Updated: Sep 21, 2018
In the past 4 years, and before that also in the corporate world, I have spent a lot of time with men and suddenly realized that I was starting to try to compete with them in a masculine way.
I feel that women, especially in today's masculine-oriented world, can use a bit more sweetness and softeness – especially towards themselves.
I tried to work as hard as them, be as brave as them, be as ambitious as them, have better boundaries towards the outside world and other people, need less rest, and spend more time outside. The result was that it depleted me.
I wanted to know the reasons behind my behavior. So I observed my thoughts after I had failed to compete. And all of them were mean towards myself. For not being enough, for not being able to be as "strong" as I was trying to be. I realized that the masculine attributes were idealized in my head and probably a reaction to and consequence of our performance-oriented society. For some reason, we all associate the masculine traits of "pushing hard to get what you want" with positive aspects of ourselves.
When I wanted to have some down-time and felt out of energy, the little voice in my head would often judge me for not having as much energy as others and tell me that I was always being tired. I even remember a time of several years in my life, when I honestly thought that I am too weak and do not have enough energy for life in general. And it was true. Because I did not make sure to fill up my own cup. But it was not true that I was worth less because I needed down-time.
Dark, weak, creative, no/less boundaries, emotional, empathic are all aspects associated with the feminine and they are all regarded as negative. I have recently read an article where the word "Boss" and "emotional" appeared in the same sentence and even I felt weird about it. LOL! Because we are conditioned. And to reverse this conditioning takes a loooot of time and effort.
Yoga and Ayurveda have helped me sooo much on this path that I cannot even start to tell you. But something else has, too: other women! I noticed that whenever I would spend time with only women, I felt better about myself (don't we always cheer each other up?), but also about taking breaks, or listening to what I need. I felt supported and nurtured and understood.
Anyone can relate :)? Let me know!!
Watch my video about why women need Sisterhood here.