What Does Feminine Mean?

We’ve been having a lot of discussions with students this summer on the subject of the ‘feminine’ but what does the term ‘feminine’ actually mean? Well Jo Wyse the coordinator here at Essence (and herself a Kinesiologist) explains all in this latest blog … ahead of the publication of her new book ‘I Am A Woman’ on 5th August.

Wow I just typed in ‘feminine meaning’ to a Google search and was given the description ‘having qualities or an appearance traditionally associated with women, especially delicacy and prettiness.’

Oh my goodnesss when I was growing up I also held this very shallow perception which was unfortunate because I was a tomboy (and probably still am a ‘lil bit.) I loved wearing jeans and tracksuits rather than skirts and dresses. I loved having my hair tied back into messy bunches rather than delicate French braids and I would always choose (much to my mother’s despair) my comfy sports trainers over a pair of sparkly sandals.

Jo Wyse

Which is why the word feminine when I was growing up was a word I dreaded to hear, because I knew I was failing at it. It was a cause of embarrassment, shame and humiliation and looking back now I even wonder if it could have been part of the reason why in my mid 20s I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS.)

Fascinatingly many new thinking experts are now linking physical conditions and illnesses to emotional patterns and one of the metaphysical meanings behind PCOS is a deep wound to the feminine self. Maybe this wound started in my childhood, maybe it started in my mother’s childhood, or my mother’s mother or even further back? So deep are the scars of the patriarchal system we have been living in for generations it would be hard to truly identify where it started. However, my passion now is healing that wound (I no longer experience PCOS symptoms) by helping myself and other women remember, really remember what it means to be feminine.

So through reading books and meeting and talking with inspirational teachers I have come to understand the truth of what it means to be feminine and I do my best now (although sometimes I don’t succeed) every day to live in that truth … and the good news is, it doesn’t necessarily involve pulling on a frock or swapping my size 5 Nikes for a pinchy pair of high heels

You see I have now come to understand that being feminine is about understanding the cyclical nature of life and the cyclical nature of our bodies. Everything in life has a cycle; a cycle of birth, growth, decay and death and a woman’s body is a reminder of that truth. Every month her body goes through a cycle of birth, growth, decay and death and her feminine role is to remember and honour each stage of the cycle with her authentic feminine traits.

I Am A Woman Quote

An ancient quote about the wisdom of cycles from Jo’s new book

Even if a girl hasn’t started her periods yet, even if a woman is going through the menopause, or has had her sacred reproductive organs abused or removed, or like me (in my 20’s) has conditions in that area of her body – she is still cycling. The problem is we live in a linear world which has distanced us from this wisdom, through ‘advances’ such as pills, patches and injections. (I’m not saying those things are wrong by the way, just that more information like this could be given before they are used perhaps?)

So, when women reconnect to the wisdom of cycles (and remember there is never just one cycle there are cycles within cycles) through rituals, through synchronising with the lunar phases, through meaningful conversations and sharing with other women, through relaxing (not annihilating) their egos, through allowing the space to acknowledge and cleanse their redundant emotions every month … we will have returned to the feminine and we will truly understand what that word means.

I Am A Woman Quote 2

An Osho quote from Jo’s new book

Who knows maybe one day in the future I will Google search the word feminine and it will say ‘a person who understands gentle emotions and uses them with strength to navigate the cycles of life.’

Jo’s book ‘I Am a Woman – Your highest calling’ is a simple 34 page introduction into the transformative power of a woman’s body through her monthly cycles and is published on 5th of August. It is available to order in hardback on Amazon now for £9.99.

I Am A Woman Cover