Today, I started the day still contemplating the impact that “expectation and potential” had on my personal life (see Day 5 for background). This led to the consideration that masculine and feminine energies have played in my life. At the most basic level, masculine energy is focused on protection. Hunting and gathering. Survival. Masculine energy is most often singularly focused. Feminine energy, on the other hand, is supportive. Nurturing and intuitive. Emotional. Feminine energy is able to multi-task, taking in environmental stimuli, emotions, and verbal cues all at the same time. Both are absolutely needed to form a balanced relationship and a balanced human. The trick is knowing the time and place for each and the impact each has on those around us.
As an oldest child and type A personality, I’ve always been incredibly driven (remember that DISC assessment in Day 5??). My drive stemmed from the desire to be accepted…valued…loved by my father – something that I don’t think I ever managed to accomplish…or maybe I did and just didn’t know it because he had a less than humorous way of showing it. Regardless, I thought the more I accomplished and the more often I was recognized for my talents, the more likely I was to be loved. So I pushed…clawed…climbed my way to the top of everything I set out to do, including my career. I wasn’t just tapped into my masculine energy, I was living there. I was hellbent on protecting myself at nearly any cost. For me success, survival, and love were all intertwined into one tangled mess of a need.
Being surrounded by men in the workforce – not totally but mostly – I had little opportunity to witness the feminine energy at play. No feminine role models to teach me the softer skills because many of the women I was around suffered from the same need to achieve…whatever the reason. This energy became so dominant that I lost an important part of myself for much of my adult life resulting in the selection of partners that undervalued the feminine. How could they not??? Choosing me was a clear indication of their dominant energy. Here’s how it works…
Masculine energy attracts feminine energy and vice versa. Key word being “energy” because we’re all comprised of both and can tap into each at different times; thereby attracting partners that balance us. As someone that used to live predominately in the masculine energy, I tended to attract partners that were comfortable existing more in their feminine energy. Doesn’t mean they were “girly men” or “soft”. It means they tended to be comfortable not dominating the relationship. They tended to be more laid back and supportive. Caring and nurturing. Truly wonderful qualities for men to have. The problem – me.
While existing in the masculine energy at work had served me well, living there was a drain. I don’t know how some men do it, honestly. I was exhausted from constantly being in survival mode….of feeling the need to protect myself and those around me…of suppressing my emotions. I needed to learn how to exist in both energies in a more balance manner. Of course, I didn’t realize all this at the time. The only thing I knew was how I was perceived by others: hard, tough-nosed, driven, demanding, stubborn, one of the boys….and that wasn’t who I wanted to be.
Casually looking back it all seems incredibly coincidental, but I know it wasn’t. The Universe put me on a path to not only find the feminine energy but to learn to live there as a strong, successful woman. The journey started with meeting like-minded, strong women that were tapped into their feminine energy – finally some role models!!! Then came the introduction to yoga, a practice (exercise) that values the feminine energy, focuses on introspection, encourages you to check your ego at the door of every class, and busts your heart wide open. Next up was meeting “The Taste” (see Day 1), a strong masculine energy that was completely dialed into his feminine energy too. The mere fact that we were attracted to each other meant that my feminine energy was there and available to others…finally the break I’d been waiting for. He introduced me to Brene Brown….#boom! If you haven’t read her books, you must. For a taste, check out her amazing Ted Talk. Then The Daily Love and Mastin Kipp found their way into my life…well, actually my in box…every.day. Mastin taught me about the masculine and feminine energies, giving me a vocabulary to describe what I was feeling and dealing with all those years. Finally, I met three amazing shamans that helped me to let go of the trauma I’d been carrying since childhood…to accept that I was more than worthy of love…and to realize that nothing is stronger than a mama grizzly bear. And I was a mama grizzly.
All that resulted in a softer, more vulnerable, nurturing me. At work I was still driven, but it was balanced with love and understanding. I saw employees as more than robots that had a job to do. I saw them as people that had a job to do…but also families to care for and struggles that followed them into work some days. As people that needed to be seen and accepted and valued….and loved. That’s what I had been yearning for my whole life…and what I’m still searching for so why wouldn’t I want to give it to the people around me? Being a strong, driven, successful woman doesn’t mean you have to be a bitch or live in the masculine. It means being exactly who you are….a mixture of both energies that values and nurtures the same in others. It means creating an environment that allows everyone around you to thrive….including yourself. It means being a mama grizzly.
In case you think you can’t find this balance, just check out the word cloud I got as a retirement gift from those that know me best. I never would have thought some of those words would be on the list…and I certainly wouldn’t have thought “love” would take center stage…but I’m so glad it did.