Is it contradictory?

As a child of the sixties, I’m at my core a feminist in the best sense of the word.  I believe in the equality of the sexes.  I believe that when we both see and honor the unique gifts of the masculine and feminine energies, we’re more whole and the world is a better and a higher functioning place.


I’ve experienced my share of gender discrimination in the workforce and in other aspects of my life and I learned that to survive and succeed in the corporate world that I had to act and think more like a man.  I recall a Senior Vice President once saying to me when I stated that I felt a certain way about something – “I don’t want to know how you feel, I want to know what you think!”  So… I adapted and I succeeded.  However, I’ve come to believe that giving up what is beautiful and powerful about being female (our feelings, instincts and intuition) isn’t a good trade for success and these days I’d argue that it makes us less successful. 


I think I’m beginning to see this shift in the world now and younger women are holding on to their femininity and owning their power within it.  I certainly hope that’s the case. However, in my work, I’m still seeing the conflict between the masculine and feminine aspects of our selves.  Because, truly men and women have both aspects and when we’re in touch with both, we’re more balanced and whole.


As a facilitator of Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map Workshops, I get to be with amazing women as they take a journey within.  They begin the process of getting in touch with their true self and their true desires in life.  They uncover their Core Desired Feelings.  They then use these as a sort of GPS for the Soul, for goal setting and, quite frankly, for life overall.


In my first workshop this year, one woman was really struggling with her desires.  She deeply desired to feel capable and she also wanted to feel nourished.  She struggled because she felt these desires were contradictory.  On one hand she wanted to be completely able to take care of herself and be in charge of her life and on the other hand she wanted to feel cared for and nourished by others as well as her self. 


She’s not alone! This conflict rises in many of us as we navigate our power as independent successful women and yet we still have the deep desire to be cared for, cherished and nourished.  It can feel like we have to choose one or the other. 


As we talked about it in the workshop and she described her struggle, I knew the conflict all too well, but I suddenly had this bolt of clarity come through me.  It’s not contradictory, it’s holistic I said!  We don’t have to choose one or the other.  We can have both sides of ourselves!  What freedom, to embrace all aspects of who we are and to not feel we have to fit into one or the other. It was a breakthrough for me!


How about you?  Do you struggle with this idea of having to be a certain way or fit a certain mold to be successful in your career or life?  What do you think would happen if you let it all in and lived from that place?  I’d love to hear from you.  How are you bringing both the masculine and the feminine energies alive in your life?