It was the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 and the elevator door is closing. The man beside me inquires, “Where are you going all dressed up?” Actually, I’m on my way to Starbucks and then a memorial service followed by a professional training around Feminine Power.
“Feminine Power,” the guy repeats with just enough frat-boy condescension to make my insides contract. “You mean chick power?”
With that, the elevator door arrives on the ground floor. My companion’s attention is already disengaged from (what would have been) my answer:
Feminine Power is the power of relatedness.
And it’s exciting how the term, as pioneered by my trail-blazing teachers Claire Zammit and Katherine Woodward Thomas, is emerging as part of the lexicon. For so many of us, there’s a feeling of such relief and recognition in the naming of Feminine Power which, as you will see, is not for nut-cracking “chicks” in competition with men.
Feminine Power is being heralded as the answer to “the problem that has no name.” So what is this problem? Simply put, we’re unhappy. And we are confused as to why we’re unhappy. Despite the fact that, over the last 50 years, women collectively have become the most educated, successful and privileged generation ever, it has been (quietly) at the expense of our personal well-being and deeper flourishing. There’s a whole transitional generation of us living within a painful gap between these potentials we sense within and our experience of day-to-day life. We’re rubbing the sleep from our eyes to see how the credentials, the financial independence and myriad of choices around “who we want to be when we grow up” have not, necessarily, delivered on what we most yearn for: love, flourishing, belonging, contribution, self-expression, creativity, partnership and community, etc.
If this has been your experience, I’m here to say: You are not alone. This silent struggle to create those things we most yearn (while, hell yes, enjoying our education, careers, success and privilege) is not a personal failure…at all. We’re moving from an either/or cultural role model rut (Mother Teresa aka self-abandoning all about other or Paris Hilton aka self-consuming all about me) to birth a new possibility: The 21st Century Feminine Co-Creator.
So what does she look like?
Well, she is deeply related to herself and to others and to Life (The Divine, God, Spirit, Universe, etc.) When put to the test, she chooses neither answer A nor B but is willing to become the co-creative source of the unprecedented: choice C. She’s motivated by that which includes, as well as transcends, her personal well-being. She understands how we humans tend to feel victimized by a sense of powerlessness. Oh, how she’s been there. She is, by no means, above another. Yet she is also willing to take radical responsibility of herself as source of her experience. Self-responsibility is, simply, sexy. This, she knows, is the access point to emancipation from the painful glass ceiling patterns, misguided strategies and inauthentic roles of the past. She’s less reaction and more response. Don’t worry so much about making it happen. Focus more on making it welcome. This is so not about woo-woo spirituality or tree-hugging retreating. There’s a yearning to visibly blossom rather than just manifest this or that. She rides the subway, goes to the gym, pushes the carriage while holding the dog’s leash, carpools, hails cabs and makes dinner as well as love. She shops Pottery Barn, accepts Facebook friend requests and watches Bravo. She really got Oprah’s final episode. She’s abundant for all the right (read, real) reasons. She is deeply present rather than perfect. She doesn’t know all the answers but loves the conversation. She values receptivity, sweet surrender and smart playfulness. Competition seems absolutely silly. Creativity and inclusive collaboration is where it’s at. Being kind is the new cool. She blazes trails wearing really cute shoes and is unafraid to get them dirty. Actually, don’t worry about wiping your feet at her doorstep. She knows the very best investment she’ll ever make is in her own development—and guides her children to follow this lead. They will emulate who she, herself, is being. And he loves the way she loves herself. And she knows like she knows like she knows: The moment she recognized herself as “The One” she’s been waiting for, he did too. She’s awake now and glad to wait just a little longer. It’s magical because she’s revealed not rescued. Being off-purpose is a deal-breaker and inspiring her is a must. Romance is essential. So is Eros. Ineffably magnetic, she desires the nuances of true partnership and not a sugar-coated fairytale (how boring would that be?) “Settling” is the dirtiest word of all. Being authentic (and let’s not forget funny) turns her on. Rather than wait to be invited, she throws the party. She knows boundaries create health and, should you leave, she’ll be sad, but it’s nothing she can’t handle. A phony she is not. You can count on her to be who she really is, everywhere she goes, and with everyone she’s with. She’s a game-changer who declares, “She who becomes herself fully wins.” And she knows this is all easier said than done. But she does it anyway. Here within a quality of beingness, as opposed to all doingness, she locates her power. It hasn’t always been so, but now the Divine Feminine’s presence seems like a big, duh, of course! Mary Magdalene rocks. God is close and becoming more partner than sugar-daddy in the sky. She’s given up that old, insane, idea we’re on our own. Style and radiance express her ageless soul rather than attempt to “get” affirmation or “fix” what is imperfect. She declines the audition and, instead, rewrites the script. Does she sometimes miss the mark? Absolutely. Is that allowed? Absolutely. At the end of even the worst day she knows (deep down) the Universe is inherently loving and has her back. She is self-referenced as opposed to other-referenced. She holds the hand of the younger self within who whispers, “Who do I need to be to get love?” All at once, she desires to serve and to flourish, to experience and express, to create and contribute, to participate and belong. She is sister, mother, daughter, friend and lover to all that is good and true and beautiful. She’s getting happy again. She chooses to be chosen. She’s emerging. Home within herself, and the relational field, she smiles and takes a deep breath whenever asked: What is Feminine Power?
This portrait is just the beginning. What does being a Feminine Co-Creator in the 21st Century mean to you? What do you add to this picture?