Growing up I used to watch my mom adorn herself with pretty clothes and fancy shoes. She’d rush around in the morning getting ready for work carefully putting her make-up on, curlers in her hair. When it came to physical beauty my mom had it all. She had long slender legs, gorgeous eyes and hair and was told many times she looked like a movie star. In my mind she oozed femininity, grace and beauty. I also witnessed my mother at the hands of my abusive father. When he would rage or belittle her she’d become childlike; her demeanor changed. Her voice would shut down, her body appeared frail and she was always crying. As a young child, I didn’t understand why she didn’t fight back. I didn’t understand why she didn’t stick up for me when my father’s abusive words cut through my tender heart. The environment we live in sets the stage for how we view the world and so growing up I believed that being feminine and powerful were mutually exclusive.

There are many commonly held beliefs that we as individuals and as a society carry around what it means to be feminine. People often associate femininity with being weak or submissive. Some women in an effort to appear strong and capable completely neglect their feminine side thinking it’s superficial and impractical. Some decide they don’t need a man or a relationship to be happy. And further still, many women fear that being sensual or sexually expressive brings unwanted attention. Similarly, our view of power is also misguided and warped. Some women think only competing in the boardroom makes them powerful. Or getting the ‘job done’ or having the perfect body and a perfectly clean home is what warrants success and power. Since much of our worth is tied into what we do or don’t do it’s no wonder we often feel like we never measure up. The truth is being powerful and feminine is more about a shift in who you are rather than what you do.

In order to fully embrace your feminine power you need to draw your attention away from the externals in your life and shift your attention to sourcing your power from within. The feminine is inward focused. It doesn’t care about your endless to-do lists. Its sense of self comes from who is it, not by what its doing. The feminine is also soft, inviting and yields power through receptivity.

A healthy understanding of what it means to be feminine starts with turning our attention to ourselves and to listening to one’s authentic self. Sit in contemplation and ask yourself, “How am I relating to my feminine”? Begin to question everything you’ve been taught around what it means to be a woman. Make peace with your softness and your vulnerability so you can stop mistaking being hard for being powerful. Allow yourself to soften so you can stop living life with a protective shield in relationships. Being feminine means being strong enough to be vulnerable.

It’s important to understand that embracing our feminine power is not only healing to ourselves but to our families, friends and the earth as a whole. For centuries we have collectively distanced ourselves from “the feminine”. From earthquakes, floods to global economic crisis—it’s all symptomatic of a world deeply out of balance. The Dalai Lama once said, “The world will be saved by the Western woman”. Why? Because by nature women are nurturers, connectors, caretakers and when we join forces we can create powerful change. The world desperately needs authentic feminine power to heal.

So if you are feeling the impulse for something more, a deeper calling to express more of who you are and how you are relating to world, it may be time to start reconnecting to your feminine power.

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