Rewilding Humans


We humans are interesting creatures. We grow, love, thrive, get sick, fall short, and too often we get emotionally stuck. Chronic stress, hyperstimulation, and emotional overload diminishes our capacity to handle life’s challenges. This article is a window into your unexplored internal ecosystem. It’s much more than just a list of trivial steps for improved mental and emotional health. Rather, it’s a new and beautiful paradigm through which to view your life. Read on for an incredible exploration that will help you to experience lasting change, for real, for good.
This article is inspired by a single word which, until now, has been primarily connected to the global communities focused on nature and land conservation. However, the word has a much deeper meaning when applied to ourselves. It’s one of those words to which we are drawn, enjoy, and need as a part of our lives. When we attach this term to the concepts of self-ascendancy and neuro-wellness, we embark on a journey within our minds to a place of renewed creativity and recovery. The word is REWILDING. Welcome to the beginning of a new world of inspired living as we learn about the principles of rewilding of our inner-self, our lifestyle, and our ability to adapt to the changing technologies and emotional landscape of our planet.

Rewilding Humans is a emotional wellness and recovery program at
Let’s begin.
Do you buy Patagonia Inc. gear or clothing? How about North Face or another high performance outdoor clothing brand? Patagonia is among the most valued and costly outdoor clothing brands you can buy. For many people, Patagonia carries the perception of a higher social status and affluence that goes beyond just a simple fleece jacket. By any measure, Patagonia is a quality product with an extremely strong brand identity. In a recent article by adventure writer Alex Foxfield, Link he outlines how the Patagonia brand goes far beyond trendy hill-folk fashion. The company is deeply committed to doing business in a way that protects the planet. The company’s backstory is one of friendship, hard work, innovation, conservation, and is a prime example of the deep rewilding we all need in our lives.
The traditional definition of rewilding is that of a progressive approach to conservation with the goal of restoring and protecting natural ecosystems. The term often applies to large-scale projects that focus on increasing biodiversity, bringing back native species, and allowing ecological processes to function without human interference.
Rewilding aims to combat biodiversity loss and the degradation of ecosystems, often seeking to reverse the damage caused by human activity and to provide increased resilience against environmental shifts such as climate change. It is a form of ecological restoration that places a strong emphasis on letting natural processes run their course, with minimal ongoing human management.
In terms of our personal wellbeing, rewilding is a key component of a larger framework for neuro-wellness that I use in my workshop series called Human Ascendancy. As we delve into the comparisons between the rewilding efforts of Patagonia and the rewilding of our personal spheres, we uncover that rebalancing our inner world requires a compassionate, rugged, and wise approach, akin to the conservation principles that guide the rewilding of natural habitats.

Rewilding in Patagonia: A Legacy of Balance and Restoration

The journey of the ecological restoration in Southern Chile is a testament to a broader vision than land conservation alone — it’s about the rewilding of a whole regional ecosystem. This vision has been shared and advanced by the dedicated efforts of Doug and Kris Tompkins, and Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia Inc. Their collective passion for the environment transcended mere land acquisition, embracing the restoration of entire ecosystems to ensure the land could sustain itself and its native species long into the future.
Doug Tompkins is an established leader in the apparel industry with companies like The North Face and Esprit under his belt. He, alongside his wife Kris, who led Patagonia Inc. as CEO, channeled their entrepreneurial spirit into large-scale environmental activism. By investing their personal wealth in the purchase and rehabilitation of vast areas in Chile and Argentina, they sought to create a refuge for biodiversity.
Doug and Kris Tompkins
In tandem with the Tompkins’ initiatives, Yvon Chouinard’s role was pivotal. As an environmentalist and the innovative force behind Patagonia Inc., Chouinard brought a unique perspective on sustainability that extended far beyond clothing products to encompass entire ecosystems. Patagonia Inc.’s mission of “cause no unnecessary harm” found new ground in these efforts, reinforcing the idea that protecting the environment meant addressing all elements of the ecosystem — land, water, fauna, and flora — as an interconnected web.
Yvon Chouinard
The collaborative work of these visionaries propelled the rewilding movement, championing the reintroduction of native species and the restoration of ecological balances that had been disrupted. This approach galvanized further expansion of conservation areas, contributing significantly to the safeguarding of Southern Chile’s varied landscapes from unchecked development and ecological degradation.
This trio of conservationists illustrated how a synergy between corporate ethos and individual passion can catalyze meaningful change. The Tompkins’ belief in nature’s intrinsic value and Chouinard’s corporate responsibility have jointly inspired countless individuals and organizations to take a stand for our planet.
While Patagonia Inc. continues to lead in environmental responsibility, the personal contributions of Doug and Kris Tompkins, in harmony with Yvon Chouinard’s vision, remain towering landmarks in the field of environmental conservation. Their legacy in Southern Chile not only preserves the breathtaking vistas and rich biodiversity for generations to come but also solidifies a unified commitment to a more rewilded world, echoing Patagonia Inc.’s deepest values and encouraging an even more profound dedication to ecosystem revival and stewardship.

