The Teachings of Clarissa Pinkola Estes

IMG_6959I fell in love with Clarissa Pinkola Estes many years ago. I sat down and read Women Who Run With the Wolves in exactly one month for the second time in January of 2013. It was after I had just read her book,  Blessed Mother’s Immaculate Love for the Wild Soul: Untie The Strong Woman, in October 2012 in less than a month.

There was a period of searching for my truth when I discovered her teachings on audio after reading Women Who Run With the Wolves the first time. I began to seek answers to why I felt the way I did in life. I started with Warming the Stone Child: Myths & Stories about Abandonment and the Unmothered Child and continued on with her teachings through Sounds True. I believe today that she had a profound influence on my inner self that helped me to heal. In the dark winter months of living in New York, many afternoons, I found comfort listening to her recordings while I nurtured my soul.

In reading, Blessed Mother’s Immaculate Love for the Wild Soul: Untie the Strong Woman, I felt deeply connected to her insight. I have always felt extremely close to the Blessed Mother because I was raised a Catholic. While my children were growing up, I handed them over to the eyes of the Blessed Mother in prayer. My oldest daughter was sixteen when I prayed: Dear Blessed Mother, as you are the Mother of All Mothers, I ask you to watch over my children as they travel far from home and protect them with your love and light. That was over 23 years ago, and I continue to do so now with my grandchildren and thank her for keeping them safe, especially my youngest daughter who travels all over the world.

I hope you enjoy the teachings of Clarissa Pinkola Estes as I have and find the time to look within and see what kind of nourishment your soul is desiring. Books are the greatest of foods to consume.


WOMEN WHO RUN WITH THE WOLVES: MYTHS AND STORIES OF THE WILD WOMAN ARCHETYPE “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. But she is an endangered species. Though the gifts of wildish nature come to us at birth, society’s attempt to civilize’ us into rigid roles has plundered this treasure and muffled deep, life-giving messages of our own souls. Without Wild Woman, we become over-domesticated, fearful, uncreative, trapped.”
In Women Who Run With the Wolves, Dr. Estes has created a new lexicon for describing the female psyche. Fertile and lifegiving, it is a psychology of women in the truest sense, a knowing of the soul.


BLESSED MOTHER’S IMMACULATE LOVE FOR THE WILD SOUL: UNTIE THE STRONG WOMAN “Have you forgotten” I AM Your Mother. You are Under My Protection.” “There is a promise Holy Mother makes to us,” proclaims Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, “that any soul needing comfort, vision, guidance, or strength can cry out to her, flee to her protection, and Blessed Mother will immediately arrive with veils flying. She will place us under her mantle for refuge and give us the warmth of her most compassionate touch, and strong guidance about how to go by the soul’s lights.” Untie the Strong Woman is Dr. Estes invitation to come together under the shelter of The Mother – whether she appears to us as the Madonna, Our Lady of Guadalupe, or any one of her countless incarnations. In this unforgettable collection of stories, prayers, and blessing, Dr. Estes shares:
– “The Drunkard and the Lady” – a story of unexpected miracles that arise from the mud and soil
– “Guadalupe is a Girl Gand Leader in Heaven” – a poem of resistance and hope
– “No one Too Bad, Too Mean or Too Hopeless” – the fierce Mother that never gives up on us
– “The Shirt of Arrows” – a love that is invincible no matter how many times we are wounded
‘ “The Black Madonna” – she stands at the juncture between two worlds and protects us as we enter the dark places.

With Untie the Strong Woman, Dr. Estes invites you to encounter the force of Immaculate Love – “So that your memory of Her is renewed, or that the knowledge of her miraculous, fierce, enduring ways is drawn into your heart for the very first time.”


THE GIFT OF STORY: A WISE TALE ABOUT WHAT IS ENOUGH In this enchanting book, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes shares several small stories that, like Matriochka dolls, fit inside one another. Taken together, they are a moving testament to the enduring legacy of stories and to the triumph of love over loss. Dr. Estes masterfully blends the bitter and the sweet, the dark and the light, despair, and hope, into a wonderful gift that illuminates and strengthens, a gift that will be cherished by all who receive it.



These elegantly interlocked tales of loss, survival, and fierce rebirth center around Dr. Estes’s uncle, a war-ravaged Hungarian peasant farmer and refugee, a faithful gardener, and a storehouse of stories who was one of the “dancing fools, wise old crows, grumpy sages, and ‘almost saints’ who made up the old people in Este’s childhood.

