Doyle keeps Untamed conversation going in journal, podcast
Glennon Doyle hates giving advice. Nor does she want to be referred to as a self-help guru or any other woo-woo spiritual title. The author of best-selling memoirs including Untamed says she just wants to help others find the freedom she found “untaming” herself.
“That’s how we all got in this mess in the first place, by following somebody else’s idea of what we should be,” she said. “We’re now following Glennon’s ideas? That’s the opposite of what I’m trying to do.”
When Doyle “blew up” her life, as she calls it, divorcing her husband and father of their three children to marry Olympic gold medal soccer star Abby Wambach, she hit a nerve with millions. The Christian mommy blogger detailed her fears of rejection, of disappointing the church and her parents, and of losing the life she thought she was supposed to live in order to live the life she wanted.
“It was the most alive I’d ever been,” the 45-year-old Doyle said.
Her unburdening has also helped her tap into the zeitgeist of overburdened women from all walks of life. People magazine hailed her as the “patron saint of female empowerment.” Untamed was Audible’s most-listened-to audiobook in 2020. Oprah, Adele, Kelly Clarkson and other celebrities have called her work life-changing.
Doyle extended the conversation to podcasting in May, launching We Can Do Hard Things, which was No. 1 on Apple’s list of top new shows.
Still, women frequently approached her on her exercise walks, messaged her on social media, and pulled her aside at events, asking the same question.
“People would ask, ‘OK, that’s great that you got yourself untamed,’” she said. ‘That’s great that you were able to do that. How do I do that’?”
So Doyle recently released a companion journal to Untamed. She wanted to call it The Experiment, emphasizing that no blueprint exists and no one has the answers for someone else’s life, but publishers scrapped it.
Get Untamed: The Journal has the tagline “How to quit pleasing and start living,” which has become an anthem among her fans. “I have stopped asking people for directions to places they’ve never been. There is no map. We are all pioneers,” she writes.
Before Untamed dropped in March 2020, amid the early unknowns of COVID, her initial reaction was to wait and release it later.
But the forced time out proved fertile ground for her message of stillness, of tuning out the noise and listening to yourself, “your knowing,” she calls it.
“Being still is the hardest thing in the whole world,” she says.
“The truth is in the stillness, the stuff we haven’t resolved yet is in the stillness, the conversations we are avoiding is in the stillness, all of our trauma is in the stillness,” she said. “We live in a culture that tells us we can’t live in stillness.”
Doyle says she numbed out for years, using food and alcohol to cope with an unhappy marriage and strict evangelical upbringing, trying to do all the right things, being a good church wife, teacher and mother. She buried her desires until she realized she was living a life she wouldn’t want for her own daughter.