* Loving Your Feminine and Masculine Womanliness
I recently spoke with a good friend who said she was feeling very unfeminine and it was causing her great concern. She's attractive, has a beautiful, strong body, a good style of dress, and a powerful personality. She said her new roommate is petite and soft-spoken, and wears skirts and flowey blouses. Comparing herself to her roommate, my friend felt ungainly and clunky. She perceived her diminutive roommate as the perfect example of feminine. I asked my friend, “do you feel masculine?” “Not really,” she replied. “Just not feminine.”
Hmmmm. What is this concept of feminine? And what’s so important about being feminine, anyway? Where did this concept come from? Aren’t all women innately feminine, just because they’re women? While women and men have shared the planet for eons without a care about who is what, it seems that recently the importance of feminine and masculinity has penetrated our culture and our consciousness. I often hear people blame women’s liberation for making women too masculine and men too feminine, and the reason that the rise in numbers of single women is a prevalence of masculine energy among them. Women judge themselves for not being feminine enough, and personal growth and relationship coaches are making a mint from the women who flock to them to learn the secrets of“femininity” and how to act properly with a man.
Sadly, our culture’s concept of femininity is based on a flimsy, superficial foundation, and the word practically takes on a slang quality. We think 'feminine' means pretty clothing, soft and slow gestures, a lilting voice, and an agreeable nature. And yes, this is a lovely expression of femininity, but this is far from the only expression. So before you start to judge yourself and diminish your personality because you don’t think you’re “feminine” enough, let me tell you the rest of the story.
Feminine versus Masculine Eenergy
According to the ancient, energetic path of Tantra, all women and all men contain both feminine and masculine energies, and the goal is to balance those energies inside of us. According to Tantric tenants, the healthiest and most enlightened humans contain and exude both feminine and masculine energies. It is healthy and normal for a woman to have both feminine and masculine energies, and normal for her to express herself in both feminine and in a masculine ways.
The energy philosophies of Tantra describe the subtle differences between Feminine and Masculine, and following are a few examples of the polar opposite energies:
Just by virtue of being a human being, you are feminine! And depending upon what you happen to be doing at any point of the day, you may be more feminine or more masculine. For example, when you are with your masculine boyfriend, your feminine energy may predominate and you may feel and express nurturing and receptive qualities. Yet, while presenting a proposal at a business meeting, your masculine energy may take over and you think and act logically and linearly.
While our energetic body automatically knows which energetic mode to switch into, Tantra teaches us that we're capable of accentuating and diminishing our energy at will (once you get the hang of it with some energy exercises.) This means that you can enhance both your feminine and masculine energies, and express either one whenever you want! (One great exercise to increase feminine energy is dancing with a lot of hip movement.)
Femininity versus Womanliness.
Another concept to explore is Feminity versus Womanliness. Femininity is but one expression of woman. Womanliness is the expression of all aspects of the spirit that resides within a woman. And womanliness is all things - gentle and strong, passive and aggressive, peaceful and wrathful.
The revered goddesses of ancient religions bore many, and often contrasting, feminine attributes. For example, Greece’s sensual goddess Aphrodite is overseer of love, beauty, community affairs also presides over warfare.
Hindu goddess Kali is the beloved and honored primordial mother is also destroyer of egos.
Egypt’s goddess Sekhmet rules over the domains of love and sexuality, as well as righteous anger and justice.
Innumerable feminine archetypes are represented by goddesses, queens, priestesses, shaman, slaves and other women throughout history. They are all women, all divine expressions of goddess, and all very feminine.
Positive Energy Woman understand the nuances of feminine and masculine energy, and she fully accepts and loves herself, no matter how “feminine” or “masculine” she feels or is perceived as being. She also knows who she is at the very core of her being, and understands that the source of her essence resides within her spirit. She honors and accepts her unique expressions, and proudly exhibits her true self.
So love, love LOVE yourself! Love every feminine, masculine and womanly aspects of yourself. No matter who you are or what you feel like, you are a WOMAN!