The name The Wild Path is a spell, a story, an incantation, an invitation. I've returned to these three words throughout my life - whenever I've felt like an alien in the world, whenever I've needed a reminder of what matters, whenever I've needed courage. The image of the wild path is the deepest intention at the heart of my life & work. If you, too, are trying to forge your own way through the unknown of life, seeking meaning below the surface - perhaps this spell is for you as well.
I want to tell you the story of The Wild Path:
I'm 16, and I'm on the phone with my sister. I'm in the middle of writing my college admissions essays. And I'm feeling utterly hopeless.
"But the world just isn't set up for people like me," I'm saying. "Even if I get into college, then what? I don't want to go to school to get a job to get a good pension to buy a house to retire just to die. But that's all I can see ahead of me."
Then my sister says something that quite literally changes my life.
"Simka, you're walking the wild path," she tells me.
The image she describes softens my strained heart. It attaches itself deep inside, and over the next years, it's a warm space I return to whenever I'm feeling alien and alone and hopeless about the way ahead.
Well over a decade later, when I begin to plant the seeds for a business built around helping others find ease in their lives, the name is obvious to me.
Here's that image, first gifted to that tangled, despairing sixteen-year-old me by my wise sister:
There are two paths through life: the mild path and the wild path.
You know the mild path already. It's the one they prepare you for in school. For most people, it's simple to walk. Straight, mostly paved, clearly signposted. It gets you from A to B. It's pretty enough, I suppose - manicured, like a park. There aren't many surprises.
The wild path, on the other hand, twists and turns. It winds through mossy old-growth forests thick with roots, trees towering on either side. Up muddy slopes. Along cliff edges.
It's not easy to walk. But in all its intensity, it's strikingly beautiful, full of wonder: opening out into a breathtaking wildflower meadow - or winding past bushes heavy with ripe berries - or a fox leaps across your path, turns to look back at you, full of lithe curiosity.
The wild path is not there to take you to a destination. You walk it simply to walk it, because this life is all we get, and if there are shadows they are worth facing for the raw brilliance of being alive.
The wild path isn't easy, and some people have no interest in it. That's fine.
Our world is set up for the mild path. It's the path of least resistance, the one we're "supposed to" walk. It's standardized and ordered and signposted and our Western institutions rely on it.
But for some of us, the wild path is the only option.
Whether it's because our brains and bodies work differently, or because our experiences have revealed beauty and pain beyond the bounds of the mild path, or because our minds and hearts simply seek depth and complexity - we don't choose it. Maybe it chooses us.
Here's the thing: for most of us who end up on the wild path, we're not prepared for it. We're not taught the skills by our society to find our way when our path disappears into the brambles.
It's easy to get lost, and the way can be intensely lonely.
Another time, I'll write about my own experiences finding my way, my own wild path - from dropping out of high school, through university misery, employment paralysis, and burnout, to how I began to intentionally reshape my life to align with my internal compass.
Being lost and lonely is incredibly hard. But I know from experience that the wild path doesn't have to be so painful.
If you know how to deal with the brambles, you can dance through them. If you know what to do when you're stuck in the mud, it can turn into an adventure. If you have a strong relationship with wild plants, you won't go hungry.
That's not to say the wild path is only happy sunny butterflies if you do it "right" - absolutely not. Maggots and shit are part of nature; they're part of the wild path too. That's just the reality of it.
What I'm saying is, if we have the right tools, we can learn how to find nourishment, ease, and flow in the intensity.
It's always a work in progress. But I've been incredibly lucky in my life to have extraordinary teachers and mentors, who showed me the way when I faltered, and taught me the skills to navigate the swamps and shadows.
So that's why I'm here, why I've chosen this work, why I do what I do: to keep that knowledge flowing and rippling out.
If you find yourself despairing that the world isn't set up for people like you, if you're wondering if you'll ever find your place, find ease, find flow - perhaps it's useful to return to the image of the two paths, and remember that you're on the wild one. You're walking this path because there's meaning here. Keep going. Touch the moss, bask in the sunbeams. You don't have to be found for there to be wonder and sweetness in the journey.
If you're on the wild path and could use some support to find your way through the mud, I'd be honored to be a resource and guide. I'm currently offering free 30-minute taster sessions, or you can book a free discovery call to chat in more depth about how we might work together.