Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ Women Who Run with the Wolves was one such book. It turned out to be a fascinating read. It is intensely compelling and has a flowing style that almost feels poetic. The book is full of timeless feminine wisdom and insight.
It is infused with timeless wisdom and insight from the female psyche. We have gathered many great quotes that will help you be better. Let’s get started with “Women who Run with the Wolves Quotes“.
Women Who Run With The Wolves Quotes
Though fairy tales end after ten pages, our lives do not. We are multi-volume sets. In our lives, even though one episode amounts to a crash and burn, there is always another episode awaiting us and then another.
There are always more opportunities to get it right, to fashion our lives in the ways we deserve to have them. Don’t waste your time hating a failure. Failure is a greater teacher than success. Listen, learn, go on.
It makes utter sense to stay healthy and strong, to be as nourishing to the body as possible. Yet I would have to agree, there is in many women a ‘hungry’ one inside. But rather than hungry to be a certain size, shape, or height, rather than hungry to fit the stereotype; women are hungry for basic regard from the culture surrounding them. The ‘hungry’ one inside is longing to be treated respectfully, to be accepted and in the very least, to be met without stereotyping.
Go out in the woods, go out. If you don’t go out in the woods nothing will ever happen and your life will never begin.
Though her soul requires seeing, the culture around her requires sightlessness. Though her soul wishes to speak its truth, she is pressured to be silent.
I hope you will go out and let stories, that is life, happen to you, and that you will work with these stories from your life–not someone else’s life water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom. That is the work. The only work.
It is worse to stay where one does not belong at all than to wander about lost for a while and looking for the psychic and soulful kinship one requires
I learned about the sacred art of self-decoration with the monarch butterflies perched atop my head, lightning bugs as my night jewelry, and emerald-green frogs as bracelets.
Bone by bone, hair by hair, Wild Woman comes back. Through night dreams, through events, half understood and half remembered…
The doors to the world of the wild are few but precious. If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door.
Having a lover/friend who regards you as a living growing criatura, being, just as much as the tree from the ground, or a focus in the house, or a rose garden out in the side yard… having a lover and friends who look at you as a true living breathing entity, one that is human but made of very fine and moist and magical things as well… a lover and friends who support the cultural in you… these are the people you are looking for.
They will be the friends of your soul for life. Mindful choosing of friends and lovers, not to mention teachers, is critical to remaining conscious, remaining intuitive, remaining in charge of the fiery light that sees and knows.
The psyches and souls of women also have their own cycles and seasons of doing and solitude, running and staying, being involved and being removed, questing and resting, creating and incubating, being of the world and returning to the soul-place.
Be wild; that is how to clear the river. The river does not flow in polluted, we manage that. The river does not dry up, we block it. If we want to allow it its freedom, we have to allow our ideational lives to be let loose, to stream, letting anything come, initially censoring nothing.
That is creative life. It is made up of a divine paradox. To create one must be willing to be stone stupid, to sit upon a throne on top of a jackass and spill rubies from one’s mouth. Then the river will flow, then we can stand in the stream of it raining down.
There is a time in our lives, usually in mid-life when a woman has to make a decision – possibly the most important psychic decision of her future life – and that is, whether to be bitter or not. Women often come to this in their late thirties or early forties. They are at the point where they are full up to their ears with everything and they’ve “had it” and “the last straw has broken the camel’s back” and they’re “pissed off and pooped out.” The dreams of their twenties may be lying in a crumple. There may be broken hearts, broken marriages, broken promises.
Sometimes the one who is running from the Life/Death/Life nature insists on thinking of love as a boon only. Yet love in its fullest form is a series of deaths and rebirths. We let go of one phase, one aspect of love, and enter another. Passion dies and is brought back. Pain is chased away and surfaces another time. To love means to embrace and at the same time to withstand many endings, and many many beginnings- all in the same relationship.
The doors to the world of the wild Self are few but precious. If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door.
When seeking guidance, don’t ever listen to the tiny-hearted. Be kind to them, heap them with blessing, cajole them, but do not follow their advice.”
The way to maintain one’s connection to the wild is to ask yourself what it is that you want. This is the sorting of the seed from the dirt. One of the most important discriminations we can make in this matter is the difference between things that beckon to us and things that call from our souls.
Nowhere can this be seen more clearly than in the choice of mates and lovers. A lover cannot be chosen a la smorgasbord. A lover has to be chosen from soul-craving. To choose just because something mouthwatering stands before you will never satisfy the hunger of the soul-self. And that is what the intuition is for; it is the direct messenger of the soul.
In mythos and fairy tales, deities and other great spirits test the hearts of humans by showing up in various forms that disguise their divinity. They show up in robes, rags, silver sashes, or with muddy feet. They show up with skin dark as old wood, or in scales made of rose petal, as a frail child, as a lime-yellow old woman, as a man who cannot speak, or as an animal who can. The great powers are testing to see if humans have yet learned to recognize the greatness of soul in all its varying forms.
