“Within every woman there is a wild and natural force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity and ageless knowing. Her name is Wild Woman but she is… An endangered species.”
— Clarissa Pinkola Estés
It is no secret that living as a woman in the contemporary society is no easy feat. Ever-present and conflicting messages of what beauty is and how to achieve it leave us feeling self-conscious and never good enough. Obsessions with what we should be wearing and what kind of make-up is best to hide our flaws creates a tangible separation between our inner and outer selves, focusing on all the things that are wrong with us rather than a myriad of things that are perfect.
In the last several years I have been retuning my inner antennas to a different path and encouraging the women I meet to do the same. That includes truly getting in touch with our inner selves to find out who we are and what we want. It takes courage and time as going against the grain has never been pleasant for humans. But the more we do it, the closer we will get to that inner wild woman that lives inside each of us. The one that cherishes earth and its gifts, stays close to the natural world, trusts her instincts and speaks her mind.
When I meet women like that I am in awe. I want to be them. I want to be around them and absorb this energy they put out.
Naturally, I wanted to explore this amazing feeling of wildness and a woman awakening to herself through photography. Luckily, I met Rachel – a wild woman rising who was interested in joining me for this project.
We met in the Snoqualmie forest on a cold February morning. A river rushing by inspired us to move and stretch. The rising sun was the perfect metaphor for the awakening we were trying to portray. Opening our hearts and arms to nature, connecting with the earth through our feet and hands, we created portraits that I absolutely love.
Looking at Rachel reaching up to match the Douglas firs around her gives me hope for my own journey of self-discovery as well as for those who will accompany me on it.