Whether we are in a male or female body, we have both masculine and feminine energies. Often, these energies are not very balanced within us so we do not feel whole. This makes us turn expectantly toward others, particularly our partner, for the qualities ‘missing’ in ourselves, in the hope of gaining some completeness. As a result, our relationships can become contaminated by insecurity, possessiveness and immaturity, as our search for fulfilment is directed to an outer feminine or outer masculine (the “other half”). As long as masculine and feminine energies remain imbalanced in yourself, you will become desperate to find and keep a partner, or desperate to push them away when they are not meeting your expectations or being your saviour.
Safety begins by turning inward and meeting our own masculine and feminine in a very real, deep way and then uniting these energies, so we feel whole and don’t need someone to fill the missing pieces.
With a balance of healthy masculine and feminine approaches to life, you get more of the strengths and less of the downsides of each. The result is inner and outer balance.
In this blog, I share some powerful ways to cultivate healthy masculine within yourself and next week, I will explore how you can cultivate healthy feminine energy.
- Explore, question and heal your ideas and feelings towards your own father
Your first introduction to the masculine is your father. If you have resistance to your father, you have resistance to the masculine within you and in others. This means that one of the most important parts of the process of developing a healthy relationship with masculine energy is to get honest with and heal the relationship between you and your father. You will find that once you release yourself mentally and emotionally from him, you can shed off any behaviours or ideas he passed on to you that do not serve you and set yourself free from him. Only once you have made peace with him can you begin to embody a masculine essence that is true to youand accept the masculine essence that is true to others, without all the projection.
- Examine your own beliefs about masculine roles
What do you believe about what it means to be masculine? Notice what others around you say, especially comments that are loaded with assumptions and (usually unconscious) stereotypes about the masculine, and how you react to your own stereotypes of the masculine. Once we let go of the masculine traits that no longer serve us, which have been passed down from our personal and collective conditioning, we can embrace the masculine traits we do want. Often, what society considers to be masculine is unhealthy masculine not healthy masculine.
- Embrace focused, direct, forward movement
Make decisions that ensure your vital penetrative energy will move in one direction with force, with the willingness to take risks and learn how to turn mistakes into beneficial lessons. When you are unwilling to make mistakes, you stagnate and masculine energy within you becomes suppressed. If you’re committed to embracing your masculinity, it is time to face your fears head on.
- Embrace Divine Masculine
The question Ramana Maharshi asks summarises divine masculine well – Who am I?When we ask this question over and over, we discover that we are not our bodies, our personalities, our stories, aspirations, our possessions or our accomplishments. A gradual stripping of identifications happens until we finally come to stand naked and know ourselves as none of this: We are the space within which every form arises, and yet that space itself has no form. To enter into it is to enter into pure awareness or blackness without any content. This is, of course, is scary for our familiar sense of Self that wants to hold on to an idea of itself – but the Divine Masculine keeps plumbing the depths and is not inhibited by fear. Divine masculine balances the healthy masculine.
- Adopt a strong, confident posture
Confidence is forward moving energy. Deliberately use confident body language and posture to create mental confidence. Stand up straight and tall with your shoulders back and your chest exposed. Look at people in the eye and hold your body in a posture that exudes purpose. Everything about masculinity is direct. Masculine energy is not a wall, instead it is very open, and it rushes forward to meet you.
- Encourage and inspire
If you are the worrier or the sceptic, who warns yourself and others against going through with things (who warns against forward movement) you are not in your healthy masculine. Instead, encourage them towards their fears; encourage them to make the attempt and to have courage. Honour their process. Allow them to make mistakes without rescuing them. The rescuer is not a function of manhood; it is a function of boyhood. The rescuer is a boy trying to prove himself. A man does not need to prove himself. Healthy masculine is all about growth and encouraging others towards growth.
- Take responsibility
To embrace the healthy masculine within you, you must learn how to own your own life, mind and choices. Inner strength rides on the ability to consciously take charge of yourself. No more blaming other people for your problems. You can only move forward when you discover what you are doing to hold yourself back. Hold yourself accountable for everything you think, say and do. Catch yourself in the act if you are thinking and acting like a victim, shaming or judging someone or making them wrong because you are in reaction. Part of taking responsibility for yourself is coming to know yourself. A big part of the forward movement of healthy masculine is the inner quest for self-actualisation.
