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When we think of a powerful person, what comes to mind? An army commander? A boss? Someone in politics, business, or culture?
We all possess a great deal of personal power within ourselves but knowing how to tap into and balance that power is a challenge. We often believe power to be a masculine energy trait. Now, maybe we see it displayed by both men and women, but the idea of “power” probably calls to mind an aggressive, go-out-there-and-get-it idea.
We think of power as grabbing, asserting, dominating, controlling, right? While this is one type of power—masculine power—there is an opposite and equal counterpart: feminine power. Think of it as a yin and yang. Masculine power asserts; feminine power envelopes and holds. Masculine power reaches out; feminine power receives and attracts. Here’s why we need both to achieve even more of what we want in life.
Now, feminine and masculine power traits are displayed by either gender. It’s not to say women can’t be assertive and dominating, or men can’t be nurturing and attracting. There is a spectrum of masculine and feminine power within each of us, but learning how to balance the yin and yang of both sides will help us achieve and receive more.
One of the most vital qualities of feminine power is in silence. Now silence doesn’t imply women are quieter than men (or should be). Again, the difference between masculine and feminine power or masculine and feminine energies isn’t about gender. Both men and women can learn to become better listeners and wield silence as a powerful, positive tool.
When we think of using silence powerfully or to our advantage, we probably think of freezing someone out or giving them the silent treatment. But the cold shoulder is actually a misuse of the power of silence. We can use silence passive-aggressively, but if we want to use silence to attract more positivity and personal power into our lives, we shouldn’t use it as a weapon to harm someone or prove our point. Silence enables us to engage better and to hold space, not to manipulate.
In our book The Heart of the Fight, we discuss the common types of fights couples experience, and one of the most common is the Hidden Middle Finger. We’ve all been there before—when a partner really ticks us off, so instead of opening up about it, we silently sit and stew. Maybe we conveniently “forget” to do something for them they asked us to take care of. Perhaps we’re quieter than usual, so they’ll notice our irritation. We’re abusing the power of silence.
You walk away, seething, silent, and resentful—now is the time for the silent treatment. “That ought to show him” is the message you’re sending, but it rarely gets through. We resolve nothing, and the relationship never deepens.
Relationship fights can be deadly quiet; you can say “screw you” without raising your voice or even saying a word. In fact, Hidden Middle Finger fights often involve silence. You can simply pretend the disagreement isn’t there. Other exchanges can seem placid and even friendly on the surface. Beneath it, however, passive-aggressive behavior is eroding the relationship.
Getting the discussion to the point where we express the real upset and anger, and the hidden middle finger is out in the open, is critical. Some couples simply don’t have this much social-emotional intelligence. By developing their ability to express their feelings beyond their middle finger and interact more truthfully with each other, they grow in understanding, intimacy, and satisfaction.
On the Engagement Continuum, there are seven levels of engagement—from destructive to neutral to constructive and creative. Stonewalling and the silent treatment fall into the destructive first level. It’s a sign two people are disengaged (after all, can you be more disengaged than not speaking and outright ignoring?).
However, as we learn to become more engaged and work our way up the continuum for better engagement, we experience another side to the power of silence. Holding space for someone else—acting as a receptive, silent, positive presence is vital for deep engagement. When we’re listening and connected to another person, we’re taking them in. We’re attracting them. Our silent presence is extremely powerful and a force for good. Silence is representative of strong engagement, and it’s a powerful way to use feminine energy.
Think of the sentinel at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier—this powerful soldier stands to bear witness and to guard. Their silence is potent; it’s positive and protective. They’re awake, alert, present, and engaged—that’s the power of silence.
Another aspect of feminine power is the power of presence. It’s an attracting power—we’re here, we’re bringing in what we want and need from our lives.
Discover the infinite Power of Presence, the experience of being fully human, fully divine. Being present, you are conscious, awake, alert, available—you are the most You. Your heart is open, senses acute, creativity flowing, energy pulsing through you. And from this state, anything is possible, and everything is possible. Fully present, you command the resources of the universe.
Expand into your Presence and feel the power available to you, the resources of the moment, as you ride the roller coaster of life. Float peacefully and rise joyously on the wings of possibility as the Power of Presence stimulates, shaking you out of familiar patterns and ushering in the excitement of never-ending adventure. Open up all your channels to the gifts of the universe!
When we’re fully present, engaged, aware, and open, others are drawn to us. They’re attracted to our way of being and pulled into that powerful feminine energy. Others want to be around us because we’re dynamic—they feel better when they’re with us and look forward to spending time with us.
We’ve all met someone who lights up a room; who’s very presence is attractive (not speaking in terms of physical attraction, but their draw). When we meet someone who’s like that, we want more!
The good news is, we all can tap into the power of presence. Again, whether we’re male or female, it doesn’t matter. Presence comes from that divine feminine energy. It’s the opposite of absence–the yin to the yang.
Presence means being engaged. It means tapping into what we like to refer to as “flow.” You know the feeling you get when everything is going well. You’re in harmony with the universe around you. You’re crushing it at work, tackling your goals, and loving life: that’s flow. It’s such a dynamic feeling it’s almost palpable. When we’re buzzing with flow, we feel alive and energized!
Flow is essential for getting more success in our job. When we tap into flow we’re fully mindful of the moment. We’re pushing ourselves a little further. We’re challenged and excited about what we’re achieving. We don’t have to reach out and fight for focus or fight to get what we want because we’re drawing it to us. We’re in “the zone.”
If we want to tap into flow and be better communicators, we must embrace both the yin and yang sides of our personal power. We need to draw the qualities of masculine power and feminine power to hold space, attract, and bring in the positive things we want out of life. It’s about balance.
Some of us fall stronger on the masculine power side, where we go out and demand what we want. We use our power aggressively. While there’s nothing wrong with going for what you want (in fact, you SHOULD always go for it), there are different approaches. We can balance that masculine power with our feminine power.
If we have dominant masculine energy, we can focus on cultivating stronger feminine energy traits (like listening, receiving, discovering) to help us find a more even yin and yang.
Ideally, when we’re balancing both sides of our masculine and feminine power, we’re speaking our truth. We’re honest, open communicators. We’re engaged with others and focused on a higher purpose. We’re asking for what we want (masculine power), and we’re attracting what we need (feminine power).
You see, power isn’t only about getting, taking, or demanding. True power is a balance. It’s about engagement, play, joy, and tapping into that powerful state of flow! It’s about being open and receptive to the wonders the universe has in store for us. When we do that, we’ll keep receiving and achieving better and better things. We’ll get even more of what we want.
If you’re ready to live a life of more—more satisfaction, more purpose, more flow, and more joy—focus on cultivating the yin and yang of your personal power. Use masculine power to speak up and ask for what you want and use feminine power to become more present, attract and engage.
To discover more about increasing your personal power, please visit WrightNow, to explore our array of online coursework. These courses will help you achieve your personal goals, get ahead in your career, and strengthen your relationships by unlocking your full potential. Don’t miss out on the chance to live a life of more!
The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Foundation performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.