I interviewed Lynn back in October 2017 about the community she created on her land in Central Portugal. Shortly after that feature, some wildfires struck the region and destroyed her forest paradise. It took several months to rebuild and she used some of the trees that fell as building materials. Now, she has a new project and book called The Wildlings. Through this project, she hopes to inspire younger people from cities to reconnect with nature. Over the last decade, hundreds have migrated to these remote areas, but Lynn is seeking more to follow her. I’ll let her tell you about how you can redefine luxury to mean being a little bit wilder.
Although I spent the first three decades of my lifetime in large urban environments, I now understand that I feel most at home in nature.
After I escaped the corporate monoculture of city life, I realized that my purpose was to redefine luxury. A luxury which is not dictated by consumerism, but by the experience of true freedom in all forms.
Nature has showed me the way toward luxury. The luxury of finding joy in every moment and beauty in everything I encounter. The luxury that comes with a lifestyle in harmony with our natural environment free from feelings of guild and shame. The luxury of experiencing the exquisite feeling of freedom once you let go of programmed beliefs and conditioning that keep you mentally enslaved. The luxury of silence and the feeling of true unconditional love for all beings that can only be found within ourselves. The luxury of giving up the chase to find happiness outside of ourselves, but rather nurture that precious place of inner peace within ourselves. Through our Wildlings project, we invite you to explore nature, to observe nature, to understand nature, to be in nature and to establish a deeper relationship with nature.
The more digitally enhanced our lives become, the more nature we need. I value the benefits technology offers us, but we also need balance and that balance has been seriously lacking in our Western culture since the Industrial Revolution set in. Hence our feelings of being stuck and the multitude of mental disorders that surface like mushrooms. The notion that we can outsmart nature is flawed. Nature doesn’t need us, but we need her all the more. Within our urban environments, virtual worlds and our days controlled by our calendars and smartphones chasing commitments, we have been very detached from nature and therefore equally far from ourselves.
Our capitalistic society has driven consumption needs to an exorbitant level and our conditioned minds are programmed in such a way that it has become very difficult to detach from this unhealthy behavior. We are attached to material goods under the false pretends of accumulating happiness. Instead of going back to nature, we can move towards nature. We don’t have to go back to our caves, but we can establish a mutual beneficial relationship with nature without compromising on modern day comfort and all the privileges we are able to enjoy.
The Western capitalist society is fed by consumerism which sustains itself through exponential growth. We forcefully try to fit this linear model into our existence, ignoring the fact that our natural environment is ruled by circular principles. Every toddler knows that pushing a square piece into a round hole does not work and the more you force it the more destruction is done. The Industrial Revolution has brought us great innovations and technologies, however it follows a linear design and manufacturing process that doesn’t take ecological or social values into account. Only in recent years the destructive impact of this cradle-to-grave process has become clearly visible to us. Because of our linear thinking we, rather soon, are about to crash into a brick wall. Don’t get me wrong, I love cities and I think they offer a great potential for creativity and innovation. However, our urban design has followed the same drivers of exponential growth and consumerism. This outdated model needs an upgrade by following circular principles and cradle-to-cradle design as taught by architect William McDonough.
We hope to inspire others and collectively embark with many more on this crazy adventure into nature and back to ourselves. Therefore we redefine luxury by revealing the wealth of our natural environment, the richness of nothingness and the priceless beauty of the sun setting behind the mountains. We replace sparkling jewelry for sparkling rivers. We exchange the 6 o’clock news for the 6 o’clock sunrays making a rainbow appear in the waterfall. We take you on wild rides, showing the highest peaks and deepest valleys of Central Portugal, diving into the many hidden paradise pools and waterfalls and showing you where to bathe in beautiful indigenous forests. We will plant seeds of inspiration and environmental wisdom, helping you find the intimacy in connection with nature and guide you in changing our outdated perspective from natural wealth into common wealth.
If you’d like to learn more about our project, you can pre-order a copy of my new book, “Wildlings.” Part One of the book will plant seeds of inspiration and environmental wisdom, helping you find intimacy in connecting with nature through gaining an understanding of the complexity and interconnectedness of this intricate web of life.
In Part Two, we will take you on wild rides to the highest peaks and deepest valleys of our territory. We will dive into the many hidden paradise pools and waterfalls and show you where to bathe in beautiful indigenous forests. As a bonus gift we will reveal our favorite wild places, so you can discover them yourself during several short trips of four days/three nights or a longer adventure of two and a half weeks. Be careful though, as you will be tempted to stick around, finding it hard to tear yourself away from the peaceful pace of life and nature’s warm embrace.
Follow the Wildlings
Produced & edited by Kathleen Morton.
Written by Lynn Mylou.
Photos courtesy of Maeve Stam.