One of the joys of being an entrepreneur is being able to travel and help my family when I am needed. I wrote this article a couple years ago after traveling to Arizona to help my sister during the last part of her pregnancy. My sweet little niece will be two on Valentine’s Day.
I recently returned from Arizona to my home in Florida. Usually, the sound of rain drops can lure me into sleep but tonight I miss the sound of the Coyotes who seemed to howl right outside the window. I picked out an old favorite from my bookshelf, “Women Who Run with the Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, PhD. In her foreword, I am reminded of why I am missing the coyotes. “We are all filled with a longing for the wild… We were taught to feel shame for our desire. We grew our hair long and used it to hide our feelings. But the shadow of Wild Woman still lurks behind us…No matter where we are, the shadow that trots behind us is definitely.
The Kind of Woman You Don’t See in Florida
There was a type of woman that I spotted in Arizona that one does not see around Florida. She wears a denim jacket and lets her hair grow long and grey. Her skin looks untouched by Botox and the lines of age are allowed to happen. She has stayed fit by hiking the ruins of Native Americans and ancient dinosaurs. She hunts and gathers food at a local trading post called Trader Joe’s. She drives a Jeep Wrangler and as she drives off into the landscape that only God can create with the Eagle’s song; “Peaceful Easy Feeling” echoes from her Jeep. She is the Archetype of an Arizona Woman that I have fixed in my mind.
In Dr. Estes book, she describes the “Wild Woman Archetype” as a way of tapping into our inner strength. I saw this inner strength in the women that I talked to Prescott, Arizona. She shares how wolves and women share a certain psychic characteristic: keen sensing, playful spirit, and a heightened capacity for devotion. “Once women have lost her and then found her again, they will fight and fight hard to keep her, for with her their creative lives blossom; their relationships gain meaning, depth and health.”
Stories Are Like Medicine
I have always been the kind of girl and woman who loves to hear a good story from a lady who has seen more than me. Stories caution us, remind us, and intrigue us to enjoy the journey of womanhood. “Stories are medicine” telling us of ancient myths and legends from the past and how they connect with modern day.
One of the blessings of being an entrepreneur is that I can work wherever I can plug in my laptop and find good Wi-Fi. I went to Arizona to help my younger sister who just had a beautiful baby girl. As sisters, we can remember the stories of our past, the silly or dramatic stories that connect us. Seeing my sister pregnant and then with her beautiful baby, reminds me how women are connected throughout history by our ability to carry a child in our womb. Current generations of women struggle with the need to support a family and the needs of our young. I think about mother wolves and how they live in packs helping each other.
I continue reading my book by Dr. Estes “Wildlife and the Wild Woman are both endangered species. Over time, we have seen the feminine instinctive nature looted, driven back, and overbuilt. For several thousand years, as soon and as often as we turn our backs, it is relegated to the poorest land in the psyche. Consider yourself (or the women in your life), do you feel forced to conform to modern life and modern technologies, smart phones, smart watches, cameras everywhere? Do you earn for a more Earthy existence? The spiritual lands of Wild Women have throughout history been plundered or burnt, dens bulldozed, and natural cycles forced into unnatural rhythms to please others.”
We Must Protect the Wild Woman Inside Us
“It’s not by accident that the pristine wilderness of our planet disappears as the understanding of our own inner wild natures fades. It is not so difficult to comprehend why old forests and old women are viewed as not very important resources. It is not such a mystery. It is not so coincidental that wolves and coyotes, bears and wildish women have similar reputations. They all share relate instinctual archetypes, and as such are both are erroneously reputed to be ungracious, wholly, and innately dangerous and ravenous.”
“Old Women like old forests? – Not very important resources?” Oh No! Clarissa, I disagree. What I do agree with is that women have a strength and vulnerability that must be protected in our daughters, in our sisters, in our aunts, in our grandmothers and in ourselves.
For me traveling, often allows me to see the world differently. Leaving my daily routines, changing my background from flatness to rugged terrains (not just on my screen-saver), and noticing the cactus instead of the palm trees of Florida makes me appreciate living in such a wonderful and diverse country. Traveling to the West makes me think about those who came before us, the cowboys and the Native Americans who thrived here in what I see as such a harsh climate. How did one make a living in the wild west? How did people survive? What treasures can be unearthed here? And what kind of wild beasts can we learn from?
Join me on this journey that includes finding your true gifts, fanning your creative fire, taming the wild beasts of obstacles, and discovering a life that you love.