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:
Many a car’s mechanical problems can be related to how often you change the engine oil. The more often you change it the cleaner, the saying goes, it runs. Also it means the mechanic is rooting around under your hood to see or hear if something is wrong. Which not coincidentally generates more business for the garage. If in fact he finds something wrong then you are doing preventative maintenance which is almost always cheaper than repairs. Not only with cars but just about everything else.
Take our vacuum for example. We bought it second hand because my wife’s experience is that you spend a $150 or usually more on a new vacuum and more likely than not it is giving you headaches within 6 months. Funny when I was growing up we had an emerald green Electrolux whose design was inspired by one of the characters in the canteen from the movie Star Wars. The thing lasted easily 15 years. Suction wasn’t great those last few years. That was still in the day of the vacuum bag that filled up and you had to toss. I think the whole thing was designed around selling vacuum bags because they weren’t very big and it was pretty awkward to empty them out and try and re-use.
Now our vacuum looks like son of Electrolux: turquoise with a mini body for the dirt receptacle. Nowadays we just empty out the dirt receptacle and keep going. And that is what the people who dropped it off at the donation centre where we bought it must have done because I fired it up and the smell as atrocious. A warm, old shoe bad smell filled our condo. Neither the previous guys nor the donation centre thought to clean the filter. Nor did I when I bought it:) So the filter got cleaned and boom the vacuum is awesome and is running to this day. I think it cost $12. No bags. No fuss.
I have seen the same thing happen with our sink, the fan above the stove, the drain in the shower: you have to clean out the filter to keep things running smoothly (and without a nasty smell.). The same applies to people. I remember in my early working days I didn’t have much money so I didn’t eat well. It didn’t help that I was single, living on my own with limited cooking experience. My home cooked food consisted of lots of toast and canned soup for dinner. Breakfast was a coffee and donut. Lunch would have included the occasional veggie. Whadaya know? I ended up in the clinic with an obstructed bowel. It was painful. Just knocked me out for a few days with no energy. No other symptoms. The doctor said I needed fibre which translates into leafy greens and colourful fruit. In other words I needed to unclog the drain or change the oil. I needed to clean my filter. Physically.
That has happened to me mentally as well. Where I need to learn a new concept about someone or something. As our two daughters get older I need to understand that I am not their only source of info and entertainment or decision making. I must realize they are moving through stages in life rapidly and I have to update myself at the same pace or risk making myself obsolete. It doesn’t mean letting them do everything they want and talking about every single meme they find on their phone. It just means be agile with my role as their dad.
With my wife I need to listen to her ever changing situation with menopause. I need to be confident in our connection and lovingly efficient in grasping where we are today. It’s not boring. I prefer it to a habitual life that is not challenging. I am not going to hold menopause against my wife – that would be stupid. There is no time or space to be acrimonious. I prefer to love and be loved. Loving the menopausal version of my wife means I need to have a good memory, want her to be healthy, be able to ride the roller coaster again and again without getting off. Woohoo!! Just be there for her. I am tall enough to ride that ride:)
I see it comes to updating what I want and what I believe. I want my wife to be happy. I believe our marriage is working. Some days it works like a Tesla model X – fast and curious. Other days it’s like a 1973 Westphalia camper van – lots of baggage and going pretty slow.
I find if I clean up the filter, be it the backlog of things my wife has asked me to do (throw out my good boxes cardboard goes I have piled up) or not to do (fall asleep on the couch) we do pretty well. Being in good physical shape and having some sense of your soul are other self tasks to keep things turning over.
He loves you because loving you keeps him connected to being a man of service, of having an intention every day and a purpose in the big picture. Even though he may lose sight of one or both of those as he engages each stage of life. Being disconnected from you, from a sense of service and purpose impacts the man you love to the marrow. Showing up as being irritable to feeling defeated.
He loves you because you grasp his struggle, how it affects him and how to companion him. You know his struggle is based not in the temporary disorientation he feels but in the knowing that he is authentic and wants to showcase that. Which he does through his confidence, humility and agility. Confidence to show you the man you married, humility before your marriage with an agility to embody the changes it petitions him to make.
