The soul is like a wild animal…tough, resilient, resourceful, savvy, and self-sufficient: it knows how to survive in hard places. I learned about these qualities during my bouts with depression. In that deadly darkness, the faculties I had always depended on collapsed. My intellect was useless; my emotions were dead; my will was impotent; my ego was shattered. But from time to time, deep in the thickets of my inner wilderness, I could sense the presence of something that knew how to stay alive even when the rest of me wanted to die. That something was my tough and tenacious soul.
Yet despite its toughness, the soul is also shy. Just like a wild animal, it seeks safety in the dense underbrush, especially when other people are around. If we want to see a wild animal, we know that the last thing we should do is go crashing through the woods yelling for it to come out. But if we will walk quietly into the woods, sit patiently at the base of a tree, breathe with the earth, and fade into our surroundings, the wild creature we seek might put in an appearance. We may see it only briefly and only out of the corner of an eye—but the sight is a gift we will always treasure as an end in itself. ~ Parker Palmer, Hidden Wholeness
I read these words and immediately I recognize this within myself, this shy soul.
Something within me softens. For a while now, I’ve tried to push myself to be more out there, more in the mix, more visible. I know it is coming. Yet, what also feels true is that my soul is tender and deep-feeling. And in seeing this, I found just a little more compassion for who I am and how I am in the world. As I soften, I can feel myself more whole, aligned and joyful.
So much in our culture tells us we have to be un-soul like to make our mark. I’ve come to know that this way is not my way. There is something so sweet about recognizing how our own soul feels, what allows us to glimpse it, but more importantly, the path to living life that honors it. There are many ways to be in the world, and I know we each can find the way that is true for our soul, even when the culture can seem so separate from soul.
The Wild Soul is shy, she is feral, and in being so, she doesn’t clang around making brash noise…unless she must. Then she will. She is tough and resilient. She is self-sufficient. Yet, there is this place where the soul only shows this soft side, this vulnerability when she is safe, when she trusts.
Coming to know the soul is a reverent journey. It is a blessed journey.
Because the very nature of this journey is such, I am extremely honored to be holding the first session of the WildSoul Book Club this fall with my colleague, Lianne Raymond. Our intention is to create a place where, together, we breathe with the earth and walk quietly in the woods with patience and care, so that our souls know they can come forth to make themselves known.
Please take a moment to see if joining our WildSoul Book Club might be just the thing you are longing for, right now. We’ve kept the price, $129 for 10 weeks, affordable so that many can join. Many of us are feeling called to awaken the Feminine Soul. It is time.
Questions? Join Lianne and me for a complimentary call for the WildSoul Book Club:
Tuesday, Sept 4, 4:00 pm pacific time.
And, yes, if you can’t make it we’ll make the recording available here.
We’ll be reading Women Who Run With the Wolves, an epic book that celebrates its 20th birthday this Sept. 17th. It’s a book that can be read over and over, with each reading bringing forth new wisdom and perhaps a new glimpse of your soul.
We’ve interviewed a number of women about their experience reading Women Who Run With the Wolves.
Today, we’ve released our chat with Danielle LaPorte. If you listen to the interview, you’ll hear that she first read the book when she was living in Santa Fe, literally surrounded by wolves and their calls.
Danielle shares wisdom and heart, and a real, very fresh life story of how the strength and power of her feminine soul came forth in a powerful way. I got goosebumps when I heard her tell the story in her words. You’ll find her interview, along with others, here.
We’ve also have an interview that Lianne did with Tami Simon of Sounds True, sharing the story behind how Women Who Run With the Wolves came to be.And, on the same page, we invite you to share your comments about the book. We’ll be sharing everything with Dr. Estes, the author, on September 17th.
And, if you have any questions at all that feel too personal to share, feel free to drop me a line at juliedaley (at) gmail . com
May you take some time today to sit down on the earth and listen for the soul’s footsteps, feel her breath on your skin, and feel her longing to bring you home.