I recently met a teacher who I had studied online with many years ago while living in Brazil. She is in her 70’s and reminds me of a wise fairy godmother with her twinkly eyes and knowing smile. When we met last week she gave the same advice she had given in the online program I did many moons ago. Yet this time the words struck me in a whole new way. I guess I wasn’t ready to hear them before.
“The first thing you must do each day is to feed the feminine first.”
I heard these same words from her back in 2008 when I was teaching around the clock, sleep deprived, overly caffeinated, riding the wave of ambition and chasing success while totally ignoring the damage I was doing to my mind and body – all in the name of productivity. The words didn’t make sense to me back then. I didn’t have time for whatever she was suggesting!
We live in a fast-paced, over scheduled, stressed out, and ambitious society that really values achievement and productivity. While that may have been beneficial for certain modern progress to occur, it has taken an enormous toll on our well being. Many of my clients come to me with erratic sleep, weight and skin conditions caused by stress, hormonal imbalance, trouble conceiving, anxiety, depression and fatigue. These are symptoms of imbalance. Symptoms that often result from the stress of being caught on the hamster wheel of life: doing, pushing, wanting, chasing, running and working with no end in sight.
In yoga we classify different energies as “masculine” or “feminine”. This has nothing to do with your gender or sexual orientation. Masculine energy is related to doing while feminine energy is related to being. Masculine is external while feminine is more internal. Think Yin / Yang. We need a balance of both.
Feeding the feminine first means to spend a few minutes each morning simply being – without the necessity to do – go – know – produce – achieve anything at all. Spend time in quietude. Pray. Breathe. Meditate. Reflect. Read something inspirational. Feeding the feminine means leaving your cell phone off while you cultivate your inner state. The state from which you operate for the rest of the day.
When we wake up and immediately hop out of bed, check the phone, respond to messages and emails, get ready for work and run out the door, we are immediately in “doing” mode from the moment we wake up often until we fall asleep at night. It is no wonder most of society feels anxious, overwhelmed, and burnt out.
If we take time to consciously cultivate the feminine – or the more receptive, quiet, inner state of being – it changes our relationship with the rest of the day. It changes how we engage when we must be more active and productive. We begin doing from a place of inner connectivity – a place of being. Ironically, starting the day in this quiet and reflective way actually makes us even more productive and successful when we go out in the world.
Try it this week and let me know if it shifts anything during your day. Wake up just a few minutes earlier. Leave your cell phone on airplane mode. Don’t even look at it – the temptation is too strong! As soon as we check a message we fall down the rabbit hole and have missed our chance to simply be before the day begins.
A few ways to feed the feminine first:
Spend 5 minutes simply breathing deeply and observing your breath.
Write in a gratitude journal.
Read a daily devotional or inspirational book.
Walk in nature.
Spend time with your plants.
Sip a cup of tea in quiet while you do absolutely nothing.
It about creating soul connection and starting the day in a more receptive way. It allows the nervous system to relax so that the rest of the day we feel more connected and clear. We feel at ease and make better choices. Our souls feel fed and our anxieties melt away. We return to wholeness.
Practice being before doing.
Feed the feminine first.
This goes for you too my male readers! Add a little Yin to your Yang and feel the world of difference it makes in your day.