I have not read the book Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. I am not even certain how I found the Facebook Group Women Who Run with the Wolves to join. However, scrolling down the Facebook page yesterday, this post caught my eye and then blew my mind as it describes my love affair with a woman's laugh.
Then it went on to described a sacred type of friendship I have only found since shortly before turning 40, almost four years ago. Before then, everything & every emotion was held back, held in and held tight for fear of someone really seeing me. I was so scared to reveal who I was.
Then I bumped into women who by choice or stumble, let me really see them.
The following is the post that caught my eye on Facebook:
Women Who Run With the Wolves Facebook Group
Facebook Post by Ariel Gill
March 15 at 7:39am
Chapter 11 – Heat: Retrieving a Sacred Sexuality
In this chapter, Estes tells us “A woman’s heat is not a state of sexual arousal but a state of intense sensory awareness that includes, but is not limited to, her sexuality”.
“In laughter, a woman breathes fully, and when she does, she may begin to feel unsanctioned feelings. And what could these feelings be? Well, they turn out not to be feelings so much as relief and remedies for feelings, often causing the release of stopped-up tears or the reclamation of forgotten memories, or the bursting of chains on the sensual personality.”
Have you ever laughed so hard you cried? Laughed so hard that feelings were released that were totally unrelated to the silly story or event?
“I have always thought of the kaffeeklatsch was a remnant of ancient women’s ritual of being together, a ritual, like the old one, of belly talk, women talking from the guts, telling the truth, laughing themselves silly, feeling enlivened, going home again, everything better.”
Are you part of a group of women who meet together to belly talk, to tell the truth, and laugh themselves silly? How does this enliven you? If you do not have such a group, could you imagine being part of one? How could you make this happen?
“In your self-healing trove, put small ‘dirt stories,’ Baubo stories. This diminutive form of story is powerful medicine.”
Do you have a cache of dirt stories? Will you share one here?
“A ‘sexual’ laugh seems to reach both far and deep into the psyche, shaking all manner of things loose, playing upon our bone and making a delightful feeling course through the body. It is a form of wildish pleasure that belongs in every woman’s psychic repertoire.”
Are you able to laugh without restraint about sexual stories, or do you hold back, hold in, hold tight? What might happen if you let yourself go?
I take for granted that every woman has a tribe of women to share with, to listen with, to hold space for them and to remind them they are not alone. I am learning that so many women wander through their lives alone and detached, relying on their spouse and children to fill them up emotionally and wondering why they are so empty and void.
"In laughter, a woman breathes fully, and when she does, she may begin to feel unsanctioned feelings." ~Clarissa Pinkola Estés
I am a shallow breather, sometime breath holder and a carrier of the weight of the world on my shoulders type of gal. When I am with my women, I both laugh and relax into full breath. Being able to share my truths, even the non-tidy, non-pretty truths allows me to set the weights down and just be me for a bit.
My tribe of wild women are people I can share any story with, express any shame to, and let myself go around. While we are each living different stories, there is an acceptance of common ground, which is trust. I trust them and they trust me. Difficult words are spoken when called for and while they are not always initially accepted as truth, each word is heard. These women sit with me while I sort out & feel my unsanctioned feelings.
While I wish I had this type of friendship earlier in my life, I am so grateful that I have them now. My heart breaks for women still plowing forward through life without real women friends because I remember how lonely my world felt before I connected to these women. I had a spouse, children, and a job, but I felt unseen and alone.
Until recently, I had no idea how crucial real belly laughing was to my physical and mental health. When I am with the girls laughing, I really do feel energy "shaking all manner of things loose, playing upon our bone and making a delightful feeling course through the body."
I have many, many things that need to be shaken loose from the dark recesses of my soul.
There is never a moment in my life now, when I alone and unseen. In the moments of fear or anger, I have no problem putting out a request for time from these women. Sometimes all we can arrange is texts back and forth. I feel safe sending my raw feelings out to them. I know and can feel the strength and love they send me via text.
When I am gathered with the women in my life and something shakes loose and falls down beside me, I do not feel the panic to rush to pick it up and hide it before anyone sees it. It has been truly liberating to let it sit there for all to see and then to feel arms wrap around me and hear a snort and a giggle and the throaty cackle rising up to voice the words, "OMFG I have one of those too!"
These are the women I will share the remainder of my life with, the real, the bad and the absolutely fabulous!
If you missed my earlier post on being a laugh collector, here is a link to it. And Then You Laughed.