When I was growing up, I was told that women over 40 should keep their hair short and wear sensible clothing that was appropriate for a mature woman. The idea was that it wasn’t “proper” to draw attention to yourself and that you needed to act your age.
It was only as I grew older that I began to really challenge this belief and found myself feeling quite shocked by the idea that I had to wear certain clothes or look a certain way in order to fit in with someone else’s notion of what a “mature” woman should dress, be, or look like.
And so, at the fabulous age of 61, I am so glad that I didn’t listen to their advice. I wear my hair long, wild and free and my clothing can only probably be described as romantically bohemian with a touch of faerie! I adore long ruffled skirts that kiss the floor as I walk and “off the shoulder” tops that wrap themselves around my body like a warm hug.
I am nothing like the image of a 60-year-old that shaped my early upbringing and for that I’m grateful. I’m not sure if my mother and other family members would have embraced my choices; however, I secretly like to think that they would have wanted to join me in the freedom we now have at age 60 and beyond.
It shows that we’ve come a long way in breaking the old traditional taboos of ageing and what it means to grow older. Rather than sliding into a background of quiet conformity, 60 year olds – everywhere – are reclaiming their passion, power and purpose and embodying their inner wild woman.
However, reclaiming and embodying your inner wild woman is not so much about the way that you look or the clothes that you wear. It is always and completely about the way that you feel.
The concept of our inner wild woman can feel challenging to get a hold of. She often lives in the undiscovered landscape of our lives, just waiting patiently for the day or the moment when we will see her and connect with this part of ourselves. She has always been there. She is timeless, ancient and full of inner knowing.
She feels deeply and thinks even deeper. She follows the call of her Soul and steers her life by the whispers of her heart. She is our darkest night and our brightest dawn, and she is totally and irrevocably true to herself.
As Clarissa Estes Pinkola writes, “Within every woman is a wild and natural creature, a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing.”(Women Who Run with the Wolves)
You may already know who she is; that wild woman within you. And although you may not have been formally introduced, you may have had glimpses of her your entire life. She is found in your deepest desires and is not afraid to stand up for what makes her truly feel alive.
She is real, authentically who she is, untamable and sovereign unto herself. She is the part of us that has had enough of playing small or shrinking back, trying to fit into someone else’s version of our life. She is the one who longs to dance to the beat of her own drum and shake free anything that does not align with her Soul.
She is indomitable, courageous, fearless and in touch with her deepest desires. She is you. She is me. She is all of us. She is wise beyond time and is probably best summed up in the words of the Helen Reddy song, “I am Woman, hear me roar!”
Discovering and reconnecting with your inner wild woman can feel a little scary and takes courage. If, like me, you experienced “rules” of how you should be and look at a certain age, embodying your inner wild woman can feel like a reckless and wanton thing to do.
This is only because we don’t fully know or understand her. We may have spent a lifetime numbing her passion and creativity with food. We may have tried to suppress her buoyant and vital energy by over working, people pleasing, or trying to be all things to all people.
In our youth, we may have found ourselves apologising for being too loud, too large, not large enough, too bright, too dramatic, too sensitive, too quiet or simply too strange.
My wild woman slipped in through the half door of a forgotten dream and there she stayed, patiently waiting for the day that I would feel the intoxicating air of longing for a life that was deeper, more soulful, fulfilling and born of magic.
At 60, we have traveled through our life’s journey thus far. We know what we love. We know what doesn’t work for us. We have experienced the highs, the lows and the many emotions in between. Our shapes may have changed, our hair may reflect a different colour, we have experienced loss and we have risen to greet another day.
And all along, our inner wild woman has been with us, waiting for the day that we would come “home” to our authentic selves.
Notice sensations and emotions as they pass through your body. Become curious about their message. Treat your body with love and kindness. If you experience pain or illness, try connecting with the pain you feel and reassure it as if it were a small child that you were comforting.
The wild woman archetype loves to create. It doesn’t matter what she creates, it simply matters that she does it. You might want to paint, write, draw, dance, cook or sew. Whatever makes you feel alive, allow it to thrive in your creativity.
What is it that you long to do, have, experience or be? Are there any forgotten dreams that need to be resurrected and brought into the light of day? Is there a burning passion still yearning to be lived? If so, take this time to nurture your dreams and allow them to be born. Whatever is inside of you, give it the freedom to be lived!
What does your body long to wear? Take some time to craft your own unique style. Who are you now? What clothes make you feel gorgeous? What colours entice you? Are there clothes that you always wanted to wear but didn’t? Maybe it’s time to explore these now?
I’ve put together21 of the most wonderful body love tips, mantras and exercises for living wild, free and fabulous! Enjoy!
I would also love to know your own tips for living in alignment with your wild spirit. What makes YOU feel alive? What are the old “rules” that you have let go of?