Living The Whole You

You’ve probably heard of masculine vs. feminine energy. In case you haven’t, it has to do with the two halves we all have, regardless of our gender. They offer us complementary capacities to create and live an optimal, successful life, however we choose to define “optimum” and “success.” Our logical, action-oriented masculine side, sizes up situations, analyzes options, identifies desired outcomes, charts the course to get there, and takes action. Our intuitive, feeling feminine side, houses our unbounded creativity, our receptivity to being guided by our inner wisdom, and a powerful knowing that eludes logic and rational thinking.

Yin and YangMost of us are more comfortable running our lives from one side than the other. That’s due to a combination of natural inclinations and socialization. And, it isn’t automatically a matter of whether someone is male or female: Just picture a male artist who’s deeply in touch with his creative, feminine energy, or a female executive who’s decisive and commanding. Personally, I’ve had to learn later in life to run my feminine energy, because my masculine side was developed and used disproportionately more—thanks to the combined decades in academic research and higher education that’s all about the intellect, and then the corporate world that values logical analysis, planning and execution.

We want to leverage both sides of us, so that we don’t miss a whole half of us with which we were born to create a spectacular life of purpose. Leaning too heavily on our feminine side—regardless of whether we’re male or female—means lots of creative ideas that don’t see the light of day, because we don’t act on them. We need our masculine side to bring our creative ideas to fruition, to convert our gifts into tangible ways to serve the world. Too much masculine energy is sub-optimal as well, as it often amounts to aggressive behavior and forcing things to happen that may not be right, or busy action that’s neither inspired nor productive, leading to frustration and/or exhaustion.

Instead, we need balance. But balance doesn’t mean that we’re 50-50 masculine-feminine all the time. Rather, it’s a fluid dance between our masculine and feminine sides. That is, knowing when to be still and tune into our inner wisdom and creativity for the highest good of all involved (feminine), and when to take inspired, deliberate action following a clear intention (masculine).

An In-process Example

A few weeks ago, I wrote about visioning for 2013, and how I was told to move fearlessly forward this year. What I also received was the message that I needed to get ready to move. It wasn’t the first time I got that message, and it repeated again this past Sunday. As I wrote in my book, persistence and increasing frequency in recurring nudges—such as this one about my house—are characteristics of messages from our inner wisdom that are intended for our highest good, no matter how illogical or irrational they may seem. This call to release my house in objectively poor timing is reminiscent of the one that told me repeatedly to leave my job in November 2009 in the midst of a historic recession.

skating coupleWhy now? Because it’s simply time. I bought my house almost 6 years ago. At the time, I desperately needed a place of my own into which to withdraw to attempt at picking up the pieces of my shattered heart. My house became the ultimate symbol of my ability to survive anything, a tangible proof that I can take care of myself no matter what. Indeed, this house has sheltered me through storms and served as a much needed safe haven for me to heal—heart, mind, body and spirit—so that I can grow into the woman I wanted to become. At this point, that agreement has been fulfilled. And, that’s why it’s time for me to release this great blessing in my life to make room for the next phase.

Does this unsettle me? Am I scared? You bet! But living fearlessly doesn’t mean not feeling fear. It means being able to move forward in spite of the fear. What’s enabling me to move forward is my faith and my belief that life is always on my side. Beyond that, it’s my learning to master the dance between the masculine and the feminine, i.e., trusting my feminine side and being still and grounded to listen for next steps, as well as leaning on my well-trained masculine side to evaluate my options and act on what needs to be done. What’s more, besides my existing support network, great people have magically shown up in my life just in time to help me through this impending transition. It’s as the saying goes:

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is my intention to let go of my house—however and whenever—with ease and grace. It’ll be a dance of listening, discerning, surrendering and taking guided action.

Now, over to you: Do you find yourself more comfortable living from your masculine or feminine side? Do you see any merits in developing the other side of you that doesn’t feel as natural to you? Would love for you to share in the comment box below some insights on how you cultivate and keep your balance.

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30 Days To Living Your Best LifeCreate your best life with tools that leverage both the masculine and feminine sides of you in my upcoming program, 30 Days To Living Your Best Life, to begin on February 7.

If you choose the group coaching option, you can invite a friend to join you at no additional charge. That’s 2 for the price of 1!