The Human Ecosystem: A Domain for Rewilding

As the land in Patagonia undergoes its metamorphosis back to wildness, so too can we reflect on our personal ecosystems. Human well-being, much like that of the earth’s habitats, thrives on a dynamic equilibrium across physical health, mental vitality, emotional depth, social connectivity, and spiritual fulfillment. Our inner wilderness begs for the same meticulous care and wisdom applied to Patagonia’s wilds. In the delicate dance of life, every aspect of our existence is both a soloist and part of an ensemble, shaping and being shaped by the symphony of our experiences.

The Principles of Personal Rewilding

The rewilding of an individual or family unit is not just about self-improvement — it’s a holistic blend of compassion, resilience, and enlightenment. It’s about forging a life that is as robust and beautiful as a wildflower thriving in the Patagonian wind — a life built on the tenets of:
  • Compassion: Nurturing ourselves and others with the same gentleness as one would afford a delicate ecosystem, recognizing that every act of kindness reverberates through our communal web.
  • Ruggedization: Building our resilience, drawing inspiration from the rugged terrains of Patagonia, where life adapts and thrives in the face of adversities.
  • Wisdom: Embracing the deep knowledge that comes from interconnectedness with all forms of life, informed by the ancient rhythms of nature and the insightful lessons of those who tend to it.

Physical Health and Natural Habitats

Just as regular exercise and a nutritious diet are foundational for physical health, the restoration of natural habitats involves analogous principles. Regular exercise in human health translates to the dynamic processes of ecological succession and natural disturbances that maintain the vitality of an ecosystem. A balanced diet mirrors the biodiversity essential for ecosystem health, providing varied and nutrient-rich resources for all species.
The foundation of personal rewilding lies in nurturing our physical health through exercise, nutrition, sleep, and preventive care, mirroring the principles applied in ecological rewilding.

Regular Exercise:

  • Engage in a variety of physical activities that resonate with you, akin to the dynamic processes that rejuvenate ecosystems.
  • Incorporate natural movements like walking, running, or yoga, reflecting the organic flow of nature.

Nutritious Diet:

  • Consume a diet rich in natural, whole foods, paralleling the nutrient-rich biodiversity of a thriving ecosystem.
  • Prioritize organic and locally sourced produce to align your dietary choices with the principles of ecological sustainability.

Adequate Sleep:

  • Ensure regular, restorative sleep, akin to the natural rest periods that ecosystems undergo for rejuvenation.
  • Create a sleep-conducive environment, drawing inspiration from the tranquility of natural habitats.

Routine Medical Check-ups:

  • Proactively manage your health through regular check-ups, mirroring the monitoring essential for maintaining ecological balance.

