Tag Archives: feminine

Communicating with Men.

DSCF4131Why would you read these posts? Why would you do these things? Isn’t this anti-feminism?

When I get these questions from clients, my first response is always: Are you happy with your life/relationship(s) as is? If so, you have nothing to worry about. If not, what have you got to lose in learning how to respect and communicate with the men in your life?

In this post, I discussed the timing of inviting your man back into love. In the post before that one, I wrote about some differences in men and women’s brains and why it’s important to offer your gift of love, why it’s important to invite your man back into his heart and belly—back into love.

In my last post, we looked at some specific techniques to get your man out of his head—out of his driven, focused, “work” mode—and into his heart and belly, where he can share in love, where he can get a break from the driven, obsessive energy of masculinity and where he can notice and appreciate your feminine energy.

If you followed some of the instructions in that last posts, now you have his attention.

Now that you’ve got his attention and focus, how do you communicate with him most effectively? We’ll cover some of those ideas in this post.

Remember, his brain works differently than ours—not “less than” and not slower and not more shallowly—just differently. Learn the differences and begin to respect those differences.

Just because his brain works differently than ours, doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with him or his brain or the way he thinks. You can choose to be angry or upset or hurt by this, or you can realize he is a man with a man’s brain and you can work with it, being respectful of how different he is

Please leave your prejudices behind and stop rolling your eyes at him (or behind his back). Be respectful and kind. See him and men and how their brains work as a lovely new land to be explored. Be willing to learn and enjoy—bring your sense of adventure.

“Be mature. Be kind. Be honorable. You will never regret taking the high road no matter what happens.” ~ Steve Horsmon

Get in the Same Zip Code

The reason he doesn’t respond to you sometimes? Because you haven’t gotten his attention, so that he can switch “boxes” in his brain. He is not ignoring you. The way his brain works makes that impossible.

Don’t just yell out the back door, “Dinner’s ready!” or “Your brother’s on the phone!” and expect him to respond. He is focused out there, doing his guy thing.

Go out to where he is and do this first. Then tell him the information. He might be irritated at the interruption, but be respectful enough to know that the way his brains works makes being in physical proximity to him necessary, and he needs that from you.

Being in the same zip code is especially important if you are conveying significant information—meaning you are talking about something that’s important to you and that you want him to remember.

Don’t walk off, or start doing something else while you’re talking to him. If it’s important, convey that by staying right there and keeping eye contact. Put your phone away, close the laptop, wait until you’re not cooking or sorting bills. Tell him, “This is really important to me.”

Make an Appointment Ahead of Time

Men need to be able to switch into the appropriate box in their brains. Be kind and give him a chance to do that. Let him know ahead of time what you want to talk about and set an appointment. Put it on his calendar.

Ask him, “It would make me so happy to talk about this with you. Is this a good time?” If he says no, don’t take it personally, simply ask, “Okay, when would be a better time? How about Wednesday after dinner?” If that works, get it on both of your literal calendars, so that he has a reminder.

Men are goal-oriented and are driven to accomplish those goals. When you get on his calendar, not only does he have a reminder, you and that discussion are now a goal to be accomplished.

Remember, don’t be offended by the way his brain works, learn about it, respect it—use this knowledge to promote peace and ease between the two of you.

He will be so much more open to giving his attention to you if you respect his needs. Tell him what you want to talk to him about—don’t keep him guessing and nervous. There’s nothing respectful about that.

Remind Him Nicely

You will have to tell him things more than once—remind him. That’s just the way his brain works. He is always so focused on right now, that he is unable to think ahead in that moment. He needs to be reminded—kindly.

Alison Armstrong suggests something like this. As you are both waking up and getting out of bed, say something like, “Wow, only four days until my birthday! I am so excited this year!”

And then maybe the day of, “Happy birthday to me, the birthday girl!” as you smile and hug him. He gets to celebrate right then and there with you, and you have reminded him kindly.

Tell him What you Need

Women need and like to talk and rant out loud. We just do. That’s how we process and figure out how we’re feeling about something. That’s how we understand and make sense of our world.

“I believe that when women stop emasculating men, men will give us everything we ever wanted…”   ~ Alison Armstrong

Don’t expect him to be your girlfriend. Don’t expect him to be able—or willing—to talk to you like a woman would/does. He shouldn’t be expected to learn and then execute that.

To insist he do that is actually a subtle form of emasculation. When you refuse to let him talk to you like a man talks, you are demanding he be a woman, and you are saying there is something wrong with him being and talking like a man.

If this idea doesn’t sit right with you, pushes buttons or otherwise pisses you off, think of the opposite.

Think of just how pissed off you’d be if a man refused to talk to you until you “cool off and become more rational”—in other words, until you can communicate more like him, more like a man.

Men can get overwhelmed by all those words if he thinks you need him to fix it. And most men are fixers—it’s a guy thing. If you need to just rant and talk out loud and just need him to listen, say so.

Try something like, “Baby, I really need to just vent/rant right now about this. Could you just give me the gift of letting me talk it out? I don’t need you to fix anything. I simply need your ear.” And when he does this for you, let him know how happy that makes you!

Learn to Listen

But learn to listen not like a woman needs to be listened to, but like a man does. You know how we talk together, ladies. We finish each other’s sentences, exclaim out loud to empathize and talk over each other in our excitement and intensity, sometimes gesturing wildly and emphatically.

Ask a question of a man and then put an invisible piece of duct tape over your mouth and just sit and wait and listen. You will get the most wonderful, deep, incredible answers. It is beautiful.

While he talks, let him know he still has your attention, but without interrupting—just nod or make small sounds. Remember, men focus on one thing at a time (I am so envious of this!), so don’t derail him by being too verbal in your responses while he’s talking.

Then after he stops talking, use Alison’s 10-second rule: after he stops talking, wait. Wait another 10 seconds before saying anything or asking the next question. Give him time to add on to his original answer if he chooses to.

In stressful/critical situations, men often like to take the information/question you’ve given them and then want to process and come back to you with their answer or their condensed version of what is needed.

They often will want to give you just the end result of their analysis rather than talk it all out and come to an out-loud, verbal decision right in that moment.

I know it can be difficult to wait for him to do this—especially in the middle of an argument or uncomfortable confrontation, but he really does need to do this.

Be patient and kind and respect that they want to bring you their best answer, their best selves, and that is why they are requesting your patience. Trust him (and maybe call a girlfriend in the interim and get her to talk you down off the ledge while you wait).

Just the Facts, Ma’am—Keep it Short and To-the-Point

When you need something other than just to rant, choose your words wisely. Focus on efficiency. Men can get overwhelmed by all the words and emotions coming out of us, and when men get overwhelmed, they tend to want to retreat to their “nothing box.”

That’s not how they communicate effectively. Their brains work quickly and comprehensively, taking in information in big, often visual, chunks. They don’t need or want all the fluff. Help them help you by sorting through all that ahead of time.

A good rule of proverbial thumb: talk sticky stuff out with your girlfriend(s) first, then take the boiled-down reduction to your man to discuss.

Tell Him the ROI (Return on Investment)

Get his attention and tell him what the ROI is for him if he listens to you.

Try something like, “When I feel listened-to and heard, I am able to relax and concentrate on you and on having a good time with you. I will be the normal, happy woman you know and love. I will have more confidence. I will be easier to live with. I won’t feel crazy and isolated. You will be my hero for listening to me rant/talk/emote and being my support. I feel like I can go out and conquer the world when I know you hear and respect me by really listening to me. I love that feeling of knowing you have my back and that we are a team this way. I’ll want to connect with you more deeply. I’ll want to have sex more often.”

