This story takes place in September of 2015 at a place that I call “Discovery Lake”. There are no trails to Discovery Lake, but I had bushwacked there twice before (so I thought I knew how to get there). It took me 2 full days to get to the lake. Day One was a bit […]Making Sense at the Lake — 12 Ideas that Rocked My World
To highlight the reality of the ongoing stupidity of hazings that still occur in university fraternities and sororities there is a new TV program just released.
Dying to Belong is the name of the program. And it hits the nail on the head. We all want to belong but humiliating people and endangering their lives to generate a sense of exclusivity is juvenile.
Hazing is defined as the imposition of strenuous, often humiliating, tasks as part of a program of rigorous physical training and initiation. So the greater the humiliation then the club you are being initiated into should be that much more exclusive. Or provide a transcendent feeling of belonging. I am not sure that university frats get to that level of, well fraternity. Basically it is supposed to earn you a loyalty towards you when you need it. And your loyalty to your fraternity will be asked for when it is needed. In the meantime you have the status of saying you belong to this or that frat.
The thing is people die in these hazings that new recruits or pledges are submitted to. Why? Why does it have to dip to a level of life threatening humiliation?
To belong to the Jeep driver’s club all you need is to make a down payment of a few thousand dollars to buy your Jeep Wrangler and then keep up with your monthly payments. And as a result every time another Jeep drives in the opposite direction you get a cool and subtle wave as you drive by each other in your Jeeps. It’s silly. But it provides a sense of inclusion/acceptance/belonging in and among all the random traffic. And it is warming not demoralizing. It is simple not nefarious.
Initiation is the process of crossing the threshold into the next stage of life. And in some cultures they can be extremely demanding rite of passage like a vision quest. Or it can be a celebration like a bar mitzvah.
The idea of initiation is to create a mark that a person is entering into a new possibility in their life. Witness it. Make the ceremony and the person being initiated important. Generate in them the concept of upholding their dignity as they pass from child to young adult; or from adult to elder. So when we cross the threshold of death, from elder to ether, we have had practice knowing how to cross into the next realm and what is of value there.
While initiation helps the same person elevate in their development trajectory a distinct aspect of their life is being accessed in this new platform for life that encourages curiosity and perception.
If you are not religious then recognition of the next life stage might not be so ceremonious. It can be conversations to show appreciation of the person for what they have become up to now based on their challenges and opportunities. Appreciation coupled with respect for their version of responsibility as they grow. Reminding them to harvest from their past the milestones won by the vigour of their youth. Merging these lessons with the awareness being petitioned of each person to grow into the unknown.
Are you afraid of aging or is something else involved? A rich exploration into aging well.Unveiling :: Thoughts of aging have you tied in knots? — STEPHANIE NOBLE
Halloween in the haunted woodWhat We See In The Woods — Shuckleigh Chronicles
There is a well known adage that perhaps was coined by Confucoius or is alluded to in the Bible. Either way it goes like this:
‘Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.’
It would appear to hold true. This is very much the Rich Dad/Poor Dad juxtaposition.
Perhaps, in hindsight, there is a line missing:
Forget to demand respect for the planet from the man and he will destroy fish stocks and end up giving his children farmed fish full of chemicals.
Let’s look at the adage through the lens of: Advice, Guidance and Wisdom.
At the level of advice is ‘give a man a fish’
At the level of guidance is ‘teach him to fish’
At the level of wisdom is ‘demand respect, from yourself and others, on behalf of the planet’
Is for guys
Application is to work life, guy life, ego buoyancy, for not looking stupid, to the now
Forms of Advice – tips, sayings, phrases, guyisms, answers, encouragement
Advice provides timely ideas for someone to make decisions to get results.
Advice for any person, at any age in any stage in life. It is useful to daily life and can stand the test of time.
Provenance – brain
Relevance – bridging the moment with what you want
Guidance is for men.
Application – Guidance is a resource for learning to deal with fear, for growing awareness, for understanding others, for facing the future.
Forms of Guidance – story, map, the legend on a map, questions, challenges
Guidance hints at the man you become if you listen to it and let it impact your life
Provenance – heart
Relevance – love, the need to love and be loved
Is for The New You,
Application is for participation in service to something bigger than you, curiosity and reflection
Forms of Wisdom – crystalized, dense yet light in its transmission, mysterious and confusing and settling
Wisdom is the language of the instinct talking about finding meaning and integrating it into life
Provenance – soul
Relevance – magnetizing to the truth and electrifying to action
Practice all 3 (Advice – Guidance – Wisdom): Know the difference so advice doesn’t get passed off as guidance; and wisdom doesn’t get reduced to guidance.
Demand advice from your peers, guidance from your parents and wisdom from your elders.