Told with graceful simplicity, deep feeling, generous humor, and profound optimism, The Faithful Gardener is, at its captivating core, the story of an open-hearted child who listened well to her old-country elders and who grew up to remember, to bear witness, and as one of the premier storytellers of our times, to remind readers and listeners of all ages of “that magisterial life force within all things that strengthens us in times of turmoil or transition, that faithful force which can never die.”


Audible Audiobook
An expanded edition of the classic on creativity by Clarissa Pinkola Estes guides you through the dark labyrinths of the psyche in search of la chispa – the ember that is the elemental source of all creative work. Dr. Estes teaches about the hidden aspects of creativity, including the negative complexes that prey upon creative energy. The Creative Fire includes many special insights for people who create for a living: artists, writers, teachers, and others who must depend on their creative instincts every day.


Audible Audiobook
BEDTIME STORIES: A UNIQUE GUIDED RELAXATION PROGRAM FOR FALLING ASLEEP AND ENTERING THE WORLD OF DREAMS As a child growing up in a family of cantadoras (keepers of the old stories) Clarissa Pinkola Estes learned first hand how a story be told at bedtime can soothe away the troubles of the day and prepare the way for another night’s dreams to follow. Now a beloved cantadora herself, Estes shares this treasured family tradition with you on Bedtime Stories, her own special collection of tales to relax and ease you to sleep.


Audible Audiobook
MOTHER NIGHT: MYTHS, STORIES, AND TEACHINGS FOR LEARNING TO SEE IN THE DARK Where is the memory of who we really are, who sent us here, and what our work is here? And why so often are we feeling unusual, so different, so eccentric, so belonging to a tribe of one? Dr. CLarissa Pinkola Estes, published in 34 languages and one of the most far-reaching artist-psychoanalysts of our time, teaches that in archetypal imagination, “Mother Night is the quintessential medial woman, the woman who can walk in two worlds … ‘the one who knows’ and who can reveal solid ways of living and unleashing creative life in both worlds.


Audible Audiobook
SEEING IN THE DARK; MYTHS AND STORIES TO RECLAIM THE BURIED, KNOWING WOMAN Buried within all of us is what Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes refers to as the “one who knows” – our instinctive, intuitive nature. This, she teaches, is the source of creativity and understanding that lies out of sight in the darkness, often called the unconscious.
In Seeing in the Dark, listeners join the esteemed Jungian psychoanalyst and best-selling author to learn how to perceive “through the eyes of the soul as well as through the eyes of the ego.” This dual way of seeing, being and acting, Dr. Estes explains, is the most direct way to reclaim the gifts and the “healing apothecary” set into each soul at birth.


Audible Audiobook
JOYOUS BODY: MYTHS AND STORIES OF THE WISE WOMAN ARCHETYPE “Each one of us is a triumvirate being – at once the union of the body, soul and all that lies within.” For any that experience disharmony amongst these three vital aspects, Dr. Clarissa Estes reveals a path back to wholeness. Join her with the Joyous Body for the third volume of her masterwork on the Wise Woman archetype. This empowering six-session program shares original and old stories, poems, and psychological commentary on the challenges, remedies and ancient knowledge of the female body, “that which is not a dumb servant but a divine-human traveler and consort.”


Audible Audiobook
Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes presents Volume Five of the Dangerous Old Woman Series
What makes an elder, a heartfelt spirit, a clear mind, a talented heart, one who is young while old and old while young, an activist for the Soul? Is it formulae, schemas, lexicons? It could be. But also, and often more so, I think it is very like the flowering of the trees in the forest, as we gather more years; we struggle, and stride onward in our better learned ways to give out even more seeds for new life, and to blossom wildly in so doing for self and others … The old ones are yet traveling underground and overland toward us as we meet one more time.

How To Be An Elder presents the culmination of Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes masterwork, inviting us to “come into our own as wiser and wild souls” through six sessions of teachings, stories, poetry, and blessings. In this fifth and final volume of Dr. Estes’ landmark series, we will explore how it is that through the gathering of our years we become a beautiful refuge for ourselves, our Souls and for those who come after us.
“Did I mention, dear brave souls,” reminds Dr. Estes, “that you came with all the seedlings needed to do your work, to take your venerable places in life? Now is the just-right time, like Sleeping Beauty, to break the enchantment, to truly awaken and awaken others, as either a rookie Dangerous Old Woman, or a mid-career Dangerous Old Woman, or as Crone with Crown complete!”