Mental Health and Ecological Diversity

Mindfulness and stress management in human health find their counterpart in the ecological balance and diversity of rewilded areas. Just as mindfulness allows individuals to experience the present moment and reduce anxiety, ecological diversity ensures that ecosystems are resilient, capable of responding adaptively to changes and stresses.
Just as diverse ecosystems are resilient, a balanced mind is foundational to personal rewilding, encompassing practices like mindfulness, therapy, and stress management.


  • Incorporate daily mindfulness practices, drawing parallels with the attentive observation crucial in ecological conservation.
  • Utilize meditation apps or community classes to deepen your practice, reflecting the communal efforts in ecosystem restoration.


  • Seek professional guidance when needed, akin to consulting conservation experts for ecosystem management.
  • Embrace vulnerability as a step toward healing, resonating with the restoration processes in nature.

Stress Management:

  • Adopt stress reduction techniques, mirroring the strategies used to mitigate environmental stressors in rewilding projects.
  • Engage in nature-based stress relief activities, such as forest bathing or gardening, to foster a deeper connection with the natural world.

Emotional Intelligence and Ecosystem Interrelations

Emotional intelligence, involving self-awareness and empathy, parallels the intricate interdependencies in natural ecosystems. Just as understanding and managing our emotions lead to personal growth and better relationships, recognizing and respecting the interconnectedness in nature fosters a more sustainable interaction with our environment.
Understanding and managing emotions are akin to recognizing and valuing the interdependent relationships within ecosystems.


  • Practice regular self-reflection to enhance emotional clarity, much like the ongoing monitoring essential in ecological management.
  • Maintain a journal to track your emotional patterns, drawing inspiration from the systematic recording of ecological data.


  • Cultivate compassion by actively listening and engaging with others’ experiences, reflecting the interconnectedness inherent in natural communities.
  • Participate in empathy-building exercises, such as volunteer work, to enhance your relational skills and contribute to community well-being.

Relationship Management:

  • Develop communication skills that foster understanding and cooperation, mirroring the symbiotic relationships that stabilize ecosystems.
  • Resolve conflicts constructively, reflecting the balance-seeking processes in nature.

Learn more at Gray Space Experts:

Social Connections and Ecological Networks

Human social connections reflect the ecological networks in rewilded environments. Strong, supportive relationships enhance individual well-being, akin to how diverse species interactions strengthen ecosystem resilience. Community engagement mirrors the symbiotic relationships that underpin ecological stability.
Robust social ties provide support and enhance well-being, paralleling the ecological networks that underpin habitat resilience.

Supportive Relationships:

  • Invest time and energy in nurturing meaningful relationships, reflecting the mutual benefits seen in ecological partnerships.
  • Engage in community activities that foster connection and shared purpose, akin to the collaborative endeavors in conservation initiatives.

Community Engagement:

  • Contribute to community projects, drawing on the principle of collective effort vital for ecological restoration.
  • Seek out groups or clubs that align with your interests, promoting a sense of belonging and shared mission, much like the cooperative dynamics in ecosystems.

Purpose, Meaning, and Ecological Roles

Finding purpose and meaning in life can be compared to the roles species play in their ecosystems. Each organism contributes to the broader functioning of its habitat, just as individuals who find purpose in their actions contribute to societal well-being.
Finding personal significance in life’s endeavors mirrors the integral roles species play in their habitats, contributing to ecosystem functionality and resilience.
Doug Richens CEO Gray Space Experts

Career Fulfillment:

  • Pursue work that aligns with your values and leverages your strengths, akin to the niche specialization of species within an ecosystem.
  • Seek alignment between your professional aspirations and personal values, reflecting the harmony sought in ecological balance.

Hobbies and Volunteering:

  • Engage in activities that resonate with your passions, offering joy and fulfillment similar to the intrinsic rewards of biodiversity.
  • Volunteer for causes you care about, echoing the principle of interdependence and contribution fundamental to ecological health.

Financial Stability and Resource Management

Effective financial management in human life mirrors sustainable resource management in conservation. Just as prudent budgeting and investment ensure individual security, wise resource management promotes ecological sustainability and balance.
Just as resource management is crucial for ecosystem sustainability, effective financial planning ensures personal security and well-being.