Turning left out of the restaurant, MJ and I walk south along John Street. I know I hear some running footsteps but, so what. You never know who is asking for something so I put my arm around MJ’s shoulder and keep walking.
I look over my shoulder between me and MJ and see this guy waving his hand and running towards us. The guy was wearing black pants, a white shirt and a knee length white apron. It’s our waiter from the restaurant. Maximum 25 years old as he ran with ease towards us.
“Crazy” the waiter says, landing a few slow down steps as he reaches us.
“Look.” He only takes two breaths to speak normally after a 2 block sprint.
“I think the bills stuck together. I don’t think you meant to leave a $40 tip on a $29 tab.” The waiter tentatively offers two twenty dollar bills. The bills were probably just printed and put into circulation. I had just got them out of the bank machine earlier in the day.
“I thought they felt funny.” I say putting my hand out tentatively as the waiter goes about half way.
“Thank you very much.” I extend my appreciation and my hand to receive my overpayment.
“Right on.” Waiter says. There is a brief gap in the moment; and then he spins to jog back to the restaurant. MJ and I look at each other.
“Wow. You don’t see that too often. Someone running 2 blocks to give you money you didn’t know was yours. Actually, in the moment I thought to give him 1 of the twenties.”
MJ says “I could tell you hesitated. You could’ve.”
Standing in the same place, slowly folding the 2 twenties, I look at MJ and declare “That’s honesty”. Feeling proud to have been a part of that street vignette, I almost feel I deserve some of the credit.
MJ holds my gaze for a moment, then she says “That’s tidy.”
Tidy is living life with minimal loose ends.
Tidy is not military. It is clarity of scope of any intention.
Scope refers to what you are going to do when and how.
How refers to the quality of your work and ‘the 2-stage hand off’.
The first stage of the ‘hand off’ is you receiving from the previous person what you said you needed in order to get started. The second stage is you delivering what you said you would. That way the next person knows what to expect when you are finished with your part. Essentially ensuring the next stage 1 for the next person includes what said they needed to get started.
So if the person before or after you is not tidy, life now has drama that we aren’t paid for.
Being tidy is a reflection of self respect; It is an expression of understanding others and having the arts and skills to be understood.
Tidy is a great way to run your life.
Like someone runs their business.
You do what you say you are going to do.
You make commitments, make a plan and invest in the project. Then people quit, get fired or screw up. So being tidy can be a great hypothetical ideal but the daily reality can make your work anything but tidy. Because someone on your team quit means now you can’t deliver your products on time. So you have to advise others that your delivery is going to change. That’s business. That’s life.
Sometimes there is a pandemic and materials or staff are scarce or expensive and your price changes and the customer isn’t happy or wants to cancel all together. These are some of those changes that fit into the ‘you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up’ category.
So many obstacles can get thrown your way making your work, and life, untidy. You can’t control others. You can manage yourself. Your work is subject to outside influences. When everything is going sideways, that is when you need to insist on being tidy in your mind. Meaning understanding who is responsible, or to blame, but with an eye to moving forward.
The New You Profile is:
The man a young man strives to be;
The gentleman a man can feel he is becoming.
The scope of that gentleman’s life is: deep, expansive, growing, challenging, intriguing.
This book is for tough guys. Like me. Like you. Tough nuts to crack. When we aren’t as good as we want to be at our own emotional display we can get frustrated. Frustration is rarely associated with satisfaction.
The spark of this writing is the belief that a man who is creative in achieving his satisfaction, able to share the successes and let downs of pursuing what he wants, will use his stressful challenges to grow. Life has shown us that when one of us is frustrated in the moment, stressed by life, wayward in his manlife, he can easily lash out. He can be hurtful with insults and beatings.
The purpose of the book is to be a spur for men to access their emotional agility as they strive to get what they want.
A man who knows himself at daily and higher levels will appreciate what he is becoming despite his shortcomings. He will have a sense that there is more to the definition of a man than can be found on the internet.
A constant theme of this book is that we are indeed on a development journey during our whole life. That journey for a man differs from the journey of a woman. Whether or not male and female journeys have converging priorities, understandings or emotions we all want to enlist each man to ‘be his own man’ in the moment.
When a woman wants something different from her man, or wants more from her husband or wants better from her boyfriend it is a good news story. It locates the man in what she seeks. It’s not a strike against you that, as a man, you cannot immediately figure out what she wants. Perhaps it provides her a sense of being valued by knowing she can look to you for man services. So, what kind of man services do you offer? Sexual services, fixing flat tire services, humour, tenderness, encouragement services, mortgage payment services, opening jam jars services, packing the car, parking the car, washing the car, barbecuing …
A man is a good thing. Anyone who feels differently does not have the full story. Or as is often the case, has had more bad man experiences than good. Those damaging experiences are often the result of his lack of belief in himself . This poverty of self-belief contorts the love of those that believe in him as a man. When we can rise above the tyranny of our energy sucking ego we ascend into new thoughts, fresh intentions, rejuvenating conversation … This elevation into realms of value, success and connection makes your man feel like the MVP.
