Year of the Wild Woman

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

A fresh, new year brings with it fresh, new possibilities and opportunities. For me it also delivers a new theme or word, a symbol and a song. These components serve as guideposts for the upcoming year.

I adopted these practices many years ago. It took me several years to realize that the companions for the year long journey chose me, rather than the other way around. Knowing this deepens my appreciation for the incredible way that life works. And, looking back at my journey over the years, I can see the progression and growth that occurred, as captured by my words, symbols and songs.

This year, 2021, is the Year of the Wild Woman. I’m extremely excited about what will unfold during the next 12 months.

Year of the Wild Woman title meme

Year of the Wild Woman – the Words

I’m typically given one word for the year. However, this year there are two…Wild Woman.

This is how the words initially came to me. Working in my garden one summer day, literally down on the ground digging in the dirt as I planted flowers, a phrase popped into my mind.

“It’s time to release your inner wild, your wild woman.”

I sat back and considered those words. “Okay,” I thought, “how do I do that?”

And thus began a journey of exploring what it meant to BE a wild woman and how to release her. You see, my inner wild woman went underground a very long time ago.

Wild Thing

When I was a teen in high school, I used my own money to purchase a pair of jeans and a jean jacket. The back of the jacket featured a magnificent lion, and the words “Wild Thing”. On the jeans the word “wild” appeared on one back pocket while the word “thing” appeared on the other. I happily wore my new jeans and jacket to school…exactly one time.

I was made fun of all day. My male friends, and many boys who weren’t even remotely my friends, teased me about being a “wild thing” or made suggestive remarks. I went home and tossed the jacket into the back of my closet, never to wear it again. I ripped the back pockets off of the jeans and continued to wear them occasionally.

What I learned that day was that being a “wild thing” was not acceptable. Wildness equaled partying, loose sexuality and out of control behavior, none of which were true about me. Although I possessed an inner wildness, and an untamed, freedom loving spirit, I pushed those deep within and learned to accept domestication.

Definition of Wild Woman

As I’ve learned what it means to be a wild woman and how to unleash my inner wildness, two books have guided me. “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle and “Women Who Run With the Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. I’ll share more about both in upcoming posts. I love this definition of a wild woman by Clarissa:

“Within every woman there lives a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity and ageless knowing. She is the Wild Woman, who represents the instinctual nature of women.”

I recognize that the journey toward releasing my inner wild woman actually began about ten years ago. And I also recognize that it is indeed time to fully free mine. While I’ve known about her for a long time, I felt I wasn’t allowed to live freely as her. My growth in the last decade makes me feel that I can do that now.

In October of 2020, I suddenly realized I didn’t know my word for 2021. I asked, out loud, what my theme and/or word was. Then I laughed as the words “wild woman” popped into my head. Of course. The conversation with the Divine that began in a garden, which seems highly appropriate, concluded with these words: “Wild Woman…be who you are”. And that’s the best way I can describe what a wild woman is. She is someone who completely embraces who she is as her truest, most authentic self, and lives in that freedom.

Year of the Wild Woman shake
Year of the Wild Woman – shaking loose all that is not soul

Year of the Wild Woman – the Symbol

With the theme for 2021 established, I opened myself to possibilities for the symbol. The symbol is important to me. It connects strongly with my word or words, in this case, and it serves as spiritual taps on the shoulder as I journey through the year. When I see the symbol, it means I need to pay attention.

I considered the lioness as a possible symbol, or even the cheetah, which plays a role in Glennon’s book, “Untamed”. But no, those weren’t for me. “What about the tree?” I asked. I love trees and feel very connected to that symbol. “It’s the tree, right? How about a tree?” No tree for this year.

The symbol that came to me, through repetition and synchronicity, is the moon. The moon symbolizes feminine energy, receptivity, regeneration, intuition and mystery.

My legal name, Cynthia, is Greek for “moon goddess”. Moon goddess….wild woman…that’s perfect. As one of my 63 Curious Things to Do for My 63rd Birthday, I purchased a moon necklace. I’m excited to wear it this year.

As I have the last three years, I drew a representation of my year, using the wild woman and the moon elements. It rests on my bedside table, a daily reminder of who I am.

Year of the Wild Woman art
Year of the Wild Woman art.

Year of the Wild Woman – the Song

For a brief time I considered “Moon River” for my song for 2021. That song kept popping up, so much so that I even watched the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s again, which features it. I still love it and choose it as my secondary song.

When I seriously paid attention to what song chose me, I knew it was “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys.

This song means a lot to me. My granddaughter Aubrey introduced the song to me years ago, as a favorite of hers. I used to do tai chi to this song. Although it may seem like a strange song to perform tai chi to, it works beautifully for me.

