Women Thriving Through Balancing the Yin and Yang
Once a female friend in the iGaming industry asked me, “How can women thrive in this male-dominated industry?” Her question struck me as being valid across all industries. As women, we have the precious gifts of the feminine: we are nurturing, nourishing and connected. Unfortunately, these qualities have been neglected or downplayed in our toxic masculine patriarchy culture and society, which instead promotes toughness and harshness. Emotions are a taboo topic; showing vulnerabilities is a sign of weakness. Our men and brothers have also been robbed of their feminine side; many grew up with “tough love” or learned early that “men never cry”. Modern motherhood especially has turned into a kind of “doing” sport. This is the opposite of my vision for motherhood: a safe container to nourish the beingness NOT the doingness.
My medical doctor is a successful and excellent practitioner in her field. In our conversation the other day, she touched upon being mindful. She revealed that when she was a little girl, her mother told her, “As women, we should never cry in front of men!” Her words shocked me. And as she said those words, my eyes began to tear up. That simple sentence showed me that as a child, she had learned to suppress and/or avoid her emotions. This conditioning likely taught her the misbelief that crying and showing emotions is a sign of weakness. She grew up learning to avoid feelings and emotions, instead replacing them with constant “busyness” and “doingness” in her career. This “doingness” may be what eventually threatened to lead her to burn out.
To truly cultivate a sense of wellbeing in our mental and emotional health is to bring love and kindness to the tenderest parts within. To do this requires us to call upon our feminine energy so we can re-mother ourselves. We can do the same with our children if we can practice being a safe container. With enough patience to hold their emotions, we offer the gift of modelling self-regulation. Over time, they internalize this understanding of how to self-regulate. When they grow up, they will likely be more resilient when they face difficult or challenging times. As mothers, we learn to pause, slow things down, creating a time and space for our children to connect and to be with whatever comes up for them. Our children don’t need us to book them for extra or new activities. They only need us to BE with them, fully present.
Having said that I am not suggesting that we women should not DO or have our own dreams or careers. We need balance YIN and YANG, Feminine and Masculine energy. We are learning healthy masculine energy from our men: empowerment, braveness, expressing their own needs, and using their authentic voice freely. Sure, we modern women have the choice to choose a career or be a stay-at-home mum/wife, or both. But first we need to learn how to be nurturing and loving within ourselves. From there, we can then do and thrive from a more centred, grounded place of wellbeing, NOT from the conditioned and wounded self.
Madeline L’engle reminds us that-it’s ok not to do for external validation or to approve our own worth. Resting in the “beingness” is our own birth right. Can we simply embrace it?
“But being time is never wasted time. When we are being, not only are we collaborating with chronological time, but we are touching on Kairos and are freed from the normal restrictions of time. In moments of mystical illumination, we may experience in a few chronological seconds years of transfigured love…”
Are you OK with yourself doing nothing in your day off today? Can you allow yourself to-just simply BE?