Women, it’s time to evolve beyond Feminism!

There was a time, not too long ago, in our developed world, when a woman wasn’t allowed to do many things that were normal for a man. She wasn’t allowed to study, to work (apart from in the house), to have an opinion, to vote, to run a marathon or to wear trousers for example. Often she did not even have a say in whom to go out with or to marry, when to have children and how many… The notion was that women were weaker, less capable, less intelligent and in general less worthy – and their only role in life was taking care of the household, the man and the children. And to be beautiful and attractive of course. Naturally, women rebelled against this inequality and fought to have the same rights and freedoms as men. Nowadays, there is nothing a Western woman cannot do, at least in theory (even if there are still many inequalities and glass roofs). We can live by ourselves, run marathons, win Nobel prices, lead and manage teams, companies or even countries, choose our partner and take birth-control.

No doubt about it: Feminism and emancipation have been very good and very important. However, it’s time now for us to evolve beyond them, to take them to a new level. A level in which we embrace and value the Divine Feminine – and don’t actually reject part of it. Let me explain.

Overemphasizing the Masculine

We live in a dual world in which everything has two opposite poles, a yin & a yang, a Masculine & a Feminine. These are energies which are not tied to gender, although women tend to have easier access to the Feminine and men to the Masculine. Since for so long women have been suppressed and denied access to everything associated with the “Masculine”, it is no surprise that we started to consider those forbidden fruits as highly desirable (the law of Polarity teaches us that when we exaggerate one side, we will eventually have to drop into its opposite extreme, before we can bounce back into balance..). So it is no wonder that once we actually were able to have a good education, a successful career, or simply an opinion, we jumped on it. And rightfully so!

However, the problem is that collectively us women – just like men – have come to link our self-worth with performing and achieving while keeping our limited view on what it means to be Feminine (basically pretty, skinny, sexy and dump). An academic title, a top-management position, a large bank account – that is what we have been conditioned to believe we need to feel worthy of love and happiness. Having a beautiful and attractive body (which these days basically means having a male body with breasts), a nice home and smart kids is of course still important, but usually no longer as a stand-alone. At least not if we don’t want to disappoint anyone’s expectations, including our own. And hardly any woman wants that. We have a strong people pleasing tendency, and so we often don’t even question whether the path we are on is the one we want to be on, and if it really fulfills us.

So we work very hard, constantly striving to assert ourselves in what is still often a “men’s world”, striving to prove that we are just as good as (or even better than) our male colleagues, striving to win their approval and respect, striving to climb up the career ladder. And – with the memory of our mothers or grandmothers still present – striving to be independent and to stand on our own two feet.

In order to do so, we focus on developing our left-brain, energetically Masculine qualities: Being straight-forward. Ambitious. Analytical. Rational. Thinkers. Direct. Fast-paced. Goal-orientated. Pro-active (and active in general). Disciplined. Structured. Controlling. Pushing through. Following the rules. Making things happen… Those are assets valued in the business world. Energetically Feminine, right-brain qualities (which of course, men also have), like being soft, intuitive, feeling, compassionate, empathetic, emotional, receptive, cyclical, unstructured (one could also say chaotic), sensual, spiritual, wild and untamed in spirit, connected to and nourishing the needs of the body, the soul and the Earth, trusting and allowing things go their natural flow… and even true creativity and being a team-player – are usually not as highly appreciated or even rejected (even if lip service is paid to them), including by us women.

Without even noticing, us women have thus reproduced the same situation that we rebelled against: The Masculine suppressing the Feminine. Just that this time we do it to ourselves.

Yet having to be or choosing to be so immersed in our Masculine all the time is exactly what is becoming our pitfall when it comes to our physical and mental health, our fertility and also the health of our romantic relationships. Striving to be “one of the guys” is neutralizing polarity and denying our true Feminine core.

Yes, women and men are equal and should have the same rights, no question. Still we are far from being the same. In fact, we are very different. And it is time for us – us women first and foremost – to acknowledge, appreciate and celebrate the unique qualities and strengths that come with being a woman. It is time to stop limiting our self-worth to our achievements, or to measure our worthiness in terms of energetically “male” qualities. It is time to stop suppressing the needs of our body and soul for the sake of outer success. It is in fact time to stop allowing our inner Masculine to suppress our inner Feminine. It is time to evolve them both.

Of course, there is a wide range of energetic constitution among women. There are those with a naturally strong “yang” (Masculine) energy and those with a naturally strong “yin” (Feminine) energy (the same is true for men as well). However, if in your core you are Feminine (even if you have well-developed Masculine traits), you have the gifts and needs that come with that, even if you are not aware of them.

