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How it started

My wellbeing story started in 2000 when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Only 9 years old at the time it was impossible to see how my journey towards remission for Crohn’s disease was going to end up helping me understand how to objectify health and wellbeing across every part of my life.
It all started when my partner (and Co-Founder of Beyond Domestication) Amber-Rose and I began to think about the food we were eating, not just because of my Crohn’s but because of a desire to live healthier and in a more sustainable way as well. Without realising, food had become the first of the Seven Practices.

Nowadays, our society has successfully domesticated a number of different wild species; manipulating them for human gain. But where did it start?

The oldest known example of domestication is that of the Grey Wolf. Multiple times in the last 30,000 years different bands of our ancestors domesticated the Grey Wolf for use as a hunting companion, building a symbiotic relationship with another mammal for the first time in known history. There is little proof pointing to how our ancestors were able to tame this animal, but in all likelihood, the domestication was mutual as the wolves and humans could have worked together to better both their chances, something drastically different to the subjugation we now see of our domesticated partners.

Above: Seven Practices

Our long journey with food introduced us to everything from liquid to paleo diets. In my last blog post I spoke about the dangers of eating domesticated foods as opposed to wilder foods. I strongly believe that rewilding my diet, alongside other behaviours such as fasting, played the most substantial role in my recovery from Crohn’s. However, our wellbeing journey did not stop with food.

It was not until 12,000 years ago, in what is now modern day Turkey that we saw the first signs of the widespread agriculture that would go on to take over the entire globe. That site is called Göbekli Tepe and on this location is the oldest known record we have of plants beginning to be domesticated from their wild ancestors into the grains we know today.

Movement

Five years ago I moved to London, which meant getting rid of the car and walking a lot more. I always enjoy moving around a city by walking, but within a few months of London life I was beginning to suffer significant pain in the joint of my big toe on the left foot. Despite being only 26 at the time my feet were developing bunions.

I was baffled that at such a young age I was facing the prospect of having surgery on my feet and it was confusing that there was a lack of less invasive treatment solutions provided by the NHS. Deep down I felt that the solutions they were offering me just did not feel right and I believed there had to be a more natural solution to help my movement.

Above: Movement in nature

5 years later I have still not had surgery on my feet and no longer suffer any joint paint in my big toes. In fact, after switching all of my trainers and work shoes for zero-drop (no heel) and wide toe-box footwear my feet have transformed. I have gone from a size 7 shoe all the way to a size 9 as my toes have started to spread out in their natural manner. We both recognised the importance of movement for wellbeing and started to actively consider how movement can impact wellbeing.

Mindfulness

For Amber-Rose the journey did not involve new shoes, instead her journey took her from a career in photography to a career in HR. Before applying to University Amber-Rose chose to follow her creative passion of photography rather than another passion; psychology. However, upon graduating with a degree in Fine Art Photography she was naturally drawn into a people role working in HR.

When we started living together in 2016 we decided to begin looking at our life as one long journey; visualising key moments that we wanted to reach in our future. We thought that by planning and visualising the future that we wanted from our careers, it would be possible to take the right steps now to ensure we made it there. Amber-Rose recognised her desire to continue pursuing HR and to consolidate that she planned to work her way through the Level 3, 5 and 7 HR Diplomas over the next 4 years.

Looking back from December 2020, Amber-Rose is now about to finish her Level 7 studies and is working as an HR Manager in the telecoms sector. If she had not checked in with her feelings and desires back in 2016, she may never have taken the steps needed to get to this point now. Despite graduating in a different discipline Amber recognised the need and desire to retrain in a more fulfilling role. By visualising our futures we had been able to improve our wellbeing and so the practice of mindfulness joined movement and food.

I was baffled that at such a young age I was facing the prospect of having surgery on my feet and it was confusing that there was a lack of less invasive treatment solutions provided by the NHS. Deep down I felt that the solutions they were offering me just did not feel right and I believed there had to be a more natural solution to help my movement.

Putting it all together

At this point, Amber-Rose and I knew we needed to find a way to share the lessons that we had learned, but we also knew that we had more learning to do as well. Food, movement and mindfulness were only part of the solution and we wanted to uncover the rest of the picture before sharing. We began experimenting with many more natural and rewilding recommendations only to recognise that these recommendations kept fitting neatly under the same seven practices. We added water, air, sunlight and sleep to food, movement and mindfulness.

Over the last 3 years, we have been experimenting with each of these seven practices; reflecting on our feelings and considering how each practice can support either physical or mental wellbeing in our lives. We now use the Seven Practices to support both Wellbeing And Work and Rewilding from Beyond Domestication; helping organisations and individuals to prioritise wellbeing.

George, Amber-Rose and our new tent

Video | Is This The Best Freestanding Tent?

| Air, Food, Mindfulness, Movement, Rewilding, Sleep, Sunlight, Video, Water | No Comments
George and Amber-Rose take a 3-day trip to the New Forest for New Year's Eve 2023. We try to camp over most of New Year's, and the New Forest is…
Amber working from home

Blog | How To Clean the Air in Your Home

| Air, Blog | No Comments
We know how important it is to eat quality food. But how much thought do you give to the air quality in your home? Living in a city, I used…
George and Amber in front of a rainbow

Video | Winter Wild Camp in the Lakes

| Air, Food, Mindfulness, Movement, Rewilding, Sleep, Sunlight, Video, Water | No Comments
George and Amber-Rose take a 3 day trip to the Lake District in November 2023. This was our first time camping and swimming in the Lakes out of season. The…

Video | Volunteering Offgrid in Ireland

| Air, Food, Mindfulness, Movement, Rewilding, Sleep, Sunlight, Video, Water | No Comments
George and Amber-Rose join Georg and Bettina for a week in their Offgrid Bog in Ireland. We helped them with oddjobs around their land, relaxed around the fire, cooked some…

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