[Note: This is one of the most-read posts on my blog. After four years, I decided it was time to offer an updated perspective on this topic. You can read it here: “What It Takes to Embody Your Feminine Energy.”]
Our whole Universe is made of polarities: right and left, light and dark, up and down. By definition, polarities come in pairs, and you can’t know one without also knowing its counterpart.
Meaning, you can’t know what light is until you also experience dark. Or where up is until you can compare it to down.
Perhaps one of the most significant polarities is masculine vs. feminine. Part of its significance is in how out-of-balance it has been, at least on our planet, for quite a long time. The patriarchy that has ruled western culture is the result of skewing toward masculine energy. And the important thing to note is that balance exists because the people making up the culture are skewed toward the masculine within themselves.
So it goes to say that if we want to encourage a shift toward the feminine in our culture – not only respect for women but respect for feminine traits – then we need to be elevating the feminine energy within ourselves.
(Note that while gender identity is broadly related to this topic, what I’m talking about is how any person expresses universal energies, regardless of physical sex or gender identity. We all express both masculine and feminine to some degree.)
This exploration has been part of my personal path for a while now – in fact, I like to think for my whole life. I spent my first 30-something years in a masculine-dominant state, focused on intellect and structure as influenced by environment in school and then IT programming. But then as I ventured deeper into the world of energy healing, I naturally started to nurture my own feminine traits, especially intuition and allowing. And every message I’ve gotten from Spirit in this regard has instructed me to seek perfect balance between the two.
In order to balance our masculine and feminine aspects, we need to know at least two things: 1) what is “masculine energy” vs. “feminine energy”, and 2) how can we tell which way we’re inclined?
The easiest way to answer these questions is to give some examples of masculine-feminine trait pairs. Because again, the best way to define one end of a polarity is to compare it to its counterpart.
Here are some masculine-feminine trait pairs:
|Masculine trait||Feminine trait|
|Odd numbers||Even numbers|
|Straight edges||Round curves|
|Acidic pH||Alkaline pH|
Can you already start to see where you are out-of-balance, suppressing one side over the other? And are you consistent or do you vary in which side you suppress or amplify?
(And did you notice, by the way, how these have nothing to do with being a man or a woman?)
Let’s take a closer look at some common scenarios that might be signs that you’re suppressing your feminine energy:
1) You’re closed off to receiving.
We’ve had some great discussions about this in the first two gatherings of The Empowered Feminine. (More about that below.) In general we associate giving with generosity and having an open heart, which seems like it might be a more feminine thing, right?
But in terms of masculine-feminine polarity, giving is the masculine side. This truth become clearer at its amplified, dysfunctional extreme: Over-giving is a controlling (thus, masculine) behavior, where someone gives and gives in order to buy loyalty or create obligation. This may be consciously manipulative, but more often its a subconsciously-triggered behavior that the person doesn’t know she’s exhibiting until someone points it out.
Allowing oneself to receive, on the other hand, is allowing oneself to be nurtured. Is there anything more feminine than letting yourself be taken care of? And yet doing so requires willingness to relinquish control (that is, your masculine energy).
Perhaps this is why self-care is so important: because you are in one moment giving to yourself and receiving from yourself – the perfect balance of masculine and feminine.
[EDIT: Since writing this article in 2016, I have created a small but powerful healing program called Open to Receiving to address this very common block.]
2) You are controlling
Consider these clichés:
“Happy wife, happy life.”
“Ain’t no one happy till Mama’s happy.”
Sure, they’re funny, but look at what they’re really saying: This domineering woman (wife or mother) is going to make your life unpleasant (or worse) until she gets exactly what she wants. That’s not feminine energy – that is controlling, rigid, unyielding masculine energy.
And while these examples focus on the woman’s force exerted on other people, this dynamic also applies to how she treats her self and what expectations she sets upon the Universe. Being rigid about how things should be done is a masculine trait.
Its feminine counterpart, allowing, helps you to be flexible and flowing. I think we resist letting go because we fear going too far with it and becoming completely passive. That’s not right either: You came into this life to have desires and see them be fulfilled. The perfect balance, then, is to insist upon what you want (masculine) but be open about how it is delivered (feminine).
3) Blocked intuition
As indicated in the table above, intuition is a feminine trait; its masculine counterpart is intellect. When they’re in balance, you can perceive energy or receive guidance and use your intellect to interpret what you’ve perceived intuitively.
But when you’re masculine-dominant in this area, your intellect will override your intuition. You may be prone to talking yourself out of what you perceive/receive because it isn’t “real” or “proven” (whatever that means). Trust is the key word here. There’s a vulnerability inherent in surrendering to an idea that hasn’t been validated by the facts and figures known to your intellect. Being afraid of vulnerability in any situation is an over-arching sign that you’re suppressing your feminine energy.
The main key to shifting the balance within yourself is awareness. Pay attention to your thoughts, words, and actions, and identify when it’s possible to stop, take a breath, and let go a little.
What have you learned about your own masculine-feminine balance? In what area of your life would you like to bring these traits into balance, and what do you think is the best way to do it? Leave a comment below and share with the rest of us.