I spent my youth in Central Oregon where riding horses, building fires and venturing out on a trail surrounded by juniper and sage was a natural part of growing up. At age 14, I trekked the PCT from Oregon to Washington for a three-week expedition with Outward Bound and have been finding ways to engage the great outdoors with friends and family ever since.
I have discovered that getting "offline" and immersed in the wonders of nature have been crucial for navigating modern stressors with more resiliency. As a parent of two teenage boys, I am well-versed in the many recent pandemic challenges that we all are facing including isolation, concern for the future and our health, increased social, political and financial stress, as well zoom fatigue. In this unique and challenging time of uncertainty, there is freedom and expansiveness through both the inward journey of self discovery and our personal engagement with the elements and natural world. These can be subtle explorations using the senses and are available to anyone who has an interest.
Rewilding my life has had many facets and includes wild foraging, fishing, ethical hunting for food, utility and conservation, direct living skills, community connection, mindfulness practices, resiliency training, and wilderness "surthrival"
With a 10-year immersion into living off the grid and as an astute "prepper", I flipped the script on fear-centric living through some interesting areas of study that included over 500 hours of yoga & meditation training, nutritional therapy school as well as a deep-dive into exploring the human experience more closely by working at a funeral home to better understand our fear of mortality.
I became an educator for holistic and meaningful end-of-life practices including traditional home funerals to remove the word "industry" from our death experience as well as green burial that supports conservation and renewal of life. With a paradigm shift that cracked the code towards living a more healthy, expansive and meaningful life, I began this next chapter, which I lovingly refer to as my Great Rewilding.
The Rewilding journey gets us out of convenient consumption and device addiction and into an integration of mind, body and spirit to the natural world. Rewilding ourselves is at the very core of our primal nature.
In 2021, I spend as much time as possible doing things differently than the curent model and structure created from the modern world. Check out my Field Notes Blog to read about my year of discovery. I forage for wild food, am a bow hunter and fish whenever there is an opportunity. I make connection and community a priority in my life. My love for learning and all things wild and free, are the cornerstones of Wildkind Academy.
Jess Caldwell: Professional Rewilder; Certified Wilderness First Responder (WFR); Certified Health Coach (IIN), Certified Yoga Instructor, Mindfulness Coach, Educator of Direct Living Skills; Bow Hunter; Forager; Angler; Connector; Mother; Friend; Community Engagement Facilitator; Explorer; Life Learner; Observer; Heart-Based Feeler.