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My Essence As Woman Is Freedom

by Kaia Maeve Tingley about a month ago in how to · updated about a month ago

Unrestrained. Multidirectional. Connected to the creative forces of the whole.

My Essence As Woman Is Freedom
Photo by Nathan Lindahl on Unsplash

We live in a time of extractive patterns. Patterns where the dysfunctions of our relations, with other people and the planet, have become so normalized that we don't even remember what healthy even looks like. Patterns where we run towards what sparkles even faster than we run away from the pain behind us.

We've mostly forgotten the art of living in cycles. We've mostly forgotten that we are creators, not just consumers, of life. And we have forgotten that beauty is something we can create instead of having to extract it.

I've found through trial and error in life, that the soul inside of my body simply refuses to follow a pattern. Most especially an extractive pattern not of my own making. I don't do silent cultural injustice very well. You should hear me demand equity about chores in my home these days! And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

I have a hunch that extractive relationships don't really work for anyone, ever.

As the climate is telling us.

Loudly.

So fairness and equity are quite important to me these days. My intuition tells me they are important values for healing what ails us. The time has come up to speak up and make change now.

I could tell you tales of the heartbreaks and personal woe that have birthed this realization within me, but then... we all have our own pasts.

What matters most is what we make of the lessons we are given.

Finding Realness

I've learned that the real me makes her own happiness. She no longer tries only to seek it. Eventually, I learned how to bow to her wisdom. And I'm still working on asking for what I need to nourish my realness.

My journey to realness began when I started believing in my own intuition.

And it took off when I became brave enough to trust it.

The doors to the world of the wild Self are few but precious. If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door. Clarissa Pinkola Estés

It is not easy to find the real self underneath all of the roles we are expected to play in this life. But it's oh so worthwhile.

What happens when you peel off the layers of all the titles you hold - mother, wife, worker, caregiver? What do you find underneath? Who is the wild, primal woman inside of you? And what does she need to thrive? What does she crave?

My Realness Demands Freedom

I could use a whole hell of a lot more time freedom if I'm being honest. I'm ready to lay down the sword of super-mom and take a load off occasionally.

I don't always want someone or something to care for at every goddess blinking moment of the day. Though that does seem to be the job of the role I've chosen to take on.

Motherhood! Harder than it looks. Especially when you throw in the trifecta of young kids, early menopause, and pandemic lockdowns in a political world gone mad. Just for the extra challenge!

So obviously, I crave and savor my alone time. The real me has finally learned to sparkle on my own terms. I just rarely have the time to revel in doing so in this season of life. The real me helps me make time for myself anyway. The real me is the one evolving alongside my husband as we try to learn the art of parenting without dominance. If there is such a thing.

My realness also tells me that this time of busyness will pass. People always say I'll miss these days. I don't know if they're right, but I try to pay attention to the things around me closely. Just in case they're right.

What Do I Really Yearn For? 

Today the thing I want is one whole week to be alone. Offline. Zero things I am responsible for beyond my own body. Provisioned, self-sufficient, and off camping in the woods somewhere beautiful. The iPhone turned off and charged for emergency use only!

Time to nap and cook a slow soup, and walk in the woods, and bathe in the creek. Time to climb trees. Days of not speaking. Time to doodle with paper and pen. Not answering a single question. Did I mention the naps?

Cups of hot tea, drunk while still warm.

Time barefoot by a fire at night; a single shot of whiskey burning my throat. Time to stand under stars with my hair loose and my soul free, naked in the warm firelight under the moon. Alone. Native to myself and careless of the opinions of others.

Ironically it's not solitude that I seek in this space. It's the union of oneness with the world that comes when I don't have to worry about the needs of any other beings. So in solitude, I can feel new connections.

The wild woman is the midwife of the processes of life begun anew.

For How Long?

My tryst with nature and solitude need last just a single week. Maybe two, if it isn't too inconvenient. Til I can catch up on some sleep, and write enough of my poems out. Til I've had my fill of time to listen and be still and do the nothing that is everything. 

Then I'd start to miss y'all again. Then I'll want to come back home. I love you all so very very much. You are my world, mostly. I know you know this.

Work Of The Wild Woman

Let me tend my secret gardens. Let me be alone with the goddess. Let me speak to all the gods. Let me root back to earth and take time to breathe. Let me reconnect my soul to the great river of life. Let me tend to the introverted, energetically connected bits of my soul.

And I will return to you refreshed.

Distance Provides Perspective

It's kinda like my eyesight. Works better sometimes at a distance.

I'm so glad to have my people, my love, and my kids. My team is grounded and strong, for which I'm grateful. I am blessed with supportive parents, an amazing marriage, two healthy, creative, and kind kids, and a beautiful black cat with an extra-long tail.

And for my part? I'm learning just exactly what it is that keeps me humming along. I'm learning to feel, listen, and learn, what I want to make my own wheels turn. I'm learning to ask when, how, and to whomI can address my wishes so they might come true. While at the same time learning how to release attachment.

I think they call this, "the work."

Real Wisdom

Freedom and wildness are not something to seek out in the world. They aren't some hidden secrets to be achieved by hard work.

They are our birthright. They are something we create for ourselves, should we find the way.

Freedom is the space in which we can create beauty.

So let's let our wild women roam sometimes. Wild and free, in whichever way suits her. Y'all might take it to a spa, or go on a cruise or something. WHATEVER works for you! I'm not one to judge. I'm just a campfire girl in a digital world.

To find realness, let's let our wild women roam free.

We'll all be the better for it!

© Kaia Tingley December 2021

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Kaia Maeve Tingley

Kaia Tingley is a writer, artist, podcaster, digital strategy nerd, and sometimes hot-tempered supernova with a wild, free soul.

Read next: Being a Woman in 2017

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