Repressing Feminine Power
Recently, during a journaling process, I had a sudden memory of myself at age 15. I was at a high school dance in the small town that I grew up in. It was dark outside. I was outside of the gymnasium - standing alone in the hall. Suddenly, I was struck by a powerful feminine presence in the reflection of the trophy case.
When I realized the reflection in the trophy case was me, I was both awed and afraid of my feminine power. I remember wondering, "Where can I express this power?" My feminine power felt alien to who I was supposed to be in my community, my school and my ancestry. At that moment, I decided to shut it down in order to fit into my small town world.
The Disempowered Feminine
We are each a human creation that is a mixture of masculine and feminine within, and regardless of gender, we usually have a predominant nature to express. I am feminine in my true nature, and I was a dependent woman in my twenties. I compromised my integrity to get my practical needs met by others.
In my twenties, I was afraid all of the time. I married young so that I could "dabble" in a career as a gallery artist, have children, and be taken care of financially. Looking the other way when mistruths in my marriage were revealed, I denied the lack of integrity in my partner. My marriage did not come to a good end. When I could no longer deny my bad choices, I left.
Divorced at 30, struggling to earn a living, I set out to develop my "masculine drive" in my 30's and 40's. I exerted my efforts towards a career so I could be self-sufficient financially. Step-by-step I made strong decisions to climb out of the dark hole of my bad choices.
My 30's and 40's were marked by a large amount of outer doing while forgiving myself for past mistakes. I reeducated as a counsellor, worked full-time, started a private practice on evenings and weekends and raised my daughter. I made great efforts to move ahead strongly principled, masculinely-driven sort of way.
Out of the need to know that I could support myself financially, I often ignored my need to rest, dream, wait and incubate. I followed an intense work and school "re-training" schedule that did not honour my need to take breaks, receive much nourishment or calm my nervous system.
Busyness can be an avoidance of the deeper feminine self-nourishment that we need to balance and rejuvenate. Such over-masculinized busyness can stop us from deepening into our creative visions. Transpersonal teacher Chuck Spezzano explains how busyness can be a form of avoidance.
"Busyness attempts to protect us from the fear generated by our shadow figures, the unconscious mind, and our pain. It blocks out soul level gifts, our purpose and our destiny. In our busyness, we are trying to run away from feelings of guilt, failure and worthlessness.
We drive ourselves onward to prove we are useful and valuable. Yet dark feelings float to the surface in any moment of respite, so we keep pushing on. Our busyness keeps us too busy for love and bonding that would bring about the same success with much less effort. Instead of moving forward to a new stage we change by slight degrees."
"The conversion of women into mini-men is almost complete. Yet there is no future for humanity if we are all expressing the same masculine qualities such as competitiveness, independence, logical reasoning, and ambition.
Without the powerful transformative feminine qualities of sensitivity, creativity, nurturing, and purification, along with the deep desire to connect, our bodies, minds, and environments will become unproductive and barren, leading to the extinction of our species."
~ Christine R. Page, M.D
Many of us over-ride our need for self-care. Years ago, I remember repeatedly ignoring the urge to stop and rest. Because I repeatedly ignored the feminine within, she asserted herself into the forefront of my vision through ongoing chronic eye infections. Unable to appear confident with red infected eyes, I still struggled to "keep-on-keeping-on."
The inner feminine longs to nurture our creations in a slow and sustaining way. When the masculine and feminine are balanced we can employ the strength of the inner masculine to take our creative visions out into the world in powerful ways.
The Nourishment of Feminine Creativity
Many women (and men) develop over-exaggerated masculine work habits in an effort to make a living. Feminine creativity waits to hear new information from the unseen realms before taking action. The feminine also profoundly nurtures what has already been created.
The feminine side of our creativity gestates our visions even as she outwardly seems to "do nothing." After many years of strengthening my masculine "doing" principle, it has felt strangely delightful to stop, rest, wait, listen and incubate my creativity.
In our masculine creativity, we are encouraged to compete. Competition breeds loneliness, burn-out and emotional pain. Our feminine creativity knows that we all evolve together. As part of larger connected social systems, we do not evolve only according to our personal agendas.
Our inner feminine knows we belong to a family and an ancestry that evolving together. We may also be part of a working group that is evolving. And, we may also be part of a loving partnership or a marriage evolving. Creations need to be loved and acknowledged and honoured in order to continue living in the world.
Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hahn speaks so eloquently about the feminine creative principle:
"To learn to live each moment in deep mindfulness and concentration is the practice. The conception and unfolding of a piece of art take place exactly in the moments of our daily life. The time you begin to write down the music or the poems is only the time of delivering the baby. The baby has to be already in you for you to deliver it. We must make good use of every moment of our daily life in order to allow this insight and compassion to bloom."