  • Develop a budget that reflects your priorities and goals, akin to the resource allocation strategies in ecosystem management.
  • Utilize financial tracking tools to monitor your income and expenditures, ensuring a balanced and sustainable financial ecosystem.

Savings and Investments:

  • Build a financial reserve for future security, paralleling the conservation of resources in ecological planning.
  • Invest in socially responsible funds that reflect your commitment to sustainability, mirroring the ethical stewardship of natural resources.

Leisure and Nature’s Rhythms

Leisure and recreation in human life reflect nature’s rhythms of activity and rest. Just as humans benefit from relaxation and engaging activities, ecosystems thrive on cycles of growth, renewal, and dormancy.
Engaging in leisure activities offers respite and rejuvenation, akin to the restorative processes in natural ecosystems.

Engaging Activities:

  • Prioritize leisure pursuits that bring joy and relaxation, reflecting the restorative phases in natural cycles.
  • Explore new hobbies that connect you with your interests and passions, fostering personal growth and satisfaction.


  • Incorporate relaxation techniques into your routine, drawing inspiration from the tranquil aspects of natural environments.
  • Create peaceful spaces in your home or workplace that emulate the serene qualities of natural settings, enhancing your well-being.
Doug and Jeanine Richens — Designed a home surrounded by nature.

Personal Growth and Ecological Succession

Personal development through continuous learning and self-reflection is akin to ecological succession, where ecosystems evolve and mature over time, adapting and growing through various stages.
Continuous learning and self-improvement are akin to the dynamic evolution and adaptation observed in ecosystems.

Continuous Learning:

  • Embrace opportunities for learning and growth, reflecting the adaptive strategies of species in changing environments.
  • Seek out educational resources, courses, or workshops that expand your knowledge and skills, fostering personal evolution.


  • Allocate time for introspection to understand your aspirations and areas for growth, paralleling the reflective monitoring in conservation efforts.
  • Use reflective practices like journaling or meditation to deepen self-awareness and guide personal development.

Spirituality and Ecological Connectedness

Spiritual practices and community involvement in human life resonate with the sense of interconnectedness in nature, where every element is part of a larger whole, contributing to and depending on the network of life.
Connecting with a greater purpose or community offers strength and guidance, much like the interconnectedness and support found in ecological systems.

Spiritual Practices:

  • Engage in spiritual or religious practices that resonate with you, fostering a sense of connection and purpose akin to the unity observed in natural systems.
  • Participate in community or group activities that enhance your spiritual journey, reflecting the collaborative efforts in ecosystem restoration.


  • Find strength and support in being part of a faith-based or spiritual community, echoing the mutual support systems in ecological networks.

Love, Intimacy, and Ecological Interdependence

The deep connections of love and intimacy in human relationships reflect the interdependence observed in ecological systems, where species rely on each other for survival and well-being.
Deep emotional connections enrich our lives, mirroring the essential interdependencies in nature that sustain ecosystems.

Emotional Connection:

  • Cultivate deep, meaningful relationships that nurture your emotional well-being, reflecting the symbiotic relationships that stabilize ecosystems.
  • Communicate openly and honestly with loved ones, fostering intimacy and trust akin to the cohesive forces in natural communities.

Physical Affection:

  • Express love and affection through physical touch, enhancing emotional bonds and overall well-being, just as physical connections in nature — like pollination or seed dispersal — foster ecological health.

Gratitude, Positivity, and Ecological Appreciation

Cultivating gratitude and a positive outlook in human life enhances mental health and life satisfaction, paralleling the way ecological appreciation promotes conservation and respect for nature.
Fostering a grateful and optimistic perspective enhances resilience and satisfaction, akin to the life-affirming energy found in thriving ecosystems.

Acknowledging Good:

  • Practice daily gratitude to recognize and appreciate the positives in your life, enhancing your mental health and emotional balance.
  • Maintain a gratitude journal, reflecting on the blessings and joys, much as we might marvel at the beauty and intricacy of the natural world.

