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:
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.
Listen closely and you can hear it whisper… I spent the first six months of this pandemic enraged. Mostly due to an overwhelming feeling of burden regarding all the additional domestic chores the pandemic added to our plates. ALL! THE! DISHES! The unending cycle of meal prep and the virtual school tug-of-war with my children – least…
By Aron Moss Marriage is a pretty bizarre concept. It must have been G‑d’s idea. Who else could think of such a wacky plan like bringing together two opposites and putting them under one roof to share a life? And who else could invent an institution as beautiful and powerful as marriage? It’s wacky—but it works. It […]
Imagine your three big terracotta flower pots on the sunny side of the house where the tomato plants soak up the sun. Even though they have that bitter tomato plant fragrance they smell fabulous in the summer afternoon heat. The pots where the chile plants were sown and watered got grouped by the gate in the shadow of the big tomato plant pots.
Due to the conditions the tomatoes ripen and each plant gives lots of fruit. Whereas the chiles are small and few. The chiles have the same desire to grow. Tomatoes grow into tomatoes. Chiles into chiles. Their success depends a lot on the local conditions.
The local conditions in a woman includes her management of the Female Frixion (see below).
The local conditions in a man are impacted by his dealing with life through the Male Stack.
This is not fanning the flames of the battle of the sexes. It’s not saying there is a competition to achieve self-realization as a man or woman. It’s not a race to embody your gender before your spouse embodies theirs. It’s not a comparison because we are talking apples and oranges here.
Women are oscillating while men are projecting.
Women get lonely – and seek out companionship. Men get lost – and need direction.
Men will proclaim when a woman in the same situation will reflect.
The Female Frixion generates an emotional conflict in women about the prevalence of one of the three lives in the moment or stage of life. Those lives are: Professional, Romantic and Maternal. In men they are: Professional, Romantic and Paternal. Men don’t live the same friction of feeding these three lives in the same way. Women internalize the friction and men externalize the stress. Women make themselves responsible for their emotions about the 3-way balance of these inner lives. Men can often not understand how or why they would be responsible for their own emotions.
Each woman struggles for years with this aspect of their life. Often it can make them not feel good about themselves. A woman might start to think she is not ’a good mother’. The truth may be she is a good mother but the friction that follows her around, like a 4 year old girl follows around her older sister, won’t let her in peace.
This friction heightens her awareness to her inner lives and cultivates the connection with her instinct. Her instinct is about life. Her female instinct responds to the moment that her mind is focused on. It is not simply her instinct about how she feels about her emotions. That is included. But it needs to be understood that her instinct, the instinct, is fast and true and collects no emotional baggage. We collect the baggage with our low emotion ego trolling. The more emotional luggage we insist on hauling around life the less we can listen to and recognize the instinct.
Lateral consideration of the three lives all at once that is the mental/emotional process of women is in contrast to the vertical surging that is the one-at-a-time male style process. This is the Male Stack. Instead of a need to bring all three lives forward with the same grace and focus like a woman, the man engages one life at a time. The male life management style may appear to require less subtlety and finesse from the man himself because according to him ‘it is what it is,’ ‘what you see is what you get.’ That is the challenge staring each man in the face: To make his living of the three lives in his own unique way a vertically integrated generator of male instinctual response.
Because the female consideration is not as reactive as the surging male she can appear to be powered by an unsure woman. That is not always true. Perhaps rarely true.
The decision making circuitry to decide about the same thing as a man is different in a woman. That needs to be understood. And appreciated. So it can impact our lives. Reflected upon so it can impact our marriages. Impact our language, sayings, expectations, our workplace (like making workplace based daycare more possible).
An excellent illumination on the reality of women’s decision making is How Women Decide by Therese Huston. The book focuses on the extra and unfair work a woman has to do quickly, mentally in the moment to make her decision appear as valid as possible in the eyes of men. Huston also delves into the innate decision making differences between men and women. She highlights if a woman can grasp how to utilize her natural mental/emotional circuitry in a business setting then she can deactivate the resistance to her style of thinking. For our personal relationships the useful insights that are supported with how-to ideas are relevant to generating good conversation with your spouse to elevate understanding.
When we choose we, men and women, can update our beliefs about women. We can learn a lot if we take the time and observe how this friction is a reality. Communicate the fact of it and tell stories about it. Resist the laziness that permits this difference to damage and not enlighten. Resist blaming a woman for being a woman.
Women are not better than men. Men are not better than women. However because of the Female Frixion women are generally more true to their nature than men are to theirs.
This lack of connection with one’s essence as a man can cause stress in a man. Without a strong emotional core, a man under stress can blame others for wanting to help him, he can delve into some form of drugs (including the internet). A man, even if he is really a good man, if he feels stressed, unappreciated or lost can get angry and become violent.