The fire element pairs well with my moon symbol. Fires represents creativity, passion, rebirth, desire and purification. Energetically, the fire of creativity and the moon of receptivity play important roles in my life already. And when you are “on fire” you are excited, passionate and enthusiastic. Yes, make it so.

The Journey Continues

Although 2020 made me a bit cautious about new years and what they can bring, I’m excited and optimistic about 2021. I feel like this year promises a great deal of personal growth. Not everyone will understand or even like that growth, however freeing my inner Wild Woman is the invitation and my soul is responding.

My granddaughter Aubrey asked me recently what my word is for 2021. She’s known since her toddler days that a new one accompanies me every year. When I told her “Wild Woman”, her eyes widened a bit. Curious, I asked her what those words mean to her. Without missing a beat she replied, “Yaya in the backyard, naked.”

I laughed. She’s not wrong. However, what I love about Aubrey’s answer is this. She didn’t say that a wild woman is out of control or bad or wrong. Her honest answer suggests a woman who is experiencing untamed joy and passion. Naked represents uncovered and unashamed. It’s natural and connected to nature.

I think this girl, who exhibits her own inner wildness rather well, nailed it.

Join me during this Year of the Wild Woman. We can all learn and grow together.

Year of the Wild Woman Cindy


Wild Woman Finds on Amazon:


Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to, all at no extra cost to you.

Becoming the Wild Woman

My attention was snagged this morning by a meme on Instagram. Posted on the Wild Woman Sisterhood page, the words resonated with me and have remained with me all day. Headed out the door this afternoon, to get the oil changed in my car, I grabbed a book to read while I waited. I returned that book to my bedside table, to be read another day. I felt drawn instead to pick up the newest book by Brené Brown, Braving the Wilderness. The chapter I read, entitled The Quest for True Belonging, aligned perfectly with my thoughts about my journey and becoming the wild woman.

There is a wealth of information online and in publications about being a wild woman. I am a member in two different Wild Women groups on Facebook. It’s one of those “new” topics that is actually ancient. Within every female, young and old, a wild woman resides. Somewhere between our carefree days as little girls, and the responsibilities of adulthood, the wild woman inside can go dormant. But she is there, waiting to emerge again when we remember who we are.

Clarissa Pinkola Estés, who explored the myths and archetypes of the wild woman in 1990, wrote this definition: “Within every woman there lives a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity and ageless knowing. She is the wild woman, who represents the instinctual nature of women.”

Being wild is a very individual experience. It doesn’t mean partying all night, or engaging in illegal activities or being a difficult to be around woman. The wildness within women can be compared to the raw heart aching beauty of the wilderness…natural, instinctual, free, with cycles of birth, death and rebirth. It is a journey of becoming…becoming who we really are and throwing off all the things we aren’t. It is often an unlearning process first, as we shed all the people pleasing personas that we have learned to wear, to be more acceptable to others.

The meme I saw this morning.

Being a wild woman, then, is about women becoming their true selves, and allowing their hearts, bodies and souls the freedom of authentic expression.

Becoming the wild woman does come with a cost, as the meme above suggests. As I began to be who I really am, after years of going within and uncovering the real me, I appeared to change. A friend I have known most of my life, but see infrequently, has said that every time he visits he feels like he has to get to know me all over again. I am a different person each time.

I don’t think he meant that as a compliment. However, I received the remark as encouragement that I am truly growing into my authentic self. I am emerging, becoming, the wild woman. People who don’t understand might fall away. That’s okay. This is my journey. And part of becoming who I am involves learning to be solitary and stand on my own. And it includes seeing my own value and offering who I am unapologetically to others.

In Braving the Wilderness, Brené compares the willingness to stand alone as a wilderness…an untamed, unpredictable place of solitude and searching. It takes courage, and a fierce wildness, to discover that true belonging means that we first learn to belong fully to ourselves.

She defines true belonging as “the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.”

This is my journey. I am becoming the wild woman…in all of my bohemian spirited, fun loving, creative playing, getting healthy, living free, heart open, communicating with the Divine, marching to the beat I drum, this is me glory. I am speaking with my own voice, sharing my best, most authentic self, and heading frequently into the wilderness, alone, in nature and within my own vastness, to explore ever more deeply who I am.

Joseph Campbell wrote, “If you see your path laid out before you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.”

The meme that inspired me this morning says that the wild woman you are becoming may cost you people, relationships, spaces and things. Choose her over everything. I am making my own path, step by step. I am choosing the wild woman that I am becoming. I am belonging, deeply, to myself. This is me.