In today’s culture, there is a push toward gender neutrality. On one hand, it’s helping to create equal rights but on the other hand, it’s denying what is hard-wired and natural. Let’s take a look at how women in particular can nurture their feminine side because it’s something that has been lost in our highly fast-paced and competitive world.
Appreciating the Feminine WithinWhen I was a student in my early 20s in France, I went with a boy to see his family in the French countryside. Both of his parents were physicians. His mother, a beautiful slender woman, was dressed in a skirt and blouse with her hair and makeup perfectly done. There was no special occasion as it was the weekend and this was a country home. She was ironing her husband’s shirt while all dolled up. Somehow I found myself in a conversation with her about being a working woman and still catering to her husband. I will never forget what she told me: with a twinkle in her eye, she said, “You know. All we must do as women is fix ourselves up, iron a few shirts with a smile, and our husbands will be eating out of our hands.” At the time, it seemed like an outrageous statement. But I think the reason it has stuck with me so long is that there is a grain of truth to it.
Femininity is a special gift. It makes us softer, gentler, kinder, nurturing, more compassionate, and naturally loving. As women we are naturally more vulnerable and open. We are created to bond. We are designed for relationships. We are designed to create life. And yes, our soft gentle features are meant to attract males.
Self-awareness is about appreciating who you really are. It’s about looking inside to understand your gifts and talents. There is nothing shameful about being a woman and embracing your feminine side.
Relationship experts like John Gray, who wrote the Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus series, explains that the reason there is much confusion today is that we have been taught to deny who we innately are. Women have taken on more masculine roles and have pushed themselves to act, think, and talk more masculine. So when she goes home at the end of the day and wants to be a woman, she doesn’t quite know how.
While I grew up when feminism was at its peak, I learned through much work in relationships, that I need to accept and embrace my feminine side. And I love it. Like the French mom, wife, and physician, I love it when a man opens a door, gives me his jacket, or fixes my toilet. I’m proud to embrace my softer feminine side.
What Embracing Your Feminine Side Won’t MeanWhen you appreciate and nurture your feminine side, it will not mean you are plunging back into the Dark Ages. Just because you enjoy this natural part of you, you will not lose your rights to vote, lose your job, or become barefoot and pregnant. It won’t mean that you are politically incorrect. And it certainly doesn’t mean you need to go to extremes. Somehow I think some women are afraid of that or are ashamed so they hide their beauty under unflattering clothing or take on a more masculine demeanor when out in public.
In Ayurveda, we learn our mind-body type to understand who we really are and how we can regain and maintain balance. If you are working in a masculine-dominated field or have denied the feminine part of you for some time, it’s important to rebalance.
4 Ways You Can Nurture Your Feminine EnergyMany mothers, in particular, express that after work, kids, housework, shopping, and dinner preparation there is no room to be feminine. Here’s some great news: You can do all those roles and still include femininity.
- You don’t have to do it all. I used to be Super Woman. I did it all. Of course I wasn’t feeling feminine because I carried all roles by myself. Now, I watch myself. I’m raising boys who will soon be men. I do give my boys the traditional jobs of taking out the trash, scooping the cat litter, and carrying heavy water bottles. But I also give them dish duty and bathroom duty. When I’m at the grocery store, I now say “yes” to the bagger who offers to bring the bags to my car. But do you know what? For the most part, men love to help out and do these things for you because male energy is designed for carrying heavy loads, things like troubleshooting and, oh yes, gallantry.
- Dress the role. Honestly, what woman wouldn’t want to go out and buy some nice clothes, makeup, and a haircut if you gave her money to do it? I used to frequent a website called Flylady.net in which the writer, Marla Cilley, taught that women should take a shower and get dressed with shoes on every morning so that they can feel their best. Pick out pretty clothes, get a favorite lipstick color, wear your favorite jewelry, or buy a nice pair of fashionable shoes. Get up 15 minutes earlier so you can take care of yourself and look your best so you feel your best.
- Do activities that foster feminine energy. Have a girls’ night out. Get your nails done. Engage in a creative activity. Instead of opting for extreme sports all the time, take a painting class, or learn to knit or how to dance. Feminine or yin energy is cool, creative, passive, intuitive, and compassionate. Find activities that foster these qualities. If it feels strange at first, keep at it until you feel like you’re becoming more balanced.
- Feel confident and accept compliments. Beauty is a woman’s natural trait. When you start to allow feminine energy to flow back into your life, people will notice. In the past, I had a difficult time with compliments on my physical appearance. I would get embarrassed and brush them off. Now I smile warmly and say, “Thank you.” Feel proud to be beautiful. Enjoy the compliments. They are simply a recognition that your feminine energy is flowing more freely than before. It means you’re bringing your energies back into balance.