Why Men Don’t Tell you the Truth

“Men are not devious like women—unless backed into a corner, men will always tell the truth and say what they mean.” ~ Alison Armstrong

If you find out your man has lied to you, the question you might think about asking yourself is not “Why is my man a liar?” but rather, “Why does he feel backed into a corner? Is it because my reaction to this in the past has been not very pleasant, so he is avoiding that again, perhaps? Do I emasculate him on a regular basis in this type of situation, so that he needs to avoid that?”

And remember, many men pretend to be vulnerable, and don’t tell us the entire truth, so that we women don’t kick the emotional shit out of them, according to research by Brene Brown.

I’m not saying a woman is responsible when a man lies to her, I’m just saying that in an otherwise, seemingly normal, relationship where lying is unusual, these might be questions to think about. And it might be time to learn how, as a woman, to respectfully sit with and honor his true, deep (scary!) vulnerability.

And gentlemen, why are you lying to her? Is it because you don’t want her emotions, her femininity? Is that too scary?

“One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman’s emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax.”     ~ David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man

Do You have a Great Ask?

Alison Armstrong, who has studied men for over 25 years, encourages women to use the Great Ask with men. Figure out what you need instead of just complaining first. Then ask him for that. Example: “I really love birthday parties. Could you plan a birthday party for me this year?”

Then ask him, “Now what do you need from me to make this happen?” Then put the invisible duct tape over your mouth and wait and let him tell you what he needs from you.

He may need to be reminded nicely, or he may need you to tell him more about what kind of party you want. He may need you to witness him putting it in/on his calendar, so he has a reminder.

Then do that for him, so as to help him get you what you need/want. That is the Great Ask.

“When we share our emotions with our man, it inspires him to protect and help us. Share the specific emotions and then ask for what you want/need, ‘When we don’t get enough time together, I feel sad and I miss you. I would love to have more quality time with you. And what do you need from me to help make this happen?’” ~ Alison Armstrong

Is this manipulation?

Some folks will see this information as manipulation. And indeed, if that is your motive, then it is manipulation. And some will recognize it as the informed route to the relationship that they have always wanted to have but either didn’t know how, or didn’t have the courage, to do.

Tony Robbins talks about how you don’t just want your partner to be a fan, because satisfied fans/clients leave. He says we should create raving fans of our partners, because raving fans just keep coming back for more. It’s the difference between worshiping and loving someone.

We’ll talk more about whether this is manipulation or not in the next post.

A version also published at elephant journal.

Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo.

Timing is Everything.

DSCF3524If he’s a masculine man, then he is driven to make things happen—that is one way he wants to take care of you.

In the post before this one, I shared some info about how men and women think differently because of the way their brains work, about feminine and masculine energy and about why it is essential to give our gifts of feminine/masculine energy to each other.

In this post, I look at the timing of inviting your man back into love.

When to Interrupt Him

First of all, make good choices about when to interrupt him to extend the invitation back into love. Because yes, it is your job to do this for your man—but he does get to be a man.

I don’t like it when I’m in my masculine mode working on a project and making good progress and in the “zone” and someone interrupts me. I tend to be irritated by the interruption.

And we women can only marginally understand how it must be to a man, who not only has the driven, focused man thing going on but also is working with a man brain that has the luxury of being able to focus on one thing at a time.

When you interrupt him, he will be confused, upset, abrupt, irritated, etc. What he is doing is just removing his focus from what he had it on to focus on you. Men tell me it can be a real effort.

But know that he does need this invitation from you, ladies—at the appropriate time. He needs to be invited back into love, into emotions—back into his heart and belly.

So just expect him to be irritated or impatient with you for interrupting his thought process. But be brave. Give your man this gift anyway, even though it will seem to you like he doesn’t want it.

He needs it.

Just because he shows irritation or annoyance at your invitation, doesn’t mean you necessarily have to go along with him not being in his love room/box. Invite him into love.

The same way we ask men to be brave and withstand our emotions and just stand strong and firm for us even when we say we don’t want that? Well, be brave for your man and give him your feminine gift of bringing him back into his heart, back into intimacy with you—even when he shows irritation at you for doing so. Stand your ground—softly and powerfully—and just do it.

Respecting his Time/Work—to a Point

If you know, for example, that he is hard at work on a contract that needs to be completed by the end of the business day and then knowing how his brain works, why would you interrupt him (excepting for an actual emergency of some sort, of course)?

Let him be a man. Give him space to do his man thing. If he’s a masculine man, then he is driven to make things happen—that is one way he wants to take care of you.

Being successful, succeeding at his goals, making money and making things happen are ways he gives you his masculine gifts. He wants to do these things because it makes him feel good, makes him feel like man.

He also does these things to make you proud of him; he wants to make you happy. Let him make you happy. Be proud of him. Let him succeed. Let him do his man stuff and accept it for the gift that it is. Tell him how much you appreciate him.

Why is he Ignoring Me?

Ladies, according to Alison Armstrong, it is impossible for a man to ignore you. He is not ignoring you, so stop taking it personally. Just learn when and how to—kindly, softly—interrupt him and invite him to pay attention to you and to love.

The design of his brain makes it impossible for him to ignore you. He is thinking about and focused on something else, and when he does that, he does it to the exclusion of everything else.

He is just so focused on whatever it is that he is doing or thinking that no other information gets in. He has the luxury of being able to focus on one thing at a time.

So stop taking this personally and stop giving him so much crap about it. He doesn’t deserve it.

When my man doesn’t answer my text right now, I know he is busy. I trust he is taking care of things—no matter what those things may be. I trust him to take care of his business—whatever that is.

In fact, I seldom text or contact him during his workday. I know his mind is on his work.

And if I do contact him while he’s busy, I know he may be blunt, abrupt and/or short with me—because he’s a man and he’s busy. That doesn’t mean he is always abrupt with me when I interrupt him, because we’ve had this conversation.

It just means that I have given myself fair warning that that is the most possible response—at least until I get him into his Grace box, that is.

I love thinking about him doing his masculine thing; I know that is one way he is taking care of our relationship and me.

I am not offended. In fact, it is a turn on for me. I love that he is doing his man thing. I know that when he is able to give me his full attention, he will contact me. I trust him to know when he is able to do that for me.

And I love when I have his full attention. Think about it ladies, he can only focus on one thing at a time. So when he’s focused on you, you are all he is thinking about.

Workaholics

I have heard women complain about their men being married to their jobs or of being workaholics, etc. I think that these women do not realize that they could be playing a very different and important role to help keep this from happening—or to reverse this trend/habit.

I am not saying it is okay for men to behave this way, and to absolve themselves of the responsibility of paying attention to their relationship. And some men are so driven, and are even perhaps using their work to distract them from a dysfunctional, worn out relationship that they don’t want to address, that they don’t realize this has happened.

But believe me, the woman knows when this is happening.

These men could also be so driven that they do not realize there is any other way to be. These are the men who have let themselves become obsessed and rigid because they have been too immersed in masculine energy, not allowing their women to gift them with the feminine.

And while I am also not saying a woman should be held responsible for her man’s behavior (nor should she be manipulating him), a skillful, confident (brave!), woman, educated in the fine art of inviting a man back into love, who is deeply expressing her feminine essence, can be a good remedy for this type of problem.

When not to Interrupt Him

There is one time, however, when it is probably not a good time to interrupt him—when he is in his “nothing box,” as Mark Gungor calls it. Men go to their nothing box/room for various reasons. According to Mark, men retreat to their nothing box when they are stressed and need to unwind and need to just “be.”

