There is a mountain of research revealing unequivocally that what people want from their leaders today is changing, and changing dramatically. And the good news is, women have never been better placed to lead, as we transition from an old style of leadership based on command and control, short term…
Feminine is the new balance
Are you sick and tired of talking about work life balance? Many have tried it and failed. Most think it doesn’t exist. Some have coined the term work life integration or work life blend. But we’re still talking about the same thing. The truth is, unless you get to the root of the issues around why we work so damn much, and why most people have no semblance of a fulfilling and flourishing personal life, we will always have this debate, and this kind of balance will forever be another thing that is just out of your reach.
So let’s hit a big fat pause on that conversation. I want to talk about a different concept. And I want to declare that there is a new kind of balance in town that if we get right, can address the root causes of why our lives (and the world) are so out of whack.
It’s the balance between our feminine and masculine energies.
Regardless of gender, every person has both masculine and feminine energies and traits. I write this piece about women, ‘cos that’s mostly what I do, but you can also think about this in the context of your male partner, boss, team members, sons or other men in your life, as it applies to them too – but for now let’s just focus on us (what a rare and lovely thought).
For the vast majority of women, growing up in patriarchal societies and working in patriarchal organisations and businesses, we have grown accustomed to being entrenched in our masculine, as that is what has been needed to survive, get ahead, and succeed. Drive and strive, ambition, pushing through, working hard, being assertive, as well as decisive, opinionated and all knowing, have been the traits that have gotten us the job, delivered the project, landed us the promotion, and kept us ‘in the game’.
It’s also what’s made us exhausted, burnt us out, caused us to opt out, made us question what the hell we are doing, and if we are to be completely honest (yes, let’s be), it’s also what has crushed our spirits and left gaping holes in our souls.
It’s time to change that. It’s time to soften. It’s time to reclaim our beautiful feminine qualities, to bring them into balance with our masculine ones, and to own all parts of ourselves. I’m talking about our empathy, our intuition, our kindness, vulnerability, creativity, nurturing of ourselves and others, our inner wisdom and knowing, and our big beautiful hearts.
For so long, the feminine in both men and women, has been pushed aside, undervalued and turned away from, for so many reasons. For us as women, some of those reasons have been that we’ve thought our feminine aspects would make us appear weak in a man’s world. That we wouldn’t be taken seriously. That we wouldn’t get ahead at best, or keep our jobs, at worst. That we’d be laughed at, ignored, rejected. That we simply would not survive.
But we haven’t been surviving all that well, have we? Whilst everything might look alright on the surface of our lives, for millions of women, there has been an internal shrinking taking place. A shrivelling. A withering away of the parts of ourselves we long to reclaim and own again.
When we are in the flow of our feminine, we are tuned in to ourselves. We know what we need. We know which direction to go, which decisions to make, what is right for us. We take care of ourselves, nurture our spirits, look after our bodies, and give ourselves the time and space for what we long for most. We trust ourselves, our inner knowing, our truth. We know the boundaries we need in place and we hold those lines. We say no. And we mean it.
There is a rising that is taking place amongst women all around the world. A rising to take back what is ours. To redefine our womanhood. To value once again the core essence of who we are.
It’s a reckoning. A reclamation. A revolution even.
We don’t need to throw out our masculine traits. We need those traits to take our place in the world, to lead, to get sh*t done. But we need to bring those masculine traits into balance with the lost feminine.
To reshape the world, we need to lead like women, not be bad clones of men, and our feminine traits are the pathway home. To be able to balance our ability to listen and nurture with our ability to drive and control. To be able to lead with authority, whilst at the same time show our vulnerability. To care for our people as much as we care about profits. To come home from work and step out of the masculine and soften into our feminine so our relationships can flourish.
For the world to value the feminine, we need to value her. Take back what is yours. Become who you were born to be. A modern woman who owns and honours all parts of yourself. A woman who realises the profound power that is inside of you. And a woman who will no longer tell her greatest gifts that they have no place here.
Feminine is the new balance. This is the new conversation. And the time for rising is now.