The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever

Jacques Cousteau

La Belle Sauvage: Finding and Celebrating Your Wildish Nature

IMG_20200723_083230 La belle sauvage, where does she go?

The idea of La belle sauvage or the wild beauty came to me as I looked at my footprints disappearing into the tide pool. Then the words, "....and then she was gone" came into my mind. And, "Where does she go?" Like my footprints, creative ideas emerged from within tiptoeing out into my watery magical world where I have found such joy, peace, strength and renewed energy on these daily immersions. And then I saw her, her hair whipping in the wind, the sea spray wrapping its mist around her as she embraced the surge waves and floated into the shore emerging strong and confident, bits of green and brown kelp clinging to her limbs and hair. She dove back in for more and let the waves bring her back to shore again and again, an inspiring, sensual dance of water, seaweed, woman and salty air. 

La belle sauvage floating weightless in the primordial soup
La belle sauvage feeling joy as she flies and glides through the aqua atoms.
Contemplating her led me back to a favorite book Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Full of many pearls of wisdom, Dr. Pinkola's book uses Jungian analysis to explore the complex meanings and messages embedded in a marvelous array of folktales including The Wolf Woman (La Loba), Bluebeard, Hymn for the Wild Man, and Sealskin, Soulskin. These are deep, powerful stories. Stories worth reflecting upon with her. Understanding these stories becomes medicine for the soul, to instruct, to teach and to empower women. She says:

A healthy woman is much like a wolf: robust, chock-full, strong life force, life-giving, territorially aware, inventive, loyal, roving. Yet, separation from the wildish nature causes a woman's personality to become meager, thin, ghosty, spectral. We are not meant to be puny with frail hair and inability to leap up, inability to chase, to birth, to create a life. When women's lives are in stasis or filled with ennui, it is always time for the wildish woman to emerge; it is time for the creating function of the pysche to flood the delta. (p. 11)

by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
La Belle Sauvage by Sam

La belle sauvage knows and revels in her wildish nature. For her the ocean means freedom, space, rejuvenation, renewal, a place to find many treasures within and without. She meets the sea as she is - exposed and vulnerable. And in that vulnerability and exposure she finds strength, freedom and courage. She uses wisdom to guide her encounters with the great unpredictable world that is the sea and enriches her soul in the process. In this video, la belle sauvage prepares for her morning swim: her shadow gets drenched yet she doesn't flinch. When we change perspectives and how we look at things, we open new doors and windows of possibility.

She is independent and enjoys her solitude but also welcomes the company of others. She adapts to the tides. She takes the sea as it comes. She does not ask the sea to adapt to her knowing this is a futile task. She tries to mimic the liquid that moves around her. She flows and as she merges with the water her mind flows out into the sea and sky and world around her and she can feel her creativity move within her water-filled body. She belongs to no one. She owns herself and holds her own key. She is grateful to nature in its bounty, life-giving force, beauty, grandeur and endless ability to inspire. She is playful, timeless and the years slip off as her body makes contact and begins to float in the water. She is sensual and revels in the sea's caress, the constant surging, rocking movement of water upon sand, wave upon rock, movement of tide in and out. 

Waiting for the surge to enter

She encourages other women to live their dreams, to challenge themselves, to question their limitations (imposed by self and others), to find and enjoy their wildish nature. All women are beautiful when they live their wild natures and explore and believe in themselves from the inside out. Every woman is potentially the belle sauvage you just need to find her, listen to her and let her out and explore where she wants to take you. Don't let your fears limit you. Look at them, analyze them, understand them, befriend them and then work with them to move beyond them to a new place, a stronger place where they no longer dominate you but guide you to healthy, enriching choices. Become a wild beauty and live your best life. 

Belle sauvage salutes you and the promise of the new day!
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Thursday, 20 June 2024

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