What a Boar Taught Me About the Power of My Voice

Last Sunday I did my long run… 11 miles.

I’m training for a half marathon and I decided to run out a dirt road on the slopes of Mauna Kea. Secluded, peaceful, quiet. The grass was green, the view amazing… almost beautiful enough to forget I had 6 more miles to go.

running trail

As I crested a hill, a boar ran right across my path. A black, wild thing, he ran across the dirt road and crashed right into a fence. Slightly dazed he saw me, turned and charged.

I was paralyzed, my heart pounding. He was fast and I was tired. Running away from him wasn’t an option.

At the last moment, I pulled it together, made myself big with my arms and shoulders and charged right back at him, roaring with all my might. He faltered and at the last minute stopped and ran away. I turned and continued running down the road making sure he wasn’t following or chasing me.

wildboarAs my adrenaline cooled down, I thought of that boar. He ran into the fence and, being scared, did what his instincts told him… to attack. Boar instincts have kept them alive for a long time. I was lucky this one wasn’t full sized, and didn’t have tusks. I thought of my own instincts. I know that years ago, if a boar had charged me, I would have tried to dodge it instead of standing up to it.

So what had changed?


I am no longer a woman that sits back. I know there is a time to use my voice to roar. I cannot sit silent. There are things that are vital to my heart, things I must speak up over.

My journey back to my voice started when I was pregnant with my first child. Growing up, I always thought I wanted to have an epidural and feel no pain… to just make it through it. After I got pregnant, though, I started running across alternative books about pregnancy and childbirth. I couldn’t believe the stories of empowered, orgasmic birth, that it could be anything besides painful. I started to see child birth as a rite of passage and knew I wanted a natural birth, but I wasn’t confident I could speak for what I wanted in the hospital room so I hired a doula, my birth advocate. My birth went well. I delivered naturally. My only hiccup was after delivering my baby, holding him in my arms, without asking or letting me know, the nurse gave me a shot of Pitocin in order to deliver my placenta quickly. I’m not going to get into hospital protocol, but I will say she ignored my wishes for a purely natural birth. I felt violated and pissed off… but at the same time, I was in happy baby glow and decided not to say anything. Why stir things up?

bodhibirthWith my second child, I knew what I wanted. I delivered my baby at home in the water with a midwife, soft music, candles and chanting. It felt like a rite of passage, a beautiful entry for my second son. Yes, I could have had a hospital birth based on those who thought I was crazy for deciding on a home birth. But, you see, this was what I wanted, what I felt deep inside was right and I spoke up. I did it.

I used to think it was best to not make waves, to let things go. But what I noticed was I let so many things go, compromised SO much to make others happy, to keep the peace, that inside I was constantly shifting. I’d go with what others wanted instead of standing ground in my truth.

Can you relate?

The journey back to your voice and truth sometimes isn’t popular.


When I started asking my husband for help around the house, when I challenged a friend to speak her truth, or I disagreed with the decision of my family to cut someone out due to “loyalty,” I had to live with their reactions. Yes, it is sometimes painful and uncomfortable to speak up and at the same time, deeply liberating.

I think truth is an alignment, an inner YES, a congruency between what we think, say and do.

Things get messy when we do things acting OUT of alignment, out of our truth. If you let it build for a long time, when it does come, it can explode out. Truth telling requires some inner digging, being willing to dig past the surface of nice.

The boar is the perfect teacher.

The medicine of the boar is about digging for inner wisdom and understanding.

He uses his tusks to dig and unearth things, rooting down. Boars are known for it. If you want to keep boars out of your property, you have to put up a special fence that goes deep into the ground to keep them from destroying your plants and trees.

What if we had that same unwavering desire to dig and understand ourselves? To unearth our wisdom and truth? To speak up? What would happen?

As I ran down the road back home, I sent my thanks to the boar and the reminder of his medicine. The reminder to dig deep inside for my truth and the courage to speak it, even if it comes out as a roar. Because sometimes it just isn’t pretty… but it is real.

Leave a comment and let me know… When have you been afraid to speak up? Is there something you afraid to voice now?

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