This is often, when you are arguing, why he will want to end the conversation as soon as possible. He needs to go to his nothing box to process. He is not dissing you; he is not ignoring you. He is not necessarily trying to run from you or the problem; he is just handling stress the way a man handles stress.

Men, this doesn’t give you permission; however, to run from your woman and the emotions she is gifting you with just to avoid her and the conflict she is bringing you.

Storing Testosterone

John Gray, the author of Men are From Mars and Women are From Venus, explains that for men who work hard—and especially for those who exercise daily, and are using big muscle groups, their down time (nothing box time) is important for building and storing testosterone.

Testosterone is built and stored during sleep too, but according to him, more testosterone is produced and stored during a man’s down time than during sleep.

So when your man has been working hard and is taking time and is sitting in front of the TV, flipping through channels and appears to be doing nothing, he is producing and storing testosterone—and to interrupt him is actually a subtle form of emasculation, according to Alison Armstrong.

When he’s done, when he’s full up on testosterone, he will emerge from the nothing box and be ready to go. When he emerges from the nothing box is the best time to ask him to help you, because he is full of testosterone and ready to expend energy.

Or Not

When I took this theory to Steve Horsmon, who is a relationship coach, he initially disagreed—until we clarified about whom we were talking. He clarified that this theory does not apply to those men who are lazy and use sitting in front of the TV as an excuse to not do what they need to be doing. Those men, he said, need a kick in the ass and need to be held accountable.

He is talking about the man who sits on the couch in a pile of potato chip crumbs and powder sugar fall-out way too long and too often and does not follow through with his commitments.

Look for the next post where we get into the fine art (techniques) of inviting your man back into love.

Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo.

Walking our Talk – The Vulnerability Challenge.

DeathtoStock_Medium4We live in a world that is—for the most part—not accepting of men being vulnerable and expressing their true emotions.

This needs to change.

A friend who is also a single parent called me on Christmas Eve to tell me that his kids (older teenagers) had bailed on going to Christmas Eve church service with him. He was also unsure whether they were going to follow through with the plans he had made to spend time with them.

He said he needed to talk about it and asked what my thoughts were on the issue.

We owe it to our kids, indeed to the world, to live and speak from our hearts, to recognize vulnerability and have the courage to speak from that place of pain/joy/authenticity.

It is the only way, in my opinion, that our children will learn how to be true, authentic, compassionate humans—only if we model it for them, and even if they do roll their eyes at us.

He expressed his indecision in that moment, just because he hadn’t yet had time to meditate on it, about how to handle the situation. He admitted to his desire to keep a stiff upper lip and just hand them their Christmas presents and leave, giving in and trying to respect that maybe they really didn’t want to spend time with him.

He expressed more when he said he wanted to have a talk with them about honor, respect and family. I could feel his sadness, pain, confusion and anger through the phone—and his indecision about into which of those he might finally land.

As a single parent, I must admit to sometimes doing much the same. My daughter and I enjoy an authentic, vulnerable, joyful, fun relationship most of the time. But I have also kept a stiff upper lip at times, not wanting to express my hurt and pain to her over something that might have happened between us.

I’ve done that to preserve some sort of peace that I seem to think is necessary between us. But what peace can be had when I’m holding back my authentic self and not allowing myself to be vulnerable?

Even more importantly is the fact that he is a father and a man. And he is a man that I know is willing and able to live in his masculine, as well as vulnerable, heart. We have often talked about how important and difficult it is to live from that vulnerable, strong place.

Yet we live in a world that does not value a man’s vulnerability, that does not welcome a man who is expressing emotions—especially if those emotions involve sadness, pain or indecision.

We accept anger from a man—indeed most men express anger first and foremost in adverse situations—mainly because our society teaches that as appropriate and that is what is so often modeled as normal for men. But we very seldom welcome pain, tears or sadness from men.

Men repeatedly told Brene Brown, the amazing shame-vulnerability expert, that women couldn’t handle their true, deep vulnerability, that we women kick the emotional shit out of men when they express their true pain and sadness. So they admitted to pretending to be vulnerable, and they only tell us what they think we can handle.

Remember ladies: men are basically hard-wired to make us happy. It’s just the way their brains work. So of course they want to be vulnerable when we ask it of them, but can you blame them for not showing us the true pain when we kick them emotionally for it?

Can you blame them for pretending to be vulnerable?

My first thought was: How masculine of them—how very chivalrous and protective to not want to upset us.

My second thought was the same one Brene had: Oh my gawd, I am the patriarchy, the oppressor.

We ask, even beg, men to tell us what’s going on inside, what they’re feeling, what emotions they are experiencing. “Please let me in,” we demand of them. We get upset when they won’t share with us. But according to her research, when men do share the real emotions, the real pain, doubts and fears, we women very often can’t handle it—and men know this.

I relate the story of how it showed up in Brene’s life. She came home and saw that her husband was upset about some extended family issues. She immediately got angry and wanted to pick a fight with him.

Instead—and because she had done so much research about this very thing—she pretended she was in a movie taking direction, playing a character that knew how to handle that sort of situation without anger.

Anger is very often fueled by fear. We live in a world that is afraid of men being vulnerable and expressing their true emotions. And this fear is often expressed as derision, as shaming. This must change.

How are we going to change this?

As a woman, I am committed to learning how to carefully, lovingly and authentically sit with and support a man who is feeling and expressing emotions—especially the “negative” emotions. I am committed to learning to stop and think before I act and speak if, like Brene, my first impulse is to get angry with him.

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” ~Brene Brown

I am demanding of myself something better, something braver, something much more humane and vulnerable (scarier!). I have made a vow to not shame anyone, especially a man—who we women have already trained to not be fully vulnerable—for having emotions and expressing them. I am committed to learning to peacefully allow them, even when I might be feeling fear.

I am going to do these things because integrity demands it. The future demands it. The world my daughter is inheriting demands it.

I hope you will join me.

In doing my own work, in learning how to allow men to be vulnerable without letting myself be overcome by fear and then anger, I am asking men to meet me there in that scary, vulnerable place.

As a woman, I am asking men to please consider being brave enough to be vulnerable. I’m asking you to do your own work too—the work on yourself that will allow you to meet me there. Brene Brown points out that you can’t get to courage without going through vulnerability first.

I am asking for your trust.

And in asking for your trust, I am also admitting to failing at this at times, too—even now, when I have become so aware of its importance. So I thank you for your brilliant patience as I am learning.

I am asking you to help us heal our children, ourselves and, indeed, everyone on the Planet. I am willing to “go first” (thanks Steve Horsmon!) by offering that to you. I am willing to learn to sit with the discomfort of allowing if it means healing, for everyone, will take place.

And I believe healing will take place like this: one person at a time, one vulnerable exchange at a time. And men, I’m going to ask you to be even braver by living it out loud with me—by expressing this vulnerability on the stage of the world.

We are going to be even more courageous than that though, ladies and gentlemen, because we are going to be this vulnerable and brave in front of our own children, in our own homes.

We must.

Because everyone knows this is the real test of walking our talking, isn’t it? Not only by how we treat our friends, co-workers and the random person-in-need we help on the street, but by how we interact, breath-by-breath with those closest to us—at the kitchen table each morning, in the car on the way to soccer practice.

“If he’s not he should be by now. The things that happen to people we never really know. What happens in houses behind closed doors, what secrets—”

“Atticus don’t ever do anything to Jem and me in the house that he don’t do in the yard,” I said, feeling it my duty to defend my parent.

