Mankind’s uncertain struggle for food and shelter saw our ancestors constantly battle against the forces of nature. Sometimes nature could be brought under a degree of control but often humanity found itself in a position of incredible weakness. Despite their best efforts, the labours of our ancestors offered no guarantee of success against the whims of the uncontrollable weather. Faced with their own powerlessness, they could only identify what helped or hindered their efforts and try to forsee their influence.
Forecasting the weather has always been one of mankind’s most vital concerns and this was particularly so in Brittany, a country totally reliant on working the land and harvesting its extensive coastal waters; activities that were highly susceptible to the effects of severe weather. Based on the close observation of weather patterns, monitoring the effect of seasonal changes and correlating events with particular weather phenomena, the people of yesterday’s Brittany…
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Nobody ever remembers who came in second. Except at the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York. Serena Williams has been an intimidating serving/volleying/groundstroking force for 20 years. September 1 2017 her daughter Olympia was born. Mother Serena willed herself back into shape, tennis shape, professional tennis shape, champion shape. That discipline and focus put her in the finals of the U.S. Open 2018. She was beaten by Naomi Osaka. Not without drama.
Below is a clip of what has been labeled Serena’s meltdown.
In the above video you see she is: frustrated, angry, not winning, fighting, searching. At about the three minute mark of the video she is yelling at the umpire, pointing at the umpire when she declares –
“I have a daughter and stand for what is right …”.
It was hot September 8, 2018 but Serena did not meltdown. She stood up. She stood up for what emanates from her blood, radiates from her eyes and vibrates from her bones: As a black woman, a professional, an inspiration, a success, a leader, a wife and a joyful mother.
As she smashes her racquet and puts the umpire in his place for the double standard treatment of men and women she is doing the work of all women and on behalf of all women. She is displaying for all those in attendance and watching on TV that all women have to deal with the three lives of a woman. Deal all the time. No matter how much or little money they have. Regardless of fame or success or power. The three lives are: Maternal, Professional, Romantic. These lives are always vying for the limelight of the energy of a woman. This urge generated from within each woman to shine her light on one life without ignoring the others causes an unseen friction in a woman.
Add to that ‘juggle and joust’ some intense pressure. For example the pressure of a grand slam final slipping out of your grip. Under that pressure things pop out. Words. Direct words. Directed at the umpire. Serena wasn’t talking tennis. She was screaming woman. Instinctual woman. Loving and fearful mother. Reflective yet decisive professional. Vain and timid romantic.
There are no time outs in this competition to be the life that sits in the first seat of her emotional rollercoaster of the moment. This is a stress that is not shared. Men and women are not not the same page.
It’s foreign, to the male experience of the three lives, this concept of the friction that female lives impose. Many a man is mystified by a woman’s ‘sudden’ change of priorities or emotional outbursts. Very often whether they are aware of it or not, like Carlos Ramos the tennis umpire that day, men manoeuvre the situation to take control. Men are: professional, paternal and are (naturally) romantic. The male’s lives don’t cause as much internal turmoil in a man as a woman’s do in their’s. That neither makes him insensitive or her a martyr. It highlights a beautiful difference. A mental/emotional/instinctual watershed.
It takes courage to stand for something. We can all stand in community of understanding the reality of the Female Frixion and listen to the instinct that it cultivates.
Man is fast. A short man, a fat man, a bald guy, middle class, employee, entrepreneur, impatient, divorced, shy, bad breathed, fashionable, funny. They are all men. They are all fast.
How fast? Reflex fast. Faster than doubt fast.
What kind of fast? Sleight of hand fast. Love fast. At the speed of love = responding from the blood and bones of your life.
Instant yet not ignorant. Spontaneous but not fickle.
Like a leopard is dangerously fast in the jungle a fast man is emotionally capable. Capable to receive, interpret and respond with sensitivity. Sensitivity powered by the decisions he has made. Sensitivity aligned to an external purpose. The purpose can be a marriage or job or community project or his religious life.