Audible Audiobook
The Late Bloomer is the fourth volume of the Dangerous Old Woman Series with Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes. “What makes talent bloom?” Ask what makes a tree blossom. They are the same. It is not unfathomable. It only takes concentration. A concentration of energies is what makes a tree flower. Not bigger, not faster, not taking up more space. Rather, less space. Density. The pressure in hard places. Often, in the dark. Relentlessly. Freely. For as long as it takes. Hold faith; a gestation can go long and for a good reason, and nothing much shows above ground. But then, one day…” -Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D.

Are you waiting for New Life, for your talents to bloom? With The Late Bloomer, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes presents volume four of her masterwork on the Wise Woman archetype, bringing six lessons of original tales, stories from her ethnic families, poems, blessing and psychological commentary exploring the cycles of “burgeoning, blooming New Life.”


Audible Audiobook                                                                                                                            HOW TO LOVE A WOMAN: ON INTIMACY AND THE EROTIC LIVES OF WOMEN  For all men and women who thirst to love and be loved by a woman, these words and stories of guidance from Clarissa Pinkola Estes are aqua vitae, the water of life for the soul. Dr. Este’s teaches that in love relationships, each partner challenges nourishes, and transforms the other. To achieve this lifelong love requires an understanding of the mysterious internal cycles that fuel relationships. Through irresistible storytelling, How To Love A Women shows how every relationship fades and expires, only to be reborn in a fresh and strengthened form.


Audible Audiobook                                                                                                            WARMING THE STONE CHILD: MYTHS AND STORIES ABOUT ABANDONMENT AND THE UNMOTHERED CHILD. The pain of abandonment, both real and metaphorical, can cast a shadow over our entire adult experience. Warming the Stone Child investigates the abandoned child archetype in world myths and cultures to find clues about the process of healing the “unmothered” child within us all. Spiced with Dr. Estes’ wonderful storytelling, Warming The Stone Child is a unique listening experience with a practical edge.

Meditate. Pray. Journal.

All of the above are available @


THE ART OF PAPER & PEN= The Teachings of Martha Beck


Martha Beck, PhD. is a writer, life coach and monthly columnist for O, The Oprah Magazine. She specializes in helping people design satisfying and meaningful life experiences. She holds a bachelor’s degree in East Asian studies and master’s and Ph.D. degrees in sociology, all from Harvard University. She worked as a research associate at Harvard Business School, Studying career paths and life-course changes in today’s economic and social environment. Before becoming a life coach, Beck taught sociology, social psychology, organizational behavior, business management, and career development at Harvard and at the American Graduate School for International Management.

I discovered Martha Beck by her monthly column in O, The Oprah Magazine. Recently, I studied with her by taking her online writing course called, Write into Light which was amazingly enlightening.


The First book I read was FINDING YOUR OWN NORTH STAR: claiming the life you were meant to live on Kindle. In this book, you’ll start by learning how to read the internal compasses already built into your brain and body — and why you may have spent your life ignoring signals. As you become reacquainted with your own deepest desires, you will identify and repair any unconscious wounds that may be blocking your progress.

This will change your life, but don’t worry – although every life is unique, major transformations have common elements and Beck provides a map that will guide you through your own life changes. You’ll learn how to navigate every stage, from the first flickering appearance of a new dream to the planning and implementation of your own ideal life.

Finding Your Own North Star offers thoroughly tested case studies, questionnaires, and exercises to help you articulate your core desires and act on them to build a more satisfying life.


STEERING by STARLIGHT: Find Your Right Life No Matter What! This book will make you laugh and change your life. Martha Beck’s work as a life coach has earned her accolades in outlets from National Public Radio to USA Today. More important, her trademark wisdom, empathy, and humor have changed thousands of lives, helping people who felt disconnected from their true sense of purpose to locate meaning in their lives and change.

Steering by Starlight reconnects readers with their authentic hopes, needs, and desires by bringing together cutting-edge research in psychiatry and neurology and offering powerful new methods for solving problems that beset every one of us.


FINDING YOUR WAY IN A WILD NEW WORLD: Reclaim Your True Nature to Create the Life You Want reveals a remarkable path to the most important discovery you can make: the knowledge of what you should be doing with your one wild and precious life. It’s the thing that so fulfills you that, if you knew what it was, you’d run straight toward it through brambles and fire. As a bestselling author, Martha Beck guides you to find out how you got to where you are now and what you should do next, with clear instructions on tapping into the deep, wordless knowledge you carry in your body and soul.

