I write these words to engage in a conversation with the wisdom that lives just a hair below your conscious awareness.
Listen then with these ears...
A book I once read changed a lot about the way I lived my life. It's a book I wished I had in my backpack as I travelled in my 20's, and one that may have soothed a lot of the doubt I felt in my 30's.
It's a book every teenage girl and grown up gal should read. A bible of empowerment, you might say. And a gateway to a very special part of yourself you may have become disconnected with. The part of yourself Clarissa Pinkola Estes refers to as your Wild Woman.
"The Wild Woman is between bars inside each one of us, howling and scratching her way out. Demanding that she has time to create art, to heal, to protect her territory, to guide, to give life, to mourn, to make love, to laugh scandalously with no shame, to live with no boundaries, to teach, to carry wisdom and to trust her intuition and instincts."
If you've ever felt a stirring or an inkling to explore more meaning, passion, creativity and joy, you will find what you're looking for in this book of hers.
Although it is not an easy read!
It requires your undivided attention, perseverance and commitment. But if you are willing to give this book those things, you'll be forever rewarded with the best gift you will ever receive.
To be reconnected with your intuitive voice. Your Wild Woman. Your SUPERPOWER. For this should be the only compass that guides your life.
The Wild Woman is the female in touch with her primitive side. The one who is able to rely on her gut feelings to make choices. It's she who knows that our lives are not quests to attain, achieve or strive towards things, rather a journey to remove and uncover that which we have lost. Our ability to hear this ever quiet voice, and let it guide us. For this is the only voice that knows our way to fulfilment, nourishment and lasting sustained happiness.
So many of us were raised to be the Overcivilized Girl, to fit in, to be nice. And so we flashed sweet smiles and made nice with everyone. In a bit to please those around us though, we suffocated a very important part of us. The instinctual abilities of our inner Wild Woman have been repressed, dangerously tamed with all the modern day restrictions placed upon us, not helped living in a society that tells us how we should behave.
In fact, we've grown conditioned to another voice. That which isn't ours, that of the society that screams at us from every angle, the tv, billboards, Instagram, Facebook, conversations, newspapers. Announcing how we must dress, how we must behave and what we must buy. Its this voice that makes us crave the stable, safe, socially acceptable, financially wise options in our lives, rather than listen to 'her'. The one who knows best. The one telling us to take the risk, to say what's on our minds and to leap into the unknown.
We all want to be accepted and so we are seduced. And when we are seduced, we become like any wild creature that isn't properly nourished or properly fed. We become paler, more bitter and more lifeless as the years go by.
The sad reality is that as we lose touch with our inner "Wildness" we lose the unique gifts we bring to the world. We become lost. We lose sight of our home. Our soul skin. And if we are away for too long, our personalities dry up and our bodies become leached of energy. We 'leave home' by giving too much or by being too perfectionistic or ambitious.
Then we try to fix our wounds by turning to modern treatments and psychology aimed to help us fit better into a world that suppresses our Wild Nature. And this only makes matters worse. The treatment and advice we receive doesn't understand the deeper side of the Woman, it doesn't try to understand the Wild Womans longings, nor shine a light on her mysteries. It has no interest really in discovering what really makes her come alive.
We don't see it's not us that's flawed. It's the mould we're trying to fit into.
"What if, you, as a beautiful swan, had to pretend you were a mouse? What if you had to pretend to be grey and furry and tiny? What if, wherever you went, you tried to walk like a mouse but you waddled instead? What if you tried to talk like a mouse but instead out came a honk overtime? Wouldn't you be the most miserable creature in the world?
So why if all this is so very true do women keep trying to bend and fold themselves into shapes that are not theirs?"
The Stepford Wives will always raise their condescending eyebrows if you tell them you're selling your home and moving to a farm. Your rebellious girlfriends will always ridicule you if you tell them you plan to get married and raise a large family. Sometimes in life you're surrounded by uncombed cats, crosseyed hens and you're trying to make it as a mouse when you're a f*#king SWAN!
Sometimes we see this Wild one glowing in another woman and we are instantly drawn to her. We relish in her company. I think it's the most attractive thing about a woman. And if we are to nourish anything in our girlfriends, colleagues and daughters it is to nourish this part of them... if we're ever to survive the world from breaking our spirits.
This wonderful book teaches us that if we are to do one thing of value to ourselves and those around us, it is to sharpen our instincts. Because, like the wolf, pushed to the brink of extinction, the innate powers of true womanhood have been driven deep within.
It's when we don't "fit in" that we think we are flawed. And so do so many other women around us. And of course, next comes the inevitable question...
WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME?
Well, might I suggest that as a collective we begin to ask a new question...
What circumstances in our world today are contributing to an epidemic of frustrated, self doubting, overwhelmed and anxiety filled women?
I hope you'll become a part of my tribe. The one where the women have messy hair, dirty feet and a glint in their eye. They may fit in, they may not. They don't look to be radical or wild for the sake of being radical or wild... only when they are acting on where their inner voice is sending them.