A reflection on the yin and yang of healthy eating
In another time and place, embracing my feminine strength would have come naturally.
Those living in cultures that respect the divine feminine have far less of a challenge embracing the wisdom our feminine nature has to offer. But I live in a culture that has taught me to rely almost exclusively on my masculine nature. My masculine nature asks me to be logical, rational and action-oriented. He likes to make things happen and he LOVES to be in control. He will even suppress, reject or dismiss my feminine nature in order to remain captain of my ship. It’s true; my masculine side is sometimes a bully. He likes to see things in black and white. He doesn’t often pay attention to the subtleties and nuances and can easily disregard my feminine side’s needs and longings.
My feminine power, on the other hand, is silently strong.
She won’t ever put up a fight. She doesn’t feel the need to force me to do anything. She is the keeper of my dreams and she believes in signs and symbols. She speaks the language of emotions and uses creativity to express her inner wisdom. She is not afraid to make decisions based on her intuition because she knows she is connected to the source of all life.
When I allow my masculine side to overpower my feminine nature, I dismiss my dreams as nonsense.
If I am hurt, I judge myself as being too sensitive and insist I don’t have valid reasons for feeling the way I do. I believe I need to change to be happy. I will myself to be better. I diet, exercise, budget, shop and force myself to become a better, sexier, richer, stronger, skinnier, younger looking version of ME. I try to muster all my strength to stay focused, stay on track and deny anything that is not part of my masculine nature’s idea of success. In the end, I spend my energy trying to control everything because I believe eventually I WILL become a better me.
Allowing my feminine power to lead the way can prove far more rewarding.
This is not to suggest that I should devalue my masculine side. Valuing one side over the other isn’t the answer but in order to achieve balance, I will have to give my masculine nature a new role. Instead of being in control, I must use him to support my feminine power’s direction. Allow her to be the captain. He will become the wind filling her sails. Without him, she cannot go anywhere. But without her, my ship moves round and round in circles never arriving at my destination.
My masculine nature prefers to stay on the surface of things.
Only my feminine nature knows how to dig deeper and move inward.
Without her, I will forever be caught in one happiness trap after another, trying to accomplish goal after laborious goal in hopes that the changes I’m after will finally lead to happiness. My feminine power’s gentle wisdom points my ship in another direction – inward toward the source of authentic happiness. From there, my masculine nature can take over and do the doing that needs to be done in this world. But instead of my actions being rooted in emptiness, lack and the desire to be different, everything I do becomes motivated by understanding, love and compassion.
How my masculine and feminine nature approaches my struggle with weight demonstrates just how different each side is.
Being action-oriented and concerned only with results, when my masculine side is in control, the answer to my weight struggle is single-minded. He is logical and rational. He says, “You are overweight because you eat too much and don’t exercise. Consume less. Move more. Simple. Now just do it. It doesn’t matter why you overeat or don’t feel motivated to exercise. It only matters that you will yourself to be better.”
My feminine side digs a little deeper and wonders, what is the true cause of this problem?
When I allow her to lead the way, the journey becomes as important as the destination. The wise woman within always asks me to question my motivation. She gently asks, “Is your desire to change rooted in self-hate? Do you want to change because you are flawed and can’t possibly be okay with the way you are right now? Is this helpful?”
My feminine power asks me to let go of your need to fix the ‘problem’.
Instead, she encourages me to approach my struggle with kindness and use it as an opportunity to get to know myself better. Her soft, gentle approach lets me know she loves me just the way I am and nothing I do will ever make me better for in her eyes, I am perfect. I am flawless. Then she reminds me that when I see what she sees, the changes I want will come effortlessly. They will happen naturally. I don’t have to force myself to lose weight. I don’t have to will it to be.
When I love myself deeply and completely, my actions will naturally be rooted from a desire to take care of myself.
This is the perfect time for my masculine energy to step back into the picture. When my feminine power leads, he can work harmoniously with her. He will become the power that fuels my actions and the doing that needs to be done will be founded in love, compassion and wisdom.
Being the unconditionally loving, ever-understanding source of wisdom that she is, my feminine self will never force my masculine self to step aside. She would never usurp his power. It just isn’t her way. She is still and silent and prefers to just simply be. She waits patiently for me to let go of control. She waits until I am ready to trust her. I can dismiss her, suppress her and try to control her and still she will love me and wait until I am ready to work with her. Because of her, the physical changes I make will last. I will no longer cover up my problems with temporary band aids.
She will help transform the cause of disharmony.
Without her, I might be skinnier but I wouldn’t be inherently different in any other way and the cause of my struggle with weight would still exist. It wouldn’t just conveniently disappear. It would continue to show up in my life in one way or another and I would eventually have to deal with it, even in size 6 jeans.
To not only lose weight but also heal the root of the problem, my feminine power must be the captain of my ship and my masculine nature must learn to follow her lead.
His power to act needs to come from the right place. If it were up to him, he would act without any regard to why he is doing what he is doing. Physical results would be all he cared about. Only my wise feminine nature knows that physical results motivated out of self-love are much different than physical results achieved out of self-hate.
This is why it helps to ask myself from time to time:
- Who is the captain of my ship?
- Who’s been at the helm and am I moving in the direction I ultimately want to go?
If you’re interested in learning how to approach your relationship with your body and food in a more compassionate way, I suggest checking out my 12 week program called Intuitive Therapy for Loving Your Body.