We are all a mix of both masculine and feminine energy but—current spirituality was curated just for men—the feminine spirit still needs its own course. We need a spirituality for women.
My first fight with my partner was over unconditional love. We hadn’t even started dating yet and it was, for a long time, the only fight we’d ever had. He’s a staunch feminist, a thoughtful spiritualist, and an exceptional conversationalist. But even with all of this in common, we butt heads hard at one very crucial point: the focussed intention of our spiritual practices.
Feminine Energy Requires Different Practices to Strengthen & Protect it
It was a 5 hour conversation early on in our courtship when the pious goal of unconditional love surfaced… I, like many other women, winced at the word: “unconditional”.
This word and rhetoric had been used to abuse me, to neglect my needs, to dismiss my emotions, and to tell me I was a bad person. Men, calling themselves “spiritual”, abusing the powers patriarchy bestowed on them, had dirtied up the waters defining unconditional love so much for me that I would not, could not, accept it as anything near enlightenment. I could hear my partner, an extremely mild mannered man, almost screaming at me through the text: “I’m not them!”
He’s not “them”. To be sure. And we’ve come to understand that the practice of cultivating unconditional love is very important to his development as an enlightened human being, that practicing loving without conditions is conducive to his spiritual growth, the tenets of compassion & vulnerability are nutrients in the soil of his tree of life. As are boundaries to mine.
Feminine Energy vs. Masculine Energy
The truth is, even though we are all a mix of both masculine and feminine energy — the masculine spirit needs different practices than the feminine spirit does. When we had this altercation, I noted this defensive wall came up in side me; I’d developed it, along with my own feminine spirituality, to beat back the (masculine) spiritual “virtues” of detachment and compassion. Years and years of spiritual practice, as a girl then woman, had taught me these are not always virtues. Situations where people behave inconsiderately are not ours to suck up or stick with — that’s not a “virtue”. This fury welled up over years of being told to let go of attachment to outcomes, to love “unconditionally”, and that if I couldn’t then I wasn’t “woke”. I got woke. I woke to defend my right to be very closely attached to my wellbeing and to pick myself up and take my compassion elsewhere before becoming some harmful person’s doormat. I had been developing a spirituality for women without even knowing it.
My partner had no idea where this defensiveness came from, and neither did I, until all of the sudden I realized: spirituality — throughout the ages — was designed … for men.
As I tried to explain to my loving partner that the unconditional love he was speaking of was definitely conditional — it relies on mutual safety & respect, which are conditions — it suddenly became apparent to me that he was taking the necessity of having clear boundaries for granted. In contrast, keeping myself, my emotions & my spirit, safe is not a de facto mode of relating for me. This right to be respected was a given to him, defined by nature, and reflexive in the way he relates to the world. Teachings on unconditional love etcetera… were made for him.
Feminine Power: Sacred Femininity
Feminine spirits by contrast are unconditionally loving, vulnerable, compassionate & emotionally present, nurturing & supportive to those around them by design. If those in female bodies are not, they are certainly trained to be. It takes practice to turn those strengths inward and unconditionally love ourselves, a new spirituality for women can help by drawing and defining well laid out boundaries to our love. Forget the Pinterest graphic explaining self-care rituals; boundaries are the core of self-care. Making sure your needs are met is the foundation of self-love. Setting conditions to your love, and communicating them clearly, is the essence of self-respect.
“Self care is a method to love ourselves by giving ourselves the nurturing and support we readily offer others.”Click To Tweet
I made up the rule of ABC: After Boundaries comes Compassion.
Spirituality for Women: Boundaries before Compassion
Brené Brown is a modern day prophet whose work on vulnerability and connection has been blowing holes in the worn out pots that contain our cultural roots — allowing collective room to grow as a loving species — through dedicated research and hard facts. When discussing compassion, she explains how the data dictates that clear boundaries are absolutely necessary to practice empathy. In fact, she says that the most compassionate subjects she encountered in the research were the ones with the firmest set of boundaries. According to science, compassion seems to require clear cut boundaries.
Boundaries are even more important, even more than necessary, when discussing ongoing compassion. Brown deduces that burnout, even in the healing professions, would not happen if personal boundaries were clearly laid out. “Empathy: if you’ve done your work, and set your boundaries — you can tread that water forever.” Deciphering, and communicating, what behaviour is OK or not OK with you is absolutely necessary to a compassionate existence.
It’s as simple as ABC. After Boundaries comes Compassion.
Femme Spirituale, Designed by and for the Feminine Spirit
Classic spirituality, in almost all of its forms, caters to the spiritual needs of the masculine spirit. Where is the spirituality for women? The time is nigh for the feminine to have her place in this process too, to be taken off the pedestal of angelic innocence, and be offered some agency to do the nitty gritty personal work involved in creating a better world for us all—inside and out.
That’s why I started Femme Spirituale. Because women (and men who identify with the feminine) need a different spiritual practice. We have different goals, different strengths and different needs that our masculine counterparts—we need a new religion.
I’m designing a line of programs that will show feminine spirits how to grow and strengthen themselves — to achieve their highest potentials and make their dreams reality. The first of these course is the Ideal Body Composition Comprehensive. If you, like most other women, are struggling with body positivity and feeling crappy about yourself because your body feels like it isn’t a reflection of you: you are not alone and, yes, there’s help that doesn’t involve diet and exercise regimes you hate (like hating on yourself could ever work to get into your ideal body)! We use self-love, care & respect to get into ideal form. And spirit plays a big part of that. You may still be able to Beta test the program out here, or simply join my mailing list to get free tips and more info on future posts below.
The feminine needs a new spirituality. When we benefit ourselves, we can benefit the whole. No more burnout. No more giving more than we’ve got. No more exploitation of our natural resources. No more being caged by over protection. We are no longer only the “angel in the house” and it’s time for us to start pulling our weight (and taking our weight off by cultivating harmonious, safe, nurtured & supported inner environments.
”Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive” -Howard Thurman
Femme Spirituale challenges and compliments spiritual norms from present day to the ancients through thoughtful research, contemplation & experiment.
Like everything I do, it is steeped in ancient tradition, processed through experience and validated by contemporary science. It’s time to get radical about our minds, bodies, emotions and spirit. It’s time to get free.