The book opens with a powerful concept: the Wild Woman. The author’s definition of the Wild Woman, however, has nothing to do with what many people might imagine, such as a half crazed creature with long, shaggy hair and sharp claws. She says that the Wild Woman is something quite different, and is a part of each and every woman. It is the ancient part that still resides deep within us, which still has a profound connection with nature and allows us to feel and understand the world around us. Women do this through their bodies, which are essential instruments of perception. The wild part in us makes us feel safe and helps us not to succumb to pressure or feel forced to change who we are. It frees us from the ideals of perfection and the pressure that many of us put on ourselves.
It is also important, however, to remember that the Wild Woman is an archetype, a model of behaviour that derives from human experience and resides in the unconscious. It exists, but it remains hidden, underground, and needs to be brought to light. According to the author, we can do this by removing the stress, tension, and everything else within us that holds us back, blocks us, or keeps us from moving forward. We can tap into this archetype by finding our way in the world, paying attention to how we move, how we eat, how we sleep, and by revealing ourselves as we truly are, regardless of the ‘shoulds’ or ‘should nots’ we tend to live by. Women, especially, are surrounded by messages that make us feel that something is wrong with us, that we need to do better; it might be our body, our job, or our lifestyle. Everything around us tells us that we are not good enough. We become lost and confused, so we try to adapt to these external demands and end up losing our individual identity.
This does not mean that we should stop growing or working on our skills, as we can, and should, for our own benefit, still strive to evolve and progress, but not to make up for any sense of inferiority. We should not do it because we feel inadequate, but only because it makes us happy. Connecting with our Wild Woman also means looking out for our own wellbeing, rather than simply fulfilling other people’s expectations.