You probably have sensed that you have a higher calling and a quiet power that could change the world – you lack only the tools. With her sparkling prose, Beck draws from ancient wisdom and modern science to help you consciously tap into that power and develop those tools for transformation. You’ll also find your inner identity and your external “tribe” of like-minded people, experience the spark of inspiration, and take action to make a lasting impact on the world.


THE JOY DIET: 10 Daily Practices for a Happier Life offers a menu of ten behaviors you can add to your way of living and thinking to enhance every day’s journey through the unpredictable terrain of your existence. You can add these behaviors gradually and watch your life become steadily more vivid and satisfying. Or you can go on a “crash Joy Diet” to help you navigate life’s emergencies.

The ten menu items are:

  • NOTHING: Do nothing for 15 minutes a day. Stop mindlessly chasing goals and figure out which goals are worth going after.
  • TRUTH: Create a moment of truth to help you unmask what you’re hiding – from others and from yourself.
  • DESIRE: Identify, articulate, and explore at least one of your heart’s desires – and learn how to let yourself want what you want.
  • CREATIVITY: Learn six new ways to develop at least one new idea to help you obtain your heart’s desire.
  • RISK: Take one baby step toward reaching your goal. The only rule is it has to scare the pants off you.
  • TREATS: Give yourself a treat for every risk you take and two treats just because you’re you. No exceptions. No excuses.
  • PLAY: Take a moment to remember your real life’s work and differentiate it from the games you play to achieve it. Then play wholeheartedly.
  • LAUGHTER: Laugh at least thirty times a day. Props encouraged.
  • CONNECTION: Use your Joy Diet skills to interact with someone who matters to you.
  • FEASTING: Enjoy at least three square feasts a day, with or without food.


My personal favorite is, DIANA, HERSELF: An Allegory of Awakening (The Bewilderment Chronicles) (Volume 1) Maybe, once or twice in your life, you’ve experienced a surge of destiny so strong it made you believe in miracles. Such bolts from the blue seem to hit when weariness or ill fortune have plowed through the ground of reason, breaking it up so magic can take root. What follows is so perfect that to call it accidental defies belief.

Diana Archer is an absolutely-mathematically-average woman, living an unremarkable life when destiny reaches her. Without quite knowing how or why, she finds herself leaving everything familiar and moving into a world where miracles are commonplace, where her supposed flaws become her salvation, and where each person’s story is everyone’s.

As the first volume of the three-part “Bewilderment Chronicles” proceeds, Diana will undergo a transformation that will change her irrevocably, and just possibly save the world. Let the enchantment begin.


EXPECTING ADAM: A True Story of Birth, Rebirth, and Everyday Magic! From the moment Martha and her husband John accidentally conceived their second child, all hell broke loose. They were a couple obsessed with success. After years of matching IQs and test scores with less driven peers, they had two Harvard degrees apiece and were gunning for more. They’d plotted out a future in the most vaunted ivory tower of academie. But the dream had begun to disintegrate. Then, when their unborn son, Adam, was diagnosed with Down syndrome, doctors, advisers, and friends in the Harvard community warned them that if they decided to keep the baby, they would lose all hope of achieving their carefully crafted goals. Fortunately, that’s exactly what happened.

Expecting Adam is a poignant, challenging, and achingly funny chronicle of the extraordinary nine months of Martha’s pregnancy. By the time Adam was born, Martha and John were propelled into a world in which they were forced to redefine everything of value to them, put all their faith in miracles, and trust that they could fly without a net. And it worked.

Martha’s riveting, beautifully written memoir captures the abject terror and exhilarating freedom of facing impending parenthood, being forced to question one’s deepest beliefs, and rewriting life’s rules. It is an unforgettable celebration fo the everyday magic that connects human souls to one another.


In THE FOUR DAY WIN: End Your Diet War and Achieve Thinner Peace, Martha Beck reverses this trend and teaches dieters to get lean from the brain outward. Instead of becoming thinner caterpillars, those who follow The Four Day Win will metamorphose into butterflies, with entirely new bodies … for good.

Everyone knows how to lose weight: eat less, move more. But though they know what to do, millions of dieters don’t do what they know. Why not? Because they don’t understand the brain-body dynamics of weight loss. Now, cutting-edge research has revealed that millions of overweight dieters are programming themselves to get fatter. These unlucky individuals are following typical weight-loss programs and are being trained to become thinner versions of themselves, like caterpillars becoming thinner caterpillars.

