So you have put in the effort to be more focused and steadfast in pursuing what you want, your creating systems in your life that support you in prioritizing what’s most important to you, your planning and being more strategic in making choices that have your best interests at heart physically, financially and emotionally. You maybe even doing a little strength training and feeling pumped as a result.
You have been busy, strengthening your inner man.
What on earth does that have to do with increasing your feminine qualities of flow, receptivity, playfulness and heart ? Much more than you’d think.
For those of you just stopping by on this series on Celebrating the Masculine, here is a recap of what has been covered so far . In the first post I defined the oppressive form of masculinity termed the man box, what healthy masculinity is and ways to increase it. In the second post I explored the man box further and how it badgers away men’s ability to be self aware and self directed. I also gave 2 big ideas of what can help. In the third post I exposed 5 signs in my own life that I needed to increase my masculinity and offered some journal prompts to get to the root of masculine imbalances.
Today I will share an unexpected discovery on my self care journey that continues to blow me away to this day.
When I got in touch with my true and balanced inner man, it naturally gave rise to the flourishing of my true and balanced inner femininity
Without further ado, let’s dive in!
My Inner Bully, The Old Way
When I began my self care journey I would definitely say it was an exercise in masculine qualities. I began exploring my own self care through fitness as a teen. I was extreme in my efforts and pushed myself to exhaustion. My body was something to be coerced into submission and aggressively hustled into the ideal I held in my mind. This was me acting out what I saw, as the only way to “Get things done”, the old paradigm of masculinity that is essentially a bully.
At some point in college I realized that approach wasn’t sustainable or realistic given the increased responsibilities on my plate as a college student. I needed to be more balanced and measured in what was powerful yet time efficient. It was a long and gradual process of replacing that white knuckling approach with one that was more gentle, steady and productive in the long term.
Real Masculinity, The New Language
The world of gentle and steady was a new one for me and learning its language took much trial and error. My morning time of self care was the playing field of where I practiced this the most. Increasing my focus, putting my moods aside, staying the course when it was difficult and learning when it was appropriate to power through things as in the initial hump of awkwardness when trying new things, were all ways of flexing my healthy masculinity.
I expanded my morning habit of solely exercising and gradually included good food, play and soul nourishment, one tiny step at a time. I thought I was only mothering myself by giving myself those things, yet it was the ongoing practice of being steadfast in my efforts and saying no to distractions, that was the other side of the coin in lovingly fathering myself.
Having shown up for myself day after day through a variety of challenges, strengthened my commitment to my own well-being. I felt I had essentially, grown up my inner boy. The scared, anxiety ridden, drill sergeant bully of the past was gradually replaced with a man that was organized, easily took action on plans, was self reliant, steadfast, focused, assertive and secure.
Inner Stirrings of Wanting Mother
With that said, there came a point in which I felt the inner stirrings of wanting more softness in my life. Although I came a long way from my earlier years of feeling scattered and solely driven by my UN-tethered emotions (unbalanced feminine), I noticed I could be quite regimented in my approach to things.
The Nest Was Ready for New Life
I have shared in a previous post here my perspective on how the masculine can be seen as a supportive container for the creative, generative energies of the feminine. I see now that having strengthened my masculine qualities created a strong foundational container of sorts. In the same way the beginning of new life for birds is through an egg and it cannot happen until the nest is built, having strengthened my healthy inner man laid a foundation of security within myself, much like the nest, that organically gave way to the blossoming of my inner woman, much like the egg of new life.
That repeated experience of having shown up for myself through life’s ups and downs sent the message to my subconscious mind, primal brain, inner child, whatever you want to call it, to relax and let go. Once I could deeply relax, my inner woman stepped up.
Same Body, New Woman
This new level of feeling safe within myself unfurled a new inner landscape from within. The old me that saw myself as disciplined, reliable yet fashionably misplaced and dowdy, was now wanting softer, brightly colored, clothes that swayed when I walked and had crisp flower prints. I began noticing women who decorated themselves in ways that stood out to me and took note. I wanted to wear dangling accessories that made tinkling sounds as I moved and wear rose perfume. I didn’t care that I dressed up and smelled as good as I did while just doing laundry. Gone was the Lorena that judged other women who took time to feel pretty, as superficial.
I also began to want my everyday things to be pretty, for example if I needed a mug for work I took the time to pick one that delighted my aesthetic sense along with functioning well.
The Balance of True Feminine and Masculine
The truth I learned from this experience is this, that when our understanding of masculinity is distorted and unhealthy, we oppress our inner feminine, that ability to feel and be vulnerable. This creates inner conflict. The same is true the other way around. When our understanding of the feminine is unhealthy we hamper our ability to be effective in creating what we want.
Two Engine Jet Plane
Everyone has an inner man and woman, when we embody the true nature of both we have access to their fully expressed abilities and have much more at our disposal when making decisions. Just like a jet plane with both engines burning strong, when we strengthen one healthy aspect of our self, the other healthy aspects naturally follow suite. With balanced masculine and feminine selves we are that much more whole, alive and positively effective in all we do.
In what aspects can you practice true masculinity when protecting and supporting what and whom you love? I’d love to know.
If this post was helpful to you take a sec to share, comment or like and as always, thank you for making me a part of our day today!