| I’ve promised to explore each of the letters in W.O.M.A.N, and so I want to begin with the “W,” wild. When I speak of wild in all that I write, I am not speaking of the Girls Gone Wild, MTV version or the kind that emulates male promiscuity. I speak of a primal wildness borne of the soul and rooted in our bodies. It is a most crucial aspect of who we are as women, and sadly a place most never visit within themselves or share with another. That other is the truly wild man (speaking as a heterosexual woman), and I’ll get to him a little bit later, but let’s focus on the Wild Woman for now.
As I often share from my life, I can speak about the Wild Woman from a place of deep personal knowing. She is the creature that feeds and renews my soul, and always has been, even before I knew her name. So often in my life people refer to me as a “creature,” and it always makes me smile, because it means that they can “see” that wildness in me, front and center. There is a duality in us as women – a tenderness of heart and this wild creature. We are socialized to love and treasure that heart, and burned at the stake when we celebrate the wildness. As you read this, see if you can call up a memory, a time in your life that you felt truly free, alive and instinctual. If you can, then you have known your Wild Woman. But don’t despair if you haven’t. She is and always has been with you.
Of late, I’ve found myself ruminating on past relationships and realized that I have almost always let my heart, and not my Wild Woman choose my partners. With the exception of one man, who was truly wild, they were not. What I also realized is that because my Wild Woman was not part of that decision making process, but such a huge part of who Gina is, she ultimately was the one who made me move on. I had not integrated her in my relationships, but she was fully present in my aloneness. And so after what was usually several years, she would whisper or yell loudly, depending on my level of disconnect from her at the time, that she was bored and unfulfilled and would ultimately lead me out of every relationship of which she had not been a part from the beginning. And then I would languish with her for a very long time in my aloneness. This is part of the duality of which I speak. Somehow we end up needing to be alone to feed her, and she will not go hungry, let me tell you!!!!!! But having known one wild man, I know there are more.
Some women are afraid of their Wild Woman. Many women experience her for the first time in dancing or in their sexuality. Since society has tended to label us as promiscuous for enjoying our bodies and our sexuality (or witches!), most women subscribe to that in large or small part, and just send her packing. But she will not be silenced for long. For some reason in my own life, she has always been the voice I hear most clearly, and is the reason I crave freedom beyond all else. I was never a woman who daydreamed about a wedding, and in actuality saw marraige as a prison for women. I feel my wildness in my very core, and would rather be alone than to be with a man who is not truly wild.
So what is true wildness versus the idea that wildness equals naked bodies acting crazy? We have all seen nature programs on TV. When you watch wild cats or wolves stalk, hunt and devour their prey, you don’t judge them or call them bad. You recognize that this is nature; natural, wild and pure,. That those animals are acting instinctually. They don’t judge themselves or their actions. They are simply free and true to what they are. They live as their nature instructs them, through all of their senses. They eat when hungry, sleep when moved to, have sex when it feels natural to. They are naked and wild. To live in harmony with our instincts and our senses, animated by our souls is what I speak of as wildness.
Does it make your heart race to see wild animals hunting one another? Yes, but it is survival and it is part of being wild.
I love not knowing what I’m going to do next. That might sound peculiar, but it’s the truth. Living in total harmony with my Wild Woman means I don’t know what’s next. I am a slave to the drives and hungers of my body most of the time, and what those are vary from day to day. Needless to say, being this way can scare people – men specifically. My daughter also tells me that I scare her sometimes because I am unpredictible, though not in a bad way. What I have learned is that in honoring her, my Wild Woman, I can live, really live free. Whenever I feel imprisioned in my life, it is because I have not fed and cared for Her. And when I do, I am electric, fearless and attract-ive.
One of my favorite books is “Women Who Run With the Wolves,” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. It is filled with stories about the various aspects of our instinctual natures as women. She speaks of the duality of woman in this way: “Anyone close to a wildish woman is in fact in the presence of two women; an outer being and an interior criatura(creature), one who lives in the topside world, one who lives in the world not so easily seeable. The outer being lives by the light of day and is easily observed. She is often pragmatic, acculturated, and very human. The criatura, however often travels to the surfacee from far away, often appearing and then as quickly disappearing, yet always leaving behind a feeling: something surprising, original, and knowing.”
