“It’s very difficult being a woman. It’s very difficult being a man, too.” – Marianne Williamson from the book “A Women’s Worth”
Marianne Williamson described in her free call about womanhood recently the typical modern woman, who knows how to be successful but not how to be feminine anymore. She called the phenomenon the “father’s daughter”, the daughter, who was raised with a pat on the back from her father for performing well and interpreting that she is loved when succeeding in the world and not for only being who she is. I could easily relate to this and becoming aware of the phenomenon is the key to begin making conscious shifts in your actions and perceptions. The fathers meant it well; this is no judgment on them. It was a different generation and they wanted to grant their daughters a chance of being independent, which is surely a noble intention. Perhaps becoming aware, later in life, of what it means to be a woman (or man) makes the experience of being one even deeper.
Becoming aware helps you to live a happier life as you are consciously choosing your thoughts and feelings. For living a balanced life you need both kinds of qualities: the so-called feminine qualities and the male qualities. They are different aspects of living a whole and contented life. You can even say, that there is no difference between feminine and male qualities at their core: the yin/yang symbol depicts some yang qualities within the yin and vice versa. For example, if you are highly focused and concentrated (a yang quality) you can also feel calm and relaxed (a yin quality). If you are feeling calm you might be in the middle of very much activity but you experience it from your still point.
Often we are not aware about what constitutes male qualities, such as giving and thinking and what constitutes more feminine qualities, such as receiving and feeling. Society often values the giving qualities more and thus an unhealthy imbalance can occur in your life. The Course in Miracles teaches that giving and receiving are the same. If you are giving someone a gift, it feels like receiving for you, too, doesn’t it? And when you receive you give the other the gift of making you happy.
The following books give insights as to how to become conscious of these different qualities and how apply them in your daily life. In Ayurveda it is taught, that if you have a certain constitution you have to live according to their qualities. Likewise, if you are a woman, it is healthier for you to embody feminine qualities than over-emphasizing male qualities. A woman, constantly doing, working and contributing, for instance, is more prone to experience a burn out than a woman who gets enough rest, takes time to process her emotions and enjoys her time, simply by being.
These book recommendations are in no specific order; most of the books I learned about by Marianne Williamson in her talks. I love her, she teaches about “A Course in Miracles” and its principles: she shows how forgiveness and stepping up to a higher path is the way to enlightenment (understanding) with an active participation your life and in our modern society.
- “A Woman’s Worth” by Marianne Williamson: about what it means to be a woman in modern society and in your relationships
- “Women Dancing with the Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estés: about being a wild woman, freeing yourself from the conditioning of society; about being wild and beautiful instead of streamlined and well-adjusted
- “The Rushing Woman Syndrome” by Libby Waver: she explains in detail what rushing and taking not enough time to relax and unwind does, especially to a female body and also how it affects your hormone system
- All books of Dr. Pat Allen: she is a transactional psychiatrist and combines tools of communication with what she knows about yin/yang qualities. She shows how to apply conscious communication in romantic relationships; she gives tools you can use to be in your feminine energy consciously and how this helps your relationship to flourish, deepen and how you then experience more intimacy; she defines the feminine and male qualities and how choosing your role in a relationship helps both sides to feel more happy; the woman feels cherished by her man for her feelings and the man feels respected by his woman for his thoughts and way of thinking
- Practicing the workout and reading the books of the method “S Factor”: I first heard about S Factor, a workout method for pole dancing, when I saw a Ted Talk by Sheila Kelley, the founder of S Factor, quite a different perspective on pole dance: Let’s get naked – A Ted Talk by Sheila Kelley.
- “Goddesses in Every Woman” and “Gods in Every Man” by Jean Shinoda Bolen: these books are about the female and male archetypes; when being “in your temple” as Marianne Williamson says, then you embody their positive aspects; when ruled by your ego the negative aspects of these archetypes prevail. We have to be able to embody all the archetypes in different situations; knowing their characteristics helps us to develop consciously towards a higher path
- The Weekly Talks by Marianne Williamson on YouTube on these topics: you find all kind of talks and courses by her online about romantic relationships, intimacy and how forgiveness of your parents is the foundation for happy and healthy relationships
- “Enchanted Love” by Marianne Williamson about the mystical power of intimate relationships
- “The Beauty Myth” by Naomi Wolf: I think this was my very first book of this category that I read when I was 21 and was living in Dublin. A very good friend from Northern Ireland recommended it to me. I asked him why he read it, and he (at 21!) said that as a man he felt obliged to know about the mechanisms of how women are kept small nowadays. He wanted to make a difference. I was very impressed by his way of thinking and enjoyed reading this book
- “The Baghavad Gita” and most other religious texts: especially in the Hindu tradition the stories of creation emphasize the interplay of the Divine Mother and Father with the creation of the universe and how they have to be in balance.
There are so many other great books out there. This is a list of what impressed me most and changed my life at the given times. Reading a book is not enough – practicing what you read, is the key. Then even one book can be sufficient and transformative. Observe how these little changes in your habits and interactions with others make a difference in the quality of your relationships with others and how self-confidence and happiness increase.
“The story of many modern relationships is a variation of the common theme: the conspiracy between men and women to murder the Queen. Whenever a woman sells herself cheap or a man is unkind to a woman or a woman gives her body where she is not adored or a man rejects his true love – we are trying to murder the Queen. But the Queen is eternal; she cannot die. She can be tortured, but she cannot die.” – Marianne Williamson from “A Woman’s Worth”