Why is The Feminine Important?
“… our passive, earthy, related, receptive, feeling, nourishing, compassionate, intuitive, instinctive, feminine essence … All of us have this aspect in our personalities, but patriarchies have long considered most aspects of the feminine to be inferior and undesirable. Thus, the feminine principle tends to be repressed in both men and women today. This is hard on everyone but especially devastating on women, because the feminine principle is the essence of our nature”
Jean Benedict Raffa Ed. D from “The Bridge to Wholeness – A Feminine Alternative to the Hero Myth”
Western culture has systematically stripped the modern woman of her trust in the beauty, value and power of her authentic Feminine nature. We are collectively paying a very high price for this.
Western women en masse have forgotten how to be sensual, soft and tenderly feminine. Emotions are stifled in the name of propriety and an ill-conceived perception of strength. Stillness and slowing down have been denigrated. Competitive achievement is lauded over nurturance.
It is fair to say that the large majority of westerners experience life, and make their choices, from the neck up. This is not only a recipe for joylessness, a lack of true intimacy, feeling unfulfilled, burn out and a lost sense of self; in the extreme it can lead to breakdown, hurtful relationships and crisis.
For women whose lives are steeped in the Masculine aspects of life (by and large the majority of western women), embodying the Feminine can be synonymous to finding a long-lost and dearly missed friend; her own femaleness, her sensuality and emotional expression, her inner world, her innate ability to foster tender intimacy and bliss; her very Heart.
The power of any living entity lies in a balance of both Masculine and Feminine aspects. The Masculine aspects of life are the mind, rational thinking, working, doing, achieving, certainty meeting survival needs and tending to living in the world. The Feminine are heart, sensuality and feeling, emotions, just being and resting, stillness, intuition, nurturing, the unknown, no-sense and fostering one’s inner life.
True personal power and a beautiful life happen when both feature in balance in our inner selves, and our outer lives. This has nothing to do with men and women, this is about energetic gender. We have countless examples of this in traditional and popular culture. Classic fairy tales are very often taken literally, missing the energetic symbolism embedded in them. Viewed with an appreciation of this, the “princess” symbolizes the Feminine principle and the “prince” the Masculine. The journeys they take are the ones they need to, to get back to wholeness – the “wedding”; the merging of both energetic principles to create “happily ever after”. Likewise well-loved novels and films reflect energetic gender, and the ultimate power, joy and beauty that unfolds when reclaiming and embodying the lost or low featuring one. These stories become best sellers and blockbusters as on a deep level we unconsciously understand that our power is in the balance of Masculine (Masc) and Feminine (Fem) life aspects, and collectively identify with them.
Pretty Woman is one of the highest grossing romantic comedies of all time. The lead male character starts out as a ruthless and extremely wealthy business man driven only by his head (Masc), a workaholic (Masc) focused only for profits (Masc), and had forgotten how to care, at the expense of relationship and intimacy (Masc). His journey to wholeness/happiness was to reclaim his Feminine aspects; he learned to slow down (Fem), reflect (Fem), care about the human element in his business dealings (Fem), and ultimately he dropped into his heart (Fem), daring to feel emotions deeply (Fem), and truly loving the woman he was sexually attracted to (Fem). His true power and ability to feel joy again came when he reclaimed his Feminine aspects and created an energetic gender balance. The female lead goes on her own journey towards wholeness. By the end of the movie both find their missing energetic gender aspects. Only then do they find true love (Balance).
The world-wide phenomenon of Eat Pray Love has sold 10 million copies of the book and the movie has changed countless lives around the world. Even the director of the film was so moved by it he found the courage to separate from an unhappy marriage! What is so special about it? Why does it move us collectively so? The lead female starts on a downward spiral, and rock-bottoms into depression after living life predominantly in her head (Masc), paying attention to and listening mostly to her mind (Masc). She hits a crisis time so dark she finds herself crying to a God she didn’t even believe in. Her path to wholeness unfolds when she dares to listen to her intuition (Fem) and do something totally nonsensical (Fem). She divorces her husband seemingly for no good reason (Fem), leaves her outwardly perfect life and goes on an inner journey (Fem) to reclaim her body (Fem – “Eat”), her spirit (Fem – “Pray”) and her heart (Fem – “Love”). Her beautiful powerful life manifested when she found the balance that the adorable Balinese medicine man “Ketut” teaches her how to do. This was the true life-affirming story of the writer Elizabeth Gilbert.
Rocky, one of the world’s most loved hero films of all time finds a down and out underachieving (Fem) boxer, who had a big heart (Fem) but no money (Fem), who was loved by his community (Fem) but had failed in his career (Fem), finds his joy and power when he uses his will (Masc) to actively face his fears (Masc), accessing his strength (Masc) to draw a line in the sand and decide (Masc) to change his life. The energy created by the combustion of his heart (Fem) meeting his will and courage (Masc) was so formidable it catapulted him to the life he yearned for, ultimately winning the world title. This movie is well known to have literally inspired generations of “underdogs” to live a fuller life.
In our world the Masculine has been admired and the Feminine denigrated for the past five thousand years. The micro effects of the pain this creates can be felt on many individual and family levels, and the macro manifestations layer widely onto societal, environmental and political planes, to sometimes devastating ends. ‘Unveil’ programs are designed to be a step-by-step, simple English, practical and pragmatic way every women can use to bring back the balance, and reclaim her true power to create a joyful, pleasurable and truthful life for herself.