The following article is written by beloved spiritual teacher, Jeannie Zandi. In this article, Jeannie explains what divine feminine energy really is, through the metaphor of the yin and yang energies at play in nature and in our lives, and how embodying feminine energy supports spiritual manifestation. You can listen to our two-part podcast conversation HERE and if you’re drawn to this topic, you can further dive into her work on Yin Embodiment.

Divine Feminine Energy

What we call the Divine Feminine, I like to call yin, because yin (as well as corresponding yang) is the universal energy that we all have access to and can embody. Yin is the receptive, the yielding, the softening and descending side of this divine energetic dance; yang is the active, the outward, the rising and assertive side of the dance. These two energies dance together throughout the natural world, and in our psyches as well.

These energies are divine because they are essential to the expression of manifestation – the pattern that we see in the cycle of a plant, that of sprouting, growing, leafing, budding, flowering and fruiting, and the fading, falling, softening, sinking and composting, can be seen throughout nature, and in the movement of all things. Things are born, they rise, they fade and die away, and round and round divine energy dances throughout the universe.

Generally the dominant culture in the West is imbalanced toward the glorification of yang, and the ignorance or outright fear of or disdain for yin. We value Apollo, the athlete in her prime, the go-getter, the one who pursues, who dominates and we devalue the wobbly-leggedness of the newborn foal, and the slow gate of the elderly. Our culture tells us to fight and prevail; not surrender and yield.

This imbalance has left us with what I call a “yin debt.” We are starved for rest, for silence, for softness, for feeling, and the true nourishment that comes from one’s capacity to sink and yield. We generally don’t allow it to catch up to us until it is forced upon us through exhaustion, illness, or loss. We assume all things yin are “bad” and “weak” and thus, our yang is not connected to the heart, not rising sturdy out of a surrendered beingness.

Reclaiming Your Yin – aka Feminine Energy

So, how can we step into the softness, and the incredible power, of feminine energy aka yin energy? By heeding the signals of our bodies for rest. By becoming familiar with how our hearts are touched and letting them be. By allowing our tears to soften us. By lying on the earth and letting every muscle relax as we soak up her grounded support. By saying no sometimes. By admitting when we can’t or aren’t able. By refraining from overworking and finding ways to rest. By opening our senses and hearts to the present moment and all that is going on in it below the content of our minds – the sights, sounds, smells, silence and feelings.

Through incorporating feminine energy in our lives, we discover a new kind of strength: a strength that rises from rested nourishment, a strength that is natural and not forced, a strength that rises from the ground like the trunk of a tree, and that is connected to our hearts. Yin restores the power to be interconnected, heartful, a part of a larger web through relatedness, an ability to understand and collaborate with others as a team.

Yin gives us our joy back. – Jeannie Zandi

Yang is as necessary to develop as yin, but without a grounded familiarity and embodiment of yin, our yang exhausts us, is brittle and harsh, and results in stress and bodies filled with tension. When our yang is grounded, however, our actions are woven into our hearts and connected to the whole. What opening to yin allows us to do is grow our yang up from toddlerhood to adulthood. It allows us to stand and act based on what we love and to protect and foster life because we feel in our hearts what truly matters and are willing to move on its behalf.

To release the grip of false yang, we have to feel safe enough to soften. We have to find places where we can rest, where we can feel, where we can soften and be vulnerable, and not be punished or poked for it. This is no small feat in a culture mad with false yang, but it’s possible. We find softness in solitude, in relating, in therapy, in dance, on the massage table, in the watsu pool, on the acupuncture table, floating in the sea. We find it in the arms of people willing to hold us as we rest or weep.

Yin is Essential to (Re) Claiming True Power

When we soften open to the yin form of power, we feel our hearts, and we find our true purpose – what we love, what we’re willing to stand for, and what makes life living. We discover that we are connected to the hearts of other beings, of other creatures, of nature herself. We start to move with an eye on the collective, on “we,” not just for our own self protection or advancement. We become true community members, we take our place in the web, and we have a lot more joy in our hearts for having softened them with rest and tears.

My life has been a deep exploration of yin and yang and how these energies are expressed through a human being. In the process of exploring yin or feminine energy, my heart has softened and opened, and the capacity for tenderness, connectedness and caring has bloomed. This opening has fed my yang capacities for speaking directly, setting boundaries, taking necessary action, ending things whose time has come, and boldly stepping into the new. It has allowed me to step into what I would call the “queen” archetype, to move in the world as a leader and as a collaborator and ally. And I’ve seen many others, women and men alike, step into their own power, through exploring and embracing the divine feminine energy.

For example, a professional business coach who participated in my work explored yin by resting and softening, sinking into her grief and allowing her former self structure to crumble. When the process was finished, she found herself doing very similar work in the world but from a very different place — fully from her heart and from her joy. Another person in my work allowed feminine energy to soften her heart open and yang to sturdy her and that development led to a transformed co-parenting relationship with her ex-husband, giving her the ability to parent their son with more tenderness and clarity together. The power of the divine feminine is magnificent and life-giving, and our willingness to explore yin allows us to be made whole and to rise rooted and nourished as the magnificent humans we were born to be.

_ _ _

About Jeannie Zandi

Jeannie Zandi is an internationally beloved spiritual teacher, best known for her fearless clarity, tender mercy toward humanness, and a juicy, poetic and often humorous style that draws from Advaita Vedanta, Sufism, Christian mysticism and the ongoing revelation of fully engaged living. Learn more about Jeannie’s work, embodiment practices, and upcoming talks on her website. She’s perhaps best known for her transformative program, The Holy Work Challenge which teaches people how to live in spiritual alignment, as well as her teachings on Yin Embodiment.

Why Embodying Divine Feminine Energy is the Essence of Manifestation, by Jeannie Zandi
Why Embodying Divine Feminine Energy is the Essence of Manifestation, by Jeannie Zandi

More Embodiment Resources