Hear me roar!
The expectations of women in today's society are shifting ... and they're shifting fast.
We are supposed to be fierce in the boardroom, sexy in the bedroom, chaste and gentle mothers, and leaders in our communities.
PHEW! That's a lot. I'm tired, aren't you?
Being exhausted from all these expectations is natural, but it doesn't mean we should go back to the old days where the only path to being considered a "real woman" was motherhood and homemaking.
But do we need to lose our classic feminine values entirely along the road to equality?
In our latest Expert video, Senior VP of YourTango Experts, Melanie Gorman, asked a few insightful Experts for wisdom about the changing role of femininity, and what "feminine values" really mean today.
You'll want to check out their full comments in the video above, because our big-name Experts — including self-love mystic and mentor Pernilla Lillarose, author Ellyn Roberts Bell, relationships coach Barb Boschetto, and John Gray of Mars and Venus fame — had a lot of insight to share.
The bottom line is, you can value femininity and still believe in equality.
In fact, in order to be balanced, we all need to accept our femininity and our masculinity — and the unique ways in which we each experience those.
Embracing our femininity doesn't have to mean giving up our power, or our quest for quality. In fact, it can be just the opposite.
Femininity may be the key to our success!
Here are five ways to live within your authentic femininity — while still valuing your power and individuality:
1. Don't let anyone else define what it means for you to be a woman.
Society has spent generations telling women the wrong and right ways to be feminine.
While some women were happy under those constraints, it was really about control, and kept many women living in their truth.
The same goes for more recent times, when we hear that women are supposed to want the same things and behave the same way as men.
The expectation may be different, but it's still pressure from the outside to conform.
2. Take time to just BE, instead of forcing yourself to DO.
Many women today are busy, busy, busy trying to achieve.
It's great to have goals, and working hard pays off.
But when we take time to just be — by sitting still, taking time for quiet personal activities, meditating, practicing yoga, or engaging in similar pursuits — we open ourselves up as the natural receivers we can be.
In those moments, we are able to nurture our truest selves, and find ways to nurture others in turn.
3. Embrace your nurturing, caring self.
This doesn't have to be in motherhood, if that isn't your path. But most women have a strong capacity for nurturing and compassion that our busy, highly-scheduled lives can override.
Setting aside time to care for elders, animals, and children are common ways to embrace your nurturing side.
But you can also do this by volunteering for a cause or organization that is meaningful to you.
You can also embrace your caretaking side by writing or creating art that will bring comfort to others, or help them achieve their goals.
4. Understand that your masculine side is healthy, and that femininity is a wonderful trait for men, too.
We all, regardless of gender, have a unique balance of masculine values and feminine values within ourselves.
Our masculine sides are nothing to be ashamed of or to shun, just like the feminine side of men is a beautiful thing to embrace.
But it's important to know what balance of feminine and masculine energy is healthy for you, and true to who you are.
If it starts to feel out of balance, you might find yourself at odds with people you love, or bumping up against society in ways you never have before.
That's a good time to go back to point number two, above, and take some time to just BE, so you can get back into alignment with your own feminine/masculine balance.
There is no right or wrong way to "do" femininity, no matter what society tries to tell you.
Just remember that feminine values are beautiful, and being true to ourselves is the best way to feel balanced and be authentically happy.
If you need help finding or maintaining your true feminine balance, or if you're looking for support in finding happiness or solving relationships problems, please visit the websites of our Experts and contact Pernilla, Ellyn, Barb, or John, directly. They’re here to help.