The underlying concept that powers this book is that men have the emotional finesse enabling them to instinctually respond to the Daily challenges and Devotional callings of life.
There are many men in the various communities you participate in that don’t subscribe to the dogma of sexism. They go along with insulting jokes and remarks because they don’t have something stronger they believe in. Or they fear for their job and crave respect as a man’s man. They most likely believe in women; in a deep and beautiful way. However most men don’t get the education they want to become a man of self-respect, love and belief.
There is a lack of readily accessible guidance for men to become the reliable husband that is also the spontaneous guy who is also the nurturing man. There is a paucity of seed pods for him to cultivate the male version of instinct.
Each day all men search for the missing pieces in the life puzzle of career, love and meaning. At the risk of alienating himself from the lowest common denominator of macho manhood there are those that insist on being ambitious, clean and versatile. It takes balls to be a man that resists the mafia of moronic male behaviour.
The guy who strives beyond the poor understanding of women and lack of self knowledge as a man needs your support. Most likely he is energized by sincere love yet doubts his version of a man authentic. He is juggling his professional ambition, the questions for his higher self and his residual anger of youth. He wants to bundle them into a brave vision of him as a man, spouse and gentleman.
This book highlights that we are all capable of and responsible for our own Satisfaction in the ongoing stages of life, evolving relationships and variety of experiences.
Did you see the 2007 movie Ocean’s 13? It’s the third movie in the Ocean’s series of a modern band of thieves. The sudden news of one of their own falling ill from shock of a business deal gone bad id bringing them all together again. About ten minutes into the movie George Clooney as ‘Daniel Ocean’ and Brad Pitt as ‘Rusty’ are just getting off their private jet.
‘It’s not their fight’ Linus, played by Matt Damon had just asked Ocean where Tess and Isabelle were. A seemingly harmless question as they walk across the tarmac. Tess (Julia Roberts) is Ocean’s wife; Isabelle (Catherine Zeta Jones) is the love of Rusty’s life.
Since Linus wants a bit more info he turns to Rusty and asks a little louder above the jet engines. ‘Where are Tess and Isabelle?’
Out of nowhere Ocean explodes on his colleague Linus and repeats with an anvil of force closing the issue, ‘It’s not their fight’.
Ocean is right. A man takes responsibility for his struggle. He doesn’t make it hers. Men are experts at the quiet struggle. Like the earth is coursing with ley lines and the body is strung with energy meridians, men are marionettes to the undercurrents of genuine emotion. The task at hand is to make this struggle less solitary, these emotions more accessible.
For that reason it is to be aware when you need help with your response. Ask for help, accept help. Appreciate the help and love the helper. But never make them responsible for your fight. Your fight is to evolve into you. Become the version of a man that is becoming of you.
Some men who are jacked up: cocky, confident, full of their preconceived idea of their importance to the moment. There are those guys who are understanding, laid back and funny. Of course we all know those guys that are lost, lack confidence and have more things they dread than they look forward to as a man. How could they ‘man up’ in a difficult situation. They don’t have the education, training, or reference to find their mojo.
The degree to which many a man is lost and alienated from a development journey as a soul bearing gentleman can feel bigger than huge, and deeper than bottomless.
The lost man can’t seem to get traction on his passion and skills. That’s part of why it can appear to his wife, a man doesn’t want to be a part of the solution to a withering marriage. His relationship is complicated by him not knowing how to shine his light on the path of their marriage.
One of the core messages this book carries is that men are a creative force, wildly willing to be a part of something good. And they are sincere. Sincerely in need of help to understand themselves, women and relationships.
With explosive power. Man oh man, Forty years already. Where did the time go? Better yet, why did my time go? Today is December 8. A horrible anniversary. I didn’t know until the next day so for me December 9 is just as bad. I hope by now you know what I’m talking about. If […]A Long Strange Trip — STORYTELLER
This global experience of a virus enveloping us the people has made daily life uncomfortable. To those who have succumbed to the virus it has made daily life impossible.
We can blame lots people. It feels good for a minute but really has no power of bringing light to the situation. It doesn’t accelerate the development of a vaccine. It doesn’t allow me to walk into a store without a mask. It doesn’t change the incessant reports of increases of infections and deaths. Stop.
I want my thoughts back. I want the best of my world back. To pioneer into tomorrow.
