What is the difference between the Inner Patriarch and the Inner Critic?

Both are voices that criticize from within. The difference is that the Inner Critic operates in both men and women, and it criticizes anything—how we look, what we say, what we do and don’t do. The Inner Patriarch, on the other hand, exists solely within women and criticizes them purely because they are women.

How can I feel comfortable if we're doing movement?

In initial movement sessions, I ask if anyone feels the presence of an Inner Critic. Most participants laugh in recognition. Then the women consciously let their Inner Critics affect their movement, so much so that the dancing may slow almost to a standstill with the heaviness of this voice. The women can call out what the Inner Critic is saying to them. “You can’t dance!” “You’re uncoordinated!” “You’re overweight!” “You’ll make a fool of yourself!” I bring in humor. I often open the door to the room and ask my own Inner Critic to step outside. Then I invite everyone else to do the same, saying, “You can pick up your Inner Critics when you leave.” After this, the mood in the room becomes visibly lighter.

What do you mean by the "Positive Inner Masculine"?

The Positive Inner Masculine is an energy within a woman that carries a sense of entitlement in the world.

What do you mean by the "Positive Patriarch"?

Up until now, we have described the Inner Patriarch in its negative form, describing its pejorative attitudes toward women. But there is a Positive Patriarch, a masculine energy who reveres women and all the beauty, sensitivity, sensuality, sexuality, spirituality and power they offer.

 
 
 

The Inner Patriarch:

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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