Cultivating Femininity: Our New Tuesday Bonus Series
Good Morning and welcome to the wild and feminine Midwest!
Today kicks off the start of a new bonus series: Cultivating Your Femininity.
We will be exploring 5 different areas of femininity every Tuesday, and by the end, I am sure that we will have some homework, inspiration, and gumption to get going and grow!
(As another housekeeping announcement, I am still going to be posting the Sunday Series, along with 1-2 random blog posts on whatever I want to talk about each week. AND I am going to be starting a "Weekly Recipe" every Monday. Yay!)
When thinking of a man's journey from boy to man, I think of the hero's journey we see in literature: a boy from humble beginnings goes through many trials and obstacles before claiming his role as a masculine man and leader, confident in his life, skills, and growth. Think Luke Skywalker or Will Turner from Pirates of the Caribbean.
However, when looking for the feminine equivalent to the hero's journey, I couldn't really find one. One thing was clear: I don't see feminine cultivation as a linear story as the hero's journey; rather, I think it's about cultivating and nurturing various parts of life.
I once heard that a man's mind is like a waffle; compartmentalized and linear, whereas the brain of a woman is like a bowl of spaghetti: each thought runs into the next, and forms a completely connected and organic system.
Now this may not apply to you, but it speaks to me, so I'm going to roll with it.
So thinking on that more organic, botanical and connected way of approaching life in the feminine way, I sussed out 5 different areas in life that women make a journey in.
Feminine cultivation is the act of beautifying, maturing ,and nurturing our lives through tender care, creativity, gentleness, intelligence, and discipline.
These areas (as I have chosen) are the following: our beauty, our nest, our relationships, our mind/gifts, and our character.
We will be exploring each one of these special categories in the upcoming weeks, but for this week, I just wanted to give a quick overview of each one so you can begin to look at your life and see how you are doing in each area.
In this category, I am talking strictly of OUTER beauty. I am focusing on how we adorn ourselves, feed our bodies, care for our skin, etc. Feminine cultivation in this area is about exploring our creativity, developing discipline, and extending tenderness to ourselves.
We have the creative and pleasurable side of beauty, which (to me) is buying new skin products, sewing my clothes, and figuring out fun outfit combinations to try. On the converse, you have the disciplined side of beauty, which requires care and a resolute spirit: exercise, healthy eating, and regular skincare (even after a party!)
The process of tending to and caring for our outer beauty is essential to the feminine journey and allows us to stay in touch with ourselves, build confidence, and discover our creativity. Stay tuned for next Tuesday: this is our first breakdown!
This category encompasses how we decorate, clean, organize, and shape the environment we are in. I categorized this as Nest instead of "home" because I know a lot of women often share their space with roommates, or are subjugated to a tiny dorm room, bedroom, or apartment. But no matter where you live, you can begin the journey of beautifying and caring for your nest, and in turn, cultivating femininity.
Again, we have the pleasurable part of "nesting" as I like to call it, fit with decorating and exploring your "style." But we also have the disciplined side of this category, rife with the less creative tasks of cleaning, organizing, and general tidying.
By cultivating your "Nest," you can cultivate femininity through creativity, developing discipline, and learning to nurture your external environment.
This category can cover romantic relationships, friendships, or relationships with family. Cultivating femininity in your relationships often allows the natural feminine traits of connectivity and emotional intelligence to shine, while we also find the opportunity to develop humility, grace, and understanding.
I would encourage you to think of relationships as well with the pleasure/discipline structure I have been using so far. In any relationships, you get a great deal out, but you must also put in work.
Learning to apologize, forgive, or understand another person is EXTREMELY difficult, and is not for the faint of heart. Feminine cultivation in this realm will truly bring you joy AND an ease in all your relationships.
We will unpack this more later.
4. Our Minds/Gifts
I view this category as encompassing not just intellect, but also the gifts and talents we are given. In this part of life, we discover the energy and push a woman puts into her areas of interests, but also the energy needed to cultivate intelligence and awareness of the world and our history.
Here we can cultivate femininity by discovering the world around us, as well as the gifts within us. Discovering our gifts and talents takes a great measure of pleasure and creative energy along with an equal amount of discipline and hard work.
For me, I cultivate this area by discovering my talents AND taking time to learn each day. Do not neglect learning just because you have received your degree!
5. Our Character
The character: your life experience can become exceptional if you choose to cultivate character.
I chose to label this category as "character" instead of "heart" because I think that the heart is untrustworthy and tumultuous. While our heart may sway with the wind of our emotions, character withstands the problems we face, allowing us to engage with the world in a mature, responsible, and energetic way.
Cultivating your femininity starts in the cradle of character. Never shout the statement "take it or leave it, I am who I am." You can always change, grow, and improve yourself. You are not stuck with the set of character flaws you have today.
There you go! My 5 categories! I hope you all enjoy this bonus series and come along with me. I promise you that at the end of this series, you will think and see the world around you in a remarkably different way.