Masculine and Feminine Energies and how they relate to food and body
So many of my clients (me included) struggle to find the right balance between their masculine and feminine energies, often holding stereotypes of what it means to be masculine or feminine. We often reduce the Masculine to strong, tough, unfeeling, aggressive, ready to fight – the one who makes the money and dominates the woman, whereas we often reduce the Feminine to weak, vulnerable, young, pretty, skinny, naive – the one who washes the dishes, gets the children and is dominated by the man.
These associations, as limited, unconscious, incomplete and even untrue as they are, are at the very root of the conflict and inner battle many women and men have around their own inner Masculine and/or Feminine.
While deep down inside many women (and also men) yearn to express and live their feminine side more (and when talking about the feminine side, I am talking about that part inside of us that is intuitive, nourishing, creative, feeling, emotional, chaotic, unpredictable, loving, caring, open, receptive, sensual, pleasure...), they are often afraid to let it out BECAUSE they reduce it to “weak and vulnerable”.
Many men (and women) on the other hand despise what they associate with typical “masculine” – the violent macho and insensitive heartbreaker, when in truth the Masculine is so much more than that, namely our ability to use logic and intellect, to provide structure, to analyze, to solve problems – and also to protect and to be a hero!
Just like in the outside world, it is not a sign of masculinity or strength to suppress the Feminine! The evolved Masculine protects the Feminine - and is even willing to give his life for her (just think of all those fairy tales of the brave prince rescuing the princess)! If now you argue that the very act of suppressing the Feminine may be a means of protecting her from danger, just think about cultures where women have to cover themselves up – supposedly to protect them. As Western women we know that it is the very FREEDOM we have, that empowers and protects us - the more freedom there is, the saver we actually are. What is dangerous to the Feminine is not the EVOLVED Masculine, but the toxic Masculine, the Masculine that is all about attacking and conquering.
EVOLVE your Masculine energy
So no matter if you are a man or a woman, if you feel like your own inner Masculine is holding down your Feminine 1) out of fear that it will be pushed from its thrown or 2) out of a distorted attempt to protect her from this dangerous world OR if you are afraid to step into your Masculine out of fear to become an unfeeling monster, work on transforming your own inner Masculine into a kind and good-hearted king. A courageous king who fully assumes his responsibilities, a king with a purpose who gets things done, a king who treats his queen with appreciation and respect, a loyal king that can be trusted and counted on. By being that kind of man to your own inner woman, your inner Feminine will be much more comfortable to express herself and become a valuable partner at the side of her Masculine.
As a side effect, you will also start living that new inner reality on the outside. As a man, you will be able to be that kind of king to the women in your life and as a woman you will attract more evolved kings (or princes) into your world – or make the men in your life step into that role. So you never need to feel like you depend on your partner changing first. Simply focus on improving yourself and see how that will affect your surroundings.
Masculine & Feminine energies and how they relate to food and body
How does all that talk about Masculine and Feminine energies relate to food and body now? In a variety of ways.
First of all, from a mere energetic point of view, food is Feminine. Everything in this world consists of opposites and can be allocated either to the energetically Feminine (Yin) or the energetically Masculine (Yang). Food comes from MOTHER Earth and is solid matter and as such more Feminine than airy energies or even thoughts and awareness. Soft fat is energetically also more Feminine than hard muscles.
Note that the allocation into Feminine or Masculine is not an evaluation. One is not better than the other. However, we often judge those qualities in a positive or negative way. Many people dislike fat and prefer muscle. However, fat is crucial for our survival, it surrounds, protects and nourishes all our important organs and glands and has many important functions in our metabolism. Take out all fat from your body and you are dead in a second.
So if you are afraid of your own inner Feminine, you usually are also afraid of food and/or fat in food – at least to a certain extent. You can also look at that from the other side: if you consider food and/or fat to be your enemy, or if you hate your body, you can deduct that you are also in war with the Feminine, incl. your own inner Feminine. So you are basically in war with a part of yourself, which is a huge constant stressor for your system and deeply affects your metabolism.
