I run the ‘spiritual group’ at The Recover Clinic and one of my favourite themes for discussion is that of the ‘Wild Woman Within’. When we initially introduce the concept of a ‘Wild Woman’ our clients are often suspicious about how useful this is likely to be. The ‘Wild Woman’ is a concept that we’ve borrowed from the inspiring and great Clarissa Pinkola Estés who wrote Women Who Run With The Wolves.
Through a collection of short-stories Estés presents the idea that within all women lies a strong force filled with knowing intuition, creativity and love…this is the ‘wild woman’. For many of us the word ‘wild’ draws forth predominantly negative connotations, particularly when used in reference to a person. It conjures up images that we associate with someone that we perceive to be irresponsible, ungovernable and unruly. When we use the word ‘wild’ in the context of the Wild Woman we are referring to thee centre of every woman’s being: her muddy earth, her sexual self, her maternal, nurturing core.
We teach our clients that it is essential for each of us to value what our sometimes rigid environments or communities do not allow us to explore: a creative outlet, boundaries, trusting our own intuition and healing our wounded inner child. We believe that our inner voice is that of the Wild Woman. A knowing trust that all women have but so many of us ignore. Some of us call that voice a ‘conscience’ others a ‘gut instinct’ but we all hear her.
As young women we all make decisions about the way our lives are going to be led and we make those decisions under the guidance and/or influence of many different forces: friends, family, education, religion and culture. We are always turning to external forces for that guidance when all the while the Wild Woman is there patiently waiting to be heard so that she may guide us toward love and happiness.
How many of us have pursued something even though something deep inside us tells us not to? The answer is all of us. As we progress through the journey of life we are all able to look back with insight and wisdom and we recognize when we chose the wrong man even though our Wild Woman told us he was trouble, or didn’t apply for that job because we didn’t think we were capable even though our Wild Woman was shouting ‘Do It!’.
This is of course also part of the journey, we make mistakes, we learn. We hope. However, so many of us make it through our teens and into our 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and onwards still making decisions and ignoring the voice of our Wild Woman who is still there, trying to protect us, trying to steer us toward the light.
So many of us think that we need to cautiously proceed through the world trying to make the ‘right’ choices, procrastinating about which path to take. What if you turned inward and listened to your Wild Woman? She’s there…she’s already holding your hand, why don’t you let her lead the way?