You have met the woman I was, either in your own reflection or that of your co-workers and partners, a woman who performed in adulation of the masculine and in reproach of the feminine. A woman who feared if she acted feminine would be perceived by others, both men and women, as incapable of meeting the arduous demands of my professional and personal life.
I was the ‘Tom Boy’ because in order to be accepted by my father, I had to be. My mother’s mental illness to my father defined femininity; to be feminine was to be weak and vulnerable. In order to survive as women, we had to be like men. Risk takers, independent, and competitive.
I was a woman exuding masculine traits, until one afternoon about seven years ago, an executive coach surmised, “You write like a guy.” I straightened up in the chair; I was oddly uncomfortable by his gaze; it undid me. He seemed somewhere between bewilderment and despair for the woman before him and the guy he saw on paper.
“Like a guy.” Those three words upended me. Truth is, I was exhausted in my career and home life, and it was because I was acting mostly like the guy. I was a woman pushing an elephant up a hill. I am no more.
At home was the first place where I practiced tapping more into my feminine and out of my masculine. I stopped relying so much on my masculine inclinations to manage my personal life, and then, slowly but surely, shifted such awareness to my professional life. In so doing, I found a new resource for energy, inspiration, and creativity; I tapped into it big time, and finally, embraced both my masculine and feminine essence.
Women and men suffer tremendously staying the course rigidly in masculine-minded traits and resisting feminine, to nurture effortlessly; to guide gently, compassionately, and to encourage openness. Feeding our lives with mostly masculine energy perpetuates a malnourished and unhealthy environment for development both personally and professionally.
“We all have both estrogen and testosterone in our systems… in the past …the yang has been overvalued in business, and the yin drastically undervalued, much to the detriment of everyone in the workforce.” —Natalie Peace, ForbesWoman, 5/9/2012.
Life is optimized when we tap into both our masculine and feminine energies. But, unfortunately some women still think they need to act masculine and ironically, men must remain in a way of defense to the masculine women to survive in today’s corporate world and at home.
It is sad that to a great extent still, men and women are in fear of tapping into their feminine energy, unaware of how to unearth the feminine, and in desperate need of tenderness and warmth. This is a conundrum as well, for their partners; no one wants to have to be all of anything always in life.
“Fortunately, to counter the many ways we are paying a high price for our ‘always on’ lives, there’s ample research suggesting that solutions are within reach. Family, for example, can actually be a great thing for your career, by giving us perspective and the ability to be more detached from our working lives’ daily ups and downs. Just knowing I’m going to see my daughters at the end of the day puts my whole work day in a different light. I’m far less likely to get stressed over a setback – and have you ever had a day without setbacks? Perhaps one day a brilliant scientist will come up with a name for this effect, but whatever it is, it has a big impact on things like mood, confidence and enthusiasm, all of which are great assets in the workplace.” —Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post
In my career as an Ontological Coach, I am intuitive, vulnerable, bold, and courageous. By finally relaxing into my feminine essence and honoring my masculine energy, I am full of vigor and zest for each day, each meeting, and every new venture. My success is evidenced by not only an increase in clients, but also, a not so coincidental increase in my male to female ratio. I recognize when a person is in their masculine or feminine, and what energy is required of me, to best serve their goals, professional and personal.
One person, who never flinched at her femininity or sought to deny it, is my dearest mentor and friend, Nann Miller. In the 1960’s, after raising three boys (now very successful men) Nann started her own PR firm. She nurtured businesses and relationships that thrived and sustained profitably and joy; inspired creativity and collaboration. I adore you Nann!
In March, I will celebrate with her, her 90th birthday! Like me, she loves a great party. Check her out in the photo, she’s the beautiful blonde rocking the chic suit—
This is feminine energy in all its glory!
All here for you!