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When I’m in a room full of people, or even with just a small group, I ask questions that are unexpected or surprising. It’s fun for me to watch facial expressions change and then hear the answers.

One of my favorite questions to ask women and men is: Did you choose your gender?

At first, people don’t know how to respond. After all, culturally, our sex (whether we have female or male anatomy) and our gender (whether we see ourselves as feminine or masculine) are seen as one single identity. But, after the initial shock and confusion wears off, usually one or two brave souls will say “No! I did not choose my gender.”

That’s true, but the subject is more complicated than you’d think: Today, there are numerous obvious and more subtle sociological, cultural and familial mores that influence our personalities and behaviors. How feminine or masculine we become is largely based on the norms of the society in which we grow up.

I ask that question because I realized early on in my coaching that our physical bodies only represent one part of who we are as human beings. The other part is hidden from most of us, though it affects each and every day of our lives. This is the part that impacts and influences our relationships with other people. It has a particularly significant impact on our intimate relationships, once we’re past the point of putting our best romantic foot forward and are committed.

So, what’s this hidden part of us that has such influence? Regardless of sex and gender, it’s the both male & female energies that play into our behavior, personality and relationships. Though female energies and male energies can be seen as yin and yang, or opposites, these are in reality two sides of the same coin.

The unconscious conditioning starts at the beginning of our lives. Early on (approximately between 3 and 5 years old), a child starts to develop his or her personality and also a survival method for existence that will help him or her succeed. Subsequently, the child becomes capable of overcoming fears of failing. Children, both instinctively and through observation, model a style and approach based on what they observe that connects to their respective female and male energies and characteristics. What previously was a total of all sexual energies begins to slowly, but powerfully, take on the separate energies to help the individuals both protect themselves and succeed in their growth and success. So, boys start to act like “boys” and girls start to act like “girls.”

And yet most of us have no idea that we contain both female and male energies. That creates an ongoing conflict within ourselves. It also, obviously, can create conflict when we try to communicate with other people, especially if we’re trying to deny the side that doesn’t fit with our exterior and how we’re seen by the world around us.

It is time for us to distinguish the female and male energies in a way that creates a balance, so that we can enjoy healthy relationships with the woman and man within us. This simple, yet powerful, process will radically shift your perspective towards all your relationships, especially the relationships that are intimate, committed and everlasting.

First, to help distinguish subjectively specific female and male energies, the following elements are known and established by multitudes of human beings:

Female                                    Male

Spiritual                                    Physical

Water                                         Fire

Being                                          Doing

Non-linear                                Linear

Listening                                   Speaking

Passive                                      Agressive

Here are some tips on how to begin balancing your female and male energies:

  1. Establish a trust that there are, in fact, female and male energies within you.
  2. Powerfully observe the words and conversations that directly relate to the respective energy that is predominant in the moment, male or female.
  3. In your observation, do not judge or evaluate whether that energy is right or wrong.
  4. Continue the observation.

In my next post, I will illuminate the essential steps that will allow you to truly balance your female and male energies. Stay tuned!

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