tame me!” Nearly everything stopped, including my anxious thoughts. They didn’t stand a chance. The velocity of these words shattered them away to stillness, leaving me naked in the vulnerability of my deepest authority. This message launched a personal exploration into the meaning of wild and the ways in which I tamed my heart.

I started with the wildness of nature, exploring the four elements—earth, fire, water and air. All of them engage in life with a freedom of expression, from quiet stillness to boisterous eruption. I felt particularly connected with the language of water. For a number of years I lived near Lake Michigan and went for daily walks along the shoreline. I enjoyed all of the seasons, meeting the mystery of its ever-changing nature—gentle lapping, churning waves, and cliffs of ice. Typically, water is considered wild when the waves are large and bold, whipped up by a storm. Yet, I began to see all of it as wild, even the quiet. Ultimately, wild, to me is the nature of the divine in all of its glorious expressions. We can try to tame the waves, straighten the river, and manage the coastline, or we can meet the wildness in its true nature, honoring the radical pulse of love that defines all things.