Most likely women would think men experience this friction between the inner lives but they don’t. So in difficult moments that require a couple to be on the same page, they often aren’t. This can convert an important or difficult conversation into an argument. Faster than we can stop it. The argument is powered not by the issue being discussed but by the lack of understanding. And exacerbated by how we feel about not being understood or understanding.
If women have the Female Frixion to connect them to their instinct, what do men have? What can be the sand in the seashell that is a positive friction to produce a pearl?
What do you stand for? As a man, husband.
What do you uphold? In the stress of providing for your family on a daily basis and also in the search for a sense of purpose.
How agile are you within the Male Stack (of the three lives)?
Do you want to cultivate your response to the instinct?
What do you adhere to? When the conversation turns sexist.
What do you cause in others? By what you resist.
What are you in service to? For immediate and lifetime results.
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.
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.
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.
It was in the cold dark of April 14, 1912 in early morning on the north Atlantic ocean the Titanic changed course. Drastically. It went from horizontal to vertical. Pretty quickly. The luxury steamship was dubbed unsinkable. It’s a story so famous that over 100 years later anything that is a colossal event is deemed titanic . As a result of the tragic loss of life on that night two years later in 1914 the international treaty Safety of Life At Sea (SOLAS) was adopted by seafaring nations. The following is from the international Maritime Organization website http://www.imo.org/EN/Pages/Default.aspx “The main objective of the SOLAS Convention is to specify minimum standards for the construction, equipment and operation of ships, compatible with their safety.”
Silken Laumann might say she had more than one ‘Titanic’ moment in her life. As a result of cumulative events in her life she wrote her 2014 memoir Unsinkable. The book, in turn, led her to create the storytelling platform Unsinkable. https://weareunsinkable.com is a way for people, not unlike the titanic passengers, to ask for a life line. For people to share about the challenges of keeping it all together.
Why would Ms. Laumann feel the need to do that? Silken Laumann was a remarkable athlete. Rowing for Canada she won Olympic medals in rowing pairs with her sister Daniele in 1984 and singles sculls in 1992 and 1996.
Rowing is gruelling. Every time you get in the boat it asks every muscle to give 100 % focus with unreasonable frequency for an extended time.
For a decade Silken Laumann was the best in the world at being unreasonably extended. She was a graceful champion, a respecting winner and a proud participant whether she was hoisting the World Championship trophy, bringing home two shiny silver medals or the amazing 1992 bronze medal in the Barcelona Olympics.
If it wasn’t daunting enough to be the rower everyone wants to beat going into the ‘92 Olympics, Laumann was severely injured with just 10 weeks to go before the games. In a rowing accident all the tendons in her right leg were severed when another boat crashed into her in warm-ups for a race. In quick succession she had 4 major surgeries to repair the leg. Then there was the rehab to be able to just walk. The thing was, Laumann needed to be able to row again. Quickly. She set her sights on participating in the Olympics. In the healing/training she got to feel some sense of peace in the flow of her glide over the surface of the water. She was going to the Olympics! Medaling? Could she medal? She did. Awesome.
In her book we learn about the inspiring athlete as a mother, daughter, sibling, woman and wife. And it’s not all a pretty picture. She has her family; she loves and gets loved. Through this book about Laumann’s life we can see the three main Life Roles that all women and men enliven.
What follows is a straightforward breakdown of the similarities and difference between female and male roles. They are obviously macro in their application however this in no way diminishes their saliency in your daily life. The three Roles are:
Woman as: Professional, Romantic, Maternal
Man as: Professional, Romantic, Paternal
No doubt these roles will be flavoured by all surrounding persuasions including: the culture you grew up in, the religion you know, social-economic level you live in, your active beliefs and the conformity of the society where you live.
As we develop into these three adult Life Roles they become as obvious in their existence as they are varied in their Satisfactions and Fulfillments.
These Roles are not a cultural invention or a societal typecasting. It is a natural way the human Soul frames your daily experience. It is a framework through which you absorb meaning in life. One is not better than the other. The spouse making more money than their partner is not winning the marriage game.
Your intriguing sibling travelling around the world can have great stories, photos and souvenirs that marvel your children. It is not a competition. Nor are you are not a martyr for putting your family first. Having one Life Role in abundance doesn’t make up for another Role. No matter the the success in one role it just doesn’t translate into fulfillment into another Role.
We proportion our life energy across these three ‘people’ we have become. There are no martyrs. Some women who care for their children despite no help from the father, or even enduring abuse, are definitely putting the lives and emotions of their children before theirs. They need to be recognized for their adherence to the Maternal Role when the Man simply doesn’t have the balls to man up to the Paternal Life. She is living the reality of her Maternal Life. Her Maternal journey is forever intertwined with the Paternal Journey of the father be it a one night stand or high school sweethearts that know no other lover.
