Yash Bookclub

Women Who Run With The Wolves – Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Firstly – sorry this is so late!

Just warning you now, this one is a little long 🙂

This book…this book right here!!

Women Who Run With The Wolves explores the woman’s intuition, looking at just how powerful it is and how over the years due to society and culture, we have slowly lost the ability to properly tune in to, listen to and act on this vital part of a woman’s psyche.

Each chapter focuses on a slightly different aspect of the psyche and has it’s own little message – it’s one of those books you can pick up and come back to a month down the line. Because of this, as much as I enjoyed reading it in one go, I’d definitely recommend approaching it by reading in chunks or by chapter in order to fully digest the points and messages Clarissa communicates throughout. I for one will definitely be re-reading it in this way.

Don’t worry, each chapter is packed with more than enough to focus on at any one time. I’ve read whole books on topics covered under one chapter in this book.

Let’s be honest, society as we see it today wasn’t built for the benefit of women (let alone black women or women from other non white groups), so it has played a big part in stripping away women’s confidence in their natural instincts. Have you ever been in a situation that you knew was not right (for whatever reason), not from having ‘proof’ as such, but from that gut feeling… only to ignore it and continue in said situation – a few months down the line it’s all gone to pot and you tell yourself ‘I bloody knew it! I should have just listened!’? Silly question really, of course you have!!

Well this book aims to decipher why this happens and looks at how we can start to understand when to listen to that inner voice. But most importantly it explores the various other parts of the psyche and how that little voice can sometimes be an extremely good imitation of intuition and instead aims to anchor us back into the realm of uncertainty.

Take the time to listen to La Que Sabe – The One Who Knows – within you, understand her and begin to rebuild that relationship.

I honestly couldn’t recommend this enough especially for my fellow women. But I would also recommend it for you men out there that want to try and understand women a little bit more (although having said this, I have no doubt that some of you will also be able to relate to a lot of the messaging – just can’t say for sure as I’m not a man!)

This gets a big big fat 9/10 from me.

Click the image above to get your copy now (affiliate link)

For those that have a bit more time and want to dive in a little deeper… you know the drill. (For those that don’t, it means keep reading ?)

A bit about the make up of the book…

It’s made up of 16 chapters, and as mentioned above, each is focused on a slightly different element of a women’s psyche. In portraying each element Clarissa cleverly uses old stories and fairy tales, deciphering them in order to demonstrate the different layers of a woman’s psyche including how we, and others, interact with these. One thing that was clear in all of the stories was how the woman’s psyche tirelessly works to try and keep us safe and happy in all circumstances, both physically and mentally. It’s our job to listen.

Well known stories such as ‘The Red Shoes’ are looked at as well as some that have been passed down through generations and eventually to Clarissa. Personally I think my favourite would have to be The Skeleton Woman – which ultimately focuses on relationships, but it wasn’t for this reason, it was because of the exploration of the life / death / life cycle, something that many have been, and are, afraid to accept (myself included). Often we see changes (‘deaths’) within ourselves, others or our relationships with others, as a negative thing. But this is not, and should not be, the case. In doing so we restrict any new life and experiences from occurring and flourishing. Death does not mean the end of something, think of it as the beginning!

Side note: After reading this book, one thing is for sure, I will now never be able to read or listen to a fairy tale without trying to dive into what it really means – will just be constantly thinking ‘WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO TELL ME!?’. Even if it really is just about a little girl wanting to be a princess…

When I first started reading this book, I’m not going to lie, I was a little confused and will even go as far as to say a little disappointed as I really couldn’t get into the way it was written – Embarrassingly I actually didn’t understand what Clarissa was talking about initially ?. But I ploughed through and interestingly the writing style became one of my favourite things about it…

Another thing I had to get use to was the number of times I felt attacked! I thought I was a pretty no nonsense all ‘I’m and strong independent woman!’ like, wow was I quickly humbled. I would be EXTREMELY surprised if any woman read this book and didn’t see themselves in near enough every chapter. Whether it is something you have experienced in the past or something that you are currently dealing with.

I think the most telling thing, and what stuck with me the most, is that in almost all circumstances we really do know that something isn’t right. Our gut often screams at us to listen but we just don’t…

Practice listening to your intuition, your inner voice; ask questions; be curious; see what you see; hear what you hear; and then act upon what you know to be true.

Growing up, this natural connection with our intuition slowly diminishes (some more than others) and as mentioned above, a big factor in this is society. Due to things such as it being taboo for a women to enjoy sex – I mean really… on what planet does it make sense that only one gender can enjoy the very natural act of engaging in sexual activity, especially when one beholds the absolutely beautifully crafted clitoris (hint… it’s the woman)???? ? – to the expectation subtly (but really not subtly) placed on women to be seen and not heard.

Embrace the woman that you are and don’t even consider being quiet about it – be La Loba! ?

Now this isn’t to say men are not faced with equally toxic and damaging expectations and pressures. But for the purpose of this book and review, let’s appreciate the thorough job Clarissa has done in highlighting all of the above in regard to women ?.

Some final points:

  • I actually don’t think I’ve ever highlighted a book as much as I have this! I can not begin to tell you how many words of wisdom are sprinkled throughout.

  • Clarissa Pinkola Estes met some very interesting people throughout her life. Jealous of all the stories she got told!

  • If you don’t really care too much for the woman’s instinct stuff, I’d still recommend reading as the stories themselves are great reads! (Can you tell I’m a fan of stories???)

I told you this one would be long(!) but I hope you enjoyed – let me have your thoughts in the comments below…

T x

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