HOW TO BE FEMININE IN A MASCULINE WORLD
Acouple weeks ago, I wrote an article about the future I envision for our world with women leading at the forefront.
Someone from my community responded, with a beautiful inquiry and I wanted to share the exchange we had because it feels relevant. Not just for this person, but for all of us who aspire to make our world a better place.
How do I connect to my divine femininity when there’s a lot, culturally, that’s preventing me from doing so?
Here is my (adapted) response to her:
In a time when we can feel very overwhelmed at all that needs repair in our world, I find it most supportive to return to the individual level and look within ourselves to rewrite the narrative of dominant culture.
First, acknowledge all of the ways you already embody the Divine Feminine. Look at the ways in which you are a role model and leader – no matter how small – in your community and family, acknowledging that this matters deeply.
Each of us has a direct impact on our sphere of influence, i.e. the people we interact with regularly and often. By impacting these pockets of connection with new, healing ideas, beliefs and practices, we create a ripple effect.
As Kelly Diels says, “We are the culture makers.”
Second, because our society’s views of femininity and what “powerful” women look like is so dramatically skewed, it is up to us to challenge those beliefs and how they manifest in our lives.
We may not always be aware of how ingrained common stereotypes against women and girls are, but they are. They’re at play within how we may view ourselves and each other more than we may consciously realize. For example:
Women aren’t as smart as men.
Women can’t do as good of a job as men.
Girls are not good at sports.
Girls are only concerned about physical appearance.
All blonds are unintelligent.
Only anorexic women can become models.
Women who act “dominant” are disliked and therefore less likely to be hired. ****
These belief structures go deep. Some are lodged in our DNA. They are set up to keep us small. So much so, that many women may feel the need to choose between being powerful leaders or being feminine.
This is not an either / or dilemma. I believe women are innately powerful because of our femininity, not in spite of it. And it is through our individual expression and freedom to be ourselves that we may rise together.
Third, I believe that within women, there are some overarching themes that strengthen and support healing our wounded feminine, across lifetimes and lineages. And these are part of a wider, more ongoing conversation about how we can show up as more integrated and powerful beings.
Some of these topics include but are not limited to –
-healing our relationship to our bodies
-how we relate to our own individuation from traditional beauty standards
-healing how we view other bodies, acknowledging that there is much more to being a woman than what we’re shown on the cover of Cosmo
-honoring our emotions and intuition as extensions of our life force and creativity, not simply toxic feminine expressions
-reclaiming rest and play as our birthright (especially for POC who have been denied this right, ancestrally) -expanding our capacity to experience safety and pleasure in our bodies (which involves trauma healing in a cultural, societal, familial context)
-honoring ourselves as an extension of nature and caring for the planet
When life itself can be inherently traumatic, our capacity, willingness, and ability to receive life is not always simple. But spending time creating safety and recognition within ourselves, primarily within our bodies (aka embodiment) is vastly important and profoundly healing for our relationship to LIFE – nature, power and leadership, gender, sexuality, money, creativity and more.
Fourth, femininity can be expressed in many different ways, regardless of gender identity, body size, race, etc. In fact, feminine energy is essential to our health and vitality as beings, incarnated on the Earth at this time.
We contain both masculine and feminine energies. Wholeness comes from embracing this polarity.
When we integrate both – healthy masculine and feminine energetic signatures– we are better able to take action and rest, give and receive, create and deliver. It takes practice to identify the ways dominant culture has created a schism around something that is innately within us, and rewrite it.
Fifth, to support my own remembrance of what it means to be both powerful and feminine, I practice tuning more widely into the energetics of the feminine, daily. I believe it is the expression of feminine energy in our daily lives that matters when it comes to becoming both soft and strong, magnetic and captivating, embodied and intellectual.
Much of this lies within our ability to receive life in its many forms. To receive life, we must feel safe enough to be present in our bodies, minds and moments. Many of us don’t. So we can practice.
Slow down and savor simple moments through our senses. These moments are healing.
Feel the Earth under our feet as we walk barefoot in the grass
Smell our coffee brewing in the morning, breathing in life force energy with each inhale.
Listen to our favorite music, the very act is receiving.
Take in the visual beauty of nature or art.
Be fully in the moment with our loved ones and nurture them with our presence.
These moments of presence are life. They are feminine. They are important, necessary, and needed more than ever. They will heal our world one body at a time.
I’d love to hear from you. What comes up for you as I share all of this? How do you support the feminine in your daily life? I look forward to hearing from you.
P.s. I’m also reading a very entertaining book, called “Seductress: Women Who Ravished the World and Their Lost Art of Love“. It’s all about captivating women throughout history who were not your typical Beauty Queens but used the power of their intellect, wisdom, etc. to fascinate (i.e. Josephine Baker, Cleopatra, etc.). It’s challenges traditional norms around sex, love, intimacy, and beauty. You may enjoy it too!