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Re-balancing our feminine and masculine – the yin and yang energies
To re-balance our feminine and masculine energies, we must recognize how we contribute to the imbalance in the first place. We try to measure up to an idealized version of who we think we’re supposed to be, defined by society’s conditioned perception of our value and success as women and men.
As a conditioned society living with the pain of the collective unconsciousness, we view our masculine and feminine counterparts through a fractured lens. We associate masculinity with power and femininity with weakness.
We have become locked into the survival of the fittest narrative, guarded against one another’s essential goodness, to protect ourselves from loss and hurt. Inadvertently, this false narrative protects us from love and nourishment.
Denying or becoming over-identified with the masculine or the feminine negates our essential wholeness
When we view the feminine as weak, we mistakenly override our felt-senses and intuition, discount the validity of our emotions and repress our needs. We lose our sense of worth under the heavy blanket of guilt and shame.
When we view the masculine as powerful, we are essentially dis-empowered; we’ve lost touch with our inner knowing, and our actions become a reaction, not conscious responses.
The fundamental qualities of Yin and Yang energies
It may seem that being the nurturer is a feminine trait, but actually, it’s a masculine attribute because it is ultimately an action. Being tuned in to what someone needs is quintessentially feminine; it’s a state of empathy, a state of feeling. But the moment we take action, we’re functioning out of male energy.
Because most women have less testosterone than men, they tend to become depleted when they run a lot of male energy. Women need to retreat, feel their emotions, communicate with fewer words and be supported.
While most men have more testosterone than women, they, too, can become depleted because they tend to override their body signals. Men need to slow down, listen, reflect and share their feelings so that they can be replenished, as well as nurture their relationships.
Without action, there would be no spark of creation
Taking charge, providing, and embodying the miracle of life through our actions and activities is crucial for the balance we need. But too much masculine energy means that we’re not listening, we’re over-identified with our goals and expectations, and not embodying our inner-knowing. Too much feminine energy means we’re disconnected and dis-empowered, and over-identified with our wounds.
Life requires that we surrender our masculine to the feminine, and our feminine into the masculine – one leading into the other. These deeply interconnected forces find a harmonious balance in 5Rhythm dance designed by Gabrielle Roth. The first rhythm is inward, the second external, the third chaos, fourth elation and the last is stillness. Each rhythm leads the feminine towards the masculine, then creation, insight and release, back to the feminine again and again.
According to Taoism, everything in our Universe is composed of two opposing, but deeply interconnected forces – the Yin (feminine) and the Yang (masculine), explains Rodika Tchi in The Ying.Yang Theory of Feng Shui. “One cannot exist without the other, as in their seeming opposition, they deeply support and nourish each other.”
The interaction between yin and yang energies creates the essence of life all around us and is as natural as breathing.
If you never exhaled, you would die. You can’t just inhale, inhale, inhale, and inhale without letting out your breath. Whatever action you take, your body needs to rest. Whatever objective thought you have, there needs to be room for subjective contemplation. The rational mind needs to be tempered by feeling.
Are you strong enough to feel, to be sensitive, vulnerable and real?
Justin Baldoni asks this tough question to the men in the audience in his Ted Talk, Why I’m done trying to be “man enough.” He asks, “Are you confident enough to listen to the women in your life?”
I want to ask the women who are reading this blog, “Are you vulnerable enough to listen to the men in your life?” What if you receive their words, actions, thoughts, feelings into your body of awareness and trust yourself? Then you wouldn’t be dis-empowered, and there would be nothing to complain about, you would cease to fight for what you want and need, and instead value what you want and need. You would disengage from anything that isn’t in complete alignment with your sense of worth.
The changes that we desire must begin with us. It’s our choice to disconnect and react out of conditioned beliefs and fears. It’s also our choice to be the empowered, beautiful life-changing women that we are.
Change always happens on the inside first when we take the time to nurture our femininity and let go of trying to measure up to the perception that masculine energy is more powerful. We’re powerful as sensitive, feeling, and intuitive women who know how to take care of themselves, and who know how to guide the men in their lives.
Are you strong enough to not let the collective unconscious define your worth?
I cannot speak about gender inequality and the imbalance of yin/yang energies without mentioning my colleague Maureen Fitzgerald. Several years ago, she attended a conference for women lawyers and was shocked by the speaker at the event. This junior male lawyer told the audience of women that everything they were doing in the law field was wrong. They weren’t being “man” enough, interprets Maureen in her TEDx talk.
I’ve heard from many of my female clients who have also faced gender discrimination in their careers, especially in law and medical fields. In her talk, Maureen proposes several much-needed changes to the way we address pink & blue biases in the professional world.
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Feature Image by Alexey Skachkov