Being a Wild and Wise Woman in Today’s World

It is said that, when we reach a certain age, wisdom and wildness can hitch a ride in our consciousness and dance with us for the remainder of our life’s journey. I have reached that certain age, and I do believe I have more wise and wild moments these days than ever before.

I’m learning that wisdom is rooted in present-moment awareness, in being here now, in witnessing all I see with compassion. I’m reminded of the great spiritual teacher Ram Dass who, after a devastating stroke, was unable to speak. A lifelong meditator and teacher, he now had to relearn what stillness actually was. When he eventually spoke again, there were long pauses between each word. And he realized that the pauses actually held the most wisdom.

Walking Toward Wisdom

Back in 2011, when I first had the idea for a Let Your Yoga Dance event for women, my plan was to serve the women of the Baby Boomer generation—those born between 1946 and 1964. I asked my shaman pal and colleague, Diane Kovanda, founder of Kind Yoga School, to cocreate it with me.

I spent a lot of time designing that first program in my head while walking in nature. As the event got closer and closer, I prayed that my 50-plus years on the planet and my wild side would help me feel wiser. Eureka! During that first festival, no one seemed to notice that I didn’t feel particularly wise.

That first group unanimously agreed that the festival, going forward, must be open to all women, not just those of a certain age. How could younger women stand on our shoulders if we were closeting ourselves away from them? And how could we learn from their wild youth if we didn’t invite them to join us? Thus, Wild and Wise Women’s Celebration: Let Your Yoga Dance became an annual event for women of all ages wishing to discover where joy and fun meet depth and sacredness.

Nowadays, I care less about being wise, and more about simply caring for others. I have discovered, as our nation becomes more divided, and people angrier and more disgusted with world and national events, that one of the wisest, wildest, and kindest things that we can do for our health and well-being is to come together in community to let our yoga dance. Bringing together a group of people (women in this case) for the purpose of compassionate self-care, in order to then serve that self-care forward, is a powerful act of grace. Through the dance of yoga, we experience a level of joy that yoga refers to as anandamaya kosha, the bliss self.

Who are we? We are power mamas, wisdom holders, street-dog scrappers. We are energy-infused world changers, and peacemaking earth keepers. Are you one of us? Open your eyes to the power goddess you are—and to the grace all around you.

Dancing Toward the Wild

For me, wildness—the close sister of wisdomis rooted in childlike amazement, authenticity, creativity, spontaneity, silliness, fun, daring, a deepening awe of nature, daily witnessing the beauty of Mother Earth Gaia, and discovering the dance of ebullience within the body.

After a Let Your Yoga Dance class, most people dance out the door with a newfound mental, emotional, and physical joy. Why? Because they are given permission to tap into their long-forgotten wise and wild inner kid, who patiently waits to guide their adult self to a place of inner knowing. The wild child does this often through play, one of the wisest course corrections imaginable.

Here are three of my favorite wild and wise quotes. The first is actually from me—with wild wisdom comes the daring to use our very own quotes!

“We are all Dancers: We just forgot.”

“To live is to Dance, to Dance is to LIVE!”
—Swami Snoopy, mascot and muse of Let Your Yoga Dance

Dance when you’re broken open
Dance when you’ve torn the bandage off.
Dance in the middle of fighting.
Dance in your blood.
Dance when you’re perfectly free.
Struck, the dancers hear the tambourine inside them…
Close the ears on your head that listen mostly to lies
and cynical jokes.
There are other things to hear and see:
Dance, music, and a brilliant city inside your soul!

Megha Nancy Buttenheim, MA, E-RYT 1000, is founding director of Let Your Yoga Dance® and author of Expanding Joy: Let Your Yoga Dance, Embodying Positive Psychology.

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