The fast man can take some time to get up to fast speed. He has decisions to make, experiences to process, mistakes to recuperate from, self belief to re-encounter, success to follow up on, a man cave to manicure, love to share, sensitivities to develop, a purpose to adhere to, personal religion to nurture.
A Fast Man is not in a hurry even though there may be a ton of things to do. A Fast mind is not stressed but can definitely feel the pressure. In Fast mode a man has perception because the task becomes the focus.
A Fast mind is in the zone and has a sensitivity to the details and timings of the moment. Those details include respect for people and the planet. Timings can be in the project, in the moment or stage of life. In contrast, highlighting how you feel about how you feel turns a fast mind into a foggy mind. The ego is quick to grab attention and energy but it has no friends. No partnerships. Fast is in association with Slow to generate some flow that supports growth.
The book Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi provides very useful context and research that describes this mental space and what can happen when we embrace it.
Everyone, man or woman, anchored in their ego, is fast to judge. Judging someone else’s response to the moment. What do we know of that other person or the moment? Whether judging or being judged, neither has anything to do with the nature of a man. Judgment has to do with the Ego. Not the best part of the Ego. What happens when a man responds according to his nature and is not restrained by his Ego? A man not limited by judgement is a man fast to offer his service. Because it makes him feel valued as a man to be of service to others. Despite his vulnerability. His vulnerability is powered by how he feels as a man. Whether he knows it or not. His vulnerability is accentuated when he cannot be a fast man when that is what is required. That pains a man greatly. To the point of boiling over into violent. At the expense of self respect and dignity for his wife.
Likewise, without a doubt if the sincere nature of a man is not appreciated, especially by those close to him, then his sense of service will come from his own need for self-respect. Meaning he will uphold what is right like the clean vigour of a man or the cleanliness of a job well done.
Problems start; and don’t stop when the fast nature of a man gets interrupted by misunderstandings, unclear relationships, money/work/stress, heavy traffic on the drive home, bad habits, fear, lack of confidence, lack of self belief. That is his challenge. To be clutch in the moment. Or even be the clutch that allows himself to change gears between fast, slow and visionary. To self elevate above his hesitation because he thinks he doesn’t know what to do. To find a way to keep going. Without damage. A stealth Satisfaction.
If he doesn’t have the ability to generate from within himself the sense of being a man when his feeling of accomplishment is delayed by life problems, then he bangs up against his limit. His limit of patience, of conversation, of listening, of acceptance, of transcendence. What happens when he is face to face with his limit: Frustration; Yelling; Quit; Blame; Solutions; Creativity; Reflection; Insults; Violence?
The fast man is he who is connected to his instinct. Perhaps he has maintained this connection since birth. Or by adherence to it at great personal social cost. Or some combination of both.
The instinct is fast. Beyond my fast and your fast. Human fast. Naturally fast. Planetary fast. Forest fast. It is known that trees communicate with each other through their roots using a fungus called mycelium. As soon as the first tree in the forest senses someone entering the territory the last tree knows it. Even if the last tree is 20 km away. That fast. Our communion with the instinct is facilitated by belief. Belief in a man.
Be that man – fast in the moment – or striving to be so.
Meet the man inside the man.
We are living with a mindset of a pandemic planet. Experts are at a loss for a way forward. As we have to adjust our restrictions from spring life to summer living in 2020 absolutely nothing changes about men. The combination of technological advancement and viral ferocity makes these unprecedented times.
You too are unprecedented! Your ‘photosynthesis’ of the moment is as unique as each plant in the forest. You are a ‘once in a human race occurrence’. It also means that you, and only you are responsible for your generation of belief in men. The best of men. The daily and inspiring man. If international experts and politicians can’t make decisions you can. You can forge the way forward in the bigness that is your life.
What is that man?
He is Fast. He is Slow. He is Visionary. He is all three. By nature. By birth. These innate aspects might not be so obvious as a result of upbringing and education. Regardless they are essential to highlight and aspire to.
More to follow.
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