In your coaching experience, are there any Meta-Programs that are more common in women than in men? What are the common ones that many people take to the extreme? I loved your article on living in extremes. Thanks. Sue Anderson, VIC Australia
This is an interesting follow-on from David Woolf’s question in the last October Edition, “Living in Extremes”. This topic ultimately requires both/and, continuum thinking and multi-dimensionality to generate healthy human behaviour; however, to explore it we end up breaking our energy system into artificial and seemingly opposing polarities called masculine and feminine energies.
Firstly for this reason, I am reluctant to answer this question. And secondly, as it is very easy to make gender generalisations that end up putting “blinkers” on us, causing all kinds of assumptions about ourselves, others and the way we relate with one another.
However, I have observed some patterns of behaviour within each of the feminine and masculine energies. The distinction being in the energies, rather than the differences in gender specifically.
Each one of us possesses feminine and masculine energy capacity. We can be female in gender, yet we can have a dominant masculine energy. Similarly, we can be male in gender and have a dominant feminine energy. In reality we all use these energies to some degree. There are many who have written and speak specifically on this topic such as Jung, Maslow, and more recently others such as David Deida, Marianne Williamson, etc. We can experience more or less of these energies in different contexts, while also responding to life with a more feminine or masculine energy, irrespective of our gender.
Some may also make similar distinctions in terms of Left Brain and Right Brain dominance. Left being more of the masculine energies and right brain more of the feminine energies.
I could easily divert my answer to focus on the distinctions of embracing and blending of masculine and feminine energies, and the multi-dimensional integration of these energies, beyond what Jung, Maslow, and Deida suggests. It is my opinion, this integration is critical to our personal development and our collective evolution. To read some of our New Human 2.0™ perspective on this, see Sarah McIntyre’s posting on The Energy Family.
The definition of what is classified as feminine and masculine energy has had much debate, as it has differed throughout history. Definitions are obviously dependant on the consciousness of the time; following are my summaries for now.
Feminine energies can be recognised in states and behaviours such as: nurturing, emoting, supporting, yielding, listening, being, patience, acceptance, allowing, fleeing, celebrating, appreciating, maintaining, inferring, intuiting, vulnerability, waiting, maintaining, implying, guessing, opening, receiving, emotionalising, staying, mothering, yes-ing, irrationality, withholding, passivity, giving-up, seeking similarity, incubating, radiating, reflecting, un-predictability, freedom, empathising, sympathising, etc.
Masculine energies can be recognised in: pioneering, forging, breaking through, pursuing, initiating, finishing, ending, challenging, persisting, hunting, dominating, rigidity, directness, directing, controlling, literalness, decisiveness, penetrating, fighting, provoking, prosecuting, doing, rationalising, opposing, intellectualising, fathering, leaving, predictability, aggressiveness, logic, solving, taking, criticising, judging, differentiating, stubbornness, choosing, ruling, limits, stability, punishing, etc.
Multiple energies; use both feminine and masculine energies, such as: martyrdom, seducing, communicating, healing, caring, manipulating, creating, giving, synthesising, sacrificing, changing, decency, honesty, loving, passion, connecting, resenting, integrity, contributing, fulfillment, loyalty, enlightenment, actualising, rejecting etc.
Meta-Programs that may have a bias and are also taken to extremes
Remember, we are not looking here at gender, rather energy bias. So these biases could be in both men and women. Also Meta-Programs are NOT categorised against masculine and feminine energies. We are only looking through such a lens to answer Sue’s question regarding potential themes or patterns that we can postulate in practice.
These following Meta-Programs also happen to be those which are often lived out in extremes. When this is the case we will have very little, if any flexibility to move off of a polarity to inch along the continuum, let alone reach the other side. Flexibility gives us options and a choice for the ideal response style for each situation, regardless of our gender.
Flexibility also reduces friction and stress that arises when we feel stuck and limited within any extreme behaviour or thinking pattern.
General Global – feminine energy
Detail Specifics – masculine energy
Matching – feminine energy
Mismatching – masculine energy
Black White all/nothing – masculine energy
Both/and – feminine energy
Continuum/Multi-dimensionality – multiple energies
Closure – masculine energy
Non-closure – feminine energy
Internal – masculine energy
External – feminine energy
Self – masculine energy
Other – feminine energy
Reflective – feminine energy
Active – masculine energy
Inferential – feminine energy
Literal – masculine energy
Direct – masculine energy
Inferential – feminine energy
Complaint – feminine energy
Strong Will – masculine energy
Options – feminine energy
Procedures – multiple energies
If there was any goal to set with Meta-Programs and masculine / feminine energies, I would suggest it is to develop healthy flexibility and choice to respond across the continuum of each and ultimately move towards the blending of these energies to fully embrace multi-dimensionality.