a better way

saying about strength

credit – kennetwaale

“What does one feed intuition so that it is consistently nourished and responsive? One feeds it life by listening to it. We, like Vasalisa, strengthen our bond with our intuitive nature by listening inwardly at every turn in the road.

To be strong does not mean to sprout muscles and flex. It means meeting one’s [inner spirit] without fleeing, actively living with the wild nature in one’s own way. It means to be able to learn, to be able to stand what we know. It means to stand and live.

  Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

As Meg recently posted, we are trying an experiment this summer reading the story of Vasalisa from Women Who Run with the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. This story holds similarities with many other familiar fairytales and myths – notaby Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, The Mirror of Matsuyama and Demeter/Persephone.

Each week of our summer meeting, we read a section of the story; then spend a half hour writing to a prompt which might be an epigraph (like those at the top of this post); a line from the story; or some related concept. Last week pens scratched busily away for the full time. The subsequent sharing was as varied as the number of stories written. If we had hoped to empower women to realize trust in their inner voice and experience its sharing, we have already succeeded. The writing was so powerful that I decided, this week, to share the poem ‘found’ from lines written by the gathered writers rather than highlighting a single writer. One thing I note with this group of writers: not one is using cliche’s but rather, finding original ways to describe or explain complex experiences and emotions.


Things don’t become unsaid.
Questioning my credibility in the universe,
minimizing, betrayal, brutal silencing,
worrying for days while mistaking me for a threat –
all leave me at square one with nothing to show for it.

Strength is to walk away
so strong both in thought and in feeling –
you discover the power you hold inside,
the tremendous power behind speaking the truth.

The heart holds many things,
like honey to seep through the ground:
vivid with emotions, the imagination can go on forever.
I want to be a creator,
a five-leaf clover with a smiling face.
I have to keep the fire alive.
If I falter, I get burned
every single time.

Caring, trust and respect —
held in strength
by the power of each woman,
each aspect of your expectations,
my best friends helped me find my voice.
The beauty is in the flame flickering in and out.

How lucky am I?
The reason for existing – to become someone new –
is such a wonderful start to the day.

. . . and you?

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