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Wild Self

by Tanya Valentin


HAVE YOU EVER HAD THIS EXPERIENCE? You are outside on the beach, swimming in the ocean, walking in a forest, relaxing in your garden, enjoying a sunrise or a sunset, or sitting under the night sky taking in the magnificence of the natural creation around you, and suddenly you feel it…

A pulling on your heart.

A longing for something you cannot put into words. A yearning for an adventure.

A call to be more authentically you.

Or you just know you are part of something wonderfully, awe-inspiringly bigger than yourself.

And in that very moment, you know there is so much more to you than you realize. There is something freer, more real, and more meaningful that you should be doing. But then it’s followed by a sadness that you cannot quite articulate? It is as if there is a distant self, calling out to you from beyond the horizon that you are trying to reach but as much as you try, you just can’t get to her… This is your Wild Woman stirring inside of you, calling to you to awaken from the dream of domestication.

According to the author, Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estés, of Women Who Run with the Wolves, she quotes,

‘Wild woman is the health of all women. Without her, women’s

psychology makes no sense… She canalizes through women. If

they are suppressed, she struggles upward. If women are free,

she is free. Fortunately, no matter how many times she is pushed

down, she bounds up again. No matter how many times she is

forbidden, quelled, cut back, diluted, tortured, touted as unsafe,

dangerous, mad and other derogations, she emanates upward

in women, so that even the quietest, even the most restrained

woman keeps a secret place for her.’


Wild Woman is the soul of all women. If Danger Chicken is the sleeping woman, then the Wild Woman is awake woman. She is filled with a deep perception that has nothing to do with intellect. A Wild Woman is an ancient life force, she is our spirit, our intuition, our innate expression of self, and our spark of the divine. The Wild Woman is our link to the forces of the ancient and the promise for our future. She is our early warning light which cautions us when we have lost our way.

Inviting us to come back to find ourselves again. Our Wild Woman, the keeper of our life cycles, she is the doula of our dying parts as they return to fertile ground for the underworld so they can be reborn and made new. Our Wild Woman is the midwife who lovingly supports our shoulders and encourages us while we birth the new. Many women who have ignored or repressed their Wild Woman for a period of time may not know how to access her. And so, I offer this suggestion… The Wild Woman belongs to the elements of nature. She needs wide open, expansive spaces–not the bottom drawer in which you have confined her to and that is why you may feel that pull to a distant self when you are outdoors. If you are feeling like she is completely lost to you, pay attention to how nature calls out to you. When I began to become aware of my Wild Woman, I felt the pull towards spending more time outside, swimming in the ocean, creating a garden, and being close to indoor plants.

Light a candle or a fire. Watch a sunset and bask in the euphoria of the golden hour. Sit under a full moon among a galaxy of stars. Walk and breathe under the canopy of the forest walls. Place your hand on the trunk of a mighty tree and feel its heartbeat through the earth. Swim in the waves of the ocean. Walk barefoot and feel the grass or sand between your toes. Sit with your back to the warmth of the sun, or simply connect with your breath. Feel it as it flows in, through and out of your body. Place one hand on your chest and notice the steady beat of your heart, and place one hand on your stomach and experience how your breath causes your belly to rise and fall. Feel the intensity of your emotions. Allow yourself to be moved by them. Cry, laugh, rage, howl. Move into your strong, wild, and beautiful body. Hear the purr of energy inside of you. Still your mind and its infinite worries of tomorrow and know that she is there.


She AWAKES: Imagining Your Wild Woman

For this exercise, you will need your journal, pens, crayons, or paint.

Take a moment here to close your eyes and use your imagination, take yourself back to the place where you feel the call towards this distant, elusive Wild Self.

  • Where are you?

  • What do you hear?

  • What do you see?

  • What do you smell?

  • What could you taste?

  • What did you feel?


Engage all of your senses to visualize this beautiful, Wild Self and draw what you see in your mind. Let this be an instinctive process, let her flow through you. You may want to paint or draw, or you may want to create a collage, but once you have drawn her, I would like you to introduce yourself to her and tell her what you would hope to learn from having her in your life. You can do this either verbally out loud, or in written form in your journal.

Affirmation: Today I chose to meet my Wild Woman.

Excerpted with permission from "When She Wakes, She Will Move Mountains" by Tanya Valentin.

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When She Wakes, She Will Move Mountains author Tanya Valentin is a teacher, women’s archetype mentor, poet, podcaster, and published author. She is the founder of the AWAKE™ mentoring framework, used to support mothers of tween and teen girls who are navigating change to create the life that they want. Tanya was born in South Africa. Today, she lives in Northland, New Zealand with her husband, three teenage daughters, and a happy collection of a dog, three cats, and free-range farm animals, including a mischievous goat named Kemi. Tanya is committed to co-creating magic in the lives of women so they can discover their purpose, reclaim their joy, find their voice, create the life they want, and step into their magnificent inner Queen.


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