A former manager once dropped into my office and quickly put a gift bag between the wall and my computer terminal. He timed it well so I was busy with someone so he just smiled, nodded and left. It was mid December and so he was receiving lots of Christmas gifts from every direction. I didn’t expect anything from him and I am pretty sure he had no intention of getting me anything. For me the company wasn’t a place I belonged and for him I didn’t solve his problems with his bosses. And then appeared a bottle of scotch in my office in a gift bag lacking the colourful tissue paper. I can’t remember the last time I drank scotch. Which means that I either binge drink it or never drink it. I had never talked about scotch at work. So obviously he was regifting the bottle.
Regifting is a useful practice. Re-gifting means more people get gifts which means more happy people and less consumerism and waste of wrapping paper. It’s logical and heartwarming. It works. I drank the scotch.
Regifting and repurposing could both be seen as changing the direction of the same thing. You can repurpose tires into jewelry, plastic into a fleece pullover, a boyfriend into a husband, an old silver fork into a bracelet, a pop bottle into a flower pot, a stump into a stool and on and on.
Life stages thrust this reality of ‘the new you’ unto us. Our curious child repurposes into a rebellious youth into the sceptical young adult into that focused adult who grows into an elderly sage. In the beautifully painful transition known as death, the sage repurposes into spirit.
There is some art to repurposing. Simply said – don’t change too much. Change as much as you have to while staying loyal to what you know is real. What is true about you is the eternal you. This is what anchors the local you through the bumpy transition from one stage to the next. Your eternal you, your higher self, loves to elevate on the journey your soul is opening up for you.
My parents never gave me the sex talk. I don’t know if it would have made much of a difference. There is so much happening in puberty it can be tough to have an impact on the teenage reality. Nowadays in middle age I can probably listen better and could use some of that conversation.
We can all use companionship going from the intensity of puberty and youth, through the adventure of young manhood to the intensity of an adult. The intensity of being an adult is to discover how to live with purpose. Purpose can be elusive in middle and old age.
Not being able to connect with some sense of purpose creates in a man anxiety and is an invitation to look into the abyss. That is why it is important for generations of men to speak to one another about: individual purpose, spiritual currency, functions of the soul, stages in life, emotional responsibility.
Individual Purpose – The combination of soul – spirit – mind- genes in each of us is unique. We all have a different purpose according to the planet and our destiny. Comparisons are futile. The point is to offer clean emotional residue to others and the planet as a result of dealing with the opportunities to grow as a human. This residue will have an impact on all aspects of your daily and soul life.
Spiritual Currency – Energy powers our brains, hearts, thoughts, hopes and beliefs. There are different types and levels of this energy. There is energy for: the physical body, mental processes, emotional sustenance and participating in high soul activity. Higher emotional powers are the ones that, when we don’t understand them, can contribute to a sense of being lost and lack of connection to our stage in life. Whereas when we do develop a higher emotional life of service we live with a sense of peace.
Stages in Life – Life changes us. You have a scar on your chin you didn’t have when you were 10 years old. You have habits you formed in your youth and goals you established as a young man. Over time we grow into another stage of life. Each stage has its new highlights and emerging capabilities. Often times from lack of understanding we experience emotional and physical changes (puberty, mid-life, children, marriage, the urge to find meaning…) as burdens or defects. Not true. They are challenges to put yourself out there. To create your own Satisfaction. To share Your Best Ego. Don’t limit yourself.
Functions of the Soul– The soul is employee of the month – every month of every year. The soulis reliable and always in the moment. Never yearning for the good old days or dreading its future. The soul takes the energy we connect it to and gets the most out of it.
Emotional Responsibility- With changes in each life stage we often don’t know what we are doing. This can cause us to perhaps blame others. Saying for example we never wanted to change, or we resist new people or situations because indeed they might open the door to a new you. This new you might leave behind old friends or introduce different vocabulary to your decision making.
The new you takes responsibility for how he feels. That can help to find a higher purpose that is a natural response to that intensity of middle age.