“Gracious child, I was raveling a thread, wasn’t even thinking about your father, but now that I am I’ll say this: Atticus Finch is the same in his house as he is on the public streets.”

~ To Kill a Mockingbird (Miss Maudie in a conversation with Scout)

We are going to teach by example. We are going to show up, be vulnerable, responsibly express our sadness, pain, joy, concerns. And when society tries to shame us into submission, we are going to take Brene Brown’s advise and not let them. We’re going to teach our children, chiefly by example, that is not okay to shame anyone else—ever.

And when we discover we have done it unconsciously, have reverted back to that without realizing it, we are going to make it right as soon as possible.

How do we not allow society, which most often shows up as a person trying to talk/shame us out of our emotions, to shame us? By simply stating, with calm, and even kind, conviction, “I refuse to let you shame me for my emotions. I am sad/in pain/upset/etc. right now. If you are not comfortable with that, then you might want to leave the room (my life?).”

“Don’t shrink. Don’t puff up. Just stand your holy ground.” ~ Brene Brown

I am confident my single-parent friend will choose the correct path for him, his children, the world, because I know and trust him to be a man who is willing and able to live in that authentic, necessarily vulnerable place.

And I sincerely hope you will join me in this vulnerable (scary!) quest. I hope you will be kind to yourself when, like me, you find yourself slipping and falling back into old patterns as you learn to move into a new, and hopefully better, way of being.

I hold a hope, a vision, that you and I can learn to be kind to, not only others, but also to ourselves when we “fail,” because that form of sweet, vulnerable self-allowing is also a most needed saving grace in our world.

Originally published at elephant journal.

Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo.

Not for Women Only—Finding the Feminine Essence.

woodcouple7

A few years ago, when I began my Divine Feminine journey, I could not have told you what a feminine gift might be.

I had only just discovered I was living in and was nearly always coming from a place of habitual, self-protected (usually, angry) masculine energy.

I could not have told you how to get from that masculine stance into one of feminine energy. I did not understand the Divine Feminine at all, nor what was meant by the term “feminine essence.”

David Deida pissed me the bloody hell off; I thought he was misogynistic. I tried reading some of his books and would always end up throwing them across the room in disgust and anger at some point.

They’d bounce off the wall or furniture, and I’d let them lay there and kick them in passing for a few hours—or days.

Then I’d pick up the current, offending volume and try and read some more of it. Over all, and at the least, I found him annoying and wrong.

To get into feminine energy, he prescribed breathing into it, but what the fuck did that mean?!

So there I was, desperately wanting to connect with and breathe into the Divine Feminine, but in my ignorance, had no idea about how to do that.

The World as we Know it

The world basically functions as masculine. It values masculinity over femininity in nearly all things. Masculinity is sought-after and praised more often in our society.

Probably any business plan you know about is masculine. Meditation practice is taught as masculine. For a woman, “dress for success” means dress like a man—or dress like a slightly feminized version of how men dress.

A strong, powerful woman is defined as a woman who acts like a man.

Do we even know what the definition of “a strong woman” is without masculinizing it? It’s a good, valid question, I think.

The Feminine Aspects

The Feminine can show up in many forms/aspects as it exists within all of us. There is the girl-child, the lover, the queen/mother, the priestess, the warrioress, the crone, among other manifestations.

All these facets are within each of us—male and female. I like what Sunyata Satchitananda has to say about these.

Everyone has both masculine and feminine aspects and there is no right or wrong in how these energies are made manifest in anyone’s life.

Some folks, whether male or female anatomy-wise, feel more comfortable living in masculine energy most of the time, and some are more comfortable in the feminine most of the time.

The deciding question about masculine and feminine energy is, I have discovered, simply this: Are you happy with your relationships (of all kinds)? Are you happy with the people you are attracting into your life?

For me, I found the answer was not good when I looked at the type of man I was continuing to attract. I wanted to attract masculine men, but I was only attracting passive/feminine men.

When this continues to happen, you can bet the first thing that needs to be looked at is your own energy.

This can also manifest as the woman already in a relationship who is in a reactive, no-one-seems-to-be-stepping-up-to-take-care-of-this-so-I-better-do-it position. She has taken over “driving” the relationship—and he has allowed her to do that. Both of them need to start paying attention to their energy.

And believe me (because unfortunately I know this from direct, personal, embarrassing experience), it does no good to stand in masculine energy, look at a feminine man and demand he be more masculine.

That only calls up more passive energy in him and more masculine energy in me.

There are reasons the Masculine and Feminine are constantly balancing, gifting and polarizing each other. Each needs the other. Like the poles on a magnet, like repels like and opposite poles attract.

A feminine “gift” is defined as anything done in feminine energy that calls up the masculine in anyone else. And to call forth the Divine Feminine energy is to embody the feminine as Divine—the Goddess—in all its many forms.

Giving and receiving masculine and feminine gifts to one another is not about being disrespectful and manipulating. It is about appreciation, about consciously and unconsciously fostering the connection and polarization between masculine and feminine energy to establish and maintain the attraction, the “spark” between two people.

If you don’t have polarization, you will not have that spark of attraction. Instead, for instance, in long-term relationships, you may feel more like good friends and roommates who seldom, if ever, have sex—because that attraction/polarization is missing.

About Feminine Energy

The feminine is about the body, emotions and sensations—the senses. That is why there are so many references to “breathing into” the feminine. The feminine is about allowing, flowing, receiving—and paying attention to and trusting the intuition.

Feminine energy is usually soft—but do not mistake softness for weakness. Think of water—soft and powerful at the same time. Think of the Grand Canyon, carved wide and deep by water, over the years.

Think about Mother Nature—natural, flowing and beautiful—and extremely powerful (earthquakes, tidal waves, hurricanes).

Unfortunately, many people equate femininity with weakness. To them, to call someone feminine is a put-down. I truly believe it is time we take back the definition of “femininity” to mean what it really does: Powerful and soft all at the same time, allowing—more like The Tao.

When I gave an example of how I could stay in my soft, feminine energy, but at the same time effect a powerful change in direction to my man’s attention and thoughts, he said very soberly—and kind of surprised, “You have power.”

I answered, “yes.” “And you know how to wield it.” Again, “yes.”

And as with all power, it is important to remember: “with great power comes great responsibility.” ~ Voltaire

Meaning, it is never okay to use any type of power to hurt or manipulate anyone. It is never acceptable to use someone’s vulnerabilities against them.

Getting into Feminine Energy

Afraid to be feminine, afraid of what will happen if you “let down your guard?” Yeah, I was too.

Remember what Alison Armstrong says (paraphrasing here):  All men come with a built in “protect women” program. Sure, there are a few men out there who want to hurt women, but they are the minority. So when you think of all the men out there, even complete strangers, who would come to help and protect you if you called upon them, you realize the world is, all of the sudden, a much safer place.

It might be important to activate your own masculine energy before beginning to evoke your feminine energy. It may seem counterintuitive, but when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense.

In order to feel safe enough to relax into my feminine energy, I had to first call upon and activate the Divine Masculine aspect inside me.

The Divine Masculine

So close your eyes and focus your attention inside. Ask your Divine Masculine lover to come to you and make himself known. Take your time.

Imagine him standing belly-to-belly with you and breathe. Feel your body responding to him. He is your perfect lover. Keep breathing. Ask him if he is willing to put his arms around you and protect you. He will always agree.

