Women who run with the Wolves —By Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Book Review

Clarissa Pinkola Estes. This woman is the first that comes to my mind when I think about this book. She is prismatic, multifaceted, a whole, complete, intellectual, emotional and spiritual woman. Wherever side you look of her, it has been worked, it is full with experiences and memories, and specially with wonderful teachings in which every single woman can benefit from.

Estes has a very multicultural background, not only because she is Mexican-American. She was raised among different indigenous, black and latino communities. While growing, she got used to hear all kind of stories, mostly metaphoric, mostly well known in different cultures, but usually misinterpreted. ‘Some people are not educated in the academic sense, yet they are intensely wise. They are the bearers of the pure/oral tradition’.

And this is how this book starts, with the passing of these stories, with her own explanation of how to interpretate every situation, with an opened-eye account for women on how are we being seen by others, on how are we being seen by our own selves and why this has to immediately change.

Every story is important, as it comes with an important teaching, an own blessing. It would be impossible for me to reflect on the richness of this wonderful book, but got some intakes that I would like to share. I loved her own connection with the wolves, her long and outstanding research of these animals, especially female wolves and the amazing similarities with female human behaviour. As she well said it, wolves, as women, are fiercely protective, caring and nurturing, they are the leaders, they are connected to the planet and to the inner-self. But there is an unbalance in women’s world that doesn’t exist in the animal world. Somehow, the male authority and power over the centuries have smashed the deep connection that women have always had with the planet, with their emotions and with their own spirituality. Women had everything to do with the Planet and both moods go along. For example, older women, as old forests, are usually devaluated and forgotten. They become useless with the passing of time.

When women lost the deep connection with their inner selves, they started to Over-intellectualize their lives, their feelings and their thoughts. This allowed the patterns of the instinctive nature of women to be obscured, to get into a fog that after was impossible to see, or feel, as the intuition and the inspiration leave on the guts, not on the head. The word ‘Wild’ was a beautiful one, its original meaning was to live a natural life that with innate integrity and healthy boundaries, but is currently used in a pejorative sense, meaning out of control.

But the author says to ‘bite back’—instead of fight back—. A deep scar is a door, an old story is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a safe life, that is a door. Questions are the keys that cause the secret doors of the psyche to swing open, although first we need to fight the predators. ‘A woman must go into the dark, but she must not be irreparably trapped, captured or killed on her way there and back’. We cannot be naïve, or too sweet, or too nice, we need to recognize the malignant forces, especially our interior ones. We need to protect ourselves from its devastations, and to deprive it of its murderous energy. This is not mean to be an easy task, as a lot of women recognize their inner predators, beginning to process over and over again but never finishing with it because of lack of support and guidance.

‘To adjoin instinctual nature does not mean to come undone, change everything from left to right, from black to white, to move the east to the west, to act crazy or out of control. It does not mean to lose one’s primary socialization or to become less human. It means quite the opposite. It means to act with certainty and pride, to be aware, alert, to act with intuition and sensing, to come into one’s cycles, to retain as much consciousness as possible’. I think this is a beautiful statement, one that must take all the fears away.

When we come out of the dark path and we pick the trail of the wild woman, we clear off relationships, clear one’s mind, insist on a break, break the rules and stop the world. It is going to be painful, but worth it in all senses. When a woman becomes a whole she also becomes a wolf, full of her intuitive, nurturing and emotional potential.

A 100% recommended book.

Luz

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