There is a delicate, divine and delicious energy balance within us that can be looked at through the lens of feminine and masculine energies. Many people believe that at our core, we individually exhibit either a masculine or a feminine essence, but we all have elements of both.
Now to be clear, we’re not talking about feminine and masculine in terms of gender, instead, we’re referring to the energy systems that exist within all of us, regardless of our sex.
Whether we’re talking yin and yang or feminine and masculine or dark and light or moon and sun, these seemingly contrasting energies work as complements to one another in our life and in the natural world. Neither energy is greater than the other and it is in the embodiment, integration and understanding of both that brings an abundance of creative potential and fulfillment.
Let me explain a little more of both energies…
Masculine elements in western astrology are fire and air. Think doing, structure, outcome, logic, pushing and rigidity. Masculine energy values rational thinking, analytics, competition, practical and linear models of productivity and the “get it done” attitude that acts as the foundation for many workplaces in today’s society. For me, the masculine feels supportive, reliable and predictable.
This masculine energy is often – and I believe mistakenly – considered more essential for success than the feminine, which values intuition, inspiration, emotions, sustainability and collaboration. Think being, flowing, flexibility, attraction, relaxation and pleasure. The feminine elements are water and earth. For me, the feminine also feels fiery and fierce. She’s untamed and embodied.
She changes her mind – often. She follows her pleasure – daily.
On a personal level, for many of my clients and definitely in the world at large, there has been a swing towards the masculine approach in the workplace and in our daily lives for a long, long time. The problem is that this energy – without the softness and sensuality and sustainability that feminine energy carries with it – soon results in burn out, fatigue, dissatisfaction and unhappiness.
I often think about the current state of the environment and the ongoing pollution of our earth and her oceans (the feminine elements) as symbolic of this unbalance.
Looking back, for most of the years that I spent working for others, I was motivated by my increasing salary, getting a raise and earning brownie points with my boss by taking on more work than I had the space and energy for.
The office culture very much supported those who agreed to long, inflexible working hours and unpaid overtime, which would of course be fine for awhile, but it always left me feeling dissatisfied, creatively depleted, uninspired and even competitive towards my colleagues. I remember distinctly how my decision to take walks on my lunch break provoked raised eyebrows from many in the office, even if I did return far more refreshed and energised than on the days I ate my lunch at my desk. You might relate?
So how do I personally practice embodying and integrating both feminine and masculine energies today?
Mostly, by filling my inner well first. Going within, before I go out in the world. I used to reward myself with rest and play after working, whereas now I try to prioritise reading and movement and journalling and dancing before sitting down to work. Once I recognised that a full well and rest and play was essential first, things really began to flow.
Spending time in nature is also a BIG one for me; living just a few minutes walk from the ocean and beautiful parks has helped so much. Barefoot on the grass (earth element) and floating in the sea (water element) is an instant reconnection to my feminine essence.
My romantic relationship has benefited SOOO MUCH (!!!) from seeking to understand the dance between the masculine and feminine. As my friend Mel said to me recently, ‘the masculine is like the flagpole, the feminine is the flag. They both need the other.’ Andrew and I have recently become obsessed with David Deida’s work on the topic (good stuff for your man to devour ladies – and for you) but the conversation around sexual polarity between the masculine and feminine is one for a whole ‘nother day. JUICY.
When I think about the way I run my business, a balance of these energies has meant consistently focussing on attracting my ideal clients, rather than solely working towards a goal number of clients. It means respecting my income and being mindful of how I spend my money, instead of obsessing over making six figures at all costs. I still set clear financial goals, but I’m equally as invested in how those dollars manifest and expressing gratitude for that exchange of energy.
It means flexible working hours that support my productivity and backing up a late night at the computer with a nurturing sleep in. It means Monday is blogging and creative writing day, after a solid break on the weekend. It means goals with soul and intuitive To Do lists that ask ‘how am I feeling today?’ before getting down to business.
I have days off scheduled on either side of hosting a live event, as I know I am required to be in my focussed, masculine energy in the lead up to, and on the day of a workshop. I’ll need some feminine, fun and nurturing space afterwards to balance that out. Maximum output requires inner replenishment.
As 19th century novelist George MacDonald is quoted as saying…
‘It is our best work that God wants, not the dregs of our exhaustion. I think he must prefer quality to quantity.’
And this gem from our mate George that I love:
‘Work is not always required. There is such a thing as sacred idleness.’
But let’s be honest with each other…
This sultry dance between the feminine and masculine does take real commitment to ourselves and our creativity and often it means being vulnerable, asking ourselves some big questions and being brave enough to step up, experiment and admit when things just aren’t working in our favour. (Hint: this might mean big personal changes, firm but flexible boundaries and asking for help!)
What are some other examples of embodying and integrating our feminine and masculine energies?
For many of my clients, they’ve found their own version of this balance by wearing their favourite dress or lipstick before sitting down to work, or asking their boss for every second Wednesday off to recoup.
For some, it’s meant focussing more on building an online presence and community, which means they don’t need to take off around the country every month to promote their work. Collaborating with their peers instead of competing. Putting flowers on their desk. Pulling an angel card for intuitive guidance when making a big decision. Sketching on their lunch break. Stillness and silliness. Taking their sick leave (!!!). Cooking slow dinners and experimenting with herbs and spices instead of rustling up 10 minute meals every night.
Learning to draw sustainably from our inner well means long-term outward creative flow. This is truly the essence of self care for self expression.
When we are well-rested and well-nourished, our inner world – our yin, our feminine energy – begins to overflow with inspiration and acts as a guiding force for our masculine endeavours in the world. But most importantly, it’s figuring out how these energies feel for you – as we’re all unique – and really experiencing them in your body and in your life!
Interested in going deeper with this topic and harnessing these energies in your own life? I’m now taking short and long-term clients for 2016. Check out my coaching packages here. Aussie pals I’m running workshops in March / April on menstrual cycles and feminine flow, join us here! And finally, this post is an excerpt from my much-loved online program Wild, Well & Creative. Find out more about it here.
Now, share with me in the comments below, beauties: how does the feminine feel in your body? How do you embody it? How does the masculine feel in your body? How do you embody it?