I hope you’re reading this in a calm moment. I hope you’re taking a break and drinking something nice. You deserve to have many moments like this during your busy days. You need them to recharge so you can keep doing all the important things you do.
Now with that, let’s take a deep breath and dive in….
Over the past four weeks, I’ve been exploring Joseph's Campbell’s Hero’s Journey archetype through the lens of the feminine. It’s not that I don’t want to have the epic, swashbuckling journey that is central to so many great stories -- I just want it to look like me.
During this time, I also announced that I am pregnant. This bit of unexpected, yet quite joyful, news has upended my world and made me even more hungry for examples of feminine courage in the face of big, new feats.
Last week, I talked about the difference between heeding power from the outside and listening to the power that’s inside all of us. I ascribed being influenced by external power -- whether by conforming to it or rebelling against it -- as masculine. Feminine power, in turn, is the journey of listening internally to your intuition.
After I sent out last week’s newsletter, something wonderful happened. I got pushback from a male reader.
When it comes to these concepts, I love it when people disagree with me. This is because I don’t see them as static theories, but rather doorways into a deeper conversation. As we discuss what feels true to us in a respectful way, we can all understand more. This is how we grow.
And I just love it that men read my newsletter! I work with women on self-care (but that’s going to change soon...read a bit further), so I’m used to gearing everything toward the female perspective. However, I know this journey is important for all of us, and it means a lot that you men out there sift through my verbage to find what is important for you.
My friend Dean is one of those men. He wrote this in response to my thoughts:
“That's interesting, but speaking as a male, I find that masculine power comes from inside myself. It is a doing energy, that is strong and proud and protects others. Perhaps the female is more nurturing and the male is more protective? Masculine and feminine should work together in synergy and harmony.”
The same day, another friend sent me this diagram of the Heroine’s Journey.
My eyes went right to the healing of the mother/daughter split. I just recently did that. Of course, I haven’t healed it perfectly, but the change felt tangible.
If I am following the outlined journey, then the next step is healing the wounded masculine.
This step feels like such a big part of what we need in the world, especially right now. World leaders are acting out with wounded egos and putting us all at risk. Wounded masculine energy is making us all feel like we don’t have enough, don’t do enough, and are surely going to die in the next generation.
What I was writing about last week was wounded masculine energy. The strong, healthy masculine energy is something that I love so much. I think my friend Dean is right. This great guiding, protective energy comes from within all of us, and is expressed in the world in such satisfying ways.
(A note here: My teacher, Diane, talks about how over recent generations, the world has been gaining consciousness over toxic masculine energy. Toxic feminine energy is something we’ve barely begun to examine, and we have a lot of work ahead of us. More on this soon.)
So how do I go about healing the wounded masculine?
Well, as always, the first step is to look at myself. Just like every other human, I want to be powerful, have influence and maintain my resources. I believe this instinct is healthy, but like everything that begins in a healthy way, it can be taken too far.
When I started this self-care work, I had a lot of success early on. I think this is because I work really hard, truly believe in what I am doing, and have had a lot of privilege based on my socioeconomic class and race. I’ve also had some amazing clients and advocates along the way who helped me spread the word.
However, right now, as I move into the space of being a mother, this success feels shaky. I can give myself all the maternity leave I want, but it will be harder for me to earn money during this time. I’m pretty sure I have to change a lot things to make this work.
I’m looking ahead at this next year. Where before I saw abundance, now I see scarcity. I feel afraid of my financial future. This scarcity and fear makes me want to cling. When I’m clinging, I want to give less and hoard my resources for the future.
Yesterday, while having breakfast with my lovely friend Jay (who is an amazing nutritional therapist -- work with him!), our conversation turned to creating abundance. Jay, also an entrepreneur, reminded me of the importance of giving in order to receive. If I want more clients, money and influence, I need to give more away.
As much as this feels like the opposite of what I want to do, I know it’s true. Putting it into practice will be what what heals my fear-based, wounded masculine energy. I know that every time I tithe money to others, I am healing my finances. I know that every time I promote someone else’s work, I am reminding myself there is enough to go around.
Starting now, I am stepping away from fear and into a new relationship with the masculine. I am here to protect myself and others. I am here to live from a place of strength and integrity. I trust in the universe to care for me along the way.
I with this intention to heal the wounded masculine in me and in our world, I want to introduce you to my friend Mark. This spring Mark is starting his very first self-care coaching circle for men. It is very different from the work I offer, and I know it will help any men out there who need to to take better care of themselves in order to be of service in the world.
So men, are you ready for a change, or know someone who is? Read about the first ever men's self-care coaching group and if you are interested, sign up for a free consultation with Mark here. He’s amazing. You won’t regret it.
Next week, I’m leading an Ayurvedic retreat to India with eight wonderful women. I know we will talk about our own wounded masculine/feminine sides, and about how to bring ourselves back into alignment when we move toward fear. I will continue to grow this baby with an open, brave heart.
During this time, I will have a few surprises lined up to land in your inbox. Although I am far away, the journey continues. I want to hear your ideas and feedback. Please feel free to disagree with me. It’s wonderful fuel for the conversation.
That’s the point. Let’s keep discussing and learning and growing. Let’s become more. Let’s never give up on ourselves.