Growing up, it always seemed that my life would be a fairy tale. The promise was that I would emerge from my awkwardness a beautiful woman who would then be swept off her feet by some handsome man-prince, and we would have a family and live happily ever after. Of course this is all a lie. I could tell you that I found my lovely man-prince, and we are living ever after, and I do have a family. But the journey from awkward goofy tween to who I am today was anything but a single story of mild tribulation leading to never-ending happiness.
Though fairy tales end after ten pages, our lives do not. We are multi-volume sets. In our lives, even though one episode amounts to a crash and burn, there is always another episode awaiting us and then another. There are always more opportunities to get it right, to fashion our lives in the ways we deserve to have them. Don’t waste your time hating a failure. Failure is a greater teacher than success.Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
I am inspired by some of the beautiful family films recently made available on streaming services that depart from the typical princess in distress storylines. One such film is Wolfwalkers on Apple TV+, a wonderfully illustrated family-friendly journey of a young girl discovering her spiritual center and using that power to challenge the violent status quo. With strong and spunky female leads and gorgeous naturescapes, we are taken on a new approach to the man vs. nature story and we completely depart from the theme of princess in distress.
The music is fabulous and includes some Celtic vibes to the art and music, as well as a song entitled Running with the Wolves by AURORA, which of course brings me back to one of my favorite mythical and introspective books of all time, Clarissa Estes‘s The Women Who Run With Wolves, an opus on the divine feminine myth and self discovery.
Clarissa weaves her telling of the myths that align with womens’ spiritual and emotional development alongside her explanation of the behaviors of wolves. She urges us to get back in touch with our wildish nature, and free ourselves from the obedient bonds of some of the societal expectations that sometimes shackle us to become meek and quiet, and silences our inner voices.
The way to find our way back to intuition is through time spent “with the mother.” Time in nature to reclaim our wildish nature and understand what our hearts long for.
What does this wildish intuition do for women? Like the wolf, intuition has claws that pry things open and pin things down, it has eyes that can through the shields of persona, it has ears that hear beyond the range of mundane human hearing. With these formidable psychic tools a woman takes on a shrewd and even precognitive animal consciousness, one that deepens her femininity and sharpens her ability to move confidently in the outer world.Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype