I’m a big fan of Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes. My first introduction to her work was in my Psychology and Gender class a few years ago. Dr. Claudia Kittock, my then professor extraordinaire—now fabulous friend—had us evaluate excerpts from Dr. Estes’ book, Women Who Run With the Wolves. Being a literal thinker, I struggled with some of the symbolism. However, it made me thread some stray thoughts together all on my own and it was illuminating. That exposure left me wanting more, and I purchased her CD release of The Dangerous Old Woman. Dr. Estes is a breathtaking story teller. Her voice ebbs and flows into your very cells.
Some of my favorite moments on the CD concern any and all references to Dr. Estes’ unusual aunt. She was a woman who defied, ignored?, status quo and whispered to young Clarissa that women were over-qualified for everything. What a powerful role-model to have when one’s self-esteem is forming! The other piece of her advice that I have copied and on my desk: “Behave yourself…barely.” What a treasure! As I get older, and not so much wiser, I take those words deeply, deeply, to heart.