Asking the proper question is the central action of transformation- in fairy tales, in analysis, and in individuation. The key question causes germination of consciousness. The properly shaped question always emanates from an essential curiosity about what stands behind. Questions are the keys that cause the secret doors of the psyche to swing open.
I’ve seen women insist on cleaning everything in the house before they could sit down to write… and you know it’s a funny thing about housecleaning… it never comes to an end. The perfect way to stop a woman. A woman must be careful to not allow over-responsibility (or over-respectability) to steal her necessary creative rests, riffs, and raptures. She simply must put her foot down and say no to half of what she believes she “should” be doing. Art is not meant to be created in stolen moments only.
We all begin the process before we are ready before we are strong enough before we know enough; we begin a dialogue with thoughts and feelings that both tickle and thunder within us. We respond before we know how to speak the language, before we know all the answers, and before we know exactly to whom we are speaking.
When a woman is frozen of feeling, when she can no longer feel herself, when her blood, her passion, no longer reach the extremities of her psyche, when she is desperate; then a fantasy life is far more pleasurable than anything else she can set her sights upon.
Her little match lights, because they have no wood to burn, instead of burning up the psyche as though it were a big dry log. The psyche begins to play tricks on itself; it lives now in the fantasy fire of all yearning fulfilled. This kind of fantasizing is like a lie: If you tell it often enough, you begin to believe it.
All the “not readies,” all the “I need time,” are understandable, but only for a short while. The truth is that there is never a “completely ready,” there is never a really “right time.”
“Dogs are the magicians of the universe.
And then there are the cravings. Oh, la! A woman may crave to be near water, or be belly down, her face in the earth, smelling the wild smell. She might have to drive into the wind. She may have to plant something, pull things out of the ground or put them into the ground. She may have to knead and bake, rapt in dough up to her elbows.
She may have to trek into the hills, leaping from rock to rock trying out her voice against the mountain. She may need hours of starry nights where the stars are like face powder spilled on a black marble floor. She may feel she will die if she doesn’t dance naked in a thunderstorm, sit in perfect silence, return home ink-stained, paint-stained, tear-stained, moon-stained.”
“As with any descent to the unconscious, there comes a time when one simply hopes for the best, pinches one’s nose, and jumps into the abyss. If this were not so, we would not have needed to create the words heroine, hero, or courage.
To be strong does not mean to sprout muscles and flex. It means meeting one’s own numinosity without fleeing, actively living with the wild nature in one’s own way. It means to be able to learn, to be able to stand what we know. It means to stand and live.
Women’s curiosity was given a negative connotation, whereas men were called investigative. Women were called nosy, whereas men were called inquiring. In reality, the trivialization of women’s curiosity so that it seems like nothing more than irksome snooping denies women’s insight, hunches, and intuitions. It denies all her senses. It attempts to attack her fundamental power.
That is, to be ourselves causes us to be exiled by many others, and yet to comply with what others want causes us to be exiled from ourselves.
What does this wildish intuition do for women? Like the wolf, intuition has claws that pry things open and pin things down, it has eyes that can through the shields of persona, it has ears that hear beyond the range of mundane human hearing. With these formidable psychic tools, a woman takes on shrewd and even precognitive animal consciousness, one that deepens her femininity and sharpens her ability to move confidently in the outer world.
Sometimes there are no words to help one’s courage. Sometimes you just have to jump.
All creatures must learn that there exist predators. Without this knowledge, a woman will be unable to negotiate safely within her own forest without being devoured. To understand the predator is to become a mature animal who is not vulnerable out of naivete, inexperience, or foolishness.
The only trust required is to know that when there is one ending there will be another beginning.
Practice listening to your intuition, your inner voice; ask questions; be curious; see what you see; hear what you hear, and then act upon what you know to be true. These intuitive powers were given to your soul at birth.
When a creature is exposed to violence, it will tend to adapt to that disturbance, so that when the violence ceases or the creature is allowed its freedom, the healthy instinct to flee is hugely diminished, and the creature stays put instead.
There is no one a wildish woman loves better than a mate who can be her equal.
To love a woman, the mate must also love her wildish nature. ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’.
Every woman has felt like the ugly duckling at some point in her life.― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’.
Why do women keep trying to bend and fold themselves into shapes that are not theirs?― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’.
If you have yet to be called an incorrigible, defiant woman, don’t worry, there is still time. ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’.
I learned about the sacred art of self decoration with the monarch butterflies perched atop my head, lightning bugs as my night jewelry, and emerald-green frogs as bracelets. ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’.
The best land to plant and grow something new again is rock bottom. In that sense, hitting rock bottom, although extremely painful, is also the ground to sow new life on. ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’.
The craft of questions, the craft of stories, the craft of the hands- all these are the making of something, and that something is soul. Anytime we feed soul, it guarantees increase. ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’.