Ask him if he will protect you and be strong for you so that you can feel safe enough to soften and relax into your feminine energy. He will always agree. Allow yourself to feel his strong, protective energy.

Allow yourself to soften into his arms, his strength. Ask him if he will always have your back, always protect you. He will agree (it’s part of his job, as the masculine—it is his pleasure to do so).

At any time, anywhere, when you want to get into your feminine energy, just imagine standing belly-to-belly with your perfect, inner lover and let your body respond to his energy.

Imagine him looking over your shoulder, protecting your back as he holds you. Let yourself soften into him and your breath change into what it naturally does—full, deep, powerful, sexy. You will absolutely and instantly go into your feminine energy.

Once you activate your inner, masculine lover so that you feel safe enough to be feminine, another great way to get into your feminine energy is to focus your attention on your own body.

Tune into the body—especially the womb space. And as Rachel Jayne Groover reminds us in her book, Powerful and Feminine, everyone has a womb “space” even if you don’t have a physical womb. Focus your attention on your womb space and breathe into and from deep in your belly.

Dance, move, enjoy the movements of your body. Listen to music and let the music inform your body about how it should move. Stretch like a cat, slowly—have fun with the body.

Focus on your emotions—call them up to be identified; feel them—let them out. A strong, powerful woman does not shy away from emotions. She knows they are essential. She knows an important part of being feminine is being emotional.

She learns to honor those emotions, to be proud of them. She begins to know that she need never be ashamed of them—even the so-called “dark” emotions:  anger, fear, pain, anxiety, etc.

She never lets anyone shame her for her emotions. How? Simply state, with your own calm, and even kind, conviction, “I refuse to let you shame me for my emotions. I feel things. If you are not comfortable with that, then you might want to leave.”

She knows emotions come and go. She knows that to let them out doesn’t mean she will build a house in the land of sadness, for instance, and dwell there forever. She knows rather that calling those emotions up and out allows them to be heard, seen and felt, so that they can then leave.

It is only when we don’t allow them to come out that they become stuck in us, causing all sorts of problems on many levels.

Meditate Like a Woman

Focus on the womb space and stay in the body while meditating. Most meditation traditions focus on a very masculine way of meditating. They talk about watching the emotions come and go from a disassociated place, from an outside sort of place. They instruct you not to actually emote/feel them.

The goal of many types of masculine meditations is to take you up and out of the body to some “spiritual place.”

Try staying in the body instead. That is the feminine way. Focus on the womb; incorporate movement or dance too if it feels correct for you. Focus on the womb and breathe and luxuriate in the soft but heavy and full feeling of breath inside your body, of energy moving throughout the body and concentrating in the womb.

Let the energy/breath make love to you—have its way with you. Some women even report orgasms from meditating in this fashion—not because they are thinking sexy thoughts necessarily, but because the body itself is enjoying and celebrating the breath and energy and the energy becomes too much to continue to hold—it is released by orgasm.

This is very different than kundalini energy/rising, although both can be very powerful.

Practice Appreciation of all things Masculine

Another very quick way to get into your feminine energy is simply to notice and appreciate anything, all things, masculine. And the quickest way to call up the masculine energy in a man is to genuinely ask for his help. In fact, use the word “help” to get his attention and his assistance.

The next most powerful word to remember is “love.” Speak in feminine. Use your own, even flowery, words to live your life. The men around you will appreciate it and respond beautifully.

Yes, this can be accomplished even in the board/conference room—speak from your power, your belly, your womb.

Appreciating the masculine is for all ages. Thank an elderly man for holding the door for you. Ask a young boy you know if he would be so kind as to help you in some way—perhaps carry something for you.

The age does not matter; the type of relationship does not matter.

Making these feminine-centered changes can seem very foreign and forced at first, but soon it becomes a lovely way of life. I can’t imagine living my life now without being a fountain of praise for the masculine.

And until you get used to the new way of being, just remember, you can practice on anyone. In fact, practicing on strangers gives you more leeway to “fail.” Give yourself permission to fail and to make mistakes.

Start small:  Appreciate the arm muscles on the 7-year old with his mom in front of you in the grocery checkout line. Comment on the nice manners of the teenage boy who makes way for you to go first through the door. Make eye contact and say, “thank you, sir,” to him sincerely.

Don’t be pressured by our very masculine world into giving up your femininity. Use your own feminine words, gestures, clothes, energy. A powerfully feminine woman leans into the fear and vulnerability it takes to make these changes in herself.

Then she not only leans in, she walks right into the emotions, the fear, the vulnerability, knowing that emotions make her a stronger woman, knowing that vulnerability is not a weakness but pure courage, knowing that she is balancing herself and the world.

She becomes her own force.

Not for Men Only—How to “Take” Your Woman.

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“Some men know that a light touch of the tongue, running from a woman’s toes to her ears, lingering in the softest way possible in various places in between, given often enough and sincerely enough, would add immeasurably to world peace.”
~ Marianne Williamson

Your woman wants to be taken by you—ravished.

The two most important things to remember are:

1. Ravishing a woman comes from inside you—your heart, your belly. It really has nothing to do with being naked together. You must be strong in your masculine energy. So ravishing a woman starts way before you get to the sexy bits. It starts by you being a man of integrity that she can count on.

2. You must be fully present and focused on your woman, on loving her open to herself and to the Divine. Don’t let your concentration waver while ravishing her. When ravishing her, remember: Sex is just one more route to the Divine, the sacred. Or it could just be a quick, hot fuck up against the wall. Whichever it is—or somewhere in between—just stay completely focused on her.

“The truth is a woman cannot help but honor a man who first honors himself by having the integrity to stand for and live by his values. By “honor,” I am talking about a woman’s feelings of safety/security, respect, and attraction. She desires to be in his company. She wants to feel safety in the strength of his conviction and the adventure in his unalterable passions.”
~ Steve Horsmon, Good Guys 2 Great Men

When you show your masculine energy by being assertive and tender but forceful, it tells her that you want her and that she can trust you to ravish her. If she has to initiate everything (sex, kisses, conversations, who’s picking up the kids from soccer practice, etc.), it is so very unflattering to her and she feels she can’t trust you to take care of these things.

It makes her feel like you don’t want to be with her, like you don’t desire her—like you aren’t interested—like you can’t be bothered to put any effort into showing your care and affection for her.

Patient is good; we women like patience, but if patience actually turns out to be never, that is not patience. That is procrastination, ignorance, resistance, passiveness and/or laziness.

For instance, I once dated a man who was so passive that when we kissed, he never put his tongue in my mouth. If I wanted our tongues to touch, I had to make that happen.

Then I began thinking that I was just being too impatient, that if I waited, he would get around to it at some point. Maybe he was just really patient and really good at foreplay, right?

So I waited—for several years. He never did put his tongue in my mouth. He never initiated sex. He seemed afraid to touch me. It was so unflattering to me. It translated to me as him not wanting me, not desiring me.

I constantly questioned my desirability. Did he not find me loveable, desirable? And if not, why was I with him, exactly? (You notice this is in the past tense; I am not with him anymore, primarily for this reason.)

I know now that I played a really big part in this problem by not knowing how to live from my own feminine energy and thereby call him up to be his best, assertive masculine self.

This was also the man that when I told him I loved to be taken/ravished/fucked sometimes too, simply thrusted harder and faster.

Gentlemen, that in and of itself, is not what “ravishing” means. Ravishing comes from your heart and belly, expressed as forceful tenderness, playful strength; it is a way of life, not just something you decide to do in bed once every few months.

