Feminist Mantra Monday 16: Grow Soft
Lately I've been working through Modern Women's moon workbook (if you get my newsletter, I linked to this gem in there). In the essay on last Friday's lunar eclipse, the author introduced the idea of soft power, and my gut was like whoa, yes, this is exactly the concept I've been looking for.
Normally we think of power as an outward show of strength, as an accumulation of money and knowledge, as a force to be reckoned with. This is generally a phallic power that emphasizes traditionally masculine traits. This power's slogan might be go hard.
But soft power is power that is cultivated and grows on the inside. It's the strength you shore up in your spirit that shines through your smile as self-assurance. It's a female or feminine or feminist power that attempts to redefine the traits we value in society. This power doesn't tell you to go hard, it tells you to grow soft.
Grow Soft is an exploration of the power that comes through self-knowledge and vulnerability. It's about attending to each crack in our seams as a potential opening to the world rather than a dangerous flaw. This will help us break down the walls that keep us from others rather than reinforcing them and building new ones.
As I've been developing my creative practice, I often find myself feeling insecure about putting new ideas and essays out into the world. And while most of the feedback that I receive is positive, occasionally a friend or colleague will offer a critique or suggestion. At first, my instinct was to defend my choices and explain why the way I had done things was the best choice of action, but in embracing soft power, I've found myself asking questions to learn more about how they think I can improve my work. I've opened dialogues where before I only offered defensive assertions. As a result, more people have felt engaged with and involved in my writing, and my confidence in it has grown (or grown softer as you may have it).
What does grow soft mean to you all this week? How can you bring it into your life and maybe even your Valentine's Day activities?