WOMEN WHO RUN WITH WOLVES BREAK THE CHAINS OF CONFORMITY FOR GIRLS
"A healthy woman is much like a wolf, strong life force, life-giving, territorially aware, intuitive and loyal. Yet separation from her wildish nature causes a woman to become meager, anxious, and fearful."
~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes, 'Women Who Run with Wolves'.
'Women Who Run with Wolves' is a timeless book written by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D. She speaks to the historical masking of a woman's inner desire to be a free spirited, creative, and untamed. She also highlights how society's expectations for women gets in the way of many things including our connectedness to the earths natural cycles.
Folklore, fairytales and dream symbols are used throughout the book to restore the woman's oppressed intuitive and instinctive abilities that have been lost. Modern society and multi-expectations have all had a major impact on suppressing a woman's connection to her inner 'Wild Woman' self and her kinship to the nature of the wolves.
Based on many years of oppression of the "Wild Women" how do we nurture girls and change societal norms? How do we teach them to stay with their inner calling of who they truly are. Not what someone else wants and/or expects of them? First, a woman can start by understanding what pieces of herself got lost in the making. Secondly, armed with new knowledge and understanding she can ensure she takes steps to follow her true inner calling. For if both woman and girl (or mother and daughter) are feeding the wild women that is within all of us - each make changes that are healthy for their relationship(s), the individual self, as well as the society we as women reside within.
Our society is so fast paced, demanding of our time, energy, and money. If one wants to get ahead in this world one is expected to be all things to all people. We are mothers, daughters, wives, partners, friends, employers or employees, as well as individuals. We are often exhausted, overworked, underpaid, under appreciated, and/or under valued! Sound familiar? Stop for a moment and take stalk of what your energy feels like right now. Heavy? How are you feeling in your overall life right now? Are you happy with where you are? Do you have things on your day to day list that nourish and nurture you internal-self on an emotional level? Or did most of it somehow take a back seat to everything else in life? How did it all happen? If any of these prompts are resonating for you, it is probably because somewhere along the way you lost pieces of who you truly are and turned those pieces into who someone else needed you to be. You can turn this around and start getting back to who you truly are with a little bit of self-acceptance, reflection, and dedicated action to make little, consistent changes to your life.
Where to start? Here are 3 ideas to stimulate self-reflection and action towards change:
Start looking for books to read that involve personal development in areas of your life that you believe need work - (all lives need awareness and work to move forward and make changes).
Create a vision board for how you want to feel: A vision board is an easy, fun and relaxing way to get a picture of what you truly want your world to look like - even if it seems unrealistic to have those thoughts, feelings, or desires. Create this vision board with no expectations and no input from anyone. You may be surprised what new feelings arise. Maybe re-energized hope for the future rises up within you.
Join a group or take a workshop or class that is of personal interest or for personal development. Or find someone that is already doing what you are wanting for yourself and get their support.
All three of these sugustions move you closer to what you do want and how you want to feel in life and further away from what you do not want and the feelings that go with that.
Creating these types of healthy habits and feelings makes positive changes in your life. It is a optimal way to role model what devleoping girls need in order to make their own healthy decisions about what they want and do not want out of life. It invites opportunities to explore areas of interest together as women and girls and opens up communication. Girls (or your daughter) will respect you for respecting yourself and in turn, will want to be more bonded to that healthy, strong, and inner-confident person you are shaping.
Here is the thing I know through personal and professional experience - not all women need to get married, have children, have an outstanding career and educational background, be the best at everything they do, maintain homes, schedules, meals, and whatever else you want to throw on the list. All women need is to have faith in their own inner wisdom - to listen to their intuition and allow the inner wild women to guide them towards what brings true happiness and meaning for that individual person regardless of what anyone's expectations are for them! Getting back to the essence of who we truly are and staying on that path no matter how rocky or challenging it may get is the best journey one can achieve in this lifetime for women.