To the Modern Wild Woman.
I know that when you hear the words “wild” and “woman” strung together, something deep inside of you stirs. You’ve been taught to starve this curiosity, just like me, but I want you to know that I see your hunger. I recognize that part of you that feels bottled up, contained, and that spirit of yours that wants to be free. I see my own restlessness and longing reflected back to me, when my eyes find yours and, in this moment, when I meet you there, neither of us are any longer alone.
I’m on a path, just like you, acknowledging the inner call for awakening and true freedom ~ to touch some magic amidst my mundane world, to uncover the parts of myself I’ve begun to hide. We live at a time with more freedom, choice, and opportunity than ever, but it often comes with the heavy expense of disconnection from ourselves as we direct our lens outward. I have no desire to flee the beautiful mess of my day-to-day or abandon the structure that supports my life. Yet, I do long to expand my experience to include a more attuned version of myself that never forgets to give myself permission to feel for that voice inside. I’m remembering a deeper truth, a more complete story of who I am. The truth is that I am a female that is human —and as such, I have a dual nature, just as much wild animal as sovereign being. I’m honoring the full spectrum of my humanness and, I know, that holding it sacred is the key to my feeling fulfilled.
When I step too far away from my inner wild woman, I feel aimless, clumsy, and disempowered. I find myself disconnected from my body, this beautiful instrument of perception, and unaligned with nature’s rhythm. I'm ready to approach my inner wild woman with a renewed sense of commitment and make a vow to never abandon her again. I’m acknowledging that this deep personal knowing was never lost to any of us—not me, not you. It's lived patiently, somewhere deep inside, waiting for us on the other side of the fears and conditioning we received as young women groomed in a patriarchal society. Every time we listen deeply ~ when we make space for a quiet mind ~ we catch a glimpse of this important voice that we’ve been taught to ignore.
It’s time to pay attention.
I’ve realized that the only way to stay connected to this inner wild woman and my true feminine essence is spaciousness. Slowing life down to appreciate moments is the only thing that has ever allowed me access to my whole self. Yet, we live in an over-scheduled society that moves quickly, with a cultural narrative that tells us free time is luxurious and prioritizing our needs is indulgent. As a mother, and the head of my household, slowing down can feel counterintuitive and cause me to energetically contract. I need to remind myself DAILY to, not only, give myself permission to create space for connection to the deepest parts of myself, but that I am deserving of the empowerment, pleasure, and aliveness it brings.
And so are you.
I’ve created a daily routine for myself. These are my “non-negotiables”--things I find essential to operate on a level of deep knowingness, to dwell in the realm of my wild nature. Sometimes, I’m blessed with the time and space to sink into one or more of these fully. More days than not, I’m squeezing them in where I can. No matter how they show up, I’m grateful and committed. They’re the pillars of support that carry me through my day, as the woman I came here to be.
1. Turn Inward
The most beautiful thing you can do in the morning is to welcome yourself “home” before you greet the rest of the world. When I rise to meet the day, without checking in with myself first, I can often get swept up into the whirlwind of my responsibility and I lose my ground. When I choose the alternative-- to create space to sit with myself in silence--I get a better sense of where I am mentally, emotionally, and physically. I become aware. I access my core self, beneath my thoughts, and, therefore, know better how to move forward with my day. By closing my eyes and sinking into deep, rhythmic breath, I orient myself with my inner being and my surroundings. This is when I feel most centered, resourced, and connected to my earthy, wild, primal self. It doesn’t matter how you choose you space--on a meditation cushion, comfortably lying down, indoors, or outdoors. Just show up for yourself, sister.
2. Move Your Body
Embodiment is a process of “sensual recognition”, or awakening to the signals of our bodies. As humans, we tend to live from “the shoulders up”, meaning, we often think our way through our experiences, rather than embody them. Movement has the ability of grounding us and widening our sensual perception, so we can fully arrive, with vibrant awareness, in the bodies we inhabit. It allows us to feel integrated in mind, body, spirit and instinct.
Some days I practice yoga slowly. Other days, I dance wildly. Sometimes, I walk in nature. On my best days, I do all three. Each day, I remind myself that human movement is ancient, sacred--I don’t take it for granted. I appreciate the primal feminine essence of nature and allow it to flow through me. Your body has its own wisdom. Pick you passion and use it as a way to listen.
3. Infuse Routine with Ritual
Sometimes, life is repetitive. I spend a lot of my time doing things that will quickly be undone, just in time to do them all over again--like folding laundry, cooking dinner, and cleaning my son’s room. It’s hard to find anything sacred about the grind. I maneuver through the monotony of my routines, that can zap my wild spirit, by adding an element of ritual as often as I can. It doesn’t need to be extravagant. It can be as simple as turning off all electronics and lighting some Palo Santo for a quiet cup of morning coffee while the household is still sleeping. It can be a few drops of essential oil in your bath and a lit candle. Perhaps it’s soft music and open windows to let energy flow after a toddler meltdown. These are moments of appreciation, of stepping into sacred time, where we can tap into something more profound.
4. Make Something From Scratch
The urge to create is deeply human. It’s process-oriented, anchoring us in the present moment. It’s bridges the seen and unseen worlds, as our creations flow into form. Creation is all about energy and seen, by many traditions and cultures, as a feminine force in nature. When I am in the process of creating, I feel a part of something that transcends my logical mind--bathed in a sense of mystery, wildness, surrender, flow.
We all have a unique creative language. While my avenue for self-expression always changes, I try to commit to creating “something from scratch” daily. Oftentimes, it centers around the kitchen--bread, a stew, a whole chicken, a cup of tea from hand-selected herbs. This way, it also becomes a slow living ritual of nourishing my body and family. Other times, my creation is a piece of art, a few minutes of journaling, or creating a new yoga sequence. Anything to unleash the creative life-force within.
5. Connect with Nature
Nothing brings out a woman’s inner wild more--liberating and untaming us-- than spending time in nature. Connecting with mother nature, reminds us that we are embedded into her fabric, one-and-the-same. In many Indigenous cultures, throughout human history, women have been seen as wisdom keepers due to their ability to commune with nature and live in accordance with her cycles. In modern times, we are often disconnected, spending much of our lives indoors, out of touch with circadian and seasonal rhythms. As such, we sever our direct line of communication with our strongest ally and guide. Time in nature starts to reestablish our relationship, so we can remember our shared language.
Psychologist Clarissa Pinkola Estes, says, “When women reassert their relationship with the wildish nature, they are gifted with a permanent and internal watcher, a knower, a visionary, an oracle, an inspiratrice, an intuitive, a maker, a creator, an inventor, and a listener who guide, suggest, and urge vibrant life in the inner and outer worlds. When women are close to this nature, the fact of that relationship glows through them. This wild teacher, wild mother, wild mentor supports their inner and outer lives, no matter what.” Give presence to your intuition. Call sacred energy into your life Get your hands in the dirt, your bare feet on the Earth. Lie in her grass, swim in her waters. Commune.
May these tips, that work for me, plant seeds of intention, that work for you. My hope is that we all find means to restore our ancestral ways and reweave ourselves into the web of life, feeling aligned with our inner wild.