Establishing Trust

If she loves and trusts you, she wants to be ravished by you.

The kind of ravishing I am talking about applies to women with whom you are intimate and who know and trust you.

Yes, we all know about sex where we don’t really know our partner—about the urgent, fierce (sometimes desperate) connection that is like “ravishing” someone. That discussion is for another time, perhaps.

“…if you don’t trust your man because he is undirected, scattered, ambiguous or otherwise weak in his masculine energy, this will undercut your relationship, reducing your passion, your sexual attraction and your trust of each other.”
~ David Deida

When a woman is embodying her Feminine essence, she will be fully in her body and she will be emotional. To be truly feminine is to be fully emotional—for better or worse. Get used to it, with the ultimate goal of being able to embrace and even welcome it.

How to do that?

“Keep your breath full. Keep your body strong. Keep your attention present. No matter what your woman says or does, give her love. Press your belly into her. Smile. Scream and then lick her face. Do whatever is takes to crack the shell of her closure, get your love inside that crack, and touch her heart. Learn to enjoy her anger, her tears, her silent hardness. The world will give you the same at times. The way you react to your woman’s chaos reflects the way you react to the chaos in the world.”
~David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man

To be truly masculine is to be firm and certain even in the face of uncertain feminine emotions. This is how to establish trust with your woman (remember, trust = sex). Not to just appear certain, but to be truly certain. When a man lets the emotions of the feminine pull him out of his certainty and center, the woman will not feel safe with him, and she will lose respect for, and trust in, him.

The wildness of the feminine needs the strength, stillness and calm of the masculine. If you get upset every time she gets upset and just because she does, she will start to lose confidence and trust in you, she will begin to feel unsafe.

If she doesn’t trust you, being ravished is too scary for her. And this fear will most often look like anger, cynicism, sarcasm and withdrawal from you and your touch.

There’s a reason the Masculine and Feminine polarize each other.

The Masculine

He is in his head and is directed, goal-oriented and grounding for her, he is the immovable cliff against which she can throw her waves of emotion; she needs that cliff, that strength. She needs to know that he not only tolerates her wildness, but that he loves, welcomes and cherishes it, because it makes her female, woman—different from him.

“One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman’s emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax.”
~ David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man

He does not try to change her, does not try and make her think or act like a man, does not defeminize her by calling her “hysterical” or tell her, “You’re upset. I’ll be back to talk when you have settled down and are rational.” This is subtle de-feminization at its worst.

The Feminine

She is in her heart and womb and is love incarnate for him; she inspires him into his heart, into love, simply by being fully, emotionally feminine. She is the well of love, into which he fears he will fall and never return. Yet he must master this fear and be strong for her anyway. It is the only way to insure her trust.

“We have to let go of justifying emasculating men.” ~ Alison Armstrong

She does not expect him to live by his intuition and emotions like she does. She does not belittle him because he can’t always find and express his emotions readily—that would emasculate him. She does not call him too harsh, too cold, too distracted away from her by life/business.

She respects his “otherness” exactly because it is the polar opposite of her, because it calls up her femininity when he is strongly masculine, and she needs that from him. She knows how to get him back into his heart, his belly—how to inspire him from his “distractions” by simply being her true feminine self.

Get Ready

Gentlemen, here are some ravishing things to try—with a warning: These things will only work if you do them with complete love and confidence and if you begin and stay totally present for your woman during these sessions. Your focus and directed attention are part of your gift to your woman. Fill her up emotionally with your appreciation, attention, support, love. If you waver, she will feel that and will lose confidence and trust in you (remember: no trust = no sex).

Focus is key. And honestly, don’t you want to show her how much you love and cherish her?

I know it takes a big pair to initiate and pull off some of these. It puts you on vulnerable, shaky ground, doesn’t it? I can appreciate that.

Remember, vulnerability is not a weakness; it is pure courage.

Ladies:  If your man even tries this type of thing, you damned well better show your appreciation to him!

That doesn’t mean having sex with him when you are not willing and able, by any means, but it does mean you don’t roll your eyes, you don’t push him away, you don’t assume that all men ever want is sex (and by the way, why are you doing those things to someone you say you love and respect?).

At the very least, tell him how impressed you are by his courage, how much you love the fact that he wants to express his love for you by being close to you, and his willingness to go to such lengths to please you—and ask for a rain check.

Why must you show appreciation?

Remember that man I talked about that was so passive? I once drove to his house in a trench coat and very little else underneath (okay, a few strategic classics like sexy, over the knee boots, etc.), obeying the traffic rules very, very carefully because the thought of getting pulled over by a police officer while I was dressed like a prostitute was laughably horrible, came into his house and was soon thereafter almost completely humiliated because he would not join me in this fun/sexiness.

For whatever reason (did it embarrass him?), he was not happy with me and the “gift” I tried to give him. He could not allow himself to be that vulnerable, perhaps?

I have never tried that again, even though he did, at some point, apologize for not “helping me out with that,” as he put it. I am, in fact, quite hesitant to ever try it again because of his reaction—or lack thereof.

Do not do this to your man when he takes the initiative and gives you this gift!

And Ladies, when your man stays focused on you and ravishes you, let his attention and focus call up your feminine energy. Let your fears go and your heart and body open to him; allow him to fill you up emotionally and physically. Meet him right there by allowing and expressing your emotions—whatever they turn out to be.

Your emotions are a gift to your man. Trust him. He can handle it.

To cue your man you are open to this sort of thing, stay in your feminine energy (think Marilyn Monroe and breathe from your belly), and consider a phrase something like,

“Oh my god baby, I really need you to fuck me right now—hard.”

Now wait and let him come to you. Don’t go to him—stay in your receiving, allowing feminine energy. Physically lean back, even, if you must, to stay in your receiving mode.

The Sexy Bits

~Before you kiss your woman, keep your mouth close to hers but don’t kiss her yet, keep eye contact, press your belly into hers then let your body forcefully, while still protecting her, push her backwards into the wall behind her. Move her backwards against the wall with your body tension and hold her there with your entire body, keep eye contact, breathe with her—and only then do you kiss her—forcefully. Bend your knees slightly and press up, and against her, pushing her up and into the wall. If sizes/heights/etc. make it possible, lift her up against the wall, so she can wrap her legs around your waist.

~If possible, lift and move your woman to reposition you both during sex. Women love to be lifted and repositioned during sex.

~Emotional Ravishment: When your woman is upset (sad, angry, etc.), just walk up to her calmly (even if she’s upset at you) and take her in your arms—firmly. Don’t wait for her to ask you to hold her. Just do it. Press your belly against hers and stand firm and strong—in your heart and mind, as well as in your physical stance. Breathe from your belly. Imagine that you are the cliffs against which her waves (anger, sadness, etc.) are crashing. If she struggles, yells, or expresses more emotions, hold her anyway until she softens and relaxes.

This can lead to sexual ravishment.

Hint: This may take a while the first time you do it. If you do this often, it will take less and less time for her to soften into you each time. This is an invaluable gift to give your woman, and she may be very shy to ask for this from you, because she feels it is a big thing to ask for. If you can give your woman this gift on a regular basis, you will absolutely win her heart. We women need a “release” for all these emotions that are a constant way of life for us.

These emotions can be overwhelming. If your woman trusts you and is able to be her vulnerable, feminine, open self, this emotional release may happen at orgasm too (this is often why she cries/sobs during/after orgasm sometimes. It’s good crying, even though it may not look that way. It is her way of releasing. And it shows she trusts you if she does this. Don’t be upset by this. Do ask her if she’s okay and how you can help. Do NOT belittle her for this! Remember, the feminine IS the emotions).