Then came the answer. Rodrigo was 8 and yelling into the valley.
Hey leave me alone – the valley copies him.
Don’t copy me!!- Rodrigo yells and turns his back on the valley. He’s a funny, smart 8.
2 long seconds later –
Don’t copy me.
Amazing fealty for an echo. It is Instagram before Instagram: a brief recording of the moment and then it is gone. I guess it’s a combination of the low valley architecture furnished in green with pine trees and sloping hills.
We caught on to what Rodrigo was doing – it gave us a good laugh.
The power of our echo is amazing. The impact the rebounding of our words and actions have in the lives of others.
This duration and the degree of the echo are always a product of one’s emotions.
The more invested we are in the other person the greater the duration of the echo. That can work both ways.
Combine that with the intention of the person plus the context and the echo could provide an uplifting harmony or a deafening noise puke.
We, men and women, are governed by the need of being loved and loving someone else.
How do the results of the Female Frixion rebound off the walls of love of her spouse? It is the acoustics of his sense of value for himself. That value can be anchored in his family, in how he takes care of his tools, his income, what people think of his wife. His value can also be self generated – so that way it is associated with higher connection (in contrast to external value that is dependent upon likeability). His self value in conjunction with his male instinct determine the harmonies he hears between the 3 roles of his wife.
So when communicating the Female Frixion to her partner she will will feel received, understood and appreciated. Or if the man doesn’t grasp the concept of Female Frixion, the woman eddies in the river of communication, then he will substitute something else as his understanding of her message although it is inaccurate. And that will be the basis of his decision making about her from then on. Commonly labeled: happy wife – happy life. Or it can get adversarial between people and the Female Frixion is cemented as a 3 headed monster that is apparently the source of all marital issues.
Or with self-Love in both people it can be cultivated into
A tricycle of love.
There are no short cuts between you and the truth. Whether that be you and not feeling alone (short cut is to find someone not your wife);
Feeling disconnected with manhood in midlife (short cuts include but not limited to, drugs/alcohol).
Feeling loved and loving. (Short cuts too many to list but they all boil down to abandoning yourself as a man.) You have to do the work.
You can be smart about what you are struggling with. This means elevate your emotional agility to attract perception about how to struggle better, struggle happy, struggle together.
A few days ago I came home with some flowers for my wife. I got them in the supermarket across the street. The prices are generally good for the bouquets of Iris she likes. When I walk into our condo she lights up when she sees the triangular paper shape of the wrapped up flowers. My daughter chimes in ‘Oh, are those for me …?’ She knows the answer. She gets flowers on birthdays. My wife gets them because she is my wife. A cold overcast January day is a fabulous day for flowers. Even though they are not for my daughter she gets over her feigned disappointment and unwraps them and points out they are a little damaged. Broken stem. No big deal. They still will bring life, colour and fragrance into our home.
The thing is, this has happened before: damaged flowers. Now it could have been in transit as the flowers likely came from California or Niagara. However, when I have bought flowers the woman wrapping them has treated them poorly, brusquely, for no apparent reason. It hasn’t happened often. But it makes me wonder. Everyone has bad days; doesn’t feel well; is underpaid and needs to let it out.
Other times it is the Female Frixion. It gets the better of them.
The Female Frixion is a natural urge that makes sense to women. This urge creates a friction between the three roles of women: Professional, Maternal, Romantic. Men, for their part, have: Professional, Paternal, Adventurer.
Each of those role loves its own flow and rising above the rasping of the roles. Women feel the fulfillment that goes by responding with vigour to life. When the fulfillment wanes the Female Frixion intensifies.
Perhaps the Female Frixion exists because as a society we don’t understand how a woman is configured. Speaking as a man about the education a man receives about a woman – we have no idea about the emotional engineering of a woman.
Then again this tug of war between the roles may have nothing to do with the configuration of a woman. This urge that pushes a woman in such a way may stem from a society that is not aligned to the nature of a woman. Something to be pondered…
This Female Frixion is at the nexus of the three roles; again those being professional, romantic and maternal. This internal conflict does not mean there is something wrong. The fact of the Female Frixion never implies or says men are better. Men would do very well to pay attention to the women in their life as they adjust and jump, or not, in response to the demands of the roles. Men can learn about being in connection with their instinct and how to be fluent in their emotional agility.
