Setting our Wild Heart Free

Karla Riddell
3 min readAug 30, 2022

It is a dearmouring, a shedding of our own confinements. It is a courageous act to walk this world with a wild heart. There is a belief that if our heart is open it could get hurt. That if we armour up we will be protected, but I challenge this, what is protected?

I think to be protected is to stand strongly in who we are. To live and lead from this place.

I have been shocked by the ways heartbreak has moved through me. I used to think heartbreak was some overdramatised reaction to losing someone who obviously wasn’t the right one. Then I went through a whole year of heartbreak. I realised it was a much deeper journey than losing a relationship.

To my surprise, I unraveled from strong holding patterns and cried oceans, each wave another layer shed from the heart. I also vowed never to treat another human that way, and never to be treated with such coldness. I vowed to find someone warm and loving and to be warm and loving myself.

Then I fell in love again, and I stuck to all of my vows… but still, it was not enough and again, my love left me. This time the grief was different, I didn’t have any armour to shed, my patterns seemed superficial… but I saw my karma in it. Not the kind of karma though where I hurt another, it was the kind of karma where I was killed in front of my wife and child, my last breaths seeing them taken and so my soul departed in shock… and so here I am, losing my love and I went into shock. My heart shut down, it was like I died inside. Then I got really sick, a series of illnesses ravished my body to the point where I had nothing, I couldn’t do my work, I couldn’t create, I could barely take care of myself… but this was only reflective of the depths to which I was healing, and to just how much I had changed, or grown.

After three weeks I finally started to find the strength to return to the heart… to open, little bit, by little bit. I was able to see what went on in my relationship, that I was not being met… but more than that, I was giving what I needed to receive. I also had become a mother, and then strangely lost the child, that was never mine. I lost my pack and now I wanted to go forth and create my own family, this time with a lover who could walk with me, with the same love and devotion that I walk with… for who I am in relationship is not seperate to who I am as a person, or how I walk through life and relate to life. I walk devoted, with conviction, in reverence willing to be humbled back to the bare earth so that I may continue to serve life.

So back to setting this wild heart free… she yearns for all that enriches her.

She yearns for devotional love.

For a family.

To live on the land.

The wild heart is no different to the instinct that moves through me, they are one in the same. My wild heart moves me to love unrestrained. An unarmoured heart is not here for battle, but is here to love wildly…



Karla Riddell

Karla is the founder and facilitator of the Young Shaman Foundation. She is dedicated to creating rites of passage to connect people to self, nature and tribe.