Wellness Wednesday: Back to the Wild

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There is nothing like going to the sea that brings me back to my wild nature. I try to hold onto it as best as I can. I am also reading Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, PhD, a Jungian psychoanalyst. It is absolutely beautiful, food for the soul, with its Jungian exploration of the archetypes that women contend with, both useful and detrimental. It articulates so well everything that I struggle to articulate when I’m trying to explain myself, my desires, my discontent… within the systems I function within.

We are all filled with a longing for the wild. There are few culturally sanctioned antidotes for this yearning. We were taught to feel shame for such a desire. We grew our hair long and used it to hide our feelings. But the shadow of Wild Woman still lurks behind us during our days and in our nights. No matter where we are, the shadow that trots behind us is definitely four-footed.

Especially as women, we are conditioned to not be “too much”… of anything, really. Too big, too bossy, too loud, too smart, too stupid, too opinionated, too pretty, too fast, too sexual, too open, too closed off… and in all of this we often lose ourselves trying to find some unattainable balance in the middle of this mess of how we think we are supposed to look, act, and think. Women Who Run With the Wolves helps to explain how getting back in tune with your “wild” nature doesn’t mean that you’re living an unethical lawless life, it simply means acknowledging your natural wants, desires, and intuition. Intuition for women is huge, and we are taught to suppress it, to be nice, which can actually be dangerous. The book gives the example of one version of the tale of Bluebeard where a naive young girl overlooks her initial intuition about a man, marries him anyway, and nearly gets murdered. Women are taught so often to doubt themselves and defer to other sources of power, like men, or society… as if they cannot supply their own wisdom. Your intuition is a “wild” innate source of power and wisdom, which you can get back in touch with.

This book is seriously like medicine to me… so expect many more quotes being interwoven for an indefinite amount of Wellness Wednesday posts. Already this book as reinforced for me:

 

  • Not to discount my initial gut reactions about people, they’re almost always right
  • Pleasing others should never go above pleasing myself
  • It’s ok for me to distance myself from things and people that don’t serve me well
  • My spirituality is important and deserves the time to be nurtured

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