As a life balance coach/author, I speak, teach, write and facilitate experiences to support people in coming into greater balance on all levels, including: being and doing, thinking and feeling, giving and receiving, working and playing and more.
A nationally-known couples therapist once told me most men and women she sees are in trouble because so many women are disconnected from their feminine essence (read more about the dance of the yin and yang).
Do you ever feel more like a police captain than a goddess?
This concept–how to balance both our masculine and feminine energies–struck a chord with the women who attended my self-renewal retreat at Kripalu this past weekend.
As women, we can be imbalanced in all sorts of ways, but for many of us, learning to embrace our feminine essence can feel particularly challenging if we’re used to carrying a heavy load and are overburdened with responsibility. (For discussions of sacred masculinity, I highly recommend the work of David Deida and Richard Rohr.)
For some women, learning to embrace their feminine energy can be critical to their feeling whole and alive; it certainly has been for me. For years I was solely career focused (more of a “human doing” than a “human being”). Throughout my twenties and early thirties I was more interested in building my career than nurturing my femininity (I never realized I could do both). After I had my son and launched my first business, I tapped my deep well of creativity and began to actively celebrate and embrace my feminine essence and its many gifts. This awakening — that I could be both strong and soft— became pivotal to my healing on many levels. Here are some ways I have learned to connect to my feminine essence and bring more balance and joy into family life (and as a result, am a heck of a lot more fun to be around):
• by reclaiming dance and encouraging my family to dance and move for the pure fun of it (check out Nia dance if this calls to you);
• by creating a pleasure-infused life at home and at work (whether that’s enjoying a foot massage, a lavender-infused bubble bath, fresh flowers on my desk or taking time to savor a simple but lovingly prepared lunch in the middle of the workday);
• by appreciating my body and taking time to enjoy and celebrate my inner and outer beauty;
• by creating a home sanctuary, using candles, aromatherapy, family pictures, color, relaxing music, and more;
• by encouraging creative expression — whether through cooking, gardening, or spontaneous creative play both for my family and myself;
• by embracing the natural world, both by getting out into nature as a family and bringing nature into our home, such as by putting a small vase filled with rosemary from our yard on the dinner table or displaying fall leaves I found on a stroll;
• by practicing receptivity and allowing others to help me, so that I receive as much as I give; and
• by learning when to initiate and when to allow, rather than habitually launching into action or “fix-it” mode (this applies to my personal and professional life).
I find when I celebrate and embrace my feminine essence, things tend to flow more easily. My husband and son appreciate me more. I have more fun and life feels more juicy. And when the pull to move into army sergeant mode rears it’s head, I call forth Joan Borysenko’s quote, “Remember—your to-do list is immortal. It will live on long after you’re dead.” Amen sister!
P.S. Interested in exploring how you can come into greater balance around this theme? Pick up a copy of Nurturing the Soul of Your Family or consider becoming an RTA-Certified Facilitator and become trained to lead women’s self-renewal groups/retreats and learn to embrace your feminine power (while helping women in your community do the same).
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by life balance teacher/speaker, author Renée Peterson Trudeau. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping and more. Thousands of women in ten countries are becoming RTA-Certified Facilitators and leading/joining self-renewal groups based on her award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal. Her newest release is Nurturing the Soul of Your Family. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and 11 year-old son. More on her background here.