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On Running With Wolves

“Women Who Run With the Wolves.” The title grabs you, does it not?

What does it invoke in you?

To my mind it brings the image of the wild child from Princess Mononoke, a beautiful film about Industry and Progress killing the Spirit of the Forest.

Princess Mononoke LITERALLY runs with the wolves.  She was raised by them.  She loves them, and she loves the Forest and hates the Industry that is stripping the mountains of their resources and beauty.

Ugh.  Just such a beautiful movie. 

But, I digress.

Women Who Run With the Wolves is about ancient stories full of symbolism and signs, almost un-interpretable to the modern woman, disconnected as she is (we are, I am) from the Earth, the body, the cycles, the rhythms.

Fortunately, author Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes is a Jungian psychoanalyst/poet/scholar who collected these stories and breaks them down for those of us who want to learn their lessons.

I am 1/3 of the way through it, and it’s helping me find my heart, my teacher, again. 

Despite 10 years of investigation into the mindbody realm, I still remained “separate than” – an analytical observer of things, dispassionate, unfeeling (except for when it comes to annoyance, frustration, and anxiety – those I experienced in spades).  Oh, I had glimpses and shimmers of connection with Self, but they were so fleeting – a flash of connection, and then the mind retreated upstairs, and the body went back to being an overlooked, shy, beautiful (but with glasses, frizzy hair and hand-me-down clothes) girl sitting in the shadows surrounding the dance floor – just hoping to be noticed and escorted back into the limelight. 

This book is helping me reintroduce my heart to my head.  It reminds me that as a Woman, I am meant to be Wild, attuned to nature, full of darkness and light and mysticism.  That is my birthright. 

Really, if this topic at all intrigues you, you just have to read this book!!  But here, to get you started and to pique your interest, are some symptoms of a disrupted relationship with wildness force in the psyche (I’m paraphrasing below):

  • Feeling dry, depressed, without inspiration, without meaning, stuck, uncreative, compressed, powerless, chronically doubtful, unable to follow through, inert, uncertain, overprotective of self, self-conscious, drawn far into domesticity or intellectualism or inertia because THAT IS THE SAFEST PLACE TO BE for one who has LOST HER INSTINCTS.
  • To fear to venture by oneself or reveal oneself, fear to set out one’s imperfect work, cringing before authority, numbness, anxiety. 
  • Afraid to try the new, to stand up/speak up, becoming conciliatory or nice too easily.
  • Afraid to stop, afraid to act, ambivalent yet fully capable.

Does any of that resonate?

This reads like an autobiography of my life.

But things are shifting – maybe like a 10% shift.  Not super seismic, just enough to notice, just enough to put me on a new course. 

When I feel myself rushing.  I slow down.

When I feel my insides getting pulled upwards by the storm in my head, I pull myself back in to my feet, my pelvis, and my heart center.

When I need to make a decision, I pause.  I check in and see what the answer is.  And I try to listen to whatever message comes up (and often nothing comes up, and that’s OK).  I express gratitude and respect to my inner teacher – my heart.

As a result, I NOTICE things.  I see the person in front of me, I notice the bark of the tree by the side of the path, I watch the urge to pick up my phone to kill time and I DON’T PICK UP MY PHONE

It’s a nice shift.  I feel more real.  I also feel scared that I will lose this.  But now I know that life is full of rhythms and cycles.  If I lose this.  I will find it again.

Health & Fitness, massage therapy, Yoga

Syn – Everything comes together

I feel this compulsion to write today, even though I don’t have a clearly defined outcome/topic.  I have this idea floating around in my brain pan, and hopefully writing will help distill it into some sense.

