In preparing for this Saturday’s Exploring Our Wild Roots (it is not too late to register), I read the following passage from Dr. Estes’ Women Who Run With the Wolves:
See to it now that you spend less time on what they [family of origin] didn’t give you and more time on finding the people you belong to. (p.166)
…when an individual’s particular kind of soulfulness, which is both an instinctual and a spiritual identity, is surrounded by psychic acknowledgment and acceptance, that person feels life and power as never before. Ascertaining one’s own psychic family brings a person vitality and belongingness. (p.172)
Finding people who acknowledge and accept you is powerful. People who see you as you are and who value what you are provides a confidence that is unshakeable.
May we all find the people to whom we belong.
If you are someone who has not found your people, please take heart. Dr. Estes says children, especially girls, who have “a strong instinctive nature” are curious and creative. These children are the girls who will innovate new solutions, challenge the status quo, and disrupt systems of oppression. Strong instinctive natures are tenacious, determined, and fierce. We need to nurture and to celebrate the wild in all children.
Unfortunately, the children who rebel against repression are often misunderstood and punished by adults who suppressed their own strong instinctive natures. Adults who chose to conform to cultural expectations frequently encourage children to do the same. These adults fear public humiliation, shame, and even worse, rejection.
Adults who encourage conformity are not uniformly “mean” people. Quite often they are people who have suffered and fear additional suffering. Unbeknownst to them, the children with whom they interact are their teachers, guiding them to back to their own wild natures.
Some adults will allow themselves to reconnect with their strong instinctive nature. Others will stay in their cage and attempt to put others in cages. Children, who are born into families that deny the wild and fear it, seek and need the wild mother and/or father. If a child is lucky, they will find a wild adult who will provide a refuge from the cultural overlay which seeks to suppress what it wants to control.
Perhaps you have experienced a wild adult in your life. Maybe it was a parent or a family member who encouraged your creativity and offered you a shoulder to cry on when things were hard. Or maybe you had a teacher, coach, or mentor who listened to your concerns, celebrated your fierceness, and supported your gifts. I hope everyone had at least one wild adult in their life.
For those of you still seeking that type of connection, I encourage you not to give up.
I believe there is a community for everyone. (Could Shakti in the Mountains be your community of choice?) While you continue to look for the family to which you belong, I recommend you spend more time outside, connecting with the most wild of mothers – Mother Nature.
During some of the lowest points in my life, I have sought succor by going outside and sitting on the earth. Whether I actually moved, did not matter. Being outdoors where I could feel the sun on my face and the wind in my hair, where I could hear water moving and birds chirping, and where I could see signs of life all about me brought a sense of indescribable peace.
Wendell Berry does a better job than I of describing the healing power of nature in his poem, “The Peace of Wild Things.” I offer his words:
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
If you would like to spend time in community, investigating your strong instinctive nature, then please join Magdalen, Davis, and I this Saturday for Exploring Our Wild Roots. During this 3-hour workshop, we will dive into chapter six of Women who Run with the Wolves by offering interactive and thoughtful activities as well as a guided discussion. (To attend, please register before Friday morning @ 10 am.)
Wishing everyone a wonderful week!
Kim Bushore-Maki is a soul-driven entrepreneur who understands the undeniable urge to create a business and a life filled with meaning and purpose. Her vision of opening a center where women could heal and grow led her to open Shakti in the Mountains in Johnson City, Tennessee: a place where the creative, feminine energy is nurtured and valued.
Since 2010, Kim continues to build and to support a healthy, vibrant community and now guides retreats, teaches yoga, and provides one-on-one services for women who want an immersion experience into the life-affirming, Shakti energy.
Kim’s training as a therapist and yoga teacher allows her to safely and compassionately guide women on a heart-centered journey to Self, where women re-connect with their beautiful, authentic spirit.
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