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How “The Art of War” helped me find my way into my femininity.

Felix Mittermeier 

In my last article, I wrote that the concepts of feminine & masculine energy can be hard to grasp, because they are meant to be used in concert, rather than individually.⁣

So how to use them when we are a woman?⁣

Femininity will manifest itself differently for each woman and so, the answer is only inside of ourselves.⁣

But to make it less theoretical, let me share with you my own discovery:⁣

That’s the book “The Art of War” that introduced me to my femininity.⁣

Actually, it was not the book alone that helped me, it was its implementation with the help of my mentor (for whom I will be forever grateful).⁣

But before delving into the topic, let’s situate ourselves in the story:⁣

Reaching 25 yo was a milestone for me; I’ve had quite a challenging adolescence and growing up, I had convinced myself that by the time I would be 25 yo, I would’ve figured it all;But here I was, 26 yo, and almost as clueless as my 15 yo self.😅😂 ⁣

Enough was enough, I had to find a solution to my problem.⁣

Professionally, I was doing well. I wasn’t living my purpose but I had a well-paid, interesting job and I was good at it.⁣

My biggest struggle was in my relationships, and more precisely, in my relationships with men. I had no problem with my appearance but I was doing something wrong and I couldn’t put a finger on what it was. So, I hired a coach;⁣

With her, I mostly learned about men psychology; how men think and how to communicate with them. Her approach was based on feminine principle, but I wasn’t really aware of feminine and masculine energies at that time.⁣

I started also to research the lives of women who were known for their success in love & life, in order to find a pattern; that’s how I became obsessed with Geishas.👘⁣

But unexpectedly, this is during a conflict with the company that I worked for at that time, that I’ve gained awareness of these two energies.⁣

I wasn’t prepared for it. I was devastated. My career was more than just a career for me. It was my identity. I’ve had invested so much energy, so much time in my work.⁣

The psychological tactics they used to pressure me were very covert, because they had no motif to fire me. They were waiting for me to resign. And staying in this job was the last thing I wanted.  But as I was going on interviews, I started to realize that I wanted my way out of the corporate world.⁣⁣
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They wanted me to resign, I wanted to negotiate my way out of the company.⁣⁣
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I was stuck. At least, that’s what I thought.⁣⁣
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At that time, I had a mentor who happened to know the type of environment I was in. ⁣⁣
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And so, with him, I started to plan my exit. ⁣⁣
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“If you want to go through this situation, you’ll have to be as formless as water”, that’s what he first told me.⁣⁣
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And what’s better representation of the feminine than water? 🌊⁣⁣
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Let me tell you that at that time, water was the last thing I was embodying.⁣⁣

Nathan Dumlao

Here I was, stuck, exhausted and totally clueless about how « being as formless as water » translates in term of concrete actions.⁣

Have you ever observed water? What’s better representation of feminine energy than water? There is nothing softer, more malleable than water.  Outwardly, we wouldn’t think of it as having more power than other substances. And yet, if we give it enough time, it can erode any stone. The power of water? It’s adaptability. We think that water has no form but in fact, it takes the form of whatever it is in contact with.⁣

Water is all about indirectness. As “The Art of War” is. Actually, the book was originally written in Chinese, and what we have traduced as “Art of” more precisely translates as “as water goes”. We could think, how a book on warfare could inspire someone to be more in her feminine? Well, The Art of War is all about winning war as efficiently as possible, with minimum confrontation and without destroying resources nor spilling blood. It has been written by a man for men, but its principles have been used by women for centuries. There is so much to be told about the genius of this book, but let’s retain one thing for this post: it all boils down to energy management; to the good use of masculine & feminine energy, the Yin and the Yang.⁣

Coming back to my situation:⁣

I didn’t know how long it would take me to find my way out (1 year😭😅) but my goal was clear: getting through this situation without burning out. ⁣

But first, I needed to know how I even got myself there; not that I was responsible for everything that was happening to me, but I was part of the dynamic and I had to recognize my participation in it.⁣

I was working too much, too hard; trying desperately to make things happen, to get people on board. And I was doing it in order to bring value to the company, but I had to admit: also to be approved.⁣

I was on the defensive; my emotions were dictating my actions and I was confrontational. We could think that I had strong boundaries but it was not the case. Being on the defensive was the only way I knew how to protect myself.

In the short term, it worked, but at what cost? I entombed myself in my own shell. We say that we cannot attack what we can’t see, and I was clearly visible.⁣⁣
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I was rigid, I needed to be flexible,⁣⁣
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I reacted, I needed to respond,⁣⁣
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I was too predictable, I needed to be more elusive,⁣⁣
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I was visible, I needed to blend in,⁣⁣
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I was direct, I needed to be indirect.⁣⁣
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I was too much in my masculine, I needed to be more in my feminine.⁣⁣
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How to bridge the gap between the one and the other?⁣⁣
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By directing my energy toward the one person I can control = myself.⁣⁣
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As water needs a container, I needed to set boundaries.⁣⁣
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What is acceptable, what is not acceptable for me?⁣⁣
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When you have healthy boundaries, based on integrity, there is no need to be on the defensive. No more need to waste your energy on complaining, explaining or blaming. There is no need to communicate your boundaries to others; nothing is more explicit than silence.⁣⁣
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Setting boundaries have been game changing for me. All the energy that I got back by emotionally detaching, I could use it to take care of myself. At this point, the actions of others didn’t dictate those of mine anymore.⁣⁣
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✨For the first time in years, I started to feel safe inside myself and no one could take that from me.✨⁣⁣
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I started to experiment how it feels to surrender.⁣⁣
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In the midst of chaos, I created space.⁣⁣
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And this is when my external world began to change.⁣⁣
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My relationship with my company completely shifted,⁣⁣
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I managed to divide my workload by 3,⁣⁣
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With all this free time and new-found peace of mind, I discovered new passions and dedicated fully myself to them.⁣⁣
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(And more importantly, I finally negotiated my exit 🥳)⁣⁣
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Inevitably, these changes also impacted my life outside of my work. My self-worth increased and as a consequence, my standards too. I started to get rid of toxic relationships and attracted new ones, healthier.⁣⁣
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Above all, I realised how by “doing” way less, I received way more.⁣⁣
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Because everything was already here.⁣⁣
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And I started to connect the dots 😊⁣⁣

