“ The way to maintain one's connection to the wild is to ask yourself what it is that you want. This is the sorting of the seed from the dirt. One of the most important discriminations we can make in this matter is the difference between things that beckon to us and things that call from our souls. Nowhere can this be seen more clearly than in the choice of mates and lovers. A lover cannot be chosen a la smorgasbord. A lover has to be chosen from soul-craving. To choose just because something mouthwatering stands before you will never satisfy the hunger of the soul-self. And that is what the intuition is for; it is the direct messenger of the soul.” ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
Who is wild woman? I remember getting a coffee mug one year from a close friend or relative. It was obviously something that had been gifted to them but not many grown adults need more coffee mugs and they thought, "young Michelle would like this". And I did! Like a movie, I remember looking at it and taking in the images of Lady Godiva. I didn't know it at the time but she was my hero. All I knew was that the image of a woman with long hair, riding a horse appealed to me far more than my barbies did. I never actually drank tea, coffee or cocoa out of that mug and I think eventually one of my parents borrowed it and I never got it back. But the image has been imprinted in my mind forever: wild woman.
The direct messenger of my soul told me that there was something in this woman that was also inside of me. I was born a wild woman, just like my daughter. I was born screaming for what I want, for comfort, for pleasure and joy. I demanded it like a baby. I think babies know what life is about. Then I was domesticated because that kind of raw emotion, eternal wisdom and all-knowing instinct is dangerous. It's choked, cut off, but it still lurks beneath and grows and grows with each passing year, unable to break free. Some of us escape the throngs of insanity and some of us aren't so lucky. Eventually, it's not the rest of the world or your caregivers cutting off this supply, its our own "assholes in our head", as it was put recently, and you're the one locking up your true self, whatever it is at that moment.
I haven't met many women (or people for that matter) who aren't constantly saying that something is missing from their lives. Its usually shrugged off and they just get a gym membership but it continues to grow and that feeling, that is your innate wisdom, that is the direct messenger of your soul.
This month is all about Wild Woman: her sexuality, her creativity and her relationship with change. All three are inevitable, all three are in us & in my belief, all three are necessary parts of living. Not surviving (sorta), but living. How huge. How epic. How mind-boggling big this all is. In four days it will be valentines day and the pot is boiling. Growing up with a hormonal imbalance causing obesity and excess hair in an unforgiving culture influenced by unrealistic ideals for the sake of consumerism did not serve my Wild Woman. She felt broken from the start. Tuning into the important of sexuality, my relationship with myself, how creativity and sexuality are the same and how change happens when the two are in sync. Change, the little births that occur all over my timeline.
I'm starting my timeline this week using only butcher paper, black water color paint and chalk and I am so excited to see what comes out! The time line will be focused on births, starting with my own significant birth and how my existence has turned the earth on its axis. What do you think this world would look like if Wild Woman was encouraged in every girl or woman? What kind of mothers would we be? What kind of lovers would we be? Would there be war, would there be starvation? What would the world be like if Wild Woman could get on her white horse and ride around breathing the fresh air whenever she felt like it?
Something that really resonated with me recently was thinking about when I felt most powerful. I think everyone could answer this question differently, and it does take a lot of thought but in my case it was better to just write down what immediately came to me: dance. I assumed that it would be art in the form of a 2D format but it was dance that came out! I love to dance. When I graduated from high school I got a job just so that I could afford to go out to nightclubs every night. I don't think I took very good care of myself during that time and I never wondered what was driving that lifestyle decision but dancing has always been in me. I've got great rhythm and can pick up a beat faster than most people. My body makes up its own moves and even though I have more weight around my middle, people have told me that I gracefully move my body like a ballerina. Wild Woman loves to dance and she used to need alcohol to do it, but she knows better now. Don't you love how I say it in third person now?
I'm looking into a belly dancing class and getting some movement around bringing belly dancing to Nashville. I feel like I am not the only woman who can benefit from the physical and emotional benefits of such a seductive art form. Only time will tell and I'm really getting back in touch with my natural leadership abilities after several years of negative feedback that may just've been a lot of fear. Wild Woman has been unleashed, and while she has part of a mess to clean up, she knows the emotional work will make all of the difference. She's free.