There is probably no better or more reliable measure of whether a woman has spent time in ugly duckling status at some point or all throughout her life than her inability to digest a sincere compliment. ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’.
Our secret hunger for being loved is not beautiful. Our disuse and misuse of love are not beautiful.
If we live as we breathe, taking, and releasing, we cannot make mistakes.― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’.
Don’t waste your time hating failure. Failure is greater teacher than success.― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’.
If you have never be called a defiant, incorrigible, impossible woman… have faith… there is yet time… ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’.
Stories that rise from deep suffering can provide the most potent remedies for past, present, and even future ills. ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’.
One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul.
Rather than understand that the beauty of her soul shines through when she is being herself, the woman changes the subject and effectively snatches nourishment away from the soul self, which thrives on being acknowledged.
The things that women reclaim are often their own voice, their own values, their imagination, their clairvoyance, their stories, their ancient memories. If we go for the deeper, and the darker, and the less known we will touch the bones. ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’.
From the time we are born there is a wildish urge within us that desires our souls lead our lives, for the ego can only understand just so much. Imagine the ego on a permanent and relatively short leash; it can only go so far into the mysteries of life and spirit. ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’.
…A woman’s creative ability is her most valuable asset, for it gives outwardly and feeds her inwardly at every level: psychic, spiritual, mental, emotive, and economic…As we create, this wild and mysterious being is creating us in return, filling us with love. ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’.
Creativity is the love of something, having so much love for something whether a person, a word, an image, an idea, a land or humanity that all that can be done with the overflow is to create. It is not a matter of wanting to, not a singular act of will, one solely must. ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’.
In a single human being there are many other beings, all with their own values, motives, and devices… Rather than corrupt her natural beauty, our work is to build for all these beings a wildish countryside wherein the artists among them can make, lovers love, the healers heal.
As we create, this wild and mysterious being is creating us in return, filling us with love. We are evoked in the way creatures are evoked by sun and water. We are made so alive that we in turn give life out; we burst, we bloom, we divide and multiply, we impregnate, incubate, impart, and give forth.
When a woman’s instinctual nature is strong, she intuitively recognizes the innate predator by scent, sight, and hearing.. anticipates its presence, hears it approaching, and takes steps to turn it away. Practice listening to your intuition, your inner voice; ask questions; be curious; see what you see; hear what you hear; and then act upon what you know to be true. ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’.
A healthy woman is much like a wolf: robust, chock-full, strong life force, life-giving, territorially aware, inventive, loyal, roving.― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’.
At it’s root, creativity is not about success and not about failure. It’s not about knowing why, or what, or even who. It’s a mystery. And it’s a spiritual place to live. ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’.
Our lack of loyalty and devotion is unloving, our state of separation from the soul is ugly, based on psychological warts, inadequacies, and childhood fancies.
There are oceans of tears women have never cried, for they have been trained to carry mother’s and father’s secrets, men’s secrets, society’s secrets, and their own secrets, to the grave. A woman’s crying has been considered quite dangerous, for it loosens the locks and bolts on the secrets she bears. But in truth, for the sake of a woman’s wild soul, it is better to cry.
We are all filled with a longing for the wild. There are few culturally sanctioned antidotes for this yearning. We were taught to feel shame for such a desire. We grew our hair long and used it to hide our feelings. But the shadow of wild woman still lurks behind us during our days and in our nights. No matter where we are, the shadow that trots behind us is definitely four-footed. ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’.
Wolves and women have much in common. Noth share a wild spirit. Women and wolves are instinctual creatures, able to sense the unseen. They are loyal, protective of their packs and of their pups. They are wild and beautiful. Both have been hunted and captured. Even in captivity, one can see in the eyes of a woman, or a wolf, the longing to run free, and the determination that should the opportunity arise, whoosh, they will be gone… ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’.
The comprehension of this Wild Woman nature is not a religion but a practice. It is a psychology in its truest sense…a knowing of the soul. Without her, women are without ears to hear soul talk or to register the chiming of their own inner rhythms…Without her, they forget why they’re here, they hold on when they would best hold out. Without her they are silent when they are in fact on fire. She is their regulator, she is their soulful heart, the same as the human heart regulates the physical body.
When a woman is frozen of feeling, when she can no longer feel herself, when her blood, her passion, no longer reach the extremities of her psyche, when she is desperate; then a fantasy life is far more pleasurable than anything else she can set her sights upon. Her little match lights, because they have no wood to burn, instead of burning up the psyche as though it were a big dry log. The psyche begins to play tricks on itself; it lives now in the fantasy fire of all yearning fulfilled. This kind of fantasizing is like a lie: If you tell it often enough, you begin to believe it.
Although many things are good and nutritious for the soul, most fall into Wild Woman’s four basic food groups: time, belonging, passion, and sovereignty. Stock up.
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