Midlife Myths & Realities: Andrea M. Slominski, Ph.D.
I recently dove back into the classic book on women’s mythology, Women Who Run With The Wolves (WWRWTH), by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés. Now, every time I read the book, it feels like coming home.
When I first came across WWRWTH, I knew that somehow it was for me. It called to me. I picked it up and tried to read it, but I didn’t understand it. I knew there was something special about it, but I didn’t know anything about Jungian psychology. Moreover, I had no Skeleton Key to open the gates to the book. It was speaking a language I didn’t understand.
Inner Wild Woman:
I had two young babies. I put the book down. But, it had been nudged into my river, and it bobbed back up to the surface 23 years later when I was studying women’s mythology in my MA and Ph.D. program. Now, I had the key, and it read like a detailed map, with door after open opening, beckoning me onward.
The reclaiming of our inner creative, wild nature is vital to the lives of all women. Estés tells us, that when you’re in touch with your inner wild woman or your wildish nature, you’re gifted with a permanent internal mentor, a watcher, a knower, the living spirit of inspiration, creativity, and invention. With her, you have an inner listener and guide, and a vibrant life force that connects your inner and outer worlds.
“This wild teacher, wild mother, wild mentor supports your inner and outer lives no matter what.” (8) We are not talking about wild as out of control, but we’re talking about its original sense to live a life in balance with nature. A life in which your internal creative essential self has innate integrity and healthy boundaries.
To have the wild woman as an ally is to have an internal leader, a model, and a teacher that allows us to see “through the many eyes of intuition. The wild woman carries stories and dreams and words and songs and signs and symbols,” (12) she is both the way to move forward and the place you’re going.
To embrace your instinctual nature does not mean to come apart, blow your life up, change everything, or act crazy, irresponsibly, negligently, or out of control. It doesn’t mean ditching or ignoring your important relationships or becoming less you.
It’s actually the opposite and filled with integrity. In addition, it means that you’ll find your home territory, you’ll discover your pack, and you’ll move closer to embodying your most authentic self. You’ll develop a deeper understanding and pride in the gifts of your body, regardless of its flaws, shortcomings, or limitations. You’ll find yourself more attentive, alert, and aware, and you’ll be able to tap into your innate feminine powers of intuition.
The archetypal energies of the wild woman are the energies behind the artists, the performers, the writers, the creatives, the ritual makers, the writer, thinkers, and the makers because invention and creativity are the wild woman’s main occupations. “She resides in your guts, not in your head.” (13) she has a deep sense of intuition, and she is essential to women’s mental and psyche health.
Touch With Your Inner Wild Woman:
From the viewpoint of archetypal psychology and the storytelling tradition, Dr. Estes says she is the female soul. Yet she is more, she is the source of the feminine. All that of instinct and of the world’s both seen and unseen. The life-death force, she is the incubator the farseer, the deep listener, the loyal heart. Also fluent in the languages of dreams, passion, poetry, and symbols she has feelings ideas urges and memories. She is the voice that says, this way- this way! And she is the one who thunders after injustice.” (13)
To know if you have lost touch with your inner wild woman Estés gives us a long list of potential indicators, a few include, “ Feeling extraordinarily dry, fatigued, frail, depressed, confused, gagged, muzzled, unaroused. Feeling frightened, halt or weak, without inspiration, without animation, without soulfulness, without meaning. Feeling powerless, chronically doubtful, shaky, blocked, unable to follow through, life-sapping choices in mates, work or friendships, overprotective of self, inert, uncertain, faltering, inability to pace oneself or set limits.” (11)
The Book Is Inspiring:
If you’re feeling dried out, stretched too thin, and lacking in your wildish, wolfish nature, this book will inspire you. If you are looking for more resources checkout my bio below.
About the Author:
Andrea M. Slominski, Ph.D., is an author, speaker, and women’s midlife coach. During her dissertation research and study, she explored the new life stage for women that has emerged over the past 100 years.
Naming this new life stage, from ages 45-70, Regency, Dr. A. has spoken at conferences, published articles, and coached women to make the most of their emerging power years. Dr. A. guides women 45+ through the often-tumultuous transformations during perimenopause, midlife, and menopause. She uses tools that include creativity, story, mythology, imagination, ceremony, and ritual. If you need support for your Regency years, including all the changes of midlife and menopause, I’m here for you. Email me at [email protected]
If you‘d like to join Andrea in a deep dive, curated adventure into the book, and work on reclaiming your inner wild woman, check her website and the class “Reclaiming Your Inner Wild Woman”