How We Talk About Power Matters

As I’m moving into discussions around body weight and power, growing older as a woman and power, seeing life through the lens of victim hood, etc. I find myself bumping up against the concepts and words “masculine/feminine”. I find I’m doing more explaining than I enjoy repeatedly clarifying that speaking of masculine and feminine power to me has little to do with particular men in my life or yours but masculine (yang) forces in general. It’s also interesting to me to note how many waffles are burnt by those terms – why are we instantly defensive when discussing “the patriarchy”, masculine and feminine, the words a New Earth?

Because we’re human and trained to think in black and white. Also we take a perverse pleasure in rejecting all new information that might upset our apple carts. If I say women need to turn down the masculine forms of power and amp up the feminine in order to discover why they’re so exhausted, carrying extra weight and can’t sleep it’s automatically assumed that I mean masculine is “bad” and by default then I must really not like men anymore. That couldn’t be further from the truth, why some of my best friends are men, I even married one!

If we were raised in families where the feminine expressions of power or lack thereof demonstrated to us we’d rather be anything but that it makes perfect sense that we, girls and boys, would model our expressions in the world to be much more masculine. Men held the power in our eyes and so of course we’d want more of that! Power = survival and we’re programmed for that almost exclusively. Aligning with the power means rejecting the feminine until we’re developed enough to learn that we contain both, we desperately need both and we actually can discuss these issues without accusing someone of turning “crunchy” just because they want to talk about plant medicine and peace. Believe me I’m not going to stop shaving my armpits and am not planning on giving away my cowboy boots and taking up wearing moccasins not that there’s anything wrong with that!

For a few moments let’s strip away the story, the angst and the defensiveness. Men have held most of the power for many years. White men have held the most of the most power. Can you read that without flaring up inside? If not try again, this time without the story that it’s “bad”. It is what it is or has been.

Women have had to function in out of balance ways to make it in their careers or as single parents and on and on. I’m not an expert on all the facets of this and am speaking from my personal experience and in generalities so keep that in mind but for me that’s been true. It has led to physical health issues, depression and various dysfunctions stemming from a, until recently, flat out rejection of all this “feminine” stuff.

Patriarchy? Pffft whatever. Goddess Power. Um…huh? You want me to get a mirror and examine my what?! Don’t even get me started on words like yoni, womb space and vaginal steaming. And yet letting go of my dominate ways of being masculine has led me to swinging the pendulum toward the feminine to explore that world more deeply and things are different! I started out asking several questions.Why does the word yoni make me scoff? Why does the label Priestess make me snort? Why was I getting so mad if someone called me “emotional”?

I couldn’t figure it out at all. In the words of the Deadliest Crab TV show narrator: but then…and suddenly…

I had an awakening of intuitive gifts some of which I already had but they quickly became louder and harder to ignore in 2014. Seeing and hearing people’s hidden agendas and Shadow selves is nothing new to me I’ve had that ability so long I can’t remember not having it but then information started coming in about all parts of people and their stories. I was getting information which felt like it was coming from the exact place in my head where I had (notably “had”) migraines for most of my life. My empathic abilities shot through the roof and my body now acts as a radio transmitter of information through me to you – if permission is given to turn the radio dial that direction. I receive and translate. I receive and transmit. I receive.

The shock of all that made me start asking a lot more questions. Asking questions when you’re open to answers is a powerful tool and can lead you into pathways you’d never expect and to offering services that for me even 2 years ago would’ve have been absolutely unacceptable. All of which led me down this rode of masculine/feminine, patriarchy/matriarchy to the point that next month I’ll be in Florida attending a training to become a Moon Mother in order to offer Womb Blessings.

That’s right, I said it: womb. Womb, womb, womb. I have to laugh because it still sounds silly but what is actually silly is having to have these discussions at all. Women are hurting “down there” and I’ve learned some things that help immensely. As I’ve dealt with some of these things a lifetime of struggle with compulsive eating and self-hatred is falling further and further away. It has been such a Tao type of journey. It’s been all about do without doing around here and the results (although there is never an end result so stop looking for one) are remarkable.

I dislike the terms masculine/feminine. I don’t like how they play into our ideas of gender when I am pro gender fluidity. I don’t like how they trigger all our stories about man/woman and how fast we fall into personalization and defensiveness because it’s so hard not to. This morning it occurred to me that yin/yang really gets to what I’m planning to explore over the rest of the year in terms of personal power for women and men as well.

The video above by John Bellaimey,(animation by TED-Ed) explains it best. Yin/Yang words while including masculine/feminine seem to take a lot of the charge off the concepts. They are at the core simply forces of energy, natural and easy to understand. Too much Yang and you may be carrying around extra weight and eating like there’s no tomorrow. Too much Yin and you may be flat on the couch in tears feeling victimized by everything and everyone in your life.

Balancing those energies is easier when you can get started with less triggers. I’m not denying there is a need to explore those defenses, triggers and stories about our history and our current circumstances as men and women in a changing society but I like to dive right into application and helping people change their moment to moment lives effectively and these words are getting in the way. Deconstruction of those stories has to be done but we can get a toehold and some results which inspire hope to keep going if we start where it’s easy (Yin style) rather than trying to force ourselves to scale a mountain with legs that aren’t prepared (Yang style).

Words matter and how we talk about sensitive subjects like these matter even more. I like these terms and hopefully they may help you too to see the forest without hitting your head on too many trees.

If you’re finding resonance here with being out of balance I have programs and offerings available which may help. You can go wild and explore my website on your own using the subject tabs at the top or you can book 15 minutes of my time for free and we can explore what might be most helpful to you.


1 comments on “How We Talk About Power Matters

  1. Love this article! I am one who gets upset when patriarchy is used as a bashing word, but I am learning to listen to the underneath words and stories and calming myself. And since I agree with what they are really saying I am trying to explore why it upsets me so when they use those terms. Thanks for writing this!

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