Implications for fertility

Conceiving a baby requires us to drop deep into our Feminine. It is an inherently passive act that requires us to be relaxed, open and in reception mode. It is a Divine act, often beyond our direct control. If we are always on the run, used to making things happen, to getting what we want when we want it, to being the manager, to controlling things… we will likely approach pregnancy just like any other “project” – another goal to achieve – and we will have a hard time to simply lay back, open up, let go, surrender, trust and receive. More, if a woman’s self-worth depends on her achievements, she will put a lot of pressure on herself to also “perform” in this area of her life. And even if she actually feels the deep yearning to just drop all that control, she usually doesn’t know how to do it – or it seems she just cannot, because things just have to “get done” and there is nobody to take them off her shoulders.

If she used to live mainly for her career, she is likely to face an identity crisis, too, when the moment to start a family arrives. After all the effort she has put into her career she now has to take time off from work, at least temporarily, with all the disadvantages that come with that? Frustration about this “inequality” is not rare. And if she actually feels the wish to be a “stay-at-home-mum” (which for many is a term with a quiet negative connotation), and is brave enough to acknowledge that to herself, it is not unusual for her to be ashamed about that fact and to feel the need to justify herself in front of others. After all, she will be reduced to being at home and taking care of the kids?? How lazy. How unambitious. How unworthy. How betraying of her ancestors. How dangerous actually, because it often implies dependency on her husband to some extent. So she feels ambiguous, torn between her innate feminine wish to raise a family, and the expectations of her masculine ego (and those around her) to be considered successful in classical career terms. All of those things, the pressure to perform, the frustration about being the one to have to sacrifice time, and the inner conflict can create so much unconscious stress, that it actually blocks her ability to conceive.

However, we hardly ever make those connections. If for whatever reason the body doesn’t follow our plan, we don’t usually stop and look for the physical or emotional reasons. Instead, we try to make the body do what we had so perfectly figured out. We turn to hormone stimulation, artificial insemination or IVF. Instead of seizing the opportunity to finally get in touch with the Feminine in us, to enter a dialogue with our soul, to look beyond the surface, to discover our deeper needs, to read between the lines, … we continue doing the only thing we know to do: applying the energetically Masculine strategies of pushing and forcing.

Implications for food and body

From a mere energetic point of view, food is Feminine. Food comes from MOTHER Earth and is solid matter and as such more Feminine than airy thoughts. Soft fat is energetically also more Feminine than hard muscles.

Many people dislike fat and prefer muscle. However, fat is crucial for our survival, it surrounds, protects and nourishes all our important organs and glands and has many important functions in our metabolism.

If you are afraid of your inner Feminine, you usually are also afraid of food and/or fat in food – at least to a certain extent. Likewise, if you consider food and/or fat to be your enemy, or if you hate your body, you can deduct that you are also in war with the Feminine, incl. your own inner Feminine. So you are basically in war with a part of yourself, which is a huge constant stressor for your system and deeply affects your metabolism.

The fear of food and fat (= the Feminine) will most likely result in you trying to control your food intake and calories and push your body with exercise (= the Masculine). This approach might lead to different results depending on your individual body and on the intensity of your efforts. You might get a very toned and muscular body. You might get extremely skinny and look more like a boy than a woman, with very small breasts. Or you might not be able to lose any weight and walk around with a very soft (= Feminine) body, constantly confronting you with this part of you and challenging you to accept it rather than fight it. Paradoxically, an overly soft (overweight) body can also be a symptom of a fear of stepping into your Masculine. Just like a very masculine body can simply show you that this part also lives in you. All of that is true for both, women and men. In any case, your body form serves an important function, oftentimes it is a protection mechanism in response to some unconscious belief or fear. Remember, your body is your best friend, not your enemy (read more here)

If you overemphasize the Masculine, your approach to food is likely to be very “left-brain”, focused on nutrition data, facts and figures, calories and nutrients… You choose foods based on knowledge and facts as opposed to intuition and pleasure. You listen more to the experts and what food is supposedly good or bad for us than you listen to your own body. You might even reduce the body to a machine that needs fuel – an input-output system. Unfortunately (or fortunately) things are not so clinical.

Nourishment on the other hand is so much more than nutrition and goes far beyond the body. It is what feeds and sustains you on all levels, the physical, the emotional, the mental and the spiritual. It’s pleasure, it’s joy, it’s sensual, it’s what makes you feel good, warm and relaxed. It’s the Feminine in you.