The Pandemia we insist on repeating because in the first place we didn’t listen to those who focus in things like this. And because we don’t know the way forward has gotten old. It is tiring.
I am going to wash my hands and wear my mask and keep my distance and eat at home. And when my mind is my own this is what I am going to think about:
My wife challenges me to be the man I want to be.
My version of man is valid
Planet Earth is an example of Grace, Strength, Purpose and Growth.
Marriage needs clear & sincere communication to grow.
As an merging Elder I will provide wisdom to my community.
Are my beliefs up to date with my life?
Silver Birch was a spirit guide who spoke through Maurice Barbanellevery act of service you perform
Move the words out of your heart – say anything man. Be funny, dumb, endearing, stilted, embarrassing, true and simple. If they stay in your heart they will block your arteries and give you a heart attack.
Say how you feel. Because you want to understand and be understood. Understand what causes you to feel inspired or lost, confident or frustrated. And be understood as you go through the process of using these words to grow.
Find your words for love and vulnerability, of vision and belief.
Practice the words for sorry and appreciation, worry and forgiveness.
Repeat the words that elevate you and are a catalyst for other men.
Move the words out of your heart and into the world so we can all hear and learn:
What the man in you knows …
What the man in you wants …
What the man in you upholds …
Earlier today I was looking through my blog posts in search of a previous post about The Female Frixion when I came across this one from a year and half ago entitled 10 Things A Young Man Needs To Hear From A Man. When I wrote this it was a time when I knew even less than I think I know now. Fearful of the edits it still begs I believe there are some valid points in this post. Worth repeating. I have included 2 here starting with Be Agile – Not Fragile. That is what a father wants for his son. What a woman wants for her man.
- Do the work to be emotionally agile not fragile. This one is so important to teach by example. The work can be analogous to juggling. If you focus on one ball then all of them will fall. To take it up a level you use your peripheral vision to manage the task at hand. What is being asked is to be able to have long term vision while still managing the present.
- Define strength: mentally, physically, emotionally – as a man; find out what it is for a woman. What is your formula for strength in each case: Emotional Strength = _________ + ____________ Use your strengths to highlight them in others.
To see the whole list use the link below.
Feel free to share these ideas with a young man to understand what he hungers for.
2 old guys were playing tennis as I walked by the public tennis court. It was a beautiful fall day with the mid afternoon sun balancing out the autumn cool. In the park there were a few mothers and nannies caring for and playing with children. There was one empty court and the one in use by said men.
In their 70’s one fart was in very good shape and the belly of the other one had a nice round shape to it. I watched them for a few minutes from the park bench near the court. They played very well without physically challenging each other too much. I couldn’t hear everything they said but I did catch the guy with the belly say in a chipper voice as he approached the net to collect a ball ‘ Kids these days. They’re not careless’. It seemed he was defending the millenials for getting a bad reputation as being lazy and disrespectful. Perhaps he had some grandchildren that were really proactive at recycling and social responsibility.
‘They are carefree.‘ The belly guy completed his thought and turned to walk back to the baseline.
What is that supposed to mean – ‘carefree’? That young people being smart phone savvy soothes all their problems. That because the retired generation receive their monthly pension then all must be good in the world. Or because the younger generations can’t afford a house that means they don’t have to worry about a mortgage. Or because they use Uber they don’t have to be concerned about car insurance rates. Or because they work from home they don’t have to stress about the price of gas and the pollution it causes.
Stress and depression and the temperature of the planet are all on the rise. Young people are worried. Sick. They are worried about the degradation of the planet and how to grow food on their balcony, their parents failing health and the quality of care in a seniors home, the job market and the cost of daycare, the widening gap between rich and poor and the deepening feeling in their gut of connecting with some higher purpose that surely there is in life.
Like me and you, they need help. Sure they are super agile on social media and pay for everything in the moment on an app. Still they don’t know what they want in life, how to be a good spouse, how to respond to the urge of their soul life. They may sound very confident because they have lots of sound bites in the moment at their finger tips. Yet self knowledge is still elusive.
They need challenges that help them elevate their mind just as much as to learn how to stretch their money. They need guidance of how to cultivate their soul. Who is going to be that guide? To let them know what is a good idea to repeat of the the preceding generations and what mistakes to avoid. To model understand humility, listening and patience.
Below is the link to a previous post entitled Rise Of The Elder Class petitioning adults to get over their feelings about their stage in life and see past the confident face of the young generation to engage them in conversations about meaning: https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/wild-coach.com/834
Nothing wrong with being an old guy. In fact it is a badge of honour. But it comes with the responsibility to turn around and offer wisdom. To take responsibility for their role in the state of the planet and the lack of devotion life that connects young people with themselves and can be applied to daily life.