Monday, 9 July 2018

Wise Words: Taking Back Our Bodies

… Where there is a wound on the psyches and bodies of women, there is a corresponding wound at the same site in the culture itself, and finally on Nature herself. In a true holistic psychology all worlds are understood as interdependent, not as separate entities. It is not amazing that in our culture there is an issue about carving up a woman’s natural body, that there is a corresponding issue about carving up the landscape, and yet another about carving up the culture into fashionable parts as well. Although a woman may not be able to stop the dissection of culture and lands overnight, she can stop doing so to her own body.

The wild nature would never advocate the torture of the body, culture, or land. The wild nature would never agree to flog the form in order to prove worth, prove “control,” prove character, be more visually pleasing, more financially valuable.

A woman cannot make the culture more aware by saying “Change.” But she can change her own attitude toward herself, thereby causing devaluing projections to glance off. She does this by taking back her body. By not forsaking the joy of her natural body, by not purchasing the popular illusion that happiness is only bestowed on those of a certain configuration or age, by not waiting or holding back to do anything, and by taking back her real life, and living it full bore, all stops out. This dynamic self-acceptance and self-esteem are what begins to change attitudes in the culture.

(Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run with the Wolves: Contacting the Power of the Wild Woman, Rider: London, 1992, p. 202)


  1. as far as i'm concerned, that book is still hugely relevant and valuable. i'm giving my old copy to my daughter next time she is home from her summer job! she's amazingly self-confident and brooks no nonsense from cultural expectations, generally, but i am sure that there is wisdom in that book for her anyway. maybe i'll slip bolen's "goddesses in every woman" into stack for her too...

    everything really is linked...

    1. Yes, I think that book is still very relevant. So many Aha! moments in its pages.

  2. Our daughter's the same - wonderfully self-confident and won't take any cultural cr*p! She has my old copy :D

    1. How lucky your daughter is to have such a wise mother. :)


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