The terms “masculine” & “feminine” do not refer to gender, but rather to the Yin/Yang experience of being human. This is a fundamental duality that reflects two sides of the same spiritual coin. Regardless of gender, we all have access to both masculine and feminine within. We are all expressions of these types, just to different degrees. Awakening, embodying, and enacting the masculine & feminine principles in our life is a Path of practice. A Path that will lead to greater balance, integration, and Oneness.
The Problem With Terms
I am well aware that the terms masculine and feminine can be quite charged for some. There tend to be 3 common mistakes with these terms. If not careful you can use these terms to reinforce negative stereotypes, or even go as far denying that they exist (read more here: “3 Common Mistakes”).
Reclaiming Masculine & Feminine
Personally, I feel that it is very useful to reclaim these terms and understand them in their essence. One way to do this is to tease apart the “masculine” & “feminine” principles and examine them separately. Polarizing to purify the masculine & feminine helps understand several questions:
- How do the masculine and feminine principles function individually?
- How is your style, school, or organization expressed on the masculine & feminine spectrum?
- What is your personal strength on the masculine or the feminine side of the spectrum?
- Where are you underdeveloped on the spectrum and how can you start to work towards balance?
- How to work with others located at different locations on the masculine/ feminine spectrum?
- Where am I blocked and where do I have blind spots on the spectrum?
Why Explore Masculine & Feminine?
Understanding the masculine/feminine principles of Aikido has been an intense interest for me for the past 10 or so years, for 2 main reasons:
- I always have been on the masculine side of the spectrum. At a certain point, it became clear that where I was strong in my masculinity, I was somewhat cut off from my femininity. If I wanted to experience more personal wholeness then I needed to re-connect with and cultivate my inherent feminine qualities.
- I was attracted to and developed quite far within an Aikido style that was decidedly on the “yang” end of the spectrum. It was masculine in spades and, what I understand now, masculine to a fault. Not only was the feminine pole cut off, it was considered to be weak and of no benefit to a particular macho form of Japanese budo. Eventually, I hit this glass ceiling and it was clear that further development meant bringing more martial “yin” to my martial “yang”.
In the video below I am presenting how this Aikido exploration has unfolded on the feminine side of the spectrum for me. You will see how I express some of the feminine principles and qualities in Aikido.
Even though I believe these principles are universal, I don’t claim that everyone should express these principles as I do. But rather, I fully recommend that you discover how the masculine and feminine exist in your experience and cultivate them to their fullest expression in your life.
QUESTION: How Is The Feminine Principle Expressed In Your Aikido? Join The Conversation And Leave Your Comment Below!