Thriving With a Big Heart

When seeking guidance, don’t ever listen to the tiny-hearted.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés in Women Who Run With the Wolves

“If you’ve ever been called defiant, incorrigible, forward, cunning, insurgent, unruly, rebellious,” writes Clarissa Pinkola Estés in Women Who Run With the Wolves, “you’re on the right track. Wild Woman is close by.”


Wild Woman is close by.

I’ve been excavating lately, as part of rewriting my life story, looking in the nooks and crannies of my psyche to find the noxious notions that rob my spirit of its nourishment the way a tumor steals nourishment away from the body.

I’m rewriting my story so that thriving is the theme, not surviving. I’ve been an excellent survivor my whole life. There is definitely a certain kind of toughness you get from surviving, but toughness is just for getting you through the thorns.

DSCN0162Thriving is what happens when you get past the thorns. The place where the Wild Woman dances an ecstatic dance in celebration of being alive.

I mentioned a few blogs back that a tree in our yard had died. At the same time, I noticed that the birds weren’t singing in the morning. I was afraid that birds had abandoned me.

Then this morning, before I headed out to my Writing Shed, the yard was filled with birds, including a kind I don’t think I’d ever seen before. As I watched from the window, they feasted on the grapes hanging from the arbor and bathed in the fountain. DSCN0168

I’ve always thought of Fall as the beginning of the year. I wondered if that’s what this was about. Are the birds returning because it’s the beginning of a new year? Or have they been here and I haven’t noticed them?

Whatever, stopping to watch the birds be birds brought me a much needed sense of calm.

For the past few days, I’ve been making my way through the emotional fallout from an epiphany I woke up to on Monday morning. The epiphany being: I believe there is enough (talent, love, life) to go around; I live in a local culture that is terrified that there isn’t enough – so terrified that even the possibility of there being enough is terrifying.

That’s what keeps a heart tiny. Fear that there isn’t enough. It inhibits grace and generosity and enables solipsism.

That’s why one should not seek advice from the tiny hearted.

What’s the emotional fallout from the epiphany? Letting go of being able to change the landscape. Giving up all hope that I can fit in with a tribe whose bond is based on the agreement to keep the heart tiny.

It’s a bit scary to give up that hope.

Fortunately, Wild Woman is close by.

More to follow . . .