The following is a guest post from my friend and colleague, Michele Lisenbury Christensen. She wrote it during one of the few warm spells in Seattle this summer, thus the reference to hot weather.
Lately, here in Seattle, the sun has been pouring out its sizzling blessings upon us, warming the earth and stirring activity in plants and people alike. And Monday night was the full moon. Having that zingy sundrenched buzz balanced out by the sweet softness of the moon’s blue glow last night reminded me how much we crave refreshment to align us amid our busy-ness.
We’re so hungry for softness, for shelter, for comfort. But in business, we don’t want to be. We’re in a constant battle against having that hunger. We yearn to be reassured, consoled, nourished. Loved unconditionally.
How very unprofessional! We think, “If I had it together I wouldn’t need all those things.” Our hunger is the messy, sloppy part of us that we keep trying to amputate, to very little success, so that we can get on with our business.
But we really do need those things. The needs come from the same place from which we provide for other people. They’re like the fuel gauge telling you your car needs more gas so it can keep driving.
In our businesses – or any creative endeavors – it’s tempting to think our solar side, our generativity, is the source of all that’s good. Cultural leanings and personal habits can predispose us to squelch any yearning for comfort or reassurance. We may only invite that moonbeam quality of nourishment and receptivity into our day as a last resort, only when we’re too exhausted to do otherwise!
For example, do you:
- Brush off disappointment or frustration when an offer doesn’t get the response you’d hoped or a sale falls through at the last minute?
- Work through lunch or realize at some point you’ve needed the bathroom for hours?
- Tolerate loneliness, stuckness, overwhelm, or despair without reaching out for help or encouragement?
- Add in one more client, another hour at the computer, or three more phone calls and let it crowd out your self-care or relaxation time?
These are the ways we fight our hunger to receive. We fear we’ll become this black hole of need. If you open that door, it’ll be like a horror movie where the gates of hell have been opened and all that is holy is sucked away.
But your need to receive and your need to drive are two sides of the same coin. In the 12 Elements of Power I teach my clients, our power is delineated into six pairs of Elements. Driving is an Element of Power, and its counterpart is Receiving.
Our capacity for either is only as robust as our willingness to activate its mate. Wanna drive all-out? Be prepared to open up, receive, request, and feel. Otherwise, you’ll shut down the whole carnival. On the other hand if you want to Receive, to allow life to spill her blessings across your lap, the key to your desire is to be willing to drive, baby, drive in all the ways that are yours to do.
Driving, receiving, driving, receiving. It’s a graceful two-step we can dance all career long. When both Elements are active, our energy ebbs and flows in a sustainable way. Or, as so many of us do, we can turn the ballet into a herky-jerky careening mess:
Drive, overdrive, crash. Recover, lick wounds, overdrive some more. Crash again. Oh, and during the recovery: we might say we’re receiving, but it just ain’t so. We’re not so much using our Receiving power as we are sitting out our probation from using our Driving, having fried ourselves from overuse. In truth, all that masculine, generative action is sourced by the feminine side, just as our hands do work using the oxygen and energy pumped to them by the heart.
We’re nourished by our roots. Our driving side is like the branches of the tree. Receiving is like the roots of the tree, where the nourishment comes in, where the water is drunk and the minerals turn into what becomes the tree: it all takes place underground. That underground metabolism of nourishment is the feminine. That’s the receptivity. We can only generate new “leaves” in our businesses to the extent that we’re willing to receive through our roots.
Fall into your feminine. If my two year old son Cooper falls down, like he did as we were playing on the lawn last night, he lets me take him into my arms. He falls into me, crying, and lets me rock him back and forth, his body limp against mine, absorbing the pats and caresses and murmurs I shower upon him. His wide-open receiving lets him soak up that good mama juju, and soon he’s back on his merry way.
As the skies remind us, we need that solar and lunar rhythm of driving and receiving. The sun is invigorating. The moon is soothing.
There’s a way that the sun, the father archetype, the masculine face of God, calls you forward. You live up to IT. You are asked to drive to perform and be strong. It calls you to earn and achieve. It’s heating.
The moon, this mother archetype is less known in our culture. It’s the feminine face of the Divine. It’s liquid, not electric. The feminine is something that’s plentiful and replenishing for you. It’s Source, like a well you can drink from. It’s unconditional. It’s here for you.
The feminine is what you can fall back into. This is the side of the divine and of life and of your relationship with your own self that is not necessarily pushing you forward, but helping you replenish, feed your hunger, soften, and collect your strength.
As an entrepreneur, you’ll be well-served to open to your yearning for your mama – that sweet giving energy that’s always there for you. If you drink deep of the moon’s light when you’re thirsty, then when the sun rises again, you’ll be ready to rock & roll!
You can hop over to Michele’s blog to read four steps to opening to the feminine for your nourishment.