Grab a Pen
Describe your Paternal Profile you want your wife to use as a resource as a mother/woman.
Describe the Maternal Journey you want your wife to know.
The Paternal/Maternal roles almost always are focused on raising your own children. However there are other versions of these roles that include adopting, fostering, uncling and aunting. The question is how do you want to get Satisfaction when you nurture others? Regardless if you are a parent. What is your skill of encouraging the nature of others. The nature of a mother that thrives within your wife?
Recipe for Romance =. The Genuine You + in the moment + Loving and being Loved.
Romance is not something you cause in the other person. Romance is not gifts, reservations at the hottest restaurant or your go-to perfume. It is a wave of belief in you and living in the moment and loving who you are with. As with anything there are low versions and high versions. Dollar store ‘romance’ is just some guy using a pick up line in a bar to get a girl in bed. When we refine our romance we are rising out of lust of the loins and into the love of ‘loving and being loved’. Sex may or may not be included. It’s not to say the moment of lust is a bad thing – simply it is not love. It is lust powered romance. So we cannot be surprised at what follows.
Romance is seeing and being seen. Romance is you being made special. Romance is loving a woman for who and what she is. Romance is in your smile; Is in your care and caress. It’s in your eyes and your vision. It’s in making something happen. It’s you creating a mood by how you synthesize the moment, the place and the people. Romance works because you want to be with her and that inspires her to shine.
Remeber Ryan Gosling in the 2011 movie Crazy, Stupid Love when his big move is the final dance scene from Dirty Dancing? If he can use cheesy movies to make himself look all suave, what can you come up with?
Professional is your work life. It is your engagement with the business world. You may be an employee or entrepreneur, constructor or performer. You might be an artist or volunteer. All of these and everything that is wrapped up into this territory is part of your Professional Life. This includes the clothes you wear, the lexicon you use, the team you are a part of. You can work from home by yourself or in a manufacturing plant of 2,000 people.
The book is a list of beliefs that are using years of clinical research to minimize misleading assumptions about the Professional Role.
Lie #1 People Care Which Company They Work For
While people might care which company they join, they don’t care which company they work for. The truth is, once there, people care which team they’re on.
Looked at through a lens of understanding relationships, since teams thrive or die on those connections, let’s apply the Buckingham/Goodall declaration to marriage.
While guys might care what other people might think about them as a man according to the type of wife they married the guy’s decision making is actually run by love. Once the wedding and honeymoon are a done deal they are more concerned with the quality of married life as opposed to when or whether they were going to marry. As with any team, a marriage can go awry. And for basically the same reason: The ‘Me’ of one spouse is bigger then the ‘We’ of the married couple.
Teams have managers and HR departments. Husband and wife have to look at each other without a mediator. Lacking a third vector to diffuse a situation it is inevitable that marriage gets adversarial. Marriage is supposed to work as the uniting plasma fueled by shared purpose and understanding to generate a new perception. Our poor grasp of the interaction of the three Life Roles in each of us and the person that produces means we are a long way from sharing more than issues of maintenance and stress.
There is always overlap between the impact of on Life Role on the other two.
However one thing for men to take is: Women already knew this. In Lie #1 there is one word that is repeated three times: care. It’s a four letter word. Care of the ‘We’ and care of the ‘Me’ for her is different to yours. It can be very difficult to understand the difference but you can still respond to your wife with care instead of remarking on the difference in your care. Because you care.
Mind sprout This book called Satisfaction is about you responding with sincerity because you want your wife to shine in her Maternal, Professional and Romantic roles. Sow this seed of belief in the real Romantic Life of Women, make sure the love of your life sees you cultivate it and make sure she feels the cornucopia of its harvest.
A thought for women to ponder: … your husband loves you, he does. In the cells of a man he remembers you said yes. To him. Of all the guys out there you agreed to minimizing your loneliness, answering your urge for companionship and engaging in a relationship with him as your groom. But more importantly it is just you and him in your marriage. And that is what he cares about. He will express his care in backassward ways, or cheap and cheesy ways because that is what he can come up with in the moment. So. obviously, your groom needs help. In many ways. One way he needs help is knowing that you grasp that he loves you and the impact that has on him. He feels it very intensely and immensely. Like a teenager. To the point of explosion. When in the cases of men with low self esteem bad things happen. Because he has no idea how to handle himself when he gets to his limits of understanding. understanding of emotion, of marriage, of women and their fluidity through the three Life Roles.
He has no idea how to access His Best Ego. No idea what he wants. Other than to be loved (the company) … by you (the team).
