Sometimes you read a book that tells you truths so compelling you just have to share. Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes’, Women Who Run With The Wolves: Contacting the Power of the Wild Woman (Classic Edition) is one of these, and so is Christiane Northup’, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing. To me this was ground-breaking, life-changing information and I felt a duty to tell everyone who would listen – you know who you are. And it all comes down to a simple fact – women have unlimited abilities to heal, thrive and better the world and these abilities are intimately connected to their cyclical, intuitive, feminine nature and yet, by and large, they are not even aware of these. Why is that? think patriarchy, think survival in a world where feminine qualities are considered “less than” or worthless (emotional intelligence anyone?), look back at a time where millions of women where hunted and savaged for living in harmony with nature and knowing how to use herbs to cure ailments, simply think of your own life experience as a woman or ask the women in your life: was your first period a cause for celebration or did someone quietly took you to the supermarket for pads and never broached the subject again? How about your first baby? Did you get plenty of support or where you expected to manage everything by yourself? Did you go days without eating while everyone worried about the baby putting on weight? Work? Body image? Mental load?
I remember being blown away by the discovery that every woman’s cycle held innate power and wisdom that we essentially forgot how to tap into, be it menstruation, pregnancy, birth (think uber medicalization of birth), breastfeeding, postpartum, menopause. This was a big eye-opener for me and those who know me are bound to hear me quoting Christiane Northrup at one point or another.
Women Who Run With The Wolves treats of the feminine nature using the medium of fairy tales and storytelling. I learn about a woman I know in every chapter. I have had plenty of ah-ah moments where the reasons for someone’s behavior suddenly became clear – mine included. This book is like a window to your psyche, the translator for an ancient and forbidden language that contains both the problem and the solution.
My takeaway from these books so far is not to be afraid of the dark, the chaotic, the ugly, the unhealthy in you. Life is made of cycles and going through a bit of chaos and destruction is an opportunity to rebuild a much healthier self. So often we are told to stop being so sensitive when really this is our wisdom showing up to be worked through. It is the stalling, the ‘staying in one place’, the avoidance, the excuses we should be afraid of.
That is just my take on it. What do you think?