WYLD has been around since 2013, but in 2017, we became a full-time business. We are taking this opportunity to share our top-of-mind, key insights developed over the last two years of operating full-time. These insights range from what we have learned operationally, from our clients, and from a curriculum design standpoint.
1. The Wisdom of The Compass
This is a primary WYLD tool and the inspiration behind our logo. With every retreat or workshop we complete, we realize just how essential this framework is to everything we teach — whether it is overtly used with our clients or leaned on behind the scenes to honor the layers of learning.
Also known as the The Medicine Wheel, the compass is an ancient map based on a circular pattern and cyclical set of four: the four seasons, the four stages of life, and the four psychosocial aspects of a person. Without fail, the four Cardinal directions bring a sense of clarity and comfort to individuals and teams alike.
This tool is a guiding force behind the insights and a-ha’s that our clients have during their coaching or learning experiences with us. As each day begins with the sunrise, we start our journey in the east, reminding people of the importance of childlike curiosity, dreaming, and idea generation. The south takes us to the hard work of the summer where we apply routine, structure, and order to our ideas from the east. In the west, we prioritize; we let go of things that don’t serve our bigger vision and we allocate our attention more discerningly. The west can be the hard work of saying no. We end every call, workshop, retreat with the action and accountability of the north. The north asks us to step into our power with grace and ease, to manage our energy and wisdom like elders and take simple actions forward.
The framework of the compass is a catalyst for change, healing, and growth. It requires courage to look into the mirror and see where we are individually or collectively in our life and work. Like the four quarters of the business year, each direction carries a unique wisdom and purpose and serves as a navigational metaphor to better accept and direct our attention and next phase of evolution.
2. Less is More
We want our clients to get the most out of any WYLD experience, but we’ve realized more doesn’t always = better. Staying in the silence after posing a question or incorporating unscheduled time during a retreat can be difficult, but sometimes that quiet time to integrate is the most memorable part of the experience. You learn best when you learn less.
Deep and long-lasting learning happens over time. Our clients might intellectually grasp any given tool we present right off the bat — but have they made the lesson personal? Have they had a chance to strategize ways to incorporate their insights into their daily reality?
Our clients are the content. We are not TED talking our way to inspiration (although we love TED), instead we are posing powerful questions to allow our clients to find their way to the goals and solutions they are seeking. If we don’t give space for reflection and integration, then we will significantly dilute our impact. After all, it is in the quiet space of the mind and heart where we source our greatest ideas for a life well-lived.
A WYLD retreat is the wake up call to your life. It allows you the space to be with yourself and listen to your inner strength surrounded by the magnificent beauty and wisdom of nature. WYLD uses powerful exercises to combine the mind, body, and heart creating meaningful breakthroughs and a-has. One. Tiny. Step. At. A. Time. The curriculum teaches you to stay in the discomfort to create personal growth and let go of beliefs that no longer serve you, practices that you can use in the daily experiment of life.
– Kassie, WYLD Participant
3. The Power of the Totem
This is a key WYLD ingredient to fostering camaraderie. We have been using totems ever since Kristin’s first retreat, but each tribe deepens our appreciation for the power and wisdom of this unifying symbol.
When teams or individuals come to WYLD for a retreat, they are often given a totem animal that symbolizes their power as a group. Why do we have mascots? Family names? Logos? Icons? Stories? A shared symbol, language or identity creates a sacred sense of belonging that fuels the energy, pride, and performance of each person. Anthropologists believe that totem use was a universal phenomenon among early societies as a way to communicate the identity of a tribe or family.
The animal kingdom and nature serve as a brilliant parallel to the workplace. Our natural world is inherently “strengths-based” as every living thing contributes uniquely to the rhythm and order of a larger ecosystem. Each animal has its own special way of surviving and thriving.
As we plan for a retreat, we study the goals, the strengths, the challenges and the collective energy of the individuals coming. While it might seem cutesy or irrelevant at first, what we now know for sure is that groups take on the characteristics of the totem they are given or they choose. WYLD guides are consistently in awe of how the positive and negative dynamics of each animal are played out in the behavior and experience of a group. Call it magic, connectedness, or coincidence, but the Totem Animal creates cohesion and life-long bond.
P.S. Harry Potter is real.
4. It’s All Perfect
This is a saying we were taught by WYLD Guide, Kath Roberts. The more we reflect on it, the more we come to see the prevalence of the perfection pattern that affects us as well as our clients.
The word perfect means the absence of flaws or a correspondence with an ideal standard. It implies that there’s always something else we could be doing to improve, to reach higher. But what if where you are at this exact moment is right where you need to be — flaws and all. There’s learning in everything as long as you are in a position to see it that way. What would it feel like to be in full acceptance of who you are, what you look like, what you or your team has achieved right now?
Over the last two years, there have been moments when we feel like we’re really walking our talk and moments when we have felt out of sync. Learning to meet our team where it is (rather than judge ourselves for not being at a certain level of evolution) has been the key to managing our stress, boosting our team’s well-being, and building a sustainable growth trajectory.
5. Medium to Slow
This is one of the phrases we repeat most and it has only become more crucial as our cultural reality grows more hectic. It’s a saying that our clients often point to as the WYLD lesson that had the greatest impact on their daily life.
Everything in nature moves at a medium to slow pace. With the exception of short bursts of energy — like a lion going in for the kill or a flower blooming — animals and plants pace themselves steadily. Cheetahs spend about 90% of their time lazing about, conserving energy for their sprints. Plants tend to grow so slowly that the human eye misses their incremental changes. Our human nature is longing to sync to the rhythms and cycles of the natural world. What would it look like to mirror this pace?
Our healing, our understanding of things, our “real” work happens in the space of medium to slow. We can get caught up in FOMO, scarcity, and the hyper-drive of our society in a heart-beat. This type of consensus thinking is powerful and can pull us in and pull us off course. So it’s important to create rituals and intentional reminders to slow down not only for our overall well-being, but also to allow our personal development and professional growth to happen organically.
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