Living My Myth; Discovering ‘Sleeping Beauty’ in the Woods

Mary AnnBlog Leave a Comment

I just returned from Loveland, Colorado, where I attended a week long workshop with Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés focused on ancient archetypes, particularly the Great Mother.

The experience was incredibly intense, with days packed full of learning and connecting with wonderful people. Dr. Estés is an entity beyond words—a spiritual, knowledgeable, and insightful woman and I felt deeply honoured to be in her presence.

One topic we delved into this week was the idea that we each live out our personal myth through our favourite childhood stories or fairytales. When asked to reflect on this, the first story that came to my mind was “Sleeping Beauty.” I’ve always loved this fairytale, especially the imagery of the enchanted forest and the beautiful woman asleep under a spell, surrounded by trees and vines. If you know my work, you will know that my affinity for the woods is profound; it’s where I draw much of my inspiration and where I see the Great Mother archetype most vividly.

I’ve realized that throughout my life I have replayed the theme of falling asleep and reawakening repeatedly. I am not afraid to walk away from things that don’t feel right. I am comfortable being alone in the forest.
I often feel as though the forest is my true home, that I belong there. I am living my personal myth, revealed through the lens of “Sleeping Beauty.”

After doing this exercise, I showed a colleague my website and I noticed the photographs I had taken in the forest a year earlier. Having my photo taken in the woods had been a long-held dream of mine. Then it clicked! Evidenced with this photograph of myself laying in the forest among the trees, I saw how I am indeed living out my personal myth through my favourite fairytale, “Sleeping Beauty,” in myriad ways. It was a true WOW, aha moment for me.

Thank you, Dr Estes. What an eye-opening experience!

Take a moment and think about your favourite fairytale as a child growing up.
How does your favourite story connect with how you are living your life today?Are you living out your personal mythology through your favourite childhood fairytale?

I’d love to know.

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