Yesterday I attended a workshop, “The Tao of Voice.”  It was at a local studio that I have been trying to get myself to go to since October (even bought the 30 day pass and never went!). I finally made it.  The room was full of 12 women and one teacher, all with super diverse backgrounds but one thing in common – we all wanted to find our voice, find the ability to express ourselves clearly and confidently.  As we did introductions at the beginning of class and then as we provided our impressions at the end of class, a few words/concepts really struck me.  One woman talked about the synchronicities that brought her to the class. Another student mentioned the synergy she felt with this group of random strangers who connected over this mutual desire to tap into something bigger.  I commented how, as we all spoke/sung tones together, I could no longer track my voice as a disparate vibration, my voice just melded with the rest the group.

So I got home and looked up what the root “syn” means.  It means “together.”  I have been experiencing loads of synchronicities and syngergies in my life lately. I don’t know if these occurrences are actually happening more often, or if I am slowly tuning myself in such a way that I actually notice them more.  I’m still not 100% sure what they mean, I just know that they are meaningful! And they prove to me that “together” is where we need to be.  We are social beings.  Our energy, vibration, facial expressions, heartbeats – all these things modulate and entrain others.  We have an almost magical ability to either elevate those around us or drag them down.  Something as tiny as a micro-expression on our face gets registered by the person looking at us and can cause chemical and physical changes in the observer’s body.

Here are a few examples of recent synchroncities:

1. In Anatomy & Physiology (AP) class, we just started learning about the brain and the 12 cranial nerves.  The morning before we started this topic in class I was taking my usual walk and decided to listen to a new podcast, The Body Awake.  The podcast was an interview with Stanley Rosenberg who wrote “Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve.”  After listening to the podcast, I immediately bought the book.  I read it in about a week.  All the stuff I was learning in AP formed a foundation of understanding for the book!  And everything I was reading in the book provided a enlightening perspective on the issues experienced by a few patients in student clinic.  Clue:  Many “heads of the hydra” can be addressed by treating dysfunctions of the vagus nerve and the other 4 nerves that govern social engagement.

2.  I am in the process of reading “The Body Keeps the Score.”  The author writes a lot about how to help people with PTSD/trauma.  “Accessing the Vagus Nerve” also covers how to help people with PTSD.  At a family get-together last week, my cousin was discussing struggles her boyfriend has due to PTSD.  I was able to share some thoughts with her, based on what I was reading.

3.  I follow fisioterapia.hospitalar on Instagram.  Without fail, this user posts the most interesting videos/pics that relate EXACTLY to what we are covering in school.

4.  One of the foundational principles of neurosomatic therapy is that you must address a lower limb length inequality (LLLI) in order for the body to find balance and for any treatments to hold.  I struggle with this concept.  I just don’t WANT it to be true because I want to be barefoot and fancy free – not tied down by a lift in my shoe (my right leg is 8MM shorter than my left).  Well, we discovered that my research patient has a 7MM LLLI.  She put a lift in her shoe and almost immediately noticed huge improvements in mobility, range of motion, and pain levels.  The universe provided me with the case study I needed to see to believe.

5. Yesterday I listened to a Matt Kahn talk where he was talking to empaths about how to process emotions/feelings that crop up.  He provided the mantra, “What I am feeling, I am healing for the world.”  He recommended that instead of resisting uncomfortable feelings, to allow that energy to pass through you, so it could return to Source.  I interpreted it as another way of saying, “What you resist, persists.”  Well, in class yesterday one of the women mentioned how overwhelmed she was by the news and the feeling that she needed to watch it so she could DO something about it.  One of the callers to Matt’s show expressed almost the exact same sentiment, and Matt provided help on how to deal with that.  So I told this woman about Matt’s talk.  Hopefully it will help her find some peace.

So all this is to say, wow – we are all really connected – energetically, physically, emotionally, neurologically.  This idea gives me lots of hope. Changing the world is 100% overwhelming, but changing your own perspective and vibration is 100% doable, and doing so creates a domino effect which will spread to everyone you come into contact with, starting a chain reaction of positivity and hope.  By pursuing joy, you make your life better and improve the lives of everyone you come into contact with. 🙂