Untamed: Unlocking Your Inner Cheetah

Photo posted by @preeti_yoga on Instagram

What if we all lived our lives unafraid to be our truest selves, with nothing stopping us from becoming who or what we were born to be? Glennon Doyle — a #1 New York Times Best-Selling author of three books, activist for families in crisis, mother of three and wife to two-time Olympic gold medalist Abby Wambach — tells us how to do just that in her latest book, “Untamed,” a memoir about self-discovery and tapping into your inner wild.

Doyle tells personal stories of heartbreak and unconditional love, addiction and redemption, life’s biggest disappointments and its greatest triumphs. All of these culminate into a guidebook for anyone searching for their truest self. Simply put, this is a book about how to be brave. In Doyle’s words, “The braver we are, the luckier we get.” 

Photo posted by @Abbywambach on Instagram
About the Book

Doyle begins by telling a story about a trip she took to the zoo with her wife and daughters. They visited the one exhibit where they saw a cheetah, Tabitha, and her canine companion, Minnie. Doyle recounts what she saw that day: Minnie running and catching a stuffed rabbit toy, and Tabitha doing the same, as she was trained to do. What Doyle saw was a tamed Tabitha, whose life was contained within the fencing of her cage and who lacked her true purpose. Tabitha had lost her “wild.” 

It was at that moment she realized that, like Tabitha, she had lost her “wild.” In fact, many of us have lost it. There are many ways in which we’re taught to abandon ourselves and lose our “wild” — our inner, instinctual “knowing” that we are born with but later learn to mistrust. Especially as women, we learn lessons that make us question our “knowing.” We learn that there’s inherently something wrong with us, that sensitivity is cowardly and that pleasing others is more important than honoring ourselves. Sacrifice, abandon, mistrust they say. We’re confined to our cages until we experience something that reminds us of our own wildness — something that makes us finally listen to our “knowing.” Doyle’s story, though it’s personal to her, has a lot to say when it comes to self-discovery that can be relatable for anyone. 

Photo posted by @Glennondoyle on Instagram
A Few Takeaways

We know it can be hard to find the time to sit and read 300 pages of a book, but that shouldn’t stand in the way of your self-discovery journey. Here are some of VALLEY’s takeaways from “Untamed,” explained, so you can find your inner cheetah!

When a woman finally learns that pleasing the world is impossible, she becomes free to learn how to please herself.

It’s impossible to please everyone, but we do ourselves a disservice when we prioritize others’ happiness over our own. Remember, choosing yourself does not make you selfish. 

I will not stay, not ever again — in a room or conversation or relationship or institution that requires me to abandon myself.

Setting healthy boundaries for yourself is part of creating healthy relationships in all aspects of your life. Nothing is worth compromising those boundaries at your own expense. 

The opposite of sensitive is not brave. It’s not brave to refuse to pay attention, to refuse to notice, to refuse to feel and know and imagine. The opposite of sensitive is insensitive, and that’s no badge of honor.

Bravery is choosing to feel your emotions, including the good and the bad. One of our greatest strengths comes from our ability to be vulnerable in a world that has conditioned us to do the opposite. 

All of this is much easier said than done, of course, but as Doyle says, “We can do hard things.” 

Have you unleashed your inner cheetah? Tweet us, @VALLEYmag, and tell us how!


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