Rediscovering Your Wild Woman Self

Published January 11, 2022 by Sheila Anne Murray

When I was home for the holidays, I came across an old black and white photo of me as a child. My lake-soaked hair is spun around my head, my eyes glint with life, my face is not yet set.

“There she is,” I thought, “my wild woman self.”

girl embracing her wild woman

The wild woman is an archetype as old as time that I started investigating only in the last year. The term “wild woman” appeared one day and relentlessly showed up everyday after. Have you ever met someone and then suddenly have seen them everywhere? It was just like that.

While on a coaches retreat in Seattle, I came across “Women Who Run With The Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype” in a bookshop and immediately purchased it. It felt as though the book had been placed on the shelf that day just for me.

I read through the introduction on night one and was immediately entranced. Here is one passage that pulled me in:

“Whether you are possessed of a simple heart or the ambitions of an Amazon, whether you are trying to make it to the top or just make it through tomorrow, whether you be spicy or somber, regal or roughshod - the Wild Woman belongs to you. She belongs to all women.”

After reading this, I intuitively knew that I needed to integrate the Wild Woman into the Play module of my NOURISH program. It is absolutely a vital part of the nourishing process to reconnect to our wild, natural selves. This is what the wild woman helps us to do.

In order to personally connect back to my wild woman, I had to do a lot of deprogramming. Like many, I was socialized in a patriarchal society, worked in a corporate environment with offices meant for the male metabolic rate, and spent most of my life achieving external metrics instead of fulfilling internal, expressive desires (made possible by traditional education and corporate culture).  Even in writing this article I am having to constantly coax myself along because my internal alarm system is blaring. I was programmed to believe that embracing femininity was soft, silly, or weak; meanwhile embracing masculinity was more powerful, serious, and successful.

That path of listening to such beliefs is no longer the one I chose. How about you? The truth is that the wild woman archetype is one of the most powerful forces we can unleash on the world. Here are a few things I’ve learned about the wild woman:

  • She is within each of us, perhaps buried beneath the noise, masked behind the facade we show the world, or stored away with old memories and forgotten parts of ourselves. Still, she is there.
  • She waits for us to retrace our steps and to remember we were once wild and without inhibition. You may have retraced your steps even briefly on days you were led by courage and desire, rather than fear and perfection.
  • We can reconnect to our wild woman selves through photos (like the one I spoke about at the beginning of this article), dance, music, memories, community, nature, creative expression, and action. I’ve also rediscovered her on mountain tops, leaning into love, and resigning from my corporate job.
  • The wild woman listens to her intuition more than the whispers or “shoulds” of those around her. She trusts that she has unbelievable creativity and light within her, and does not require external knowledge or validation to succeed.
  • The wild woman does not see herself in direct competition with anyone else, which is what allows her to quickly take action and connect deeply with others. She understands the power of community as well as the power of individuality.
  • Connecting with your inner wild woman can be the key to finding your inner inspiration, purpose, or getting your next big break. It’s like Lizzo says, “I am my own inspiration.”
  • The wild woman can be expressed in a multitude of ways: taking the reins on a big project at work; swinging your hips and singing loudly across your home; dying your hair red just because you’ve always wanted to; believing in yourself fiercely; putting on an outfit that helps you embody her essence.

As for the book itself, it was my starting point. I didn’t resonate with every story, nor every message, however it was fun to read a very different style than I am accustomed to. Now that the secret is out and I know about the wild woman, I trust that I will continue to see more of her in the people I meet and the media I interact with. And on the days I do not… I am committed to being my own inspiration.

Let this be your call, to reconnect to your natural soul and let your wild woman self thrive.

Sheila Anne