This. Is. My. Favorite. Book. Of. All. Time.
I’ve never understood those people who claimed that reading books had changed their lives because I have always been a movie person. Movies for me were game changers because I was able to feel what the actors and actresses felt as I watched the story unfold for two hours. So, I never understood how reading words can truly change a person’s life in the same way that a film could. I’m glad that I finally understood that this is indeed possible – books can impact us in the most profound way and Untamed is one of those books.
“I do not adjust myself to please the world. I am myself wherever I am, and I let the world adjust.” –Untamed, Glennon Doyle
I read this book for about 15 minutes every night. After a long day of classes, meetings, and work I would wind down and cozy up in my bed to read the raw and powerful writing of Glennon Doyle. I found that I was actually going to bed with a new sense of comfort and wholesomeness after reading a few pages at night.
One of the most gripping things I learned from Untamed was the concept of discovering our Knowing and sitting with it until we declutter our minds. Doyle describes this in an impeccable way. Allowing ourselves to close our eyes and examine every thought that waves into our mind will give us a sense of clarity. Everyone has a Knowing, so it’s just a matter of unleashing it and honing in on it.
Every time Doyle talked about how society “cages” us into the largely patriarchal system that we have enforced, I was in awe. How could I have been so oblivious? How did I not see that what my parents taught me were conditioning me to stay locked in a cage? It was mind-blowing.
“Children are either taught by the adults in their lives to see cages and resist them, or they are trained by our culture to surrender to them. Girls born into a patriarchal society become either shrewd or sick. It’s one or the other.” –Untamed, Glennon Doyle
During my childhood I was always told to be or act a certain way so that society accepts me. I’m not blaming my parents because that’s also what they were taught, so they did not know any better. However, our generation has so many resources available to realize that society is a goddamn cage and our lives are way too colossal to fit into one.
I remember a night where my relatives and I were sitting in our family room. The adults were talking about one of my cousins getting married and then the conversation diverted to one of the uncles asking the three of us young girls what type of person we wanted to marry. The other two girls replied with the cliché answer, “I don’t care who they are as long as they are kind and a good person.” I, on the other hand, not knowing that this was some sort of test replied, “I’d like someone who makes sure he smells good and has a job.” Everyone laughed. I was 10 years old.
After everyone left, my mom came into my room and told me, “Esha, you can’t say stuff like that. When people ask you that question you should say that you care more about their personality.”
“Amma, I obviously care about the person’s personality. I was just trying to joke around. But I would prefer it if they had good BO,” I replied.
My mom sighed and said, “I know Esha, but not everyone is going to take it as a joke and they will think that you actually mean it which won’t look good for us.”
Caged. My mom was raised to adhere to society and mold herself into what the world wanted from her. She was never taught to allow the world to mold itself around her.
“What if parenting became less about telling our children who they should be and more about asking them again and again forever who they already are?” –Untamed, Glennon Doyle
I’ve been living with this restless feeling and an immense amount of energy that I can feel bubbling around me and encouraging me to go do something. I thought I was odd and abnormal because no one else seemed to feel so restless in their body and life all the time like I was, so I tried to push that feeling down as far as I could. It would come back every morning, and so everyday I would force it to go back down. After reading Untamed, I realized I’m not the only one with this nagging feeling that seeps beyond the boundaries of my body. It’s not something I should inhibit, but instead something I should release. It’s not something that I should allow to fit into a cage, but something I should unleash from that cage.