Brave the Wilds


It’s clear to me that I’m on some kind of a journey. My recent book speaks to this, this blog speaks to it, and much of the conversing and reading I do these days has this language built in. I don’t know exactly where this journey is headed, and at times I find it exhausting. Some days it seems like it would be much easier to know less and to see less and to feel less. But, that’s not the way personal growth works. In observing and sensing ugliness (others and our own), we are also exposed to beauty and greater understanding. It’s a mixed bag for sure. Ignorance may truly be bliss. Bliss may be underrated.

We need guides on the journey, and it’s no coincidence that a good friend just loaned me her copy of Women Who Run With the Wolves. I’m slowly working my way through this deep cache of wisdom. Each of the myths explored and dissected leaves me feeling a bit unsettled and awed. I’m not alone on the journey. Every woman has this work built into her being. She chooses if she will take it on. Perhaps you are a wild woman (or man) yourself.

I came across this passage last night, and I share it with those of you who also have an appetite for finding your life’s purpose.

This is how it works: Imagine a smorgasbord laid out with whipped cream and salmon and bagels and roast beef, and fruit salad, and green enchiladas and rice and curry and yogurt and many, many things for table after table after table. Imagine that you survey it all and that you see certain things that appeal to you. You remark to yourself, “Oh! I would really like to have one of those, and one of those, and one of that, and some of this other thing.”

Some women and men make all their life decisions in this way. There is around and about us a constant beckoning world, one which insinuates itself into our lives, arousing and creating appetite where there was little or none before. In this sort of choice, we choose a thing because it just happened to be beneath our noses at that moment in time. It is not necessarily what we want, but it is interesting, and the longer we gaze at it the more compelling it becomes.

When we are connected to the instinctual self, the soul of the feminine which is natural and wild, then instead of looking over whatever happens to be on display, we say to ourselves, “What am I hungry for?” Without looking at anything outwardly, we venture inward and ask, “What do I long for? What do I wish for now?” Alternate phrases are “What do I crave? What do I desire? For what do I yearn?” And the answer usually arrives rapidly: “Oh, I think I want…you know what would be really good, is some this or that…ah, yes, that’s what I really want.”

Is that on the smorgasbord? Maybe yes and maybe no. In most cases, probably not. We will have to quest for it a little bit – sometimes for a considerable time. But in the end we shall find it, and be glad we took soundings from our deepest longings.

– from Woman Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype, pp. 106-107

Connecting to the instinctual self, taking soundings from our deepest longings…there’s the clue, the next step in the scavenger hunt of life. Happy trails, and know I’m right there with you.

About Leah Carey

Author, As Simple As Breathing -

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