5 Ways To Cultivate Healthy Masculinity & Femininity Within Yourself

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We live in a complex world, yet we want to divide people into two genders. We expect men to be masculine and women to be feminine. 

With modern psychology, we have learned that we have both within us. It is a like a continuum with masculinity and femininity at either end of the spectrum. Most of us land in the middle of the continuum. We all need healthy masculinity and femininity.

Until recently, children have been raised to behave in specific ways depending on their gender identity. Girls were brought up to be caring, maternal, gentle and obedient to parents, particularly men.

Boys were considered tough, assertive, violent, and controlling. Boys grew up with the belief that they were superior to girls. You still hear the excuse for male violence with the saying, “Boys will be boys.” We still see signs of this in our society with a high rate of violence against girls and women.

Women and men are both hurt by this sexist divide. We are forced into being people we are not. When women are not permitted to be strong, assertive and outspoken, they often take out their anger on other women. 

The good news is that you can be yourself regardless of gender or sexual orientation; this is all about having healthy masculinity and femininity.

Whether you are a man or woman, honoring the masculine part of you is essential. Equally so, you can not have healthy masculinity without honoring the feminine in you.

RELATED: How To Balance Masculine And Feminine Energy In A Relationship

Here are five ways to cultivate healthy masculinity and femininity

1. Open your heart

You have a big beautiful heart. When you connect with your heart, you can notice the different emotions you experience throughout the day.

The emotional continuum goes from a high sense of well-being to self-destruction.

Learn to observe your emotions as they take place, acknowledge them and then let them go. Connecting with your emotional intelligence gives clues on how to be authentic. 

As you open your heart, you will know whom to connect with and discover your callings. Your calling is what the universe (God) desires you to live out. You will know when you find it.

Your heart will open you up to be more compassionate to yourself, your life partner, family, colleagues and friends. 

Your open heart will make you hungry to improve the world, one person at a time. This change of heart arises from healthy masculinity and femininity.

RELATED: How To Tap Into The Two-Sided Psychic Energy You Already Have Inside You

2. Risk vulnerability

Show up each day in the best way possible. No one expects you to have it all together. If you are having a rough day, don’t be afraid to let others know it has been challenging.

You need family, friends and professionals to help you throughout your life. If you feel frustrated because your relationships never last, or you lose your temper quickly or hate your job, you don’t need to suffer in silence. Ask for the help you need.

Showing vulnerability goes against what most boys were taught, which carried on into adulthood. Do you fear asking for help for fear of looking weak?

Don’t be afraid to cry. Men can be just as emotional as women.

Showing vulnerability is a sign of courage and strength. It tells the world you know you are human, imperfect, and unafraid to address your growing edges.

When you admit that something is wrong in your life, you can make the necessary changes with the help of family, friends, spiritual leaders or professional coaches and counselors.

Psychology shows us that any group needs self-knowing and honest people to have loving, productive, genuine relationships. In any group, people can learn the skills to work through conflict and find a win-win solution everyone can agree to move ahead with. If you don’t have these skills in your family or organization, seek them from the outside.

3. Find your courage

The more you are willing to be vulnerable, the more courage you will find in yourself. Courage is all about being who you are meant to be.

It is about speaking your truth and doing what is right. It is about speaking out for people pushed to the fringes of society. It is about being yourself and not worrying about what others think. To do this, you need a healthy masculinity and femininity.

RELATED: 20 Signs Your Feminine Energy Is Blocked — And How To Fix It

4. Grow your self-awareness

How self-aware are you? How aware are you of how others experience you? Do you project the real you into the world?

Self-awareness comes from our ability to learn from your three intelligence centers. The Enneagram teaches us that you have at least three brains. When you can learn from the sensations of your body, the yearnings of your heart and a quiet mind, you will find the freedom to be yourself.

You will learn to differentiate between the voice of your inner critic that wants to keep you to what you already know and the voice of you that comes from your higher self.

You will learn to question the stories you tell yourself and discern if there is any truth to them.

You will learn to differentiate the fear that comes from the fear of failing from the fear that calls you to overcome what is blocking you. 

With practice, you will find a greater flow in your life. Choices will be much easier to make because you will know what you inwardly need to do.

RELATED: 12 Signs You're Experiencing A Divine Masculine Awakening

5. Walk your talk

Life is an ongoing journey. The more you can live fully in the moment, the greater the flow you will experience.

Your goal is to be the genuine you. You are meant to be yourself even with all your imperfections.

God (the universe) wants you to be fully human. The world is counting on you to be this great mixture of strength, gentleness, courage, generosity, kindness, assertiveness, honesty, compassion, passion and quiet inner reflection.

Discover who you are. Release yourself from the dualistic division of how men and women are taught to behave.

Listen to the wisdom within yourself to help you identify your gifts and discover what skills and attitudes you want to enhance over your life.

You are more than your personality and gender. You are a wonderful mixture of masculine and feminine energy. Show the world what healthy masculinity and femininity look like.

Men and women, we need you to be strong and gentle, courageous and vulnerable, assertive and withdrawn, loud and quiet, emotional and stoic, and playful and serious.

People, no matter their gender, are called to discern their gifts. Go beyond any stereotypes and let go of any limitations anyone has put on you. You are meant to be you! Show the world what healthy masculinity and femininity look like.

If you are a man who wants to stay home and raise the kids, go for it. If you are a woman and want to be an electrician, go for it.

Don’t allow anyone to put you into a box. Show up each day the best way you can. Your job is to bring your gift of you to the world because the world needs you.

RELATED: 7 Examples Of Healthy Masculinity In Relationships

Roland Legge is an author, Certified Spiritual Life Coach and teacher of the Enneagram. He helps people connect to their inner selves and find alignment with their highest purpose and values. 

This article was originally published at REL Consultants. Reprinted with permission from the author.