I was taking a new yoga class the other day and just as I was trying to balance during a pose, my teacher smiled and said, “You have ballet hands.” “Really?” I said with surprise. “I haven’t danced in ages.”
Her question threw me off balance. In fact, it bothered me for days.
Why haven’t I danced in ages?
I used to love to dance. I would lose myself in the music and movement. It was a bouquet of emotions all wrapped up in one activity — fun, challenging, empowering, liberating, inspiring, and I felt beautiful — even when I missed a step. Performing in front of a crowd was never a problem for me. I forgot the audience was there. I was in another world when I danced.
So why did I stop dancing?
A full-time career, two children, too tired, too hard, I wasn’t good at it any more . . . you name it – I had a million excuses. The bottom line was — I just didn’t feel like dancing.
All of a sudden, I want to dance again! One innocent question from a yoga teacher, who I just met, and the following week I’m shopping for dance shoes and rearranging my schedule to take a local class.
My first dance class after 20 years left me in tears.
I literally sat in my car in the studio parking lot and wept for several minutes.
I totally messed up all the moves. My body no longer had the flexibility I once had. I could no longer do the splits, and I was physically exhausted.
But that wasn’t why I was crying.
Like a tidal wave, the moment I walked into that studio, the bouquet of feelings all came back – fun, challenging, empowering, beauty, grace, confidence . . . and peace.
I was crying because I was home. My feminine side, my childlike abandon, my passions and talents all came flooding back. And I suddenly became aware, that for the past 20 years, I had set aside my passions, my femininity, my inner beauty . . . and my heart.
I had been trying to accumulate power — to “man-up” about life, about career, about kids, about net worth — about everything. I thought if I could just fight back and overcome all these situations and challenges in my life, I would be in control, and I would be a lot happier.
That’s why I didn’t feel like dancing. I was in a different place. Completely unbalanced, completely lost, and operating purely from ego, with no heart.
How many of us live in that place and don’t even know it? The clues were all there, in clear sight. Problems at work, problems at home, and I had another full-time job on my hands trying to control and solve all these problems.
And yet, I never saw my heart go dormant.
I didn’t really change my ways and “woman up” until I quit my corporate job and formed my own business. It was then that I opened the channel to my softer side, my collaborative side, my creative, entrepreneurial side, and my compassionate side. It was only then that I realized, after decades of submission, that my heart was calling the shots again.
And as a result, my light is shining again.
I’m writing, producing, creating, and nurturing — naturally. I have an abundance of ideas, connections and energy.
So, when and how did I allow this “man up” philosophy to take over my life?
Here are some signs that you’re out of balance and that your masculine side is too dominant:
- You make decisions and actions based on how much money it will make you, not how it feels.
- You don’t enjoy your work; you’re just punching a time clock to buy that bigger house you’ve been wanting. After all, work is a necessary chore in life.
- In your mind, power means making someone follow your ideas and plans. You’re the smartest person in the room and it’s only creating more work to get input from others.
- You run your household like a military school. There’s a schedule for everything, and a child’s job is to shut-up, listen and obey.
- You know what, I really can’t talk about this anymore. I’m going be late for work; You need to figure it out on your own . . .
Take a deep breath.
“Womanning up” is about connecting with your heart and getting in touch with your feminine side. It’s not a gender-focused activity.
Passion, love, enthusiasm, creativity are all integral parts of our creative spirit – whether we are male or female. And these traits all live in the heart.
Following are a few tips I recommend for getting in balance with your heart and your feminine side:
- Buy yourself some beautiful flowers and meditate with them in your hands
- Write a poem, paint or explore music and the arts
- Dance! Just download your favorite song from high school and freestyle to it!
- Meditate and look into your heart; ask your heart to open up and receive and give love
- Act upon whatever comes up in your heart meditation (as long as it truly feels good, just do it!)
- Observe and learn from a child. Children intuitively lead with their hearts.
- Check in with your heart every day.
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A funny thing is happening as I’m living my life more and more from the heart.
My husband dusted off his camera, and he’s starting to take beautiful pictures again. He hasn’t done that for years! My husband also loves to cook, but never really learned how. He’s now talking about signing up for a cooking class.
The Venus transit won’t happen again in our lifetimes.
Now is the time to “woman up.” About the economy, about our careers, about our kids . . . about our true passions and talents.