After three months, two-highlighters and a lot of deep reflection, I’ve finally finished the book, “Women Who Run With Wolves”, written by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés.
A pretty intense, yet deeply thought-provoking read, Women Who Run With Wolves is a collection of multicultural myths, fairy tales, folklore, and stories that any women can relate to.
It’s a book I wish I had for my 15-year old self. One that could have shed light during a time of deep sadness, loss, and longing.
Through her writing, Dr. Estés helps women reconnect to the life-giving force that is the truest essence of who we are as women, the Wild Woman.
Though she’s been silenced, lost, and sheltered from this knowing, the Wild Woman is always there, waiting, and longing for the time she can break free to share her instinctual wisdom.
This was my first reading of the text, yet somehow the Wild Woman archetype is one that I was very familiar with. There was this inner knowing that I’d taken this journey before. Aspects of my life were reflected so clearly through the stories and fairy tales.
Instinctively I knew I was a Wild Woman who had been disconnected from myself, both currently and previously. Dr. Estés says as women we “occasionally lose touch” but it is our return to the wild nature that replenishes, restores, and renews our spirit. Setting us anew to return to the physical world to take care of our work, family, relationships, and creativity.
The insights and themes shared provided a true reflection of my life, causing me to pause and reflect. This book was profoundly healing and one I can’t wait to share with my daughter as she journeys towards womanhood.
It reflects the inner work of the psyche and the developing of our inner knowing and resiliency. Through the 20 myths and stories, I found a reflection of myself, staring back at me of the healing work I’ve already done, but mostly the work that’s yet to be done.
Women Who Run With Wolves will most certainly leave any woman feeling like her soul has been awakened, renewed, and thriven.
After reading this book, I walked away with so many insightful gems I’ll always carry with me. This book is a feminine empowerment bible, one that I intend to continue to reference and re-read throughout my life.
It’s not a book to be read and placed on your shelf. It’s a guide that provides guidance and direction to the journey of womanhood and the cycles encompassed within it.
If you’re searching for a guide to understanding your life and flourishing as a woman, this is it. Through the myths and stories, Dr. Clarrisa Pinkola Estés offers an insightful analysis of the Wild Woman archetype and how to reclaim, restore, and renew one’s soul. These are the lessons I’ve learned from reading this inspiring text.
Howl Often: Getting In Touch with Your Inner Voice. Knowing the sounds of your voice and speaking up about the things that matter. A lot of time we are silenced as women because we are told we are too aggressive, too bossy, or too sassy. We become afraid to share our authentic truth as a result of guilt, shame, or the fear of judgment. Spend time listening to your voice and use it to howl as often as you can. There is power in your voice. Use it.
Retreat: Journey Within As Often and As Frequent as you must. According to Dr. Estes, every woman has her own rhythmic cycle of journeying within. Trust the timing of your cycle and getting attuned with the needs of your soul is both transformative and healing. The more you do the inner work, the more aware you’ll become of the needs of your Wild Woman.
Find Your Tribe: Although we live in a society in the Western culture, in which we’re focused on classrooms, pods, and cohorts where we may or may not find people we can relate to. Some of us may have been born into a family where we’re the black sheep. Dr. Estes says this is a part of the journey and one we shouldn’t become frustrated by. We all belong to a tribe and we must be willing to do the work to find the tribe we belong to.
Care for your body: Your body is a beautiful vessel you’ve been given to house your soul. Your body is the vehicle that allows you to carry out your work. Take care of your body. Attend to your bones. Get intone with the needs of your body.
Wander. Get lost often. Allow yourself to explore the wonders of life. Don’t always feel the need to know where you are going or which direction you are heading. It’s not knowing that helps us to get reacquainted with the path, but the journey down the path. Whenever we are in need of the Wild Woman, she’s never too far out of reach for us to grab on to, for strength, nourishment, care, or guidance.
Love the children: There’s an inner child within all of us and every woman must take great care to love their inner child. Play with her. Attend to her. Allow her imagination to explore the world. As we become adults, we forget about our youthful nature and leave our inner child starving for play, laughter, and care. Take care of your inner child.
Find Fault. Call out the things that are frustration, irritating and that give you pause. To be a woman does not mean to sit by being docile while our worlds are falling apart. Share your trials, frustrations, irritations with the world. This vulnerability will allow other women to share and give rise to their struggles. It’s our storytelling that connects as women. Through ages somehow having distinctively similar experiences, yet possessing this inner knowing that whatever beasts we’ll face throughout our lives, we’ll somehow make it through.
There’s so much wisdom packed into the 16 chapter book, even offering a guide to rites of passage to becoming a woman. Though I’m saddened that I did not have the knowledge within this text during my teenage years, I’m grateful for the attraction and awareness of it now.
It is one that has been thought-provoking, soul-searching, and life-changing. If you haven’t read this book already, I highly recommend you borrow or purchase it to connect with your wild nature. This book will change your life forever.
“To truly heal, however, we must say our truth, and not only our retreat and pain but also what harm was caused, what anger, what disgust, and also what desire for self-punishment or vengeance was evoked in us.”