In this book, Martha Beck observes that:

  • Traditional dieting relies on the ability to go numb or to override physical and emotional feelings.
  • Overeating is a self-calming compulsion similar to OCD-dieters turn to food (and lots of it) when they’re deprived of comfort.
  • Overweight people can reverse the brain-body programming that is making them fat. Instead of attacking their bodies, they can learn to support them.

By ending each chapter with psychological exercise, Dr. Beck helps her readers to think thin and end their compulsion to overeat. For those who aren’t patient enough to await the transformation that will inevitably follow, she also includes a Jump-Start weight-loss program that will help them shed pounds in the best way, both psychologically and physically.


THE MARTHA BECK COLLECTION: Essays for Creating Your Right Life is the best of Martha Beck’s Columns from O, The Oprah Magazine

Other books by Martha Beck are …

  • Leaving the Saints: How I lost the Mormons and Found My Faith
  • Breaking Point: Why Women Fall Apart and How They Can Recreate Their Lives

I have been on a deep journey of transformation through the magical words of authors/teachers like Martha Beck. If your life is not filled with joy, happiness, laughter, and abundance then please sit with this blog and my past blogs on other teachers to see which book can enlighten you to discover your truth and destiny. Whatever it is that haunts you, look within for the guidance and begin to change yourself.

Pray. Meditate. Journal. (blog)

Books available @



THE ART OF PAPER AND PEN = The Teachings of Steven Kessler


The 5 Personality Patterns: Your Guide to Understanding Yourself and Others and Developing Emotional Maturity by Stephen Kessler has been an amazing avenue I walked.

As a student of the written word; all books and as a writer, I am led by the universe on my path and journey to teachers, books, classes, and workshops of many.

For many years my teacher has been Deborah King. In fact, she was the first to bring my attention to what she calls defense patterns or our characterology which we manifest under the age of 6 during a time when we feel the need to protect ourselves. As it is a pattern created by everyone that means that we all have at least two of these patterns or more during difficult stressful moments. We tend to manifest our defense when we are triggered and when we are not living our truth.

Another teacher of mine has been Anodea Judith.  In 2014, I received an email about a 6-week online course with Anodea Judith about Steven Kessler’s new book, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? This was a course where I could learn in-depth about each Character Structure: how to identify, understand and work with these patterns in myself, my relationships and my clients. A basic map about personality where I would easily figure out how to communicate successfully with others and how to interact with them in a way that works for both of us.

“Your experience of life is determined mostly by your habits of attention and the patterned flow of your life energy.” -Steven Kessler

In 2015, The 5 Personality Patterns: Your Guide to Understanding Yourself and Others and Developing Emotional Maturity was published by Steven Kessler. The name has changed, but it is the exact information from the online course called WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?


Much of our human suffering is not necessary. It is created by old patterns of feeling and acting that helped us survive the traumas of childhood, but then got stuck in our bodies. These patterns have shaped us so deeply that now we think that is who we are. But these patterns are not your true self. In fact, they cover up your true self and prevent it from shining out into the world.

Fortunately, there is a map of these survival patterns, a map that helps you:

  • Discover how you got stuck and how to get free
  • Heal your core wounds
  • Learn the skills you missed
  • Communicate effectively with others
  • Develop emotional maturity
  • Become all you can be

This book lays out that map and shows you the path out of your suffering and back to your real self. Once you know where you’re going, your journey will be easier. Without a map, you may have been walking in circles for years. With a map, you can find your way home.

The interesting information in this book is that there are only five patterns that are created by us. Beginning with Leaving (Schizoid), Merging (Oral), Enduring (Masochist), Aggressive (Psychopath), and Rigid. Deborah King teaches the same information but with different names as in italics. Our reactions at the time of development because of shame are as follows;

  • Leaving – flees
  • Mergining – collapses
  • Enduring – blames self
  • Aggressive – becomes angry
  • Rigid – blames self and/or others

I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in healing themselves or have the desire to know another better, because of their actions towards them and others. When we accept that there is a reason for everything, then and only then can we open our hearts to one another.

Steven Kessler has been a licensed psychotherapist for almost 30 years. He has studied many different maps of personality and many healing modalities, including Character Structure, the Enneagram, energy work, EFT (emotional freedom techniques), and various meditation and spiritual practices.

Pray! Meditate! Journal!

Book Available: