This guest article was written by Leela Francis, leelafrancis.com
My earlier years of hiking and backpacking consisted of me and my avid outdoorsman boyfriend who loved to get out in the backcountry and rough it for a few days. Nature called and we both loved to gear up and get out into the wild where there were no sounds but the birds, the creaking of the tall trees and the waterfalls we passed along the way.
As much as these outings remain blessed memories and formative experiences in my evolving love and appreciation for nature, I began to realize that my partner always had a persistent striving to get us somewhere as fast as possible. I on the other hand preferred to wander and day dream my way, communing with the scents and textures at every turn. Sometimes this would result in an undercurrent of conflict between us. He was more about where we needed to get to, and I was more about where we already were. His practical, goal driven approach inevitably won out, and I seemed always to be torn from my reverie.
Years later, when I happened to start going on outings with a small circle of women friends, I noticed how profoundly different it was. We planned shorter distances whether hiking, biking or kayaking, and always had time and space to “stop and smell the flowers”. It wasn’t long before I was choosing the sister accompanied outings over those with my lover.
In hindsight, I get why we had to get where we were going. Darkness would eventually come and we needed to have covered the distance we intended in order to reach our desired location, which was what brought us there in the first place. I know this approach is not better or worse, just different. The masculine is different than the feminine. And the reality is that they are always dancing with each other within and around us
The reality is also that in the very patriarchal world in which we live, driven predominantly by masculine values and mindsets, the masculine overshadows the values and sensibilities of the feminine. While both are absolutely necessary for life on this planet, a clear lack of balance is evident. But is it balance that we need to achieve and which would bring peace, ease and fulfillment? Or, is it more an understanding and appreciating of the attributes of each, and that engaging each to enhance the other that would most serve us?
So many women who come to Vividly Woman circle start by sharing that they’ve lived almost exclusively in a masculine world in their work life for years. They feel so cut off from their feminine aliveness and starving for their true feminine nature. Once in circle and in the sacred and safe space of other sisters also craving more of their divine feminine juiciness, they start to melt away the hardened shell that formed to protect their softer essence.
It’s natural to create that shell like boundary when we are surrounded by it in the environments where we spend most of our time. Although I personally have very little experience in corporate settings, as the mom of 3 teenage stepsons I can relate wholeheartedly. It’s natural for the feminine to shy inward in the overwhelming testosterone prominent energetic because that’s the nature of the feminine; soft, inward, compliant, flowing, malleable. Without this quality in our world there would be no meandering rivers, there would be no melting snow, no merging of the seasons.
The masculine like wise brings with it essential qualities that are necessary for the beauty in our world. The masculine offers the banks of the flowing river so that it flows instead of floods, the outer casing of the tree we call the trunk bark that allows the sap direction and encasement to grow branches skyward so we are provided oxygen, and the masculine penetrating quality of the sun is what encourages our food to grow to sustain us.
Just like the way the masculine and feminine exist in nature, they exist within us and finding the ways that the masculine bet serves our inner feminine is the wisest and most effective way to dance with it within us and around us.
Recently in a Vividly Woman monthly community tele-circle we gathered to reflect and share about the dance of the masculine and feminine in our lives. It’s clear that there is a strong desire now for women to nourish more of our feminine nature to make up for the over abundance of masculine energy we’ve been inundated with. But is this all that’s needed? Don’t we also need to identify the ways that the masculine supports and nourishes the feminine, and enroll those aspects of ourselves to expand our inner feminine aliveness?
Here are some qualities of each:
Let’s look at how can we pair up these qualities to optimize, enhance and grow ourselves, our vision, and our planet?
The freedom loving aspect of our fluid feminine nature, that loves to day dream and absorb ourselves in the moment through our senses, could be harnessed and boundried by the masculine to amplify our rich sensuality and make it even more potent.
The spontaneity of our creative feminine wildness could benefit from some sense of masculine direction to harness the power of that wildness, apply it to a desired goal and achieve it.
The masculine force of a motor facilitates a feminine ease of travel.
And the masculine quality of commitment becomes necessary when all the feminine essence devotion in the world just isn’t enough to sit through the football season with your husband in exchange for him attending the flower show with you last spring.
The fact that we have been so immersed in the masculine energetic for so long qualifies us as experts, unfortunately often to the exclusion of our feminine blessings. Perhaps the answer is not to throw out the baby with the bath water so to speak, but to creatively and wisely interweave the gifts of the masculine to support and expand the blessings of the feminine.
Look around at your life and see where you are using mostly masculine or mostly feminine qualities. Then determine if a dash of the opposite could be useful there. Instead of thinking “how can I balance one with the other?” think, “how can I enhance, grow, optimize one with the other?”.
The dance of the masculine and the feminine is indeed a dance where one leads, one follows, and one channels and is informed by the other in a constant feedback dynamic. It’s how this planet continues to exist and flourish, and how we can too!
Leela Francis, founder of Vividly Woman Embodied Leader Tools and Training, is an internationally recognized keynote speaker and facilitator. Leela expertly provides audiences large and intimate, with inspiring wisdom and action strategies to connect their physical, spiritual and intellectual selves. With grace, charm, wit and supreme sensitivity, Leela motivates and moves people back into experiencing and accessing the wisdom of their bodies, channels her energy to assist a more connected sense to their own personal power, and allow for the safe, secure environment to open to connecting with others and the life force of personal body intelligence. Explore what your life can become; engage and experience Leela Francis programs. www.LeelaFrancis.com