Escaping and how we use it to cope with our lives

Escapology: The practise of escaping.

We live in a world in which we are constantly overstimulated. Our nervous systems are being fed an unending stream of information, which after a while is bound to become overwhelming and cause stress and anxiety. When we live in the city there is no chance for pause, no escape and very little opportunity for spontaneity. We hold ourselves back from retreating and from adventure because we have fabricated an existence in which there is no time to do such things. We pursue the road most travelled and convenient because it is comfortable, free of unknowns, and because culture largely tells us to do so. We see escaping as frivolous, unnecessary and sometimes even irresponsible. Why?

We too are a species that comes from the Earth, yet we have disconnected from this idea of seeing ourselves as a part of nature. Though many of us now see ourselves as urban, the constant over-stimulation of the city is not good for our bodies. We need to “re-wild” ourselves every now and again – get in touch with our native, primal selves to remind us of the beautiful fact that we were not put on this planet but rather came straight from it. We are nature.

Escapology is defined as “the art or practice of escaping”. We must learn to discipline ourselves to, every now and again, remove ourselves from our urban lives, from the limiting narratives that culture has imposed upon us and from our thinking minds. Escaping is about connecting to nature using your senses to get back into your body and feel the energy of the Earth like our species used to without constraint. We often look at those who manage to escape and think to ourselves that we’d love to do something similar, but it’s just not for us. We’re not that kind of person, and there’s too much on our plates. This is false. Everybody can do it – we were made to do it.

We have lost our sense of adventure, so we may need to work a little harder to cultivate it once again. Don’t plan your escape. Just go. Decide what part of nature you’d like to experience, be it the ocean, the mountains, a river, the beach, the forest, vineyards, lakes or the desert. Even if just for a little, journey to that place. You’ll find that once you’ve arrived you will seamlessly integrate into the landscape, as it is where human beings are meant to be. Where we are at home. Allow yourself to open up and receive the primordial energy that the landscape has to offer. Use the gift of your 5 senses to soak it all in. Allow your mind to clear and sit in stillness.

By mid-life, we are so used to being urban that it is significantly more difficult for us to escape. Try connecting to your inner child to find the sense of adventure that all kids have. Allow yourself to be free.It is not a ‘luxury’ or a ‘nice-to-have’. Furthermore, in the time of Covid we are craving the freedom of landscape more than ever. We’ve been forced to disconnect from nature during this pandemic, and it has been harmful to our mental and physical health. Go on. Create the opportunity to escape to a natural space. You will feel all the better for it when you return.

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