Many women (and men too) don't cultivate their feminine energy and leave their heart and feelings behind as they go through their work days. What many don't realize is that this is a big reason why we lack “motivation”, drive or purpose in some periods in our careers. For others, most of their work life is like that.
Don't get me wrong, masculine traits like analyzing, doing/getting things done, thriving to become better, etc are important. But they are one side of the coin. If we don't balance the masculine and feminine energy at work, we lose our natural ability to be still. We can't receive, go with the flow and rest. We can't be creative, intuitive and nurture ourselves and others.
Many of us slowly burn out under the pressure of keeping up with decades of conditioning on what a successful woman must do and look like. In Part 1 of this article, I shared the consequences of ignoring our feminine energy at work. I also gave you tips to align your work and lifestyle to your menstrual cycle and hormonal changes, to work with greater ease and fulfillment.
In this article, I want to share more of my personal practices and ideas on how you can re-integrate and balance your feminine energy aka heart at work. This way you can experience your full potential and create an energizing, meaningful work life.
Only hard work will get you far?!
One of my clients went through a big shift recently. She started to think about her beliefs about work. Her connection is (and it used to be mine, too): “Only hard work will get you far”. “I am good enough if I accomplish more”. “I have to suffer on my way to success”.
Is that really the truth and the only way? What if you started to think about creating a work environment that feels light, enjoyable and freeing? I believe this is the feminine energy that wants to be reintegrated in all aspects of our lives, including in business.
Check in with yourself and see if some of the following thoughts and behaviors are familiar to you:
I am ok, when I do. Just being is not enough.
You also don’t feel good about yourself at the end of the day if you haven’t accomplished “enough”. I hear this a lot from mothers who take care of children, their partners, the household, their friends, larger families, and have a paid job, too…). You cannot rest without feeling guilty.
My mind is constantly overloaded.
You cannot differentiate between your mind and your intuition. Instead of listening to your inner core, you get lost in loops of thoughts and worries. You feel dependent on opinions and expectations from the outside. Often paired with an inability to make decisions and to move forward with what is important to you.
I am “too” emotional.
You might resent that you are a cyclic being with hormonal, seasonal changes. Your inner critical voice tells you that you are too moody, too emotional, too sensitive, and so on. You don’t want to burden others with your “problems” and feel ashamed when you are not on “top of your game”. It is easier for you to give and support others than to ask for help and share your vulnerabilities.
If you see yourself in those words, don’t worry. The feeling of not being enough is almost universal. A lot of empathic and sensitive people have a deep-rooted belief of only being valuable if they make other people happy.
If you would like to balance your masculine and feminine energy, doing and being, yin & yang in your work life, here are my key practices:
Notice where and why you don't feel you are enough
Ask yourself why you only feel good if you have accomplished enough. Which beliefs are behind that? What kind of conditioning? How did you grow up? Who were your role models?
We have been programmed for centuries with traditional gender roles and inequality. We may not have even experienced these inequalities ourselves. But our mothers, grandmothers, and generations before were treated like a second class citizen. They were trained to accommodate the needs of others and sacrifice their own.
The focus on managing other people's lives, emotions and needs was crucial for the safety and survival of women. Women were highly dependent on support and protection from the outside. That's why many women today still struggle with feelings of unworthiness.
Our generation and the next ones have the opportunity to break out of this toxic cycle of dependency. We have the privilege to be emotionally and financially free and to make our own choices. Internalize this freedom and use it to empower yourself and others.
2. Stop fixing everyone around you
The dark side of being an empath can be a deep-rooted dependency of being needed. “I exist/feel alive because you need me”. If you had a controlling, narcissistic parent for example, you have learned to disregard your feelings and needs. Instead, you accommodate those of other people in close relationships.
Ask yourself the following question: What happens if you just are with someone (or alone) without doing anything? If you don't fix, manage, support or help? When a dear mentor and friend asked me this question last week, I was confused and irritated. It does not mean that we shouldn’t nurture and care about others anymore. But not to the extent that we run ourselves down and depend on this existential validation from the outside.
