Do you have a wild woman hiding inside you? Is there an inner wild woman inside all of us?
There’s something about the phrase “wild woman” that catches at the soul, especially when many women are overworked, underappreciated, and spread too thin in every direction. It speaks to the heart. It catches the imagination: Wild Woman. But what does it mean? What is a wild woman? And how on earth do you find her?
What is a Wild Woman
I was first introduced to the idea of an inner “wild woman’ when I read Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. (Which, by the way, is an excellent book that I lend it out as frequently as possible.) In this book, “wild woman” refers to the inner instinctual nature that all women have at their core.
Of course, there are plenty of women who identify with the idea of being a wild woman and who have never read that book. There are plenty of women who recognize the call to declare their wild selves.
“One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your own soul.” – Clarissa Pinkola Estés
How Do You Know If You Are a Wild Woman
If you say you are a wild woman, I believe you. You know already if you are or not.
If you are asking someone else if you are a wild woman, THAN probably what you are actually looking for is for someone to recognize you. You want someone else to look at you and see that inner nature that you can FEEL but can’t quite grab hold of.
So maybe instead of asking, “What is a wild woman,” it is more useful to ask, “What do I mean when I say that I am a wild woman? What does that look like? What is my wild?”
5 Signs of a Wild Woman
You may feel like you wouldn’t even know where to begin answering these questions. Which is fine! It should be an exploration process. The more you explore, the deeper you get.
And although everyone may have a slightly different idea of what exactly a wild woman is, there are some basic qualities that are fundamental to the idea. Here are the essential characteristics of a wild woman.
What is a Wild Woman?
If you look up ‘wild’ in the dictionary you get (among other things):
- Not subject to restraint or regulation
- Going beyond normal or conventional bounds
- Indicative of strong passion, desire, or emotion
- Deviating from the intended or expected course
This is a great place to start defining the wild self.
1. Be Free
A wild woman is free and unrestrained. Let yourself be guided by your instincts and define your life according to your own heart.
To be free is to be wholly yourself without fear or restriction, to be true to yourself, always. It is to live without shame.
A wild woman is expansive and open, not closed off.
2. Be Unconventional
A wild woman is unconventional. That is, she doesn’t fit neatly into the normal paths and roles of society and is not constrained by arbitrary rules and roles.
Don’t be concerned with what is done or not done in proper society and don’t let yourself be pushed around by what other people tell you to do or how they think your life should look. Because you are guided by yourself, you will cross a lot of the lines that govern normal society and you won’t fit neatly into a box.
3. Be Passionate
A wild woman is passionate. Passionate means not being afraid of your big emotions and FEELING them fully, but not letting them rule you. ALL emotions – love, compassion, joy, sadness, anger, grief – are accepted.
If you are not afraid of your own emotions you will be more understanding of other people’s emotions. Understanding leads to compassion and empathy.
Passionate also means squeezing the life out of every moment. A passionate woman laughs often and loudly.
4. Be Surprising
A wild woman is surprising because she trusts her intuition. Learn to recognize and trust your gut feelings. Listen to your body.
You may not always have a good sense of the path forward, but when you have a strong urge, trust it. It will lead you in expected directions. You may not know everything that lies ahead and that’s ok. You’ll figure it out.
Sometimes your decisions may be confusing to other people. When you let yourself be guided by your own inner knowing your decisions might not seem like they make sense from the outside. To be wild is to be in touch with your instincts and to trust them.
5. Trust A Wild Heart
Having a wild heart boils down to one simple thing: choose love, not fear.
Love is expansive and open. Fear is constricted and closed off. Love leads to abundance and growth. Fear leads into a pit. Real love is unconditional and free.
Living from your heart only works when you can recognize when your heart is nudging you. And you can only do that if your heart is open, not locked up. If you close up and close off your heart you are allowing yourself to be driven by fear.
Check-in with yourself. Are you choosing to be open and radiate love or are you shutting yourself off?
“If you want to tap into what life has to offer, let love be your primary mode of being, not fear. Fear closes us down and makes us retreat. It locks doors and limits opportunities. Love is about opening to possibilities. Seeing the world with new eyes. It widens our hearts and mind. Fear incarcerates, but love liberates.” – John Mark Green
Defining Your Wild
What do you mean when you say that you are a wild woman? There’s no one correct way to be wild or one kind of life that’s more authentically wild.
When I say wild I mean laughter and warmth and exploration and occasional silent solitary sitting. I mean curiosity and movement and acceptance of what is. My wild means sitting where I am and not trying to lean into the past or lunge forward into the future.
What Does Being Wild Mean to You
Self-discovery is a process. You are constantly changing. Approach your wild self with curiosity.
If you picture your wild self in your head, what do you see? What are you doing? Wearing? What descriptive words and phrases come to mind?
Before you can integrate your wildness into your life, you have to know what you are looking for. Take the time to sit and work out your ideal wild self. You can’t satisfy that part of you if you don’t understand it. And the first step to understanding is recognition.