What are you looking for in your Paleo Skills training? What need are you seeking to fill with all of this “stuff” that takes you outside and away from what you “do for a living”? We spent two decades pursuing the people practicing these skills and learning hunter-gatherer technologies feverishly so we could share them with folks. Unexpected and important things happen with people who experience Paleo training.
The cool part about developing Paleo skills is that you can never master them. Through your training, you will quickly stand out among your peers with things like edible plants, friction fire, or tracking. Beyond the paleo-diet, your skills development will sharpen your awareness, improve your cardio, and connect you to the living world outside of offices and virtual realities. Through stalking and natural movement you will explore off trail denning areas, increase your foraging ability, even understand bird behavior for usable information.
it is also true that the moment you believe you are the “expert” or that you have “mastered a skill”, you are going to get humbled. This changes a person. You begin to awaken things within you and, more, you start to pursue mysteries, challenge self-imposed limitations, and get excited about defining and working your “edge”. After a while you understand “amazing skill sets” express themselves almost as side effects of you following your passion. Awakening your wild and often dormant paleo-self through personal skills development returns meaning and excitement to ones life. It is a break from the constraints of the domesticated mind-set.
The Maine Primitive Skills School is evolving and our work is taking us deeper into the matrix. We want to bring people authentic and meaningful skill sets. Developing your Paleo skills has been called “Re-wilding” by my friend Dan Vitalis. It is nothing less than a reclamation of your personal sovereignty as well as an awareness of your personal accountability. These skills bring people outside and help to connect them to their landscape.
For the longest time we have attracted folks who were excited to get together and better themselves at their Paleo skills in the woods. It is easy enough to work with these students because they know what they are getting themselves in to. We are now training some of these folks to be instructors and mentors. It is important to continue our own growth and our own “challenge curve”.
More challenging is in reaching folks who know there is something more out there but may not have considered the natural world as a source of reclaiming fullness and meaning in one’s life. We’re including folks who haven’t yet found the outdoors as a catalyst and giving them the option of doing so through the skills we share. These skills, from yoga to tracking, herbalism, to self-defense, survival to nature awareness, are all a means of making those important connections.
We share the survival, bushcraft, and primitive skills as a continuum toward bringing people out of uncertainty and toward the authentic and meaningful skills they seek. As you begin your journey toward your own Paleo skills development be aware of the progression; to flourish on your own, mentor others, and facilitate resilient and nurturing community. That is the real need we are fulfilling with these skills.
Fair and equitable exchange brings about bounty if both parties needs are met and the needs are real. When we hold our skill sets and passions up to the needs of our community there is an opportunity to provide tools to address the increasing need for reconnection. To a lot of people, the modern human experience in a consumer society is physically easy but already a form of survival. The more we can make ourselves available to people looking to fulfill this need, the more we can help.
We’ve learned a lot over the last three years how to do this effectively, and now we are making the deliberate shift to do it well. Appearance, facilities, conduct, and content will match the new harmonic. Folks will still leave as amazing skills practitioners, but they’ll also leave with re-integration technologies that don’t cause them to lose their jobs or strain their relationships as they redefine where they need to be and come on-line as a being that manifests bounty from a place of love and gratitude.
What does Paleo, Bushcraft, or Outdoor training mean to you? For us it is a journey toward self -actualization, resilient community, and healthier landscapes. We have to take responsibility and provide the necessary levels of training and dirt time to support folks on their own path until they can confidently step out on their own authentic journey with it.