~During sex, take her hands, move her hands away from her body and hold her arms out from her body—either above her head or out to the sides against the bed/wall. Use some weight; don’t let her move her own hands until you let them move.

~From David Deida:  Start out slowly and gently, then at some point, “pounce” and pin her beneath you. Open her legs with yours before she opens them for you. Hold her wrists with your hands. Keep your focus. Don’t get distracted by her lovely body parts, even as you caress them—love her deeper than just the body. Stay focused. Breathe with her. Make eye contact. Tease her. Be tender but forceful.

~In the middle of sex, just stop. Hold her down with your weight, your presence. Press into her. Don’t let her move under you. Keep eye contact. Breathe together. Only begin moving again when you decide to.

~Initiate Middle-of-the-Night Sex “If you know how to do this right (slooowly, softly, gently), it is one of the sexiest things in the world. We love the feeling of being touched between states of consciousness, of arousal before awareness.” Am I awake? Dreaming? This gentle ravishing is one of my faves—to have an orgasm bring me up out of sleep? Delicious.

~Remember, there is a difference between making love and fucking. We women know the difference and we love a good mixture of both.

“If you fuck your man more often, he will make love to you more often.”
~Barbara DeAngelis

~This is a perfect 45-second example of ravishment:

And from sharing this type of info with clients and friends and collecting feedback, I have received lots of opinions and ideas about ravishing your woman.

From a man:
“This is one of the hardest things for “nice guys” to do, as they are trapped between respect, being nurturing, sensitive, and loving on one hand, but full of desire and natural needs on the other (if they haven’t suppressed that into submission as many men feel they have to).

One of the most powerful things a partner ever said to me was, “That was really nice, but sometimes, I just want you to fuck me. That makes me feel desired and beautiful, too.”

So many relationships end because of this…

So once in a while, guys, look at your woman, focus on your desire and the complete emotional and physical awesomeness of her, let your desire come, and go after it. If your focus is on her and not a shallow selfish need, you will communicate your “want” of her in the right way. Make love to her as if the physical is a metaphor for the spiritual/emotional. Be completely focused on her and let nothing sway you from your purpose to open her heart as you open her body. (Even if you don’t have sex, the intension alone can save your relationship if your focus is on her and not getting your little man wet—just don’t take any denial personally, and be consistent in showing her your desire for her—all of her).”

From the women:
“Love me into submission! And I will love you into conquering the world. This just makes my heart sing.”

“I do (want to be ravished). Very much. Feeling a partner’s desire and passion so tangibly is a huge turn on. I express mine and I want the same.”

If you need more info about how to find and stay in your masculine energy or ravish a woman, find a relationship coach, read David Deida’s books, Steve Horsmons’ website, or Wayne Levine’s.

Find out how your woman wants to be ravished—and happy ravishing!
*********

A version also published at elephant journal.

Men Pretend to be Vulnerable

First published at elephant journal as What if He is More Vulnerable and Feminine than I am?

Many men pretend to be vulnerable so that we women don’t kick the emotional shit out of them, according to research by Brene Brown.

couple-stoneI brought this topic up in my last women’s group.

Men repeatedly told Brene in interviews that their women couldn’t handle their true, deep vulnerability. So they pretend to be vulnerable and only tell us what they think we can handle. My first thought was: how masculine of them—how very chivalrous and protective.

My second thought was the same one Brene had: Oh my gawd, I am the patriarchy, the oppressor.

We ask, even beg, men to tell us what’s going on inside, what they’re feeling, what emotions they are experiencing. “Please let me in,” we demand of them. We get upset when they won’t share with us.

But according to her research, when men do share the real emotions, the real pain, doubts and fears, we women very often can’t handle it—and men know this.

I related to my group the story of how it showed up in Brene’s life. She came home and saw that her husband was upset about some extended family issues. She immediately got angry and wanted to pick a fight with him. 1stphone6

Instead, and because she had done so much research about this very thing, she pretended she was in a movie taking direction, playing a character that knew how to handle that sort of situation without anger.

As a woman, I value safety over almost everything else. When a man admits to me that he is hurting, he’s sad and afraid, it scares me; I begin to lose my sense of safety in the relationship.

Because who’s in charge if he isn’t? He is the Masculine, the directed, focused, goal-oriented part of the relationship that normally keeps us on track.

I am not much of a picker of fights anymore, myself. I have learned to remember, and stick to, my third rule: when angry, don’t say anything. Tell the other person I am angry but need to cool down. Excuse myself. Wait until the anger subsides. Really think about what I want to say. Write it down—even practice saying it out loud.

coupleThen, and only bloody then, do I confront the other person. It might take minutes. Sometimes it takes days, weeks, months; it depends on the issue.

Anger is very often fueled by fear.

I do experience the anger Brene spoke of, though. It shows up for me as a kind of irritated impatience. Instead of hearing my man, I find myself listening to the questions in my own mind, “Why can’t you just man up and deal with this? Why are you telling me this?”

I try and drown out not only what he is saying, but also the fear it brings up in me.

I suggested to the group that they take a serious look at their own reaction in that type of situation. Do they close off? Do they go into anger, impatience and fear? How do they talk to their men at that point? Or, like me, do they run from it?

I know I want the men in my life to keep their hearts and ears open when I am expressing those vulnerable secrets I carry in here bumping around and bruising me from the inside—those very real-to-me, scary thoughts that I’m not enough, that there’s something so flawed in me that if anyone knew about that, they couldn’t possibly love me.

So it has become important for me to make sure I am doing the same for him—for all the men in my life—even if I must, like Brene, pretend I know what I’m doing until, hopefully, one day I really will. statue couple

That’s when one of the women asked me, “But what if all he ever expresses is vulnerability? I feel like I am always supporting him by listening to his fear and uncertainty. I don’t want to always be in that role. I feel like I always have to be the strong one in the relationship. Sometimes I really need him to Masculine-up and support me in my vulnerability.”

I admitted I didn’t know the complete answer to that question.

I probably told her to call Steve Horsmon, my go-to relationship coach to whom I send clients. That is usually my answer to questions of this ilk.

And seeing as how I want (and need!) the answer also, I contacted Steve and asked him if he would be so kind as to answer that question right here in this post.

Steve answers:

Many of the men I work with are working hard to step-up and provide a more positive, supportive and leading role in their relationships. One of their biggest complaints when they begin providing this energy is that their partner pushes back immediately.

They will say, “I want to be stronger and to support her, but she won’t let me. It’s like she wants it but doesn’t trust me when I try, so I just give up.”

Some women make the mistake of adopting the “strong one” role just because he isn’t doing it. They value their persona of the competent caretaker above all else. Their M.O. is to give, guide, organize, and lead their way to feeling in control of their life. couple holding hands

And they quietly stew in resentment for not getting more leadership and support from their partner. Receiving, accepting, allowing and following are very scary for these women.

But the only way to inspire a man to step into a stronger role is to consciously make room for him to do so.

Making room for him is very different than trying to change him. Making room for him and inspiring him to move into a stronger, more masculine role means you must outwardly and deliberately appreciate his masculinity.

The best way to do this is to get out of your own masculine energy. When you give a man sincere, feminine approval and praise for his unique strengths and ability to make you feel cared for and protected, you can inspire his confidence and willingness to do just that.

Affectionately invite him to liscam1sten to your feelings. Ask him to hold you tight. Tell him how his arms make you feel. Intentionally “soften” into his masculine energy and consistently help him feel safe in giving you this gift.