This fear of food and fat (i.e. the Feminine) will most likely result in you trying to control it and push it with exercise (i.e. the Masculine). This approach might lead to different results, depending on your individual body and on the intensity of your efforts. You might either simply get a very toned and muscular body, you might get extremely skinny and look more like a boy than a woman, or it might result in you not being able to lose any weight and walking around with a very soft (= Feminine) body, constantly confronting you with this part of you and challenging you to accept it rather than fight it. That is true for both, women and men.
Very skinny men often are afraid to step into their Masculine more. Paradoxically, an overly soft (overweight) body can also be a symptom of a fear of stepping into your Masculine. Just like a very masculine body can simply show you that this part also lives in you. Of course there are also physical and metabolic factors influencing how your body looks. However, in a Mind-Body-Nutrition approach, we do not limit ourselves to those.
By the way, I am not saying that it is bad to have a very lean or a very soft body, or that they are ALWAYS a symptom of an inner conflict – there is no issue with anything (symptom, characteristic, behavior…) unless there is an issue, a complaint around them. Then it’s worth to dig deeper – into the body and into the mind… and the dynamics of masculine – feminine energies is one exciting way to do so.
Nutrition vs. Nourishment
Another way how masculine and feminine energies relate to food and body is when it comes to the difference between nutrition and nourishment.
So much of our approach towards food today is about nutrition data, facts and figures, calories and nutrients… It’s a very left-brain, masculine approach, where we choose foods based on knowledge and facts as opposed to intuition and pleasure. We listen more to the experts and what food is supposedly good or bad for us than we listen to our own body. We reduce the body to a machine that needs fuel – an input-output system that you only need to supply with X amount of calories and X amount of nutrients, in order to make it run and function. Unfortunately (or fortunately) things are not so clinical.
In fact, there have been experiments with a pill containing all nutrients a human being needs from a scientific and purely physiologic point of view. However, despite that pill containing all the nutrients, the people taking it didn’t thrive, but actually got sick! The reason is that as humans we need more than just nutrition, we need nourishment.
Nourishment is so much more than nutrition and goes far beyond the body. It is what feeds and sustains us on all levels, the physical, the mental, the emotional and the spiritual. It’s pleasure, it’s joy, it’s sensual, it’s what makes us feel good, warm and relaxed. If you feel good, you want to be alive and naturally will choose a diet and lifestyle that sustain your health and well-being and thus your existence on this planet. If on the other hand, you do not get the nourishment, if you miss the pleasure, the fun, the enjoyment, the relaxation… be it from places, people, animals, food, thoughts, feelings, beliefs, you might easily question the whole point of being alive, and unconsciously start to sabotage your health by making poor dietary or lifestyle choices.
The more you are nourished by things other than food, the less you need to rely on it as your only source of pleasure. This is why it is so important to slow down and take time for yourself, to spend it in nature, to surround you with people you love, to listen to music, to read, to move in ways that you enjoy, to decorate your house, to indulge in body care rituals, to dress up, to set up your table and eat slowly and consciously…
If you suppress the Feminine from your life and your diet, meaning that you run through life at a fast pace, that you work and exercise hard from a place of push, and that you control what you eat from a place of fear or self-hate, you set yourself up for a lot of suffering and pain. You might eventually even experience phases of uncontrollable emotional or binge eating. Rather than you suddenly having a willpower issue, this is simply your Feminine breaking through and asking for your attention. It’s an invitation to take a step back and find a way to eat and live that is more sustainable and takes into account all of us: the Masculine AND the Feminine. The good nutrition AND the nourishment. If we attribute the symptom of binge eating only to a lack in calories, fats or proteins, in other words, we make it about food only, we miss out on important underlying issues going on on other levels simultaneously.
We are all different, and our bodies will talk to us in many different ways, even about the same topics. It’s up to you to learn to understand the language of your own body, and to explore your inner truth and what resonates with you. If at the very least you start to pay more attention to your own inner energies and how they affect your eating behavior and general well-being, this article has more than fulfilled its purpose.
Please know that I am always there for you, should you have questions or be in need of some guidance.