I don’t know how it has been for you, but this transition into Spring has felt a bit bumpy to me. The weather outside seems to be mirroring my internal journey, every two hours shifting to something else. I never seem to be able to dress appropriately these days! Emotionally I’ve been all over the place—vulnerable, weepy, giggly, inspired, tense, outgoing, introverted, wound up, deeply appreciative, full of doubts. My body has felt at times that it ought to still be in hibernation and at other times I’ve felt so energized, like I’m ready to burst forth and move full steam ahead.
As we move from Winter to Spring, I find it helpful to remember my own wildness. We all are dancing with the creative emergence of life. We don’t need to think of ourselves as problems that need to be fixed, assuming there is something fundamentally wrong about us. We can step back and take the bigger view of the process and explore with curiosity how we can best support ourselves in the midst of our transformation. We can relax into the natural paradox and complexity, not needing to try to fit our lives into a tidy box, or cage, when we are in fact wild.
We need to be free in order to thrive.
Your vitality knows that you are a wild creature, even if human culture tells you otherwise. I’m sure you have accessed your own wildness in your life—dancing with abandon, exploring the sublime beauty of the wilderness, or feeling your primal nature break free during sexual engagement. These moments tell us unequivocally that we are gloriously vital and alive!
Weave your wildness into your daily life by acknowledging fully that you can’t be tamed and boxed in. You need to honor your ever-changing self that wants and needs to express itself and explore in new ways. As Jungian analyst Clarissa Pinkola Estés writes in her classic book Women Who Run With the Wolves,
“The wild nature pours out endless possibilities, acts as a birth channel, invigorates, slakes thirst, satiates our hunger for the deep and wild life. Ideally, this creative river has no dams on it, no diversions, and no misuse.”[i]
Your way of caring for yourself must embrace this fluidity and emergence, the complexity, nuance, and paradox. Let yourself feel the freedom and release that comes from unleashing your inner wildness and all the possibilities it brings with it. In those moments when you would habitually fall into shame, give up, or get stuck in what you think of as failure, remind yourself that you are always in motion, and that you can start where you are, and try the next thing.
This is how life becomes play—when we live in our evolution, consciously experimenting, shifting direction, trying on new ways of being, sticking with those that work for us, until they no longer do, then letting them go. Embracing change is part of our intimate dance with this great mystery of which we are a part.
Life is much more fun when we let go of our tight hold on who we think we are supposed to be and what we think we are supposed to be doing.
The pathway to optimum vitality really isn’t what most of us think. Bring yourself alive. Play in this mysterious game of life. Experiment, try things out, live on the edge—your edge. Step into the unknown, consciously stretch yourself, try on new ways of being, new ways of seeing, new ways of knowing. And recognize that in embracing this playful, curious, experimental way of holding yourself in life, you are gifting us all with a fuller, deeper, more authentic expression of you in the world. Your wild, natural self!
[i] Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run with the Wolves, (Ballantine Books, 1992), 299.