I’ve never really liked the word feminism that much.
It is funny because I am translating the Tao Te Ching in the feminine voice and I have had to really look at this angst I have around that word. I really am a feminist, but how do I define this word? How do I form a fresh perception around it that does not bring up a photo of a 1940’s housewife with a handkerchief on her head and her fist in the air who has just signed up to make bombs down at the plant? Or an angry woman from the late 60’s burning her bra in the street? Or any woman hating on men.
Can’t we move past that?
I sure hope so. I found a site called Living, Learning and Loving Life and they were doing a blog hop event called Celebrating Womanhood. So, of course, I had to be a part of it. I would love an opportunity to explain how womanhood can be powerful without being so YANG. I wanted an opportunity to explain how we can be sweet and nurturing and still be incredibly powerful.
I have studied martial arts for years. Tai Chi, specifically. Tai Chi is not just exercise, nor is it combat moves. It is a very powerful, very yin form of martial arts. It is powerful in its subtlety, just like women. A Tai Chi martial artist is not looking for a fight. Rather, she is only defending if necessary. If it comes to battle, she will win because she is aware of herself and how she is using her energy. She understands that throwing herself out there in a fight is not wise because it puts her off her center.
Over the last few decades, women have been fighting for equality.
But perhaps it is precisely this fight that has been keeping us down. We do not need to battle when we are already powerful. Does a powerful leader battle to maintain her status of a powerful leader? Of course not. The mere entry into such a battle indicates that you are NOT the leader, or at least do not perceive yourself to be. A truly powerful leader recognizes that it is not about the title. Others can be powerful too and then you can work together and do even more great things. Rather than battling with a man for the title of who is more powerful, what if you recognized each other’s power instead and encouraged it?
When you meet a powerful woman, you know it. She is not acting like a man. She is strong, yet soft. She loves her feminine ways and does not hold anything back to show it. She is generous because she fully understands the circle of giving and receiving.
She has embraced her yin.
How can you embrace your yin? Whether you are a man or a woman reading this, you can embrace your nurturing side. You can do this by caring for people in the world. This is not a weakness. Mother Teresa was not weak! She is a great example of a powerful woman. No one would argue that. As women, we can be leaders in the world this way. We can say that life doesn’t have to be this hard and rough thing full of competition and fighting. Life can be sweet and beautiful in a strong way. It is strong because it pulls people together for greatness. It is moving together towards something great rather than fighting to bring each other down, which ultimately weakens everyone.
A very rich and beautiful life can be had by anyone. People do not need to have an overpowering yang attitude to be successful. They can be very humble. I would say that Mother Teresa was a huge success! She may not have been a multimillionaire. Success is not always financial. Anything that she ever needed was granted. The feminine way is the yin way. It is receiving and giving. It is balance. There is a real depth to that kind of life. That is how I celebrate womanhood. I celebrate that aspect of humankind. All of us, male and female human beings, that want to be giving and peaceful in the world. It is not about what sex you were born with. It is about not having to go outward, but being inward and receptive. Taking in and enjoying the world. Being peaceful internally. Nurturing others and enjoying your life.
In celebrating women, I choose to celebrate the yin nature of the world.
People helping each other… a hug for a child, an act of kindness. It’s that sweet expression of beauty that is rich and wonderful. Thank you, Powerful Women, for being a great force in the world. May your lives be full of beauty!