I cannot elevate the power and magnificence of the feminine without addressing the importance of deprogramming our narrowly defined idea on what femininity is–because it’s a convoluted and loaded word.
I write here about two different meanings of feminine.
On the one hand, we have the stereotypical image and connotation of gendered femininity: soft, sweet, caressing, group-oriented, mothering, and pink. Womxn are taught and expected to exude these qualities at all times.
Personally, this hyperfeminine ideal is not something I’ve ever strongly identified with. My lifestyle doesn’t reflect super traditional feminine traits. I don’t want to have children. I often prefer independence over collaboration. I’m sarcastic, dislike small chat, and I like to tell it like it is. I must reiterate that I think the typical definition of feminine is too limiting. I still feel most comfortable using “she” pronouns, and I have many occasions where my femininity comes alive. I melt in the presence of my lover. I frequently step into feminine roles when dancing in 7-inch heels or wearing periwinkle wigs to parties. As I’ve matured and settled more into myself, I’ve learned to own my unique quality and expression of gendered femininity. I love that we all get to choose what that looks like in 2022.
But the focus of Feminine Play is primarily on the Jungian meaning of feminine–the earthy, relational, sensual, spiritual, body intuitive, present, wild aspects of ourselves. The “yin” of yin yang. It has a complementary quality to the masculine yang: logical, productive, action-taking. Everyone regardless of their sex or gender has the capacity to feel and experience all of these qualities. They’re integral to wholeness. We aren’t prisoners in the confines of our brain. We’re not productivity machines. We can’t think our way to every solution to our every problem. We need both worlds.
I rejected my yin femininity for a long time. I didn’t consciously reject it, but the way I thought and behaved certainly demonstrated that I devalued that part of me. I had a hard exterior, incapable of vulnerability. I valued my mind over my body. I chose learning and education but rejected spiritual development and intuition. I pursued what I thought mattered, but I ended up feeling empty and isolated.
“We are split off from our relationship with our creative feminine; our rational mind devalues and ignores it as we refuse to listen to our intuition, feelings, the deep knowings of our body.”The Heroine’s Journey, Marleen Murdock
Rejection of the feminine shows up in a multitude of ways. We reject our intuitive knowing and body wisdom, as well as our urge to be wild, messy, and spontaneous. Everything gets put into a box. We worry about our problems and fixate on finding the answers at the detriment of our mental and physical health. Often times the answer is there, but it gets stuck in the congestion of our mind.
Everyone thrives when they allow themselves to express their innate feminine energy. It doesn’t need to follow a formula or look a certain way. Perhaps certain people or situations bring it out of us. Or maybe we have sacred places where we let it roam freely, either in communion with others or in solitude.
Recovering from the yang masculine-possession is a process. It starts with a shift in paradigms where we cross a magical threshold and can no longer un-know the power of our femininity. The masculine demands of society will always put pressure on us to perform at a level that rejects the feminine. So we must continue to return to our feminine. To come home to ourselves.
Feminine Play is a practice that keeps the feminine alive in my spirit, soul, and body. It combines the transformative and healing spheres of Jungian inner work and feminine dance movement–with a big dollop of play, pleasure, and creativity. This sacred lifestyle keeps my masculine energy in check. With the right balance, I have the courage and wisdom to embrace the risks of living.