When it comes to cultivating balance, women face unique challenges. On the one hand, we’re expected to embody traditionally feminine qualities such as nurturing, receptivity and cooperation. On the other hand, we also need to embody their opposites – assertiveness, decisiveness and strength – in order to function successfully in today’s world. A world that operates primarily from the masculine paradigm. It can be hard to honor both sides of ourselves without sacrificing one for the other, but with a little practice and dedication, it is indeed possible to achieve this balance.
Yin and yang represent the two opposing yet complementary forces that make up the universe. Yin is associated with femininity and qualities like stillness and darkness, while yang is associated with masculinity and traits like movement and brightness. To stay healthy and happy, we need both elements working in concert within us.
We have all grown up with certain beliefs about what it means to be a “good woman” or a “bad woman.” But these limiting beliefs can keep us from accessing our full potential; they can cause us to reject some parts of our personalities while favoring others. Brené Brown puts it beautifully: “When we deny the longing for connectedness, control takes over… We end up living a divided life.”
Women who learn how to flow with their masculine and feminine energies are like skilled surfers riding the waves. The leadership skills of connection, empathy and intuition are what set the most effective leaders apart – and they happen to be feminine or yin qualities. What the world needs now is more people (men and women) willing to set aside the “hustle and grind” programming of the past, and seek instead balanced leadership. And balanced energy is necessary in your personal relationships and parenting approaches, too.
If all of this leaves you wondering where to start, may I suggest simple (and nonjudgmental!) curiosity. Ask yourself which energy you naturally gravitate towards. Why? What are you rejecting within yourself that has caused you to lean heavily to this side? Where do you see possibility to grow? Why is that important to you?