When a woman consciously allows her man to be more assertive and to be a source of comfort for her, he can more confidently ease into his masculine energy and will find out how much he likes being there for—himself and for her.

A woman’s power to inspire this in a man through her words and her touch is phenomenal.

This legendary form of feminine leadership is a critical component of a healthy relationship and a key skill in all aspects of a woman’s life.

 

Steve Horsmon is a Certified Professional Life and Relationship Coach and founder osteve horsmon photof Good Guys 2 Great Men. With a long corporate career in leadership and organizational training and development, Steve is a lifelong student and “passionate pursuer” of the communication and personal development skills required for healthy and satisfying relationships. You can connect with him via Facebook too.

Grace is a Certified Hypnotherapist and Registered Psychotherapist in Ft. Collins, CO, USA. She sees clients and facilitates Divine gracethanx2013.3Feminine Hypnotherapy workshops for women. She’s a flaming, Earth-loving, tree-hugging, save-the-Planet, believes-in-faeries, bike-riding, card-carrying, spiritual but not religious, hippie cowgirl liberal poet—yep, they do exist. You can find her blog here and her creations here. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Hypnotherapy Workshop: Open to Love. Open to Your Feminine Essence

Presented by Grace Cooley, Certified Hypnotherapist

Open to Love
Open to your Feminine Essence

For Women Only—Single or Partneredgodess blue

Open your heart, life and body to allow Real love. Connect with the juicy, sacred, powerful Divine Feminine Energy that you really are.

We’ll explore the polarization between feminine and masculine energy, talk about how to activate your own feminine energy and stay in that space. We’ll discuss specific issues you have (or have had) in your relationship(s) and how to resolve them from a respectful, feminine perspective. This class is not about manipulating men or any other superficial issues. This class is about discovering your own true vulnerable self and being able to live from that place of power. When we live from that place of authenticity, we can’t help but improve our entire life—including all of our relationships.

This is an invitation to you to journey with the group to Find, Heal and Release the Subconscious Blocks – those aspects of yourself – that are keeping you from experiencing deep, satisfying, vulnerable love. You are safe here.

open doorAre you wondering why you are attracting the same type of partner each time – one that doesn’t satisfy you? Do you imagine yourself in a much better, fulfilling life and relationship than the one you are currently living? Do you wonder whydf blue your man doesn’t seem to be very ‘masculine’ and what part you play in that? Do you feel that you are not worthy of love?

Are you self-protecting so much that even while in a relationship you feel unfulfilled?

Your mind is 15 – 20% conscious and 80 – 85% subconscious, and when the conscious and subconscious minds disagree, the subconscious thought/belief will always win. Your beliefs create your life – for better or worse. mandala1.jpgYou are constantly – even when sleeping – emitting your very own, unique, signature frequency. And when that frequency is fueled by unconscious, and often limiting, beliefs you are going to manifest that – no matter how much time you try to spend thinking good thoughts and saying positive affirmations. hand heart

The most important thing about the subconscious mind you need to know is that it is always “on”. That is, it is active day and night, regardless of whether you are doing. The subconscious mind controls your body. You cannot hear this silent inner process with your conscious effort.Read more at: http://www.learning-mind.com/your-subconscious-mind-can-do-anything-how-to-use-its-power/
The most important thing about the subconscious mind you need to know is that it is always “on”. That is, it is active day and night, regardless of whether you are doing. The subconscious mind controls your body. You cannot hear this silent inner process with your conscious effort.Read more at: http://www.learning-mind.com/your-subconscious-mind-can-do-anything-how-to-use-its-power/
The most important thing about the subconscious mind you need to know is that it is always “on”. That is, it is active day and night, regardless of whether you are doing. The subconscious mind controls your body. You cannot hear this silent inner process with your conscious effort.Read more at: http://www.learning-mind.com/your-subconscious-mind-can-do-anything-how-to-use-its-power/

We need a way to release those hidden beliefs in order to get the conscious and subconscious working together. When the subconscious supports and agrees with your conscious goals, you unleash your maximum potential. And hypnosis is recognized as one of the most effective ways to access and affect the subconscious mind. Ninety percent of men, women and children easily learn hypnosis. It is an education-communication system that allows the conscious and subconscious to communicate and then believe the same message and be on the same page. Hypnosis automatically reduces stress, creates greater clarity, improves focus and enhances subconscious functions. You can even teach your body to regulate ‘automatic’ responses like blood pressure, wound healing, etc.

I am always honored to be allowed into your personal, sacred mind-space during hypnotherapy and group sessions, so rest assured that you are welcome and safe here.

goddessinthewombofvoidEven after the first session you will already feel lighter, more relaxed and open to allowing vulnerability in yourself and others. And it just gets better from there, as we continue in a safe, supportive environment to gently peel off the layers of you that need validation, love and healing.

Each class will include group hypnosis, ‘homework’, journaling and sharing (at your comfort level). Wear comfortable clothing, bring a water bottle, something to write with and something to write on/in. Consider using a special journal to document this freeing, powerful journey for yourself—who knows, you may find, at some point, that you are writing the next best-seller!

This series will assist you in changing the way you define yourself as a woman. We will help you find, connect with and live from that Powerful, Divine part of you. You will blossom and begin to love & respect the Strong, Powerful Woman that you really are, and when you do that, you also begin to love, trust and respect others—you begin to Allow, you begin to respect and trust men and the Masculine aspects in your partner and potential partners. You will free yourself to receive the Masculine gifts offered to you by all the men in your life when you allow your own Feminine side to emerge.loverock

We will gently dive into:      

~ Introduction to Hypnotherapy and the Divine Feminine/Masculine

~ Find and talk to the Wall (your subconscious beliefs/blocks) and the Guard

~ Gently heal those subconscious beliefs by going into the Secret Garden

~ Release the Past utilizing the Fire of Transformation

~ Journey to the Garden of the Soul and unite and activate Her Presence in your life

~ Meet your Future, Sexy, Powerful, Divine Self and draw upon her wisdom

Times:  Monday nights – 6:30pm – 8:30pm 

Location:  NW Fort Collins, CO

Investment:  The full tuition for the 6-week class is $279, but if you make your payment more than 1 week in advance of class, you pay only $249. This is a $600+ value if done in individual sessions. 

What to Bring: Water bottle, Pen/Pencil & Journal.

Space is limited in each class, so contact me to reserve your seat and find out when the next class starts:  cooley.grace@gmail.com 

Find out more about Hypnotherapy and Grace.

We also usually use one of our 2-hours sessions for time with Certified Life and Relationship Coach, Steve Horsmon. Past groups have found his session so very informative and helpful!

steve horsmon photoSteve Horsmon is a Certified Professional Life and Relationship Coach and founder of Good Guys 2 Great Men. With a long corporate career in leadership and organizational training and development, Steve is a lifelong student and “passionate pursuer” of the communication and personal development skills required for healthy and satisfying relationships. You can connect with him via Facebook too.

Grace Cooley is a Certified Hypnotherapist and Registered Psychotherapist in Ft. Collins, CO,gracethanx2013.3 USA. She sees clients and facilitates Divine Feminine Hypnotherapy workshops for women. She’s a flaming, Earth-loving, tree-hugging, save-the-bees, believes-in-faeries, bike-riding, card-carrying, spiritual but not religious, hippie cowgirl liberal poet—yep, they do exist. She writes for elephant journal and The Scarlet Orchid. You can find her blog here and her creations here. You can also connect with her on Facebook.