Photo By: Anton Watman
“There is something that contains everything.
Before heaven and earth it is.
Oh, it is still, unbodied, all on its own, unchanging, all-pervading, ever-moving
So it can act as the mother of all things.
Not knowing its real name, we only call it the Way.
If it must be named, let its name be Great.
Greatness means going on, going on means going far, and going far means turning back.
So they say: “The Way is great, heaven is great, earth is great, and humankind is great;
four greatnesses in the world, and humanity is one of them.”
People follow earth,
earth follows heaven,
heaven follows the Way,
the Way follows what is.”
– Lao Tzu, Tao te Ching, Translated by Ursula K. Leguin
Last week I wrote a guest article for an organization whose purpose is to inspire and empower women entrepreneurs. I am also in the process of designing a year-long succession planning and mentoring process for a wonderful client organization. Both of these projects – the writing of the article as well as the thinking through of how to successfully generate a transfer of senior level competency to a very qualified younger group of newly-hired consultants in a very short time frame – got me thinking about “The Divine Feminine”.
Now, that can be a loaded phrase. “The Divine Feminine” sounds as though it is some kind of possibility relegated to women only, or that it is a conversation belonging more in New Age jargon than any pragmatic business dialogue.
But, here’s the thing: in my consulting and coaching work with already highly successful executives, one of the key characteristics that is missing in leadership development is a deep understanding of quieting down one’s thinking and listening for what one is missing – what one is not seeing. Listening for what’s beneath the obvious conversation, the obvious issue at hand, listening to another’s point of view with no attention paid to your own inner monologue allows for insightful solution, perfectly tailored to whatever is the problem at hand. So, on closer examination, what is the Divine Feminine? Listening to that quietness is access to the Divine Feminine. No “woo-woo”, nothing “too soft” or “touchy-feely”, rather a very pragmatic psychological vantage point in which to stand in order to have the most innovative and brilliant response. Light-heartedness born of trusting innate wisdom and common sense is always available, affording the highest quality thinking in any circumstance, even when confronting very serious issues.
From this perspective, gender has nothing to do with the Divine Feminine. It is not a quality available to women only, but a listening for a realm that is the balance of the Divine Masculine, and so available and needed by men and women leaders alike.
Taking cues from innate wisdom which then inform choices to outer action is the expressed balance of the Divine Feminine and Masculine at work. The Divine Feminine knows that the only thing one can count on is the wisdom within, and the Divine Masculine takes this inner leadership gracefully into the world.