If you feel good, you want to be alive and naturally will choose a diet and lifestyle that sustain your health and well-being and thus your existence on this planet. If on the other hand, you do not get the nourishment, if you miss the pleasure, the fun, the enjoyment, the relaxation… be it from places, people, animals, food, thoughts, feelings, beliefs…, you might easily question the whole point of being alive and unconsciously start to sabotage your health by making poor dietary or lifestyle choices.

The more you are nourished by things other than food, the less you need to rely on it as your only source of pleasure. This is why it is so important to slow down and take time for yourself, to spend it in nature, to surround yourself with people you love, to listen to music, to read, to move in ways that you enjoy, to decorate your house, to indulge in body care and self-pleasure rituals, to share intimacy with a partner, to dress up, to set up your table and eat slowly and consciously…

If you suppress the Feminine from your life and your diet, meaning that you run through life at a fast pace, that you work and exercise hard from a place of push and that you control what you eat from a place of fear or self-hate, you set yourself up for a lot of suffering and pain. You might eventually even experience phases of uncontrollable emotional or binge eating. Rather than you suddenly having a willpower issue, this is simply your Feminine breaking through and asking for your attention. It’s an invitation to take a step back and find a way to eat and live that is more sustainable and takes into account all of you: the Masculine AND the Feminine. The good nutrition AND the nourishment.

Evolving the Masculine and Feminine

After having lived through the two extremes of 1) a Feminine reduced to being pretty and a good housewife and 2) a Masculine defined by the overvaluation of professional and cognitive development at the expense of the needs of the body and the soul, it’s time to grow into the direction of 3) the evolved Masculine and the evolved Feminine.  

This means first and foremost to drop your limitED and limitING ideas of what it means to be Masculine or Feminine. It means to make peace with both parts in yourself and in the world by realizing that they can both be expressed in toxic and destructive, but also in nourishing and supportive ways.

It also means getting back in balance and to find the middle way between your different roles. Yes, us women have proven that we can keep up with men. But just because we CAN do something, doesn’t mean we should or have to. Trying to be like men won’t make us happy nor will it serve the world.

Just to be clear: I am by no means suggesting that you abandon your Masculine (and with it your job, your ambitions, your purpose) and go back to being a submissive housewife. You should definitely keep and use your Masculine, just not at the expense of your Feminine. It is time to remember your Feminine core and to reconnect with it. In order to do so, you need to take both, your Masculine and your Feminine to a new level.

Evolving the Masculine

The Unevolved (inner or outer) Masculine is intimidated by the Feminine, because it feels her strength in ways incomprehensible to himself. So rather than realizing the tremendous power that would come from joining forces with her, the Unevolved Masculine tries to pull her down by suppressing and controlling her through force and domination. If that is not possible, it will turn to emotional manipulation, making her doubt her self-worth and withdraw love from her for no apparent reason (this includes negative self-talk).

While these strategies might indeed temporarily weaken the Feminine, they only serve to make her stronger over time. At some point she will try to break free from the toxicity. This can happen in a conscious way, when we bring in awareness (a trait of the Evolved Masculine), or unconsciously, in the form of unwanted symptoms and behaviors, such as for example binge or emotional eating, mood swings (incl. mania and depression), hormonal imbalances and also fertility related symptoms.

On the other hand, the evolved Masculine does not derive its strength from keeping the Feminine small. To the contrary, it protects it, supports it and even fights for it. In its essence the evolved Masculine energy is simply about presence and awareness. By providing structure and holding a save space (both physical and emotional), it allows the Feminine to relax and surrender to it, rather than rebel against it. She is free to express herself fully – in all her comprehensible and incomprehensible ways – and to become a powerful and equal partner at his side, complementing his own strengths and making them an invincible team that is able to rise much higher together than any of them could have by themselves.

It is never a sign of Masculinity or of strength to suppress the Feminine – not inside of us nor in the outside world!

So if you feel like your own inner Masculine is holding down your Feminine, work on evolving your inner Masculine into a conscious Warrior of Light who fights the good fight. Evolve it into a courageous king who fully assumes his responsibilities, a king with a purpose who gets things done, a king who draws and respects boundaries, a compassionate king who is able to forgive his enemies, and first and foremost a king who treats his (inner) queen with appreciation and respect, keeping her safe and granting her the time she needs to reflect, connect and attend to the needs of the body and soul. By being that kind of man to your own inner woman, your inner Feminine will be much more comfortable to express herself and become a valuable partner at the side of her Masculine.