Optimistic Outlook:

  • Cultivate an optimistic mindset to navigate life’s challenges more effectively, drawing inspiration from the resilience and adaptability of ecosystems.

Giving Back and Ecological Contribution

Altruism in human societies, akin to keystone species in ecosystems, plays a critical role in maintaining balance and supporting the well-being of others, demonstrating the value of contribution and care.
Altruism enriches both giver and receiver, paralleling the reciprocal benefits observed in ecological interactions.


  • Engage in volunteer work that contributes to the well-being of others, reflecting the cooperative and supportive interactions in nature.
  • Choose causes that resonate with you, ensuring that your efforts align with your values and passions, much like the specialized roles within ecosystems.

Acts of Kindness:

  • Perform small, thoughtful acts of kindness regularly, fostering a positive environment and community spirit akin to the nurturing interrelations in nature.

Self-care and Ecological Maintenance

Just as self-care is vital for individual well-being, regular maintenance and monitoring are crucial for the health of rewilded areas, ensuring that natural processes can proceed without detrimental human impacts.
Prioritizing self-care ensures our well-being, just as ecosystem maintenance is vital for environmental health.

Wellness Practices:

  • Adopt self-care routines that nourish your body, mind, and spirit, reflecting the holistic care required for ecological balance.
  • Explore wellness activities that align with your preferences and needs, promoting personal harmony and vitality.


  • Establish healthy boundaries to protect your energy and well-being, mirroring the protective measures in place for conservation areas.

Resilience and Ecological Adaptability

Developing resilience in the face of adversity is essential for personal growth and well-being, reflecting the adaptability of ecosystems to withstand and recover from disturbances.
Building resilience enables us to withstand and grow from challenges, mirroring the adaptability and endurance of natural ecosystems.


  • Develop flexibility and resilience by embracing change and learning from experiences, akin to the dynamic adaptability seen in nature.
  • Cultivate a supportive network of friends, family, or community, enhancing your ability to navigate life’s ups and downs.

Nature Connection

Fostering a connection with nature enhances our well-being and promotes environmental stewardship, reflecting the intrinsic bond between human health and ecological health.

Nature Connection and Environmental Engagement

Finally, human engagement with nature not only fosters physical and mental health but also promotes ecological awareness and stewardship, emphasizing the intrinsic bond between individual well-being and the health of our planet. Fostering a connection with nature enhances our well-being and promotes environmental stewardship, reflecting the intrinsic bond between human health and ecological health.

Outdoor Activities:

  • Engage in regular outdoor activities that connect you with nature, improving physical and mental health while deepening your appreciation for the environment.
  • Explore various forms of nature engagement, from hiking to gardening, to find what resonates most with you.

Environmental Appreciation:

  • Practice environmental mindfulness by acknowledging and valuing the natural beauty and resources around you, fostering a sense of responsibility and care.


Rewilding, whether in the context of ecological conservation in Patagonia or the holistic wellness of individuals, embodies the principle of restoring balance and harmony. By drawing parallels between these two domains, we recognize the integral connection between our well-being and the health of the natural environments we inhabit. Just as we endeavor to rewild landscapes and preserve their intrinsic value, we must also rewild our lives, nurturing our physical, mental, emotional, and social ecosystems to foster a sustainable and fulfilling existence. Through this comparative analysis, we see that the principles guiding ecological restoration and personal well-being are not just parallel but deeply interconnected, emphasizing the universality of balance, growth, and interconnectedness in fostering health and resilience.


  1. Information about the impact of the conservation work by Doug and Kris Tompkins and Yvon Chouinard can be found through Patagonia’s official environmental and social initiatives page and Tompkins Conservation’s website. 
  2. “The Legacy of Doug and Kris Tompkins: Wild Lands, Wild Minds” by K. Mitchell provides an in-depth look at their conservation philosophy and achievements. 
  3. Yvon Chouinard’s unique approach to business and conservation is detailed in his book, “Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman”.