Which is more powerful, the one who busts in wielding a flame, ready to torch those who stand in her way…or the one who is watery- yielding, adaptive and nurturing?

Both. Neither. Depends.

However, it begs the question about which superpower we lead with as women and whether that power is really serving ourselves and those around us. As a woman raised by a mother shaped by the women’s movement, I have been overtly and covertly conditioned to perceive that the feminine essence is inferior, weak and has no place in a “man’s world”. I get it. My mother’s generation helped to break up ages of antiquated ideas and centuries of subjugation. As a result, I was told that I could be and do anything I wanted. What a gift.

I stand on the shoulders of these brave women and for this, I am eternally grateful. During my formative years, I watched the adult women around me courageously strive for equality and in the process, became stressed, overworked and hyperactive. This was my foundational imprint for womanhood and so I shaped myself in the likeness of these high-achieving ladies killing themselves to prove their worth and value. This mimicry served me well throughout competitive athletics, higher education and into a lucrative career. I wore it like a shiny badge: I didn’t slow down when I had my menstrual cycle, I rarely accepted help when it was offered to me and loved showing men up. I prided myself on my quick wit, mental agility and ability to slay mortals with a single slash of my sharp tongue.

And in so doing, I emasculated men, isolated myself from women and rejected my inherent feminine qualities.

I had no idea that my vulnerability was my greatest strength.

In the following years, (I call it my corporate recovery program), I confronted the generational fears ingrained in my psyche around femininity. I received painful and pointed feedback from people I love about how off-putting my hard-driving and brash ways were affecting them. Don’t get me wrong- they were not attempting to shame me into submission or silence; rather, they were pointing to the motivation behind my behavior and the inadequacy that was driving my ship unbeknownst to me.

It took me a better part of 10 years to reclaim the connection with my latent feminine prowess. I began to covet rest, began to listen more and yielded with aikido-like moves when provoked. I embraced Yin, the Taoist understanding of feminine essence, for the first time in my life…and it scared the shit out of me more than any energy I’ve ever experienced. It required me to unwire and de-condition decades of stories and probably lifetimes of being irresponsible with this power. It asked me to truly humble myself and seek the forgiveness of those that I unknowingly harmed in arrogance’s quest for righteousness. It was agonizing- and the payout was the restoration of capacities like intuition, rhythmic connection, and wild creativity. I now have access to a wider spectrum of tools to draw upon and thereby help my clients to cultivate as well. I use my solar or lunar qualities as situationally appropriate. I can wield the sword if necessary to prune back and restore order AND couple it with love. This is a continual practice and I’m constantly working toward being responsible for my power, try to forgive myself when I’m unskillful and do my best to integrate the lessons when I’m messy. So, which is more powerful? I reserve the right to torch with compassion and nurture with feistiness…after all, it is my nature as a water sign and a Fire Dragon

Shine on,