Do you feel like you are not able to perform and focus to achieve your goals during certain periods of your month? Do you get frustrated and overwhelmed when you cannot be as productive as you would like to be? You notice that your mood and energy shift constantly? If you live in a female body, the good news is that you are completely normal.
Female empowerment has been trending for some time now. But still, a lot of women and men are unaware and uneducated about how the female body works. Instead of working in alignment with our feminine energy and cycle, we have been conditioned to focus on the mind only. We must leave our bodies behind as we go through our work days. Instead of accessing our intuition and inner knowledge we get stuck in our monkey mind.
In this article, I would like to share my personal experience and different perspectives on the feminine way of working. I work with a lot of female clients. Combined with my own journey, I feel that more and more women are not accepting the traditional patriarchal model of work anymore. The pandemic caused women to be significantly more burnt out—and even more so than men. According to a study from McKinsey in the past year, one in three women has considered leaving the workforce or downshifting their career.
It’s important for me to share my experience and empower women through it. Especially highly empathic and sensitive ones. My aim is to end the toxic cycle and start creating a work life that aligns with the female energy and values. This way, they can express their purpose.
What is the feminine way of working?
When I talk about the female ways of working, it is not only related to gender. I mean the ability to access our feminine energy. Still, as a woman, it is important to also get to know how your body works which I will explain more about further down in this blog.
The masculine and feminine energies exist within each of us in varying amounts. It’s the balance between being and doing, connecting the heart and mind, and we need both. The goal is not to be in complete balance, but to create more awareness and harmony inside you.
If you access your female energy, you are able to
access your intuition, pick up subtle clues, to “read” a situation
receive with ease, let go of control, go with the flow
see the bigger picture and connect dots
enjoy working, collaborating and connecting beyond the surface with others
hold the space for projects to develop at their natural pace
enjoy the process of creation, change and innovation
be present, truly listen and nurture people and their talent
create a safe space everywhere you go.
Signs that the masculine energy still dominates your workplace
International Women’s Day on March 8 celebrates women’s achievements. It reminds us that there is still a path ahead of us towards having the same opportunities and living an independent, healthy and fulfilling work life. Germany showcased once again the reality of diversity and inclusion in the year 2022. A picture of a CEO security conference in Munich went viral, with 30 gray, white men in black suits sitting around a table, and not a single woman in sight.
We still live in a world where the masculine way of working is celebrated. Your worth as an employee or business owner gets measured by how much you hustle and how stressed you are. How many hours you can perform in a day. How much you can get done, reach goals, and thrive for more (material) success.
The pandemic and remote working has even intensified the expectation to be “always on”. As a woman, you don’t only have the opportunity to make money and have a career nowadays. You are also expected to look amazing and stay young. To raise children and take care of your parents. You must also take over the biggest part of household duties (aka unpaid work) and daily tasks that take a lot of energy, especially for mothers.
You may think that’s exaggerated and it might not be your reality. Fact is that we are programmed for centuries with traditional gender roles and inequality. So much that we still adhere to these without questioning it at home and in today’s workplaces.
Signs that your masculine energy has overtaken your way of working:
You never feel good enough, or that you are not accomplishing enough
You go into competition mode with others, feeling isolated and unsupported
You cannot differentiate between your mind and your intuition. You get cut off from your intuition.
You have a hard time establishing deeper connections and community with others
You cannot rest without feeling guilty
Your inner critical voice in your head tells you that you are too emotional, too sensitive, too this and that.
The consequences of ignoring our feminine energy at work
If we have learned to ignore our feminine side in our work lives, we lose the connection to our bodies. We can often become completely ignorant of our needs and how the hormonal system works.
Menstruation, matrescence, infertility and menopause are often still ignored at the workplace, too. For example, we were made to think that our periods are shameful and disgusting. That the premenstrual phase makes us bitchy and unbearable. Those taboos have provided “proof” in our culture, that women are less capable and the weaker sex. The consequence is that women feel overwhelmed with their work life. They struggle with self-worth, fulfillment and wellbeing.
Women are at increased risk for mental health problems, including insomnia, anxiety, and depression at twice the rate that men are.
As diversity, equity and inclusion are becoming more pressing in the corporate world, things are starting to shift. In 2020, Zomato, a global food-delivery company based in India, was the first high-profile corporate organization to make a big change. They now allow female and transgender employees to take up to ten days of paid "period leave" per year.
Where to start if you want to work more with your feminine energy
We have to change the work systems and culture. We can start by educating ourselves about what it means to be a woman. How to live and work aligned with the different seasons to create an energizing work life, with less stress and more flow.
Let’s start by getting to know our feminine nature, our bodies and hearts again. As a woman you are a cyclic being, like the moon and the seasons you are never static, but are in a constant ebb and flow. If you start aligning your work and lifestyle to your menstrual cycle and hormonal changes, you can get more done with less stress. You can work with greater ease and fulfillment. I always thought that I “lose” my energy during my autumn and winter phases of the months. Now, I realized that our energy is never lost, it’s either directed outward or more inward.
You may like to get to know more about your menstrual cycle and what is happening with your hormones in each phase. If you want to learn that and what you can do in each phase to be in your full power, I recommend reading the two books from Alisa Vitti: WomanCode and In The Flo.
I recommend tracking your cycle with an app (I use Clue for example, but there are many more). Mark the different weeks in your calendar, so you are more aware of the phases and their qualities. Assess your needs as much as possible and plan according to these. You might not be able to cancel a workshop for example during your winter phase, and you don’t need to. You may have the possibility to incorporate more rest time, mediation, nourishing foods and low paced movements like yoga.
There is a lot to say on this subject, so I have Part 2 of this article coming. In it, I will share more of my personal practices and ideas. I will expand on working in alignment with your feminine energy, so you can experience your full potential going forward. To make sure you don't miss the second part, I recommend signing up to my Purposeful Growth Letter. In it, I send you ideas, thoughts and exclusive insights from my coaching practice, together with my latest blog posts and news. Click here to sign up now.
McKinsey & Company – Women in the Workplace 2021 https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/diversity-and-inclusion/women-in-the-workplace
Victorian Women’s Trust: OURSELVES AT WORK - Creating positive menstrual culture in your workplace, 2021 https://www.vwt.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Ourselves-At-Work-DIGITAL-V5.pdf
Alisa Vitti: WomanCode: Perfect Your Cycle, Amplify Your Fertility, Supercharge Your Sex Drive, and Become a Power Source, 2013