Evolving the Feminine

The Unevolved Feminine reduces herself to her outward appearance and how she can serve others. She is driven by scarcity and neediness and can be very manipulative. The Evolved Feminine on the other hand knows that she can only give to others, if she takes care of herself first. She does not limit herself to her outward appearance (although she does appreciate beauty), but is rather looking for inner connection and connection with everything around her. She is in touch with her emotions and expresses them fully and fluidly through her body and voice. Her power is of dominion and magnetism as opposed to domination and manipulation. When talking about the Unevolved (immature) Feminine vs. the Evolved Feminine, we are basically talking about conditional “love” (which is not really love, since true love is always unconditional) vs. unconditional Love and Trust. 

Masculine and Feminine interactions

In order to evolve our Feminine and to be able to drop deep into it, it is a pre-requisite that we evolve our Masculine and in order to evolve our Masculine it is a pre-requisite that we have access to our Feminine. The two are interdependent. In order to illustrate those rather abstract concepts, let’s look at some concrete examples of Masculine-Feminine interactions, whether those take place inside of us or between people.  (some of those examples are adapted from the book “Eating in the Light of the Moon”):

  • The Feminine feels lonely. The evolved Masculine takes notice, sits down and writes to a friend. The unevolved Masculine is either completely unaware of that feeling, insists that she has no reason to feel that way or makes her jump into an affair with the first person available, just to fill the lack.
  • The Feminine produces a dream. The evolved Masculine writes it down, organizes and translates it. The unevolved Masculine either does not remember it, laughs at it or dismisses it as “just a dream”.
  • The Feminine feels upset. The evolved Masculine puts those feelings into non-violent words. The unevolved Masculine tells her that she is “too sensitive”, that she is inadequate to have an opinion at all or starts attacking other people.
  • The Feminine feels hungry. The evolved Masculine responds by getting and preparing nourishing food or by asking “is this physical or emotional hunger”. The unevolved Masculine criticizes her for eating too much, tries to ignore her hunger or quickly feeds her with low-quality food.
  • The Feminine feels tired. The evolved Masculine takes a break, takes a nap, goes to sleep early and looks for emotional / spiritual fatigue. The unevolved Masculine gets a cup of coffee and continues working.

By focusing on evolving and balancing your own inner Masculine and Feminine, you will in time start living that new reality on the outside as well. By modeling how you want the Masculine to treat the Feminine, you will attract more good kings or Warriors of Light (or those that want to grow there following your example) into your world. By living more in your Feminine core, you allow the men in your life to actually step up into their Masculine core.

Further Exploration

Books

If you wish to dive deeper into the topic of Masculine-Feminine dynamics, I can recommend you the following resources:

  • Eating in the Light of the Moon – How Women Can Transform Their Relationship with Food Through Myths, Metaphors, and Storytelling by Anita Johnston: While this book targets women who have a troublesome relationship with food, it is really useful for any woman wanting to reconnect with her Feminine – and even for men wanting to better understand and support the women in their lives.
  • Women Who Run with the Wolves – Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
  • The Way of the Superior Man – A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire by David Deida: While this book is written for men who want to evolve their Masculine, it is really useful as well for women who want to evolve their inner Masculine, too – or to understand how to better support the men in their lives. A bit black and white, but still full of inspirational pearls. You can also find a great free video review of this book here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_H75Mq5K_M
  • Dear Lover: Also by David Deida, but exploring how to evolve the Feminine. Stays nothing short of his work for men. To the contrary, when I thought I had it all figured out, he put his literary finger right where my deepest heart yearned, tearing down masks I did not even realize I was wearing, opening me up from the inside out to a whole new level of truth, the truth of the Feminine essence. It made me cry because I felt more seen than I have ever been able to even see myself, I realized where I had been lying to myself unintentionally, and I suddenly understood exactly why things had to be the way they were and what MY role had been in all of that… and I laughed because I understood on a whole new level that it was ME who actually held the keys to fulfill my heart’s deepest desires, what those desires and keys actually were.
  • Tony Robbins: He has some great free stuff on youtube on Masculine-Feminine polarities and what makes relationships work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYBWeOvnJrQ . I also recommend his coaching video on How to rebuild a broken relationship, just to see him coaching a real couple and pointing out the concrete issues in terms of Masculine-Feminine. His 6 needs framework is also very insightful and powerful to assess the quality of any relationship you might have: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsqTZZUM–M  
  • Goddesses in everywoman and Gods in everyman: Books by Jean Shinoda explaining the different archetypes that influence men’s and women’s behaviors

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