Angry young men are angry because their youth and future have been tarnished by lack of vision by weak elders who know fear and lack of resistance.
Young men will hit each other including the closest loved one within striking distance. Be it their mother or sister, girlfriend or wife.
Because they can’t handle life right now, in the moment. Life can get to be too much of not having enough. Too much of not being enough. It’s frustrating. It’s demoralizing. So It takes balls to not succumb to the forces of diminishment – and to want discover want kind of man you are – when the people in charge of the world have run it into the ground.
Thank God a new story is being written by elders-in-training who are:
Forgiving and then immediately use that conversation to take the reins of their emotions to support their mission;
Doing the personal development work to understand the many currents of daily and devotional life;
Elevating the conversations about intricacies and complications of the intertwining of relationships with life stages;
Insisting we appreciate that the planet unto herself is on a development journey called evolution.
And that all of these are powered by potent, far reaching forces. Forces that are received, translated and shared when we refine and simplify our needs and rituals to ‘love and be loved’.
Angry young men might have a valid argument for having anger issues.
Our golden retriever wasn’t very happy that my wife and I only took her on the short route for her evening walk. It was a chilly and windy December evening with the dusk fading rapidly. Returning home from the walk we turn left out of the elevator and our noses catch the smell of warm, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies that flavours the condo hallway air.
Once in our kitchen I gulp down two still- soft cookie creations. A Gooey, messy, tasty sugar rush.
My daughter is now watching a movie, having made the cookies and feeling fulfilled at accomplishing the task she set out to bake. In relation to the same event I am in the kitchen breathing the deep breaths of satisfaction, having been cookied.
Meanwhile my wife is savouring a sense of various fulfillments. She was connecting with her husband on the evening walk thus responding to the urge of her romantic(and now married) life. Arriving home to a proactive daughter she fills with pride that cannot be measured yet that is vital to her sense motherhood.
All of this after a day of the demands and successes of a full day of work.
We are all responsible for seeking Satisfaction and Fulfillment in our lives. As children we receive the guidance of parents and teachers.
The gradual acceptance of responsibility for our words and actions is part of engaging adulthood.
If we can engage this next step in life with confidence, curiosity and healthy coping mechanisms then we will find satisfaction with a positive outlook.
If we aren’t ready to manoeuvre in the adult realms then we can feel overwhelmed and look to relieve ourselves of the weight of responsibility. An effective technique for getting that relief is blame. Blaming others. Reacting unconsciously because we haven’t decided to grow into My Best Ego. So we make someone else the creator of our reality. We convince ourselves there is almost no possibility we could have had control of the circumstances that brought us here.
Young men need to be able to watch adults manage life with agility. Meaning a challenge is what happens when you grow. Challenges don’t make us feel dumb or frustrated. The challenge is not the one we encounter on the road of growth – outside of ourselves. The actual challenge is how we react and deal with the situation.
Do we frame the challenge as a nuisance to pushed to the side ? And as a result do the minimum? Or do we apply belief in our abilities thus converting the same challenge into a springboard for growth?
Seeing the challenge as an external hassle means we are giving the pen that writes our life story to someone else.
However the challenge is actually a light that we can shine on our own qualities. To ensure we are grasping that same pen to decide the lines of our own life story.
Grab the pen. Write your story.
Believe: in yourself, in your style of man, your kind of confidence, your version of strong, your adaptation of resourceful, your insight about elevating the expression of man.
Speak up about what you want. Speak out about what you feel.
Nurture your vision for tomorrow and Seek its Satisfaction. Offer to others a young man who knows what it takes to uphold a positive outlook even if the situation isn’t fair.
Seek something to love in the other person and Offer them something to love.
Make the higher more important than the lower – as a first step look for solidarity-in- love with others.If they can’t locate their higher self then be their external resource for them to generate self love. Think about it – now – and again.
