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“A healthy woman is much like a wolf: robust, chock-full, strong life force, life-giving, territorially aware, inventive, loyal, roving. Yet, separation from the wildish nature causes a woman’s personality to become meager, thin, ghostly…we are not meant to be puny with frail hair and inability to leap up, inability to chase, to birth, to create life. When women’s lives are in stasis, ennui, it is always time for the wildish woman to emerge.”
 –Clarissa Pinkola Estes

If you hate your body, it is because you are disconnected from your natural state. You have forgotten (or never learned) how to connect in a way that is life-giving. Women who feel connected to their tribe do not consider the size of their dress to be a problem. It is only when she feels worried about being loved or cared for that she begins to think about these things. 

Embrace your natural role as a connector, a nurturer, and a lover. Nurture the people around you and your relationship with God. It is said that "God is Love." Turn your mind towards the great Lover. Marianne Williamson talks about love like this, "love is energy. It's not something we can perceive with our physical senses, but people can usually tell you when they feel it and when they don't...fear is to love as darkness is to light." (Return to Love, p. 21). When we meditate on love instead of fear, then we can move forward in loving those around us. Loving thoughts are the foundation on which healthy relationships and communities are built. Love is a balance of giving and receiving.

Love yourself. I am always surprised by how difficult this is for women. They will tell me, "it feels selfish." Unless you are nurturing your relationship with yourself, you will be giving to others from an empty well.  Become your own best lover. How can you teach someone else how to love you if you don't know how to love yourself? Drink in the beauty of your curves. Your creative power.  Your strength. Buy yourself flowers. Buy yourself silky lingerie. Go on the trip you've always wanted to go on. Speak kindly to yourself. 

Love your children. Love is not planning the perfect cupcakes for their birthday party because you are afraid you will be judged for not having perfect cupcakes. Just stop and look at them. Drink in the deliciousness of their sparkly eyes, marvel the transformation from pooping loaves of bread to fast, spunky, sassy creatures that make your head spin.  How often do they say, “watch me! Watch me!” It is so hard to “just” watch. We are constantly pulled into the how-to lists and to-do lists and all that is always undone. The wild wolf mama has no concern about appearances and does not use her children for her own ego. She is concerned about her children's survival when she is gone. 

Love your female friends--your sisters. Form deep bonds that are forged from the fires. Talk late into the night about anything and everything. Dance with them. Hug them. Text them simple emoticons that let them know you are thinking about them. Do not compete or compare with the beautiful feminine soul that calls you her friend.  Compliment each other without reserve. Delightedly exclaim how beautiful she is--even, and especially when she is falling apart. The wild woman knows she needs her sisters and never tears them down. 

Love your brothers. Don’t be afraid to accept them as friends and partners on this journey of life. They want to stand by you, protect you, and help you. For too long men and women have been adversaries. And it’s true—I know—we have all been hurt by mean men at some point in our lifetime as women. But shutting them out (as a gender) only perpetuates the problem. I’m not saying be nice to mean people. No. The wild woman always growls when her territory is being invaded or members of her pack are being threatened.  Re-new the idea of a deep friendship with men.

Love your lover. He* longs to be wild just like you.  Do not get in his way or try to tame him. Because of our fear, we have not honored their desire to protect, to serve and to fight for and with us.  We have pushed men away. Receive from him. Let him rove like you want to rove. Open your heart to him. Believe that he wants to love you. Reward him with your affections without fear. Feel the euphoria of his arms around you; surrender to the feelings. When you do, you will discover the heart of a warrior. 

If you do these things, you will feel the bliss of your life.  You will forget about the size of your jeans. Let love fill you up.

(Wolf art by Travis Parr--a top sheet for Icelantic Ski company. For more of his work please visit  www.parrstudios.net and www.icelanticskis.com).

*I speak from a heterosexual perspective, only because I am heterosexual and I am most comfortable speaking from that orientation; however, I believe these ideas can be interchangeable—namely, the issue of trying to “control” our mates.