 Henry & Co. 

{ To be noted that I saved you all the emotional roller coasters I went through. It has been very messy, like for every transition. If you have already been through a major identity transformation, you know what I am talking about. 😄⁣

Several times, you want to give up, but when you look back, you realize you can’t turn back anymore, so you just move forward into the unknown. I find that the first transformations are quite challenging but with time and experience, they become easier to handle. And the rewards we get after the storm are worth it. ✨} ⁣

This experience lasted only one year but it has transformed me in so many ways. It set the tone for the following years.⁣

The discovery of the masculine and feminine energies, the Yin and the Yang, made me see the world from a whole new perspective.⁣

“The great day and the darkness, the apparent and the secret; that’s all art. Those who possess it are comparable to Heaven and Earth, whose movements are never without effect: they resemble rivers and seas whose waters can never dry up. If they were plunged into the darkness of death, they can come back to life; like the sun and the moon, they have the time to show themselves, and the time to disappear; like the four seasons, they have the varieties that suit them. Like the five tones of music, like the five colors, like the five tastes, they can go to infinity. Sun Tzu, The Art of War.⁣

You see, it is not really about how I used these two forces in my situation. Because this situation will never happen again. I will never be confronted again to the exact same persons, in the exact same context. Plus, let’s not forget it, I was in “survival mode”, and obviously, this isn’t how I want to live my life/relationships. ➡️ No thanks 🤚⁣

It is about the multi dimensionality of these two forces: all things are formed by a Yin and Yang.⁣

✨And for the one who knows how to use them, the combination of these two forces has no limit.✨⁣

As an individual person, we are all constituted by a Yin and Yang.⁣

And we are social creatures, also designed to associate with the opposite sex, which also impacts the way we nurture our life force. And so, the relationship we create with a man has her own Yin and Yang and each person embodies one of the two forces. When I am with a man in the context of a romantic relationship, the more I embody the Yin, the more I inspire him to be in his Yang, and not only that’s what creates the attraction & tension, but it will also both energize us. Everything overlaps and creates a virtual circle. This is very simplified, but you get the idea.⁣⁣
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When I realized this, the idea of femininity started to emerge⁣⁣
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All my previous research, the Geishas, what I had learned on men & women psychology started to make sense.⁣⁣
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I knew it in my head, I started to live by it.⁣⁣
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It was no more just about relationships with men, it was about adopting a new way of living. In accordance with who I really was.⁣⁣
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My identity wasn’t any more about what I did (= my career for example) but about who I was. And I am a woman.⁣⁣
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Instead of trying to fit in an overly masculine world, I built a life around my feminine specificities;⁣⁣
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I used to complain about how being a woman in this day and age was unfair. I started to understand how a privilege it is.⁣⁣
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I used to see my cycle as a burden. I started to see it for the amazing gift that It really is.⁣⁣
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I was mostly living in my head. I started to also live in my body.⁣⁣
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My way of relating to men began to change, and not only those whom I was romantically involved with.⁣⁣
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I started to attract a totally different type of men. But at a certain point in the relationship, something strange would happen. Being in my feminine triggered within me a strong emotional response.⁣⁣
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Surrendering to a situation is one think, surrendering to a man is a whole other thing.⁣⁣
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I would even have these very uncomfortable sensations during my manifestation exercises. Every time I would start to experience how it would feel to have what I was manifesting, I would suddenly become anxious. Or even sick.⁣⁣

Imagine that what you’ve desired for years knocks at your door and you decide to not open it in order to receive it. This is self-sabotage. I could clearly see it.⁣⁣⁣
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And it didn’t come from my conscious mind. This was unconscious.⁣⁣⁣
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I directed my research toward the functioning & programming of the subconscious mind.⁣⁣⁣
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And what did I discover? It all boils down to our upbringing.⁣⁣⁣
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So, I directed my research toward family dynamics.⁣⁣⁣
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And it all came full circle. There was a missing piece to the puzzle and I had found it.⁣⁣⁣
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All these concepts; the inner child, the trauma bond, etc… that I so far considered as being too woo-woo, suddenly started to make sense. And what a relief!⁣⁣⁣
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And this is when I entered a new layer of transformation.⁣⁣⁣
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💫🛸This is when I entered a whole new dimension.💫🛸⁣⁣⁣
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At this point, it wasn’t any more about finding my way into femininity, but more about freeing myself from all the barriers that make it difficult for me to enjoy it.⁣⁣⁣

And you, I am curious, what has been your approach to femininity? What is your relationship to the feminine and masculine energies?⁣⁣⁣

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