I have been toying with the idea that the phrase “the future is female” has nothing to do with a woman’s takeover of the world, and more with a rebalancing of the masculine energy and feminine energy, and how our everyday experience reveals them.
I am not one who has ever been invested in the woo. And by that I mean I grew up religious and it took a long time for me to begin to explore what it means to tap into the spiritual. I think the grace of my friends who have had a deeper understanding of their spiritual selves has been a true gift.
My Introduction to Energy
I had a roommate years ago (before kids and marriage and business), who was a practicing Buddhist and she turned me on to this idea of all humanity being connected and a capacity for love of everyone.
Later that year I read Neal Donald Walsh’s The Only Thing that Matters. I had my mind blown by how much capacity I had to feel connected to strangers. I mean, I could look at fellow subway riders with compassion and love, and that was not my normal at all.
When I met Rabiat, a Reiki healer and oracle, I didn’t know what to think, but she challenged me to get centered in my body and think about where I feel things. I didn’t realize that she was actually having me tap into my Chakras. She continues to be a power in my life in numerous and surprising ways.
And when I got curious about these things called Chakras, my friend Luz sent me this mind blowing clip from the animated series The Last Airbender. It perhaps oversimplifies, but clearly articulates the what, and what-for of the body’s energy centers. I keep learning about these ways of connecting and all of it is energy and a relationship to energy.
Energy in Today’s Social Consciousness
But I didn’t see it as part of the larger conversation of social consciousness or identity politics that I tend to encounter when working with corporate clients. Or even individuals who find themselves trapped by corporations’ sometimes (oftentimes) toxic cultures and environments.
It turns out that there is a direct line between energy and how we show up in society. Especially in how we relate at work.
Remember how Uber played discriminating gender politics? And how Nike was ousted for their toxic masculinity running amok? Remember how Silicon Valley is run by a bunch of bros? And Harvey Weinstein for decades harassed and abused women’s bodies and psyches? Remember when 45 said he could just grab women by their genitalia? How about when Gilette challenged toxic masculinity out loud and people lost their shit?
This is all pointing to energy. And more and more I am seeing the imbalance towards masculine energy and an awakening of the world to want to correct it – to get things more in balance and in alignment.
So what is feminine energy?
I had to do some digging myself. And there are resources far more profound and thorough than I on this topic.
But what I found is that feminine energy resides in the 2nd Chakra – physically in the pelvic/genital area. It is the energy of being, it is where we feel our emotions and are present to them without shame. It is the energy of flow and fluidity, of co-creation. It’s probably why so many altars I see pay homage to female goddesses. Feminine energy is all about creation and intuition and sensuality. It’s the energy of feeling your way unabashedly. And its shadows are shame, anger, lack of forgiveness.
If I could personify it, it would be mother Gaia. All things natural and in harmony with what feels natural. It is earthy and speaks to our most primal beings.
And then so what is the masculine?
If the feminine is the heart and feeling space, the masculine is the head and decision place. It is what gives us the confidence to act and make decisions, to move our agenda forward. It allows for speed in decision-making and relies on experience to see patterns. I see this as the evolution of the human brain. Our ability to see and notice patterns is brilliant as a tool for survival, AND gets us in tremendous trouble in the workplace (or any social interaction really) because we often leverage that to bolster prejudices and discrimination, to ignore not just our own feelings, but to suppress the feelings of others as well.
This is something I speak to a lot when I teach Implicit Bias courses or Inclusive Leadership trainings. I often will reference Daniel Kahneman and his work in Thinking Fast and Slow. What I am only beginning to realize, however, is that Kahnemans’ model is a perfect reflection of how the masculine and feminine battle for market share in our own minds.
This article summarizes the struggle well.
But at the core of the discussion there is a need for these two energies to come into balance.
Balancing Masculine and Feminine Energy
Too much feminine energy and over-reliance on feelings leads to no action, no learning from experience, no decision to create and move forward. We are stuck forever in deliberation and examination of what we feel.
And too much masculine energy leads to a disregard for feelings, acting without understanding ourselves, and often without consideration for the impact our actions have on others. Think low EQ and brash, harsh “unfeeling” action.
This is where we get toxic masculinity – men ashamed to cry in public and male dominated fields and industries which suppress the feminine. It’s also where we see women suppressing their own feminine and living in the shadow of shame, anger. And that usually results in less voicing up (related to the throat chakra I learned as well, but won’t go into here).
The balance of the two is of course where the world must necessarily move to. We have already seen that feminine energy is tired of being suppressed. The #metoo and #timesup movements speak to that.
And also too, in how we see a turn to mindfulness and meditation practices as conduits for people to relate to their feelings. To acknowledge them, and come to a place where the head and the heart are in communication more consistently.
When people say the future is female, perhaps the more apropos framing would be that the future is in-balance and what we need now is more of that feminine energy to get us there.
Where is the balance/imbalance in your own energy? How are you moving to shift it?