Working on your own self-beliefs, who you are at core and what you value in life can be crucial steps to overcome the over focus on doing versus being. Make a list and finish the sentence in various ways of “I am …” to strengthen your own concept of yourself. I am living my purpose, I am at peace, I am free... . The more you say them and weave them in throughout your day, the more powerful they become.
Positive affirmations help us to tap into our unconscious mind. Through them, we create new neural pathways leading to a shift in our subconscious beliefs.
3. Learn to be in silence and in sync with nature again
Like the seasons in nature, we need to rest. Think about winter. All the leaves drop from the trees, everything comes to a halt and the animals hibernate. Only when you have the ground to thaw out, you can sow new crops, grow and harvest before the new cycle starts again.
Incorporate at least 30 Min per day, where you don’t do anything. You don’t read or listen to anything. Sit on a bench or go for a walk and take in your environment. Turn your phone off during this time and be present with whatever is around you. Let your thoughts come and go, wake up to the beauty you see. If you have impulses, write them down. Often, we get the best ideas when we let go of any pressure to think and to be productive.
Connect with nature by interacting with the different elements: earth, water, wind, fire. Either in your own garden, in the forest, by the ocean. If you really tune into the cycles and the seasonal shifts you will learn to recognize them within yourself. Thereby, you will find balance between being and doing, action and rest, focus and flow again… .
4. Start your day by connecting to your intuition
The biggest difference in my work life has been starting the day in silence, with conscious breathing or meditation during the last years. When your body and mind are in a relaxed state, it is much easier for you to access your inner wisdom and intuition. Ask yourself in the morning: What does it look like if I let my heart guide my work, decisions, etc today?
When you start asking yourself different questions, you will shift your focus on what you want to create more of.
See what comes to you and write down the answers to the following questions:
Why is it so easy for me to see my worth?
Why is it so easy for me to receive?
Why is it so easy for me to go with the flow?
Also, during your work day, take time to reconnect with yourself. Take a deep breath and focus on deep work instead of multitasking. Come back to your heart. You can ask yourself before or after meetings: How do I feel? What do I need right now? Give yourself space to tune in and make space to listen.
5. Share and connect with others
If your tendency is to retreat when things get hard, overcome your shame and reach out to others. Share your vulnerabilities, your fears with people you trust and who are able to hold the space for you. This means they are able to listen without judgment or problem-fixing.
Learn to express your feelings and needs. Ask for the support and help even if it feels uncomfortable for you. The same way you feel good when you can support, give others the opportunity to do the same.
That’s why women's circles are becoming so popular again these days. There is magic in deeply connecting with others and knowing that you are not alone with your experiences. Maybe you can create a like-minded group of inspiring women at your work place and meet regularly, too.
Working with a professional coach will speed up your healing and growth massively, too. It nudges you out of your internal storytelling and helps you process your feelings and to see yourself and your work life in new ways.
I have also started to create different kind of conversations and deeper connections in my work meetings. I incorporate a short mediation together, which is a moment for everyone to arrive and become present. I ask meaningful questions, like
What is your intention for today’s conversation?
What is present in your heart, body and mind right now?
I hope my experiences and ideas help you to think about the balance of your masculine and feminine energy at work. You can reflect on what feelings you are used to experiencing (“work must be hard”) and what you would like to experience instead.
By remembering and incorporating the strength of feminine energy, you will create more ease, lightness and freedom in your work life. You will shift your focus from doing to being.
You may like to make this happen in your work life, too. You may strive to be more present, access your intuition, receive with ease, go with the flow and create community with others.
You can work with me in personal 1:1 coaching sessions or face-to-face during my retreat in Portugal.
More feminine energy is needed to make a difference in this world. To be a catalyst for change in our relationships, workplaces and other institutions.
Get in touch with me here so we can get to know each other.