She is the part of you that is inspired and unpredictible. She is the part that draws people to you in an inexplicable and compulsive way. They don’t know what it is about you, but they can’t take their eyes off of you. She is the part that makes you feel comfortable in your own skin, especially when you are naked. If you feel at all afraid of this part of yourself, please don’t!! You must simply remember that she is YOU. You can begin to get to know her at any time. How? It’s really very simple, as she requires little to feel fed. Sensuality is a very big part of the Wild Woman, as it is in the animal kingdom. Pay attention to how you move through space, what you smell, what you see, how things taste and feel, what you hear, and what you sense. That sixth sense is so present in animals, and it is in woman as well. Simply begin to explore it. I suggest picking one sense a day and zeroing in on it as much as you can throughout the day, until you can begin to integrate all of them at once. Eat with your hands. There is something very sensual and primal about using your hands to put food into the mouth – yours or someone else’s. Let your hair down! Seriously, if you tend to wear it up or control it with clips and bands, let it be free. Try to stay as close to your natural state of beauty as possible. For example, I have very curly hair, thanks to my ancestral gumbo. When I have occasionally decided to wear my hair straight, I’ve found that I can’t take it. It makes me feel contained and restrained! I end up washing it by day’s end to get back my curls. They are how I was born and they are a part of my integral wildness. Find yours! This may sound cliched, but take off your clothes and walk around naked. Love your body as a woman’s shape, and let go of self-judgment about that size and shape. Find some music that is dripping in percussion and dance to it until you are dripping in sweat. Move your hips, move your hips, move your hips!!! They are the seat of a woman’s soul. There is nothing like drums to bring you to your wildness and your primal truth. And make sounds from your throat, especially when you are having sex, but when you are dancing, too. When your hips are moving, let the sound move from your throat and past your lips. Hips and lips are intimately connected. A woman’s whose hips are free, can also express herself freely verbally. There is an esoteric connection between the throat and the vagina. To open them both is to achieve ecstacy – and to share it with your partner. Estes offers this in her book: “The way to maintain one’s connection to the wild is to ask yourself what is it that YOU want. This is the sorting of the seed from the dirt. One of the most important discriminations we can mke in this matter is the difference between things that beckon to us and things that call from our souls.”
There could not be a discussion about wildness in its true, primal sense, without sex being part of that. To really express it, we must free ourselves in our sexual expression. That means that we need to have a partner that respects and understands our sexualtiy. If you are wild and free and he is not, then you will not be able to go where you would like to. If your partner doesn’t respect your boundaries, or where you are with your current sexual expression, it will not work. Respect and trust in bed is primordial. Be sure that you enforce your own boundaries, so that you can attempt to arrive at a place of no boundaries together. Love and sex are unquestionably the best of all, as long as both lovers are free. I really believe that love is a free spirit, and one must be free to embrace it, for the spirit of love dies in captivity.
And finally a few words about the Wild Man. Not the promiscuous dog we all hear about. Not the man addicted to pornography. He is the Wild Woman’s mate, truly, and a very rare find. I believe that men are looking for and long for him as much as we long to love and connect with our Wild Woman. I just think they are lost and confused for the most part, as they are trapped in society’s imprisioning ideas of masculinity. Here is what Clarissa Pinkola Estes says about the Wild Man: “We know that the creature, Wild Man, is seeking his own earthy woman. Afeared or not, it is an act of deepest love to allow oneself to be stirred by the wildish soul of another. In a world where humans are so afraid of “losing,” there are far too many protective walls against being dissolved in the numinosity of another human soul. The mate for the wildish woman is the one who has a soulful tenacity and endurance, one who can send his own instinctual nature to peek under the tent of a woman’s soul-life and comprehend what he sees and hears there… so, the wildish task of the man is to find her true names, and not to misuse that knowledge to seize power over her, but rather to apprehend and comprehend the numinous substance from which she is made, to let it wash over him, amaze him, shock him, even spook him. And to stay with it. It will make her eyes shine. It will make his eyes shine.”
We all know the expression that men are dogs. Well, they are, but on a soul level, it’s a compliment. Wild Man’s dog nature is his instinctual nature, that which allows him access to the Wild Woman. Estes says, “It is the dog-self that learns to overcome superficial seductions and retain the most important knowings…the dog is one entire side of man’s dualistic nature. He is the woods nature, the one who can track, who knows by sensing what is what” (about Wild Woman.)
I’ve had these dreams lately about dogs. I’m not much of a dreamer by night. I think Carlos Casteneda would call me a stalker. Usually I just crash. My mind is so active by day, and so when I dream, I pay attention. I’ve seen the dog nature of man in these dreams, and it’s not the colloquial slur. They represented a deep love from the heart, a love that flows easily and long, forgives effortlessly and can fight to the death to protect you. These are qualities that, to me, are very appealing in a man.
So find your Wild Woman. Make regular dates with her. Integrate her into the fullness of your life. Let her scare you, but don’t walk away from her. You can’t. When we choose not to know Her, our lives fall apart and we lose touch with what it means to be a W.O.M.A.N. Love her and let her love you. She is pure, wild beauty.