- Hold space and become a good listener
When feelings in yourself or others come up, hold space, witness without judgment and listen. Do not try to fixanything. It is not advice you or anyone is needing, but your listeningand space holding.
It is so easy to jump in with solutions, remediesand strategies to make someone feel better. But what if we just allowed them their pain instead of trying to take it away so we don’t have to feel our own? What if we just listened to pain? Our own pain and the pain of those we love?When a loved one is in pain, it is not your solutions they need. It is your listening, your holding and your loving presence. Pain has already spent too long being shamed, repressed and relegated to the underworld. It just wants to be met, seen and felt. Witnessed and welcomed into the light of loving presence. Next time you or a loved one is in pain, just sit with it; sit with them. Fully allow the fear, the tears, the disappointment, the anger, the confusion. Just be present with what is here, without narrative or analysis, without being attached to a “higher”posture, without thinking you know it all. If there is a victim story, look and feel deeper. Just meet in the mess of it all, without being messy. Welcome it all, without drowning in the drama. Feel it all, without judgement.
- Stay present
The masculine in all of us really can only do one thing at a time, so we ought to do that thing wholeheartedly. We often end up passing through a moment on the way to somewhere else and, in doing so, we miss the moment. The past can’t be changed and staying there is simply ruminative and, for some of us, destructive. Anticipating the future is also problematic – even futile – because, no matter how much we’d like to convince ourselves otherwise, we can’t really control the direction in which things will go. We can set an intention, true, but, in the end, the universe has a way of deciding. Staying present, then, means staying here – right here. This leads us to the experience of profound awareness and a direct experience of the moment that we’re in.
- Identify and release limiting beliefs
Describe your own masculine. What have you noticed about masculine stereotypes? Choose your own clear healthy association with the masculine. Your beliefs and thoughts will keep manifesting, so choose healthy ones!
- Witness, commit, take action
Imagine following and watching yourself for a day in your life. Are there areas of your life where you feel stagnation? What choices could you make (and enact) right now to bring forward movement into those areas of your life? Write them down. Commit to direct, forward moving energy in all of these areas.
- Third eye meditation
Come to sit in meditation pose, either on a chair or on the floor. Make sure that the weight of your body is balanced right and left. Take some deep, relaxing breaths all the way into your belly. Feel the weight of your body resting on the floor through your base; from there, get a sense of your spine effortlessly extending up into the sky. Now take your attention to the third eye – between the eyebrows and a little bit above – you can imagine it as a pinprick of light. Breathe into this point. Let your attention rest effortlessly into this point. Now imagine that there is a breath that originates from this point and breathes itself – throughout your head space, throughout your body, and beyond your body. As you enter deeper into this point in the centre of your head, you will notice that it is almost as though you are going through the eye of a needle – a gateway – that opens you into vast, unlimited space. This may appear to you as bright light, or as pure blackness. Rest into the vast spaciousness that now starts to pervade your mind and beyond. Stay there and just watch. Focus on your breath and your third eye.
- Posture practice
When you walk into a room and interact with people, allow your posture and body language to reflect open, forward moving masculinity. Stand up straight and tall with your shoulders back and your chest exposed, and practice making eye contact.
- Be an active giver
Masculinity is not a passive receiver of love, so learn how to initiate. Masculinity is generous; it isn’t stingy with itself or with its resources. Be a transmitter and channel your sexual energy instead of repressing it. You can even take the energy you feel in your sacral chakra and breathe it up through your body. Visualise breathing the energy up your spine and into your chest, neck and head. Visualise it flooding your whole body. Channel this energy towards heart-centred pursuits; let it drive you to action. Visualise that energy penetrating from your heart chakra. Sexual energy is energy you can use. You can channel it and penetrate it towards anything you desire.
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Look out for next week’s blog where I share the ways you can cultivate healthy feminine energy within yourself.