As a woman, I watch myself have a certain habit that goes something like this: when I am invited to be a part of a thing (job, relationship, group goal), I first discern if it is aligned with my values and life direction, and then if it seems to be, I jump right in and give it my all. Key word – discern. I remember an old friend saying to me years ago after a breakup, “I think it’s all about discernment, Sarah.” She was saying – think more about it first. So I have gotten better over the years, but still, oftentimes, not long after this wholehearted “yes” to investing my time, energy, attention and heart into the genuine progress of said job, relationship or group goal, there is often a subsequent time of saying to myself, “Ah shit, I gave too much again.”
What would indicate that I gave too much as a woman? Personally, and I don’t think I’m alone, I experience that I’m not being met by others in the amount of care that I am putting into it. It might seem like I’m caring too much, or they don’t care as much as I do. Another way I experience this is when the value exchange isn’t reciprocal. Maybe I gave too much in a job contract and am finding myself thinking about it when I’m not technically working, taking me away from valuable family or creative time. Or, the last time I was in a love relationship I knew I’d given it too much of my attention (and other resources) when I became sick with covid and he said as if accidentally speaking out loud the passing thought that was going through his head, “Oh, I should bring you food.” And then he never showed up with the food nor mentioned it again. That was the moment I thought, “Oops, I’ve invested more than he’s willing to invest.” It all fell apart not long after, which is quite alright, because I don’t like to live in a net deficit. I desire reciprocity and mutual respect of one another’s resources in places where I invest my energy.
But back to the “thinking about the job when I’m not technically working.” This one wasn’t a problem when I was solely running my own business. After a previous career in education and as a school leader, I’d worked to build my own coaching and consulting practice in masculine / feminine energetics (see my TEDx) but then for various reasons – including but not limited to desiring to live and serve within a progressive community, and wanting to raise my son with more stability and positive community influence – I negotiated a part time salary to help build an innovative new project. I got my first “job” in nearly six years.
Because we live and learn what we’re meant to teach, over the years I have developed and taught this system to women called Structure and Flow and my entrepreneurial work has begun to take shape more and more around redefining women’s #resources . I have taught this for years, but then I needed to really lean on this system for women’s resource allocation that I’d developed, as I found myself needing to categorize my time and not allow the various jobs and tasks to all blend together.
I’m pretty good at compartmentalizing tasks and duties, or giving my attention and focus to one thing at one time. For example, I am a single mother and devote time to my son in a certain way and when I’m with him, I’m fully with him. I have coaching clients and run a membership community, and again, when it is just my work there is this joy that I have with it and I never think to myself, “I’m thinking about a client too much.” I do my work, my clients reach out when they need me, and all is great in the exchange (which I worked a very long time to achieve, I will say). I’m actually very good at managing my own energy and boundaries when it’s just me and my business, but some kind of old wire tripped when I went back to a paycheck, and what an opportunity to observe and report from this angle!
I found it was becoming more and more difficult, as I was a part of a team and physical community of people, to remain sovereign particularly in my emotional energy. When we are relational (and we naturally are), the human-relating stuff starts to seep into the crevices of our lives, and work isn’t just work – it’s intertwined and perhaps harder to compartmentalize.
Personally, I have redefined the value of my resources. People don’t just pay me for my time, as standard economics has implemented for some time. I define my valuable resources as my time, life force energy, attention, creative energy, my love and devotion, my intuition, my body, and my emotional wisdom. And that is what I charge for. Those are the things I’m considering when getting involved in an exchange, but that’s because I’ve literally redefined “value” for myself.
Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.
She said what? Charging for emotional energy? Yes.
My emotional energy is one of my most valuable resources. It is my intuition, wisdom, my body’s knowing, and emotional energy is the basis of creational energy.
To begin to redefine what “resources” are for us, and then also see the true value of them, we must be willing to look at “resources” and energy, and redefine them through a #masculine / #feminine lens. And when we do, it all starts to make more sense. This is what is underlying women quitting. Stick with me.
Masculine & Feminine Resources are based in Masculine & Feminine Energy:
I’ll break it down like this – there are feminine and masculine archetypes, and affiliated with those archetypes are certain qualities. Now, we must (must) take time to understand what is an *actual* archetypal quality of both masculine and feminine versus a societal projection of feminine and masculine. Most people, if you just say these words, are going to associate societal projections and stereotypes to this, but I don’t have time to unwind that here, so we’ll move forward with a few quick examples.