Ego love.Love the service that your ego provides to your higher development life.The ego level of you needs approval and attention to be included and feel important.So you seek people that give you all those things.But not at the expense of your ability to grow. Remember Your Best Ego is the foundation for your Higher Soul.
Angry young men are justified in being angry because they have no real rites of passage that help them mark stages in life while grasping their significance.
I remember at my confirmation the crusty, guest priest went up and down the first 2 pews in the church asking each person being confirmed what their chosen name was. Mine was Peter. The name meant nothing to me really.
Another guy had chosen Michael so the priest made some comment on the meaning of that name.
We were about 30 people to be confrmed. I think all of us were around 13 years old except for a few adults The adults chose to be there. I felt no impending transformation or need to give myself a different name. The name identifies the new you that confirms the belief in God your parents claimed at your baptism. Yet I have never used the additional name and it embodies nothing for me.
When a coming of age ceremony is conducted by someone with dignity there is a transference of the truth based struggle for self – awareness to the participants. The concept of taking on a new name is so it is an anchor for this peak moment of nervous inspiration and cellular refinement. This new name carries the authenticity of life so far combined with the courage and skills that we engage through our transformation.
Generally we have starved our sensibilities to the planet and the journey of human development. As a result the point of rites of passage is lost on most of us.
A man might project confidence, indifference or toughness but in many cases he is not in sync with the role of his soul. The soul is the bridge from child to youth, from youth to adult, from adult to elder. Each of these involves a transformation of you that is witnessed and celebrated. Witnessing allows the man to know that he is supported while he may feel lost or not know which direction to point his daily decisions. Those who support our young men know he must grow as a capable man that finds solutions not excuses. That seeks insights not openings to ridicule. That wants companionship not violence.
Just because he is angry does not justify violence against women. And just because he is lost and can’t find a good guide or mentor doesn’t justify violence against women.
Rather, his transformation into an emotionally agile man is to be celebrated so people can sense he is a unique expression of manhood and tribe.
Rites of passage can be simple. They can be ancient poems or spontaneous encouragements as long as the sentiment is to locate and appreciate the young man in the hyper–now of his life.
Rites of passage can be with just one witness or a ceremony followed by a big party.
Young men can have a conversation at 7:30 on a Tuesday with a man about life, about women and making love, about expressing the urge to love-and-be -loved, about personal religion, about posture and martial arts and The Art of War and oration and humility, about dancing, about making money and doing business and a good sense of humour, about nature spirits and healing and self respect. Any combination of those important topics can do the job of bridging the adolescent into the next stage. We as a tribe need to create these rites of life stage change. Or just connect the ceremonies we already have with a human development journey.
How young men end up being angry young men and probably violent even though they don’t want to be.
A man by design is an authentic, brave, believing expression of the man version of human.
Alas, what you meet on the street or get into an elevator with is likely an insecure jumble of random goals, half baked intentions and unrealistic self-help affirmations.
Regardless of his facade many a man is a cocktail of doubt and aggression. In many of us men this seamlessly translates into very little self-confidence to access our natural emotional agility to be able to listen. We can listen. We listen to deliver satisfaction. However if the person speaking seeks fulfillment, instead of getting either satisfaction or fulfillment, we have conflict.
Men are great at one thing: being men. The art of Being a man is doing that one thing to get many results. Like going to work pays you money but also brings you satisfaction, admiration from your family, peace for spouse/children and life education for challenges ahead.
Society’s life education about men and women is lacking to the point of being harmful. Therefore the level of man in the world today is low when compared to our abilities and innate sentiments.
It is exactly these beautiful emotions a man has for those who surround him that he needs to shine on himself. That way each man can be his own salvation or inspiration or …
Now because women are naturally different they very often arrive at certain insights via different avenues before a man does. Women might assume that men will, and should, have complimentary insights.
Our history of interpersonal conflict illustrates that men don’t work like that at a societal level. We can create a new narrative for men.
A man connected to his natural spontaneity, vision and get-up-and-go will have put himself in the position to observe the similarities with women in the desire to grow and the differences in their expressions.