The Great Dance
Basics of Feminine and Masculine
The Great Dance between Masculine & Feminine
I am not a Jungian analyst, but I look like one. Just kidding. I am not a Jungian analyst but I play one on TV. Kidding again. What’s true is that I was analyzed and mentored by one for a long time. What I am about to share with you is a small summary for understanding the basics of masculine and feminine archetypes for a few of the blogs I post.
“Masculine” and “feminine” sounds like funny language. Why don’t I say boy or girl or man or woman? These normal nouns don’t help us understand the prolific energy of the masculine and feminine archetypes, that of which boys and girls and men and women are based on but not limited to.
Acquiring a basic understanding the masculine and feminine archetypal energy will help you in relationship to yourself and others because you will begin to understand the masculine and feminine parts of yourself. .
Feminine energies are primarily unseen forces that include our state of being, processes, and the ability to receive. Feminine is not only the support of a job well done, it is the ground and background in which you do it.
Feminine -State of Being
One facet of the feminine is the state of being in which you appear to be “doing nothing.” Actually your ego, the part of your mind that is responsible for your personal identity, is doing nothing. But life-giving activities such as sleeping, resting, listening, or healing are occurring. I like to think of doing nothing as actively allowing processes to go on within yourself and without in your environment.
Another facet of the feminine is “process.” By definition, process is a back and forth of actions and consequences to achieve an end result. The body, male or female, is considered feminine because thousands of processes keep us alive and healthy in a complex series of events that happen without your ego’s involvement. Digestion is a perfect example of a process that must occur for you to live, and yet digestion has no ego participation. So think of digestion as a process when you are wondering about the feminine process.
Receptivity is a feminine aspect and a global way of describing allowing or listening. If you consider anything you do without muscular contraction, you also describe receiving. What do you do without muscular contraction? Do you listen with muscle? No. In fact the more you use your muscles to exert energy, the less you hear. If you can remember listening as an example of receiving, you will quickly conclude receiving takes no muscular effort.
Feminine-background (what vs how)
The feminine is the how you do something. Many people refer to this as the ground from which you operate. What you do is the masculine part. Are you doing a certain something because you want to? Are you doing it out of fear, approval or love? Either way, the feeling you have and how you do the task is the feminine part.
Masculine energy include things we do and what we can see happening. Doing might be identified as things you we do within yourself as well as activities that are visible. Masculine is an outgoing, energy that is used to shape, limit or form. We have a history of men doing physical work because what you accomplish is masculine. Whereas how you accomplish is feminine.
All the things we do with muscular effort are masculine. Things we build or do require muscular effort. Just as the feminine is a “do nothing” state, the masculine is a “doing” state. Anything you do that requires muscles is masculine. Whether you are a man or a woman, playing a sport is masculine because you are contracting your muscles.
Determination is also a masculine characteristic. Determination happens even when you don’t feel like focusing. The ability to force yourself and be singly focused is masculine. Notice that your body contracts when you get determined, another signal that determination is masculine since muscular contractions are a part of being determined. A clenched jaw or fist is a typical sign that a person has thoughts of determination. When you reach out to affect a situation and have to push, you do so through determined efforts.
The masculine archetype provides the foundation of our ability to limit. As noted earlier, the feminine is a being state that accepts and allows all things. No limits occur when being. Yet limits enable us to form things as we like. Thus, forms and building are masculine energies. You might notice that anytime you limit something or build it, you engage your muscles even if it is a momentary experience.
Meditation and the ability to be in order to penetrate unwanted patterns are a refined ability to focus attention inward. All too often our culture breeds successful people who are not happy. Getting things done stems from masculine energy and what we do in the outside world gets us approval. Yet we don’t always have joy in what we do because unconscious patterns interfere with our joy. We can reach more joy by refining our masculine ability to focus inward and release dated patterns in our feminine body to free life’s flow.
Balance-The Great Dance
You can learn to use “just right” effort to become clear, focused, and calm. Working with your inner world adds to your quality of life, a masculine feminine dance and one that will bring you more joy and less suffering.
Joyfully achieving a goal is perfection in the artful masculine-feminine “great dance.” Striving toward goals, completing forms, and/or organizing yourself, your day, or your project simply because you want to is the perfect dance between masculine and feminine.
The Nervous System
The “great dance” can also be seen in our autonomic nervous system. Since our nervous system is basically organized to hold on or let go, respectively masculine and feminine. When we are on the go, or feel triggered for fight or flight, we operate in the sympathetic nervous system-masculine. When we rest and let go, we function in the parasympathetic nervous system-feminine. Digesting, sleeping, and healing are functions of the parasympathetic nervous system. Resting and healing do not engage muscles. In fact you must let go of muscular contractions to rest or heal.
We Are All Masculine and Feminine
Men and women need masculine and feminine energies to have and enjoy their successes in the world. Believe it or not, you can’t have joy without feminine energy because joy is a feeling, and feelings are feminine. This is important for workaholics out there who keep doing and doing for approval and yet don’t feel satisfied or joyful.
Men and women need to accomplish in the world for self-respect but we need to enjoy our accomplishments, too. The more your masculine and feminine energies share the spotlight, in the “Great Dance” the happier you will be.
I hope this short summary gives you a basic understanding of masculine and feminine archetypal energies.
READER'S ACTION STEPS
1. If you ever struggle to allow time and space (feminine) for yourself or others consider:
What messages are you telling yourself that you don’t have time or space (feminine) for X?
What part of your body is the message coming from?
What does that part of your body feel like?
2. If you ever struggle to get yourself organized (masculine) what do you tell yourself?
My reactive thinking to get myself going on this project is?
What part of your body is reacting?
What does that part of your body feel like?
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Stephanie Rauch has a Ph.D. in Counselor Education, is a licensed professional counselor and a licensed massage therapist in North Carolina.