An archetype isn’t a person, it’s a flawless example (which people are not). The masculine archetype possesses qualities of singular focus, linear thought, task completion, decisiveness, consideration of all in the tribe, and makes sure everyone has their resources.
You might not associate masculine with those things and instead associate masculine with things like dominance, control, coercion, snagging all the resources, etc. That is patriarchal, or shadow masculine. Also called unconscious masculine. It’s what needs to be cleaned up on the planet.
The feminine archetype in its healthy expression will possess qualities such as nurturance, caretaking, emotional consideration, lovingly willing to open and to give, is very heart centered, has a wisdom based on a full-spectrum seeing (as compared to the singular focus of the masculine), is communal and relational.
The unconscious, shadow, unhealthy feminine would be emotionally manipulative, withholding, seeking to snag the man’s resources, or the harsh feminism of trying to take the power back.
We pay for masculine qualities, but expect the feminine to give for free:
If you hear nothing else from this article, hear this: in value exchanges, both economic and relational, our society as it stands most often will pay for what is valued as masculine energy, and it wants feminine energy for free.
When you work in a “job,” you’re typically trading #performance and time for a paycheck. Performance is output, people assume that output leads to profit. All of this is masculine energy also because it’s outward, always moving, always pushing. And if you’re always in “yang,” then you’re not taking enough time to rest, and you’re not going to get to the really good creativity. #Creativity and productivity are not the same thing, they do not at all come from the same areas of the brain or impulse. Creativity has an impulse and needs to be nurtured, production can be rote.
So that means, most companies who are trying to innovate probably want us to feel something. When we can feel, we can be lit up, we can invest our love and devotion, we can care about what we are doing, and we can create better solutions for the world. You’ll notice that what I just referenced is feminine.
But people typically don’t pay for creational downtime, for time to gestate the ideas, to have an emotional reaction to something. Some are innovating in this way, but many are still pushing for productivity and output as a measure of profit, and passing this pressure onto employees.
Women are going to have emotional reactions to work, because we are relational beings and we are always considering the whole. It is the nature of the feminine, and women have feminine energy because we are women, and the world is having a massive awakening in feminine consciousness right now. If you’re missing this, your head is under a patriarchal rock.
This awakening is also an unidentified reason women are quitting. They are #remembering something, and realizing they don’t fit into the status quo, but don’t have the exact words for it. The more a woman remembers the truth of authentic feminine and masculine, the less she will be able to fit into what has been the norm. Thank God. Because she will quit, and she will start something new that does work differently, and she will be on the front lines of innovation.
Redefining value at work to keep women:
We want to care and invest our emotional energy, and many times, it isn’t wanted or appreciated. Correction: it is wanted if someone needs to vent #emotions at work to someone who is naturally empathic. It is wanted for free. But what happens when a woman has an intuition inside of a work project, or wants to bring an innovative agenda item to a meeting, or try something collaboratively that has traditionally been between male decision makers in a room? Can that be heard? Or not? If not, she’ll be quitting.
It is not fun or fair for a feminine-essenced being to have to stuff her #intuition or inner knowing (also called emotional energy) because only masculine traits are valued. It is not fun for her to emotionally labor, on her own time while she’s trying to have an easy going dinner with her kids, how she’s not listened to at work or how she truly senses what is needed, but her wisdom isn’t valued. That is deadening. She has life force, she has energy that she wants to give. She wants to devote it toward something that matters.
Will you redefine “value” in order to keep the women? Will you better listen to the women in your organization? Will you trust her to know the fullness of what she can bring to work, and know that your company will be better off for it? I hope so. When you do, all KINDS of creational energy will flow for your projects! All of that feminine emotional energy remember, is creational, and it wants to go somewhere!
Decision makers are welcome to reach out to me, as I consult with companies to identify and help heal the exact places causing unrest. Many people don’t know how to identify what is blocking the operational systems in an organization because they don’t yet have this language or concept. It’s not taboo to talk openly about masculine and feminine, about where it applies to gender and how it impacts us. Companies who are willing to do this will innovate first and go the farthest in the future world we’re creating. Visit https://www.sarahpoet.com/reconciliation today to learn more and book a consultation with me.