|Elizabeth Boehm (1843-1914) Postcard reads People stand for |
different things I stand with my friend
“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.” ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
One of the first feminist spirituality books I read was by Clarissa Pinkola Estes: Women who Run With the Wolves. It was a book that was flying off the shelf and several coworkers were reading it during lunch. The book attracted me, because Estes used myth and fairy tales (who doesn’t like myth and fairy tales). The book was an awakening for me. It caused me to really question who I was as a woman back in 1992.
In her essay for Awakin.org. Estes challenges us to fix what we can in our broken world. Today I find myself feeling overwhelmed with an increasing laundry list: environment, economy, housing, food scarcity… However, Estes encourages us to do small things like: showing up for our children’s events; meal training it for a friend who is shut in; and eating meatless Mondays. Yes, she acknowledges that there are really big problems. But, we need to focus on what “I” the individual can do. One example is cleaning up the litter problem in your neighborhood. It is a daunting task to do all by yourself, but you can keep your lawn tidy. Her key message is to show up and to keep showing up.
My dad walks about three miles a day every morning. Each day he takes along a trash bag and picks up the litter along his path. He has been doing this before it became a Swedish trend called Plogging. Dad follows John Muir hiker’s creed of “leaving nothing but footprints.” My point is Dad is doing what he can on his morning walks; and he keeps showing up.
Estes discusses the importance of showing up. We are in relationship with each other. By doing what we can, our soul’s light inspires others. It is easy to show up during “golden times,” she writes. But, we are even more needed during the stormy times. Your light inspires and helps another.
By Clarissa Pinkola Estés, The Faithful Gardener: A Wise Tale About That Which Can Never Die
Refuse to fall down
If you cannot refuse to fall down,
refuse to stay down.
If you cannot refuse to stay down,
lift your heart toward heaven,
and like a hungry beggar,
ask that it be filled.
You may be pushed down.
You may be kept from rising.
But no one can keep you from lifting your heart
It is in the middle of misery
that so much becomes clear.
The one who says nothing good
came of this,
is not yet listening.
|Clarissa Pinkola Estes|
I keep thinking Estes is all about kindness shared. I look on the news and see on my Facebook feed pictures of angry people and videos who care only about winning at any cost. I have to ask myself where is compassion and empathy for another? When I have asked a person who displays this type of behavior; they are demeaning and condescending to me. I find this ends up as a no win solution. Maybe that's the point it is a no win solution. And, if I really care about the issue I need to find other ways around it that doesn't involves them. These are the small steps I need to keep showing up for.
ARTUAL: Questions to journal about:
What do I have control over?
Where can I make a difference?
Where can I make an impact and not get burnt out?
What are my values for living?
How can I stay true to my values with my beloveds?
13 Reasons Why You Should Read “Women Who Run With the Wolves” Instead by Kami Leon (Cliff notes of the book)
Pikola Estes, Clarissa (2018) We were Made for these times. The Heart of the Matter.