If you’re interested in becoming an affiliate for this program (receive 25% of each sign up), please email me.

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About Alice Chan, Ph.D.

Dr. Alice Chan is passionate about developing conscious leaders and organizations. Her path to serve her life purpose has included being an award-winning Cornell professor and a leader in the corporate world for nearly 15 years. She’s the author of the book, REACH Your Dreams: Five Steps to be a Conscious Creator in Your Life, and creator of the program, 30 Days to Living Your Best Life. All content on this blog and website is her own, not the opinions of her employer.

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8 comments
Suzie Carr
Suzie Carr

I never looked at my brain like this. I love the way you describe the balance between masculine and feminine energy. I am always struggling with maintaining a balance. I wear a lot of hats throughout the day and feel, after reading this, that I need to pay more attention to this energy. What's empowerng to me is that we have the ability to focus our energy where it needs to go at any given time. This article puts this all into perspective. Thanks Alice!

Alice Chan, Ph.D.
Alice Chan, Ph.D.

Hi Suzie! Thank you for adding your comments. What you described with struggling to maintain a balance is a very common thing in modern life. Very few of us know about the difference between our masculine and feminine energy, let alone being mindful of how we run it. But, once we're aware, we can most certainly make adjustments, even as simple as adding some meditation time in the morning and periodic breaks to just sit (or walk) without doing. Anyway, I'm so glad this article served you. Thank you again for taking the time to comment!

Linda Joy, Publisher
Linda Joy, Publisher

Alice I love your description " it’s a fluid dance between our masculine and feminine sides. That is, knowing when to be still and tune into our inner wisdom and creativity for the highest good of all involved (feminine), and when to take inspired, deliberate action following a clear intention (masculine)." It resonates with how I am living my life today after many years of swinging too much one way or another. Through years of introspection and learning to trust my self I've come to the same awareness you described - a balance of our two sides is necessary. As always your wisdom and openness inspire me. -

Alice Chan, Ph.D.
Alice Chan, Ph.D.

Thank you so much for your kind words, Linda! I'm glad what I wrote resonates with you. I know that, as with all things, having the awareness is the first step toward cultivating the desirable behavior. Doing this dance of the masculine and feminine is very much about letting this awareness guide me to do--or not do from moment to moment.

Joy
Joy

Beautiful! I am in a similar space in my life. Several years ago, I moved onto a sailboat with my two children..a single mom living her dream, fully understanding my boat was a sacred container in which I could grow and heal...and I did...Then, last year I realized we had outgrown the boat, my children had grown into teenagers, and my dream no longer included this specific space. I recognized that the boat was symbolic of my heart space, so now that we are on land, that entire experience is integrated into my being, and the feel infuses my creations and connections of *now*. I have no idea where any of it will lead specifically, but I am open...and now am practicing becoming attuned with the softer version of my feminine side. I find it includes a potent combination of trust and vulnerability...and I celebrate your reflection here because it affirms and inspires, and resonates so strongly...thank you!

Alice Chan, Ph.D.
Alice Chan, Ph.D.

Wow, thank you so much for sharing, Joy! What you wrote about "a potent combination of trust and vulnerability" completely resonates. What I'm learning more and more is that, in my willingness to show up with my vulnerabilities, others recognize the strength it takes to be willing to show that side of me. And, it encourages others to be ok with their own vulnerabilities as well. They're what make us real. Much gratitude to you, Joy, for sharing your heart and wisdom here!

Life, for instance (@lifeforinstance)
Life, for instance (@lifeforinstance)

I love this Alice, " living fearlessly doesn’t mean not feeling fear." I have been focusing on being fearless AND on my intuition this year so far - does that count as balancing my male and female energies? ;-) I think in the run of the business day at least I balance my two energies. I run a business - Terra Cotta Pendants, which employs mainly my male side and keep up a blog which calls on my female side. I consider it "head" work and "heart" work - the bread-and-butter work and the passion work! It feels good to me! Lori

Alice Chan, Ph.D.
Alice Chan, Ph.D.

"Head" and "heart" work - I love it, Lori! As long as you feel good about what you do and how you structure your life, that's all that matters. No one can tell you otherwise. We all have free will to compose our own lives the way we want them to be. That's why we have our feminine side to guide us, and our masculine side to create it. :-) Thank you for sharing, Lori!

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