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Tracy Lawrence

Reclaim Your Wildness

Published about 1 month ago • 3 min read

At dinner with my friend Maria last week, her husband Gary asked a profound question,

“Who is your wild one? Where do you allow your wild one to show up and where do you suppress it?”

Oddly that very morning, my coach helped me meet my wild one.

She came up as a visual. She looks like Neytiri from Avatar.

She’s feline, a hunter, and very wild. Looking at her felt exhilarating but also a little scary. What the heck do I do with her?

The Origins of the Wild One

The wild one first came to my awareness in a mushroom journey. I felt her presence under my skin. It was clear she had big cat energy. She goes between the active hunt and being super lazy, a paw swinging off the couch.

From that journey on, I’ve had an intermittent connection with her. I met her again on the dance floor at Esalen, on the final day when I finally gave her full permission to come through.

She is wild. She doesn’t live by a schedule. She flows with life, she cares less what others think, and she’s incredibly in tune with herself.

She’s tribal. She’ll hiss in the face of danger and face it. She doesn’t care that her face looks warlike, and she loves the thrill of the fight and chase.

The Case for Wildness

In the map of modalities I coach with, we’re sitting squarely in Internal Family Systems (IFS)1, which is often referred to as “parts work.”

The core philosophy is that we all contain many parts of ourselves, each with their own personalities, desires, hurts, and fears. The most sensitive ones are formed in our childhood, in a moment or time when we faced a difficult situation and didn’t have the resources or adults to help us handle it. Those parts hold our fears and then we bury them, just to run away from the negative feelings.

Parts work is the work of unearthing, being with, and loving all our parts – even the ones that cause us suffering. This work recognizes that there are no bad parts, they all want to be our allies. But some are burdened with protecting us.

When we come across wild parts, these are often versions of our younger selves who got in trouble for something. They went into hiding carrying shame and guilt. Our work is to thank them for trying to protect us from a similar situation, and then unburden them.

When we unburden parts, we free up latent energy that was going towards excess protection, and those parts can then become our greatest allies in creativity, joy, and play.

Free the wild ones, and you have the chance to free feelings of aliveness and authenticity.

Enlisting the Wild One

I realized at dinner that I freaking love my wild one. I’ve just never found a place for her in my life outside of physical fitness.

But as I recover from Long COVID, she’s emerging more in my desire to start something new.

This is new territory for me. When I started Chewse, I was 19 and didn’t know a lick about masculine and feminine. I went through 500 Startups and built with a standard playback, one that prioritizes speed, urgency, and scale.

Now at 34 living in Hawaii and deeper into my own inner work, I realize I can build whatever is to come differently.

I want to experiment with enlisting my wild one. The one who lives in my balled up fists and down my torso. Could she help me build my next thing in more alignment with who I am now? Can she support me with intuitive data in addition to my head’s analysis?

But with my training, here’s how I’ll plan to work with her:

• Feel her in my body

• See through her eyes

• Dress like she would

• Trust her

People who have lost touch with their wild ones often do so from a place of fear. They think their wildness will hurt people or cause them to be rejected. They knew how to be wild as children, but tamed it back in the process of climbing the summit of adulthood.

I fear my wild one will invite judgment. She’s too much. Too fierce. Too chaotic. So I control her.

But controlling this part is exhausting, whether we realize it or not.

And if you tame it too much, it loses vitality. But it’s always there, waiting for you to reinvigorate it.

Here's a short meditation to meet your wild one:

Close your eyes, take 3 deep breaths, and call the wild one home. Notice what you see. Observe what you feel and if any resistance comes up. Track the thoughts and feelings.

Here are journal prompts for you to explore:

  • What does your wild one look like?
  • What does it feel like in your body?
  • What would you do differently if you woke up tomorrow and the wild one was unleashed?
  • Why do you hide from it?

You’ll be surprised how quickly this part wants to come home.


1. For a solid overview of parts work I recommend reading No Bad Parts by Dick Schwartz, the founder of IFS.

Are you familiar with parts work? I'd love hear if you'd like to hear more about the topic, since this scratches the surface!

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Tracy Lawrence

@coachtracylawrence

I help entrepreneurs and leaders find simplicity and joy at work through mindful, emotional intelligence, and culture hacks. Use techniques I've trained top CEOs to do in the amount of time it takes to order a coffee ⭐️ Exited Founder turned Executive Coach 📈 Raised $40M and managed 100s of employees 🧘‍♀️

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