“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.” - Clarissa Pinkola Estes: Women who run with the wolves
I’m subbing some classes at the Jivamukti centre here in Munich this weekend, which means teaching the focus of the month: Wildness.
This focus provides me with the perfect excuse to look for inspiration in one of my favourite books of all time and it wasn’t long before I was spending a good few hours immersed in the wisdom of this classic. Watching the snow falling outside my apartment window, this is truly a time when I am at my happiest.
It didn’t take me long to happen upon a spot of inspiration, which led me wanting to share it with you immediately. The entire book is about returning to our inherent wild nature. The part of ourselves we knew before we were tamed by society, by the media, or perhaps by our own fears. It’s about a return to an exploration of that which cannot always be explained, that which holds such potential for incredible power, creativity and freedom, the kind of freedom that scares us, but in a good way, much like the freedom and excitement of riding a rollercoaster for the first time.
What I love about this paragraph is that she (the Author) gives us a hint at how we can access this part of ourselves. If you have a scar (who doesn’t?) or an old story, or if you love the sky and nature (who doesn’t) then you have a doorway in. It’s kind of the opposite of what yoga teachers us- through constant, steady practice over a long period of time, will you gain some kind of insight. She says, on the other hand, if you’re able to look long enough at what you already have in your life; the beauty AND the pain, then you have an in. This is not to say that yoga is useless and that we should stop the practice of yoga and meditation but perhaps we can use this kind of wisdom in conjunction with yoga. In fact it’s the very practice of sitting and observing that we are more able to see the opportunities our stories, our scars and our love provide. Doorways into the desires of the soul, desires, if we are brave enough to follow and heed the call of, have the potential for such deep and profound fulfilment.
May you have the courage to stand in the doorway of your pain, of the challenges that arise, to tell your stories, even if they don’t yet have a happy end, to look at that which you love so much your heart could break, and not to run, not to manufacture it so the brain can understand, but to feel it, feel all of it, and trust that once you step through the door and live fully in it, that you will find the deepest, truest and most liberated parts of yourself. May they become known to you, may they add to who you already are, may you continue to change, and move and be shaped, because if you aren’t shedding, and rebuilding and transforming and discovering, then what are you doing?