I was invited to a group chat with Kendra Tanner of The True You Project a few weeks back, and one of the topics we touched on that really stuck out for me and that was the distinction between feminine and girly.
I've never thought of myself as a 'girly girl' in the typical sense, or indeed any sense. I've never been into clothes shopping, make up, getting my nails done or anything else you'd associate with an outwardly girly image. I'm not particularly delicate in my nature, indeed you're much more likely to find me running a Tough Mudder obstacle course or lifting weights in the gym. These things commonly associated with much more masculine characteristics.
I've even been proud to proclaim my lack of girliness, as if a certain robust masculinity is in some way better, or in fact maybe this has been a defence mechanism is to hide my envy of my 'girly' friends that I couldn't identify with in that way or felt that I could never become.
It's been interesting over these last couple of months as I've been doing a lot more soul-searching, seeking my identity which has experienced a huge shift over the last few months. Ever since my holiday Lanzarote so many thoughts and feelings have been bubbling up inside. For the 10 days I was away it was even noted how my energy changed from the start of the holiday to the end. It was remarked that I'd let my walls down, put aside the sense of rushing and need to achieve and simply BE. It was in these moments of being that my feminine energy flourished. I didn't see it myself at the time but it was picked up in the eyes of my host who told me as such, even in the softness of my face as well as my mannerisms. Apparently I looked a different person. In his words:
"Your inner snow-white is still sleeping under the magical spell of the busy mind. This astute mind freezes the feeling part and snow-white is waiting for years until the prince, the true masculine part of you, which is not the rational mind, but the peaceful warrior. Until he comes and brings snow-white back to life".
And so the notion that 'girly' and 'feminine' are two distinctly separate characteristics caught my attention. I don't need to be girly to be feminine. I can allow myself to feel and express my innate femininity without compromising the other aspects of who I am and the roles I play within my activities and relationships.
This was a huge revelation to me and something I am only just beginning to explore. I'd invite you to do the same.
I'd love to hear how you relate to the notion of femininity, or indeed for the guys out there, how your relate to masculinity. Ask your partners and family members the same question!