Some people hear the words “goal setting” and assume that the Life Design Method is rigid and fixed. They might ask, “what is particularly ‘magical’ or ‘feminine’ about this?” Actually, it is based in the feminine nature.
My answer is that this goal setting process is feminine because it rests on the rhythms of the feminine. That is, the rhythms of Grandmother Moon, Mother Earth, and cycles of human female physiology (menstruation, pregnancy, peri menopause, and menopause).
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The way our society functions from a work perspective is often designed for men. Have you ever watched the show Workin Moms on Netflix? If you haven’t, it is very funny! If you have, you can see a caricature of how women are expected to do and be everything to all people even when they have an infant to care for.
We may act like men to fix the mold, fit in, keep up, and get things done. But women’s bodies are different than men’s bodies. Obviously! From sex organs, to hormones, to how our brains are wired, and more. We simply have different gifts—we do things differently than men do. I believe that healing our relationship with how we do and be is a key to shifting the Feminine Leadership Paradigm.
During the last wave of feminism, women decided to burn their bras, wear pants, take contraceptives in service of freedom, and worked alongside men in the office and in factories (became more like men in order to be equal to them).
In contrast, this wave of feminism (for me) is about making it OK to be feminine. To be women. Instead of forcing ourselves into male molds.
I have personally disowned my feminine nature in the past. And how I have learned to heal it through gentle goal setting, and working with the spirit and rhythms of nature. Maybe you can relate?
First I unconsciously disowned my feminine through conditioning (being who “they” wanted me to be). Then I explored all parts of myself in service of wholeness, and then recommitted to my feminine nature.
Now I see that disowning my femininity was not only unconscious, but also subtle and sneaky. When I reclaimed my nature, I felt myself, knew myself, and came alive in an unfamiliar way I had not felt in years or even decades.
In service of co-creating a new paradigm, I’ll share some of the subtle ways that I learned to own my feminine nature.
1. Own your feminine nature by working smarter
Women are capable of creating life in their bodies effortlessly, with no thought at all. Thus, the nature of the Divine Feminine is effortlessness.
The female body welcomes and nurtures a sperm, and effortlessly grows new life from nothing. Once new life is born, the body effortlessly and naturally creates the most nutritional food on the planet to nurture a baby.
But this effortlessness was lost on me during my upbringing and early career. In school, I remember even being graded on effort, or how hard I tried—remember the phrase “A for effort”?
As a child, adolescent, and adult, I learned that I needed to work hard in order to get good grades and succeed.
Now instead of working hard, I ask myself, What makes the most impact with the least amount of effort?
This approach allows me to feel softer and more relaxed.
2. Own your feminine nature by following your monthly cycle
It is a time to honor the miracles of life and death of waxing, waning, change, and the potential for new life. And if you don’t bleed, you can follow the same cycle by tracking the moon.
In ancient times, the blood of a menstruating woman was considered sacred in many cultures. This time is sacred and the height of intuition as messages from the unseen worlds come through. We’re shedding the uterine lining that makes the uterus a cushy place for new life to grow. If life does not blossom there, we simply begin creating the lining again.
When a woman denies herself the time to rest, rejuvenate, and receive the messages that come through during the menstrual phase of her cycle, it can show up in other areas of her life.
I realized over-extending myself in my romantic relationship, my friendships, at work, and generally not honoring myself or believing that I or my needs mattered. All of this made me physically ill.
For me, it was a metaphor for the high ceremony of my moon time.
3. Own your feminine nature by welcoming your emotional experience
We all have many parts of ourselves. When we express and give attention to some but not others, it’s akin to favoring our children.
Emotion is an integral part of being human and denying that emotion is like denying our own humanity.
Emotional repression is rampant in our society. We often think we are doing a service to others by protecting them from seeing us. Protecting ourselves from being seen.
When I halt my feelings or emotional expressions, I am sending myself a subconscious message that my emotional experience doesn’t matter.
In contrast, here are some ways that I can validate my own emotions:
- Notice and internally acknowledge what I am feeling. This helps me I feel at ease. It’s not always the right time or place to reveal my experience. But at least I am able to feel instead of manage or bypass.
- Reveal what I notice about my emotional experience. This helps me create a deeper sense of intimacy and trust…with myself.
- Express my joy, my anger, my sadness, I become more defined as myself. I trust me more. Other people trust me more, because I’m not hiding parts of myself or trying to be something else than what I am.
4. Own your feminine nature by incorporating rest and play into your day
Rest and play are highly productive because they regenerate all of our mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional reserves.
These are necessities, contrary to what we may have learned.
What is the body and spirit longing for?
How can we create an opportunity to meet those needs?
5. Own your feminine nature by seeing your value as a human
There have been times where I equated the amount of money in my checking account to how good enough I am as a woman.
When I have a month with fewer sales, a month of “not-enough,” my mindset follows in a downturn. It really hurts to think these things about myself and even brings tears to my eyes.
Would I say to a friend or someone I love that she isn’t worthy because she didn’t make enough money this month? Never.
I bring that same compassion to myself that I would bring to someone I love. Then I feel more loving and compassionate.
We are fundamentally valuable because we exist on this planet. We are children of the divine. Our unique contributions to and expressions in the world will never exist again.
As such, it is blasphemy to say that I am not valuable because I am not making a certain amount of money.
And yet, it can be easy to fall into the mindset that how much money I make reflects by value as a human.
Welcome your feminine into your life and work
So back to goal setting and the Life Design Method. How can you incorporate these feminine ways into your goals? What about the ways that you show up for your work in the world?
- Work smarter. Stop doing the things that don’t impact your results.
- Track your monthly cycle by the moon and/or by your menstrual cycle to create the most feminine productivity.
- Track your emotional experience.
- Plan for incorporating rest and play into your day—even if it’s only for a few minutes.
- Remember your innate value as a human being—instead of calculating your worth based on your friends, bank account, job, or any other measure.
As we women embrace ease and effortlessness; the sacredness of our blood; our emotions; our needs and longings; and our inherent value, we give others permission to do the same.
This cultural and spiritual shift that calls forth the courageous ones. Those who are willing to co-create a new paradigm for women and for the world.