Ambition – Getting Satisfaction in your Professional Life does not mean settling for something lesser than reaching the summit. If you are an ambitious person then your Satisfaction is not only getting the sale but making the biggest sale of the month or in your branch. Satisfaction in other forms is equally valid. Like the relief and pride of someone who just landed a steady job to feed their family.
Like water can heat up into scalding steam, freeze into rock hard ice or flow as water itself. It is all water. The message of nature here is to be you in all moments even when they require you to adapt. Or especially when they require you to adapt because the broader your range of ability the greater your chance and cumulative energy for Satisfaction.
Enliven these three Life Roles so you can be agile in the pursuit of Satisfaction without abandoning your standards. Ambition without standards brings no Satisfaction that is of value to others.
Your Romantic Life includes adventure. You can adventure out a whole day for a mountain bike ride and finish off with a swim in the lake. You can be by yourself. Nothing wrong with that when you are living your Romantic Role.
Lots of people who have a life partner have little, no, or even toxic Romantic activity in their life. They go to work, come home, eat, clean, and check their Facebook. Repeat the next day. No sense of fun, learning and growing, discovery, intimacy, spontaneity or feeling loved and valued.
The Romantic Role is the amorous you and also the adventurous you. You are curious about things, even if it is about your tomato plants that grow so well. It also can be seen in your getting up at 4 am on Saturday morning because you want to beat the traffic out of the city and get on the hiking trail as the sun comes up. Drink your steaming morning cup of tea up on the cliff look-out. Take in the moment.
Paternal/Maternal is the nurturing you. You don’t have to have children or even have nieces and nephews. This Life Role is about providing services to others. For people who have children it is deemed a moral obligation to come through with parenting services for your sons and daughters. If you have no children, won’t have any, or they are grown up, this Life Role still calls you. To a child you are an Elder. Your bones radiate wisdom, your blood carries guidance, the look from your eyes projects understanding.
Give the moment of now your Satisfaction of the Life Role being asked of you in the moment.
With the Life Stage we pass through (male, man, gentleman) have little choice to participate in each subsequent stage. Not so for the Life Role. When we choose to inject our sincerity and love into the Life Role we give it so much power. For example when in the Professional Role, our work life, we give it our focus to get the best result for the company and professional Satisfaction for us. This can translate into us being ready for the role that is on the back burner. Often it is the Maternal/Paternal Life. Below that is the Romantic Life that can often be pushed aside and forgotten. You could say it is in the rumble seat. This seat was an option on some cars in the 1930’s that carried its passengers on the outside of the car. This feeling of just being along for the ride is probably what it feels for a lot of women, and some men, when they are reflecting on their Romance life.
Red says ‘I do red’. Blue says ‘I feel like blue’. Both insist they are right – which they are. However for relationship purposes there is a requirement to agree that no one colour is better than another. Sometimes one colour is more appropriate for the situation than another. Together in a unique moment they make something new – purple. Some days their version of purple will appear as a cooling curtain of mauve because she (being blue) wants to do things based on her feelings. Her feelings are based in the Fulfillment of The Female Frixion. Other times a bold magenta will be the shade of their relationship because he (being red) needs Satisfaction of The Male Stack.
The Female Frixion
This is the woman’s experience with managing the feeling of the three Life Roles of: Professional, Maternal and Romantic.
Let’s Remember: Women and Men are Equally Valid. So are their differences.
Our feelings about these differences may not be a fair expression of Woman or Man. Just because he doesn’t understand the difference between women and men doesn’t mean he is wrong, bad or stupid. It does mean he needs to learn. Perhaps he should have known already – before being married for 5 or 10 or 15 years. Yes, that’s right. Who should have passed on this wisdom to him? His dad and his mom. His coaches, teachers, uncles and aunts, religious mentors?
This is important because the nature of her decision making just doesn’t fit into a decision making based a worldview skewed to the male experience. The Female Frixion is the feeling in a woman that while she is focusing on one of the three Life Roles she is keeping at bay there response to the other two lives. There is a competition of the roles for the woman’s energy. The priorities are nagging at her. Without sincere communication of understanding from him about this fact, she can start to think this internal emotional wiring is a fault. Her fault. That a woman’s worry and wavering, consideration and between the lives is a flaw in her personally. The truth is this is not the case. It is what makes a woman attractive and different, beautiful and frustrating,
It does suggest, however, that a woman probably has more traffic with her instinct because it nudges her, daily, momentarily on the management of the three Life Roles.
We can all improve our parenting skills, our relationship/marriage communication and our professional participation. This needs imptrove impacts the decision making of women on a decision by decision basis. Not so much in a man.
It’s not that men don’t care. They do. They want to be successful. He wants to be a loving husband and a competent father. It just doesn’t cause an internal conflict in him the same way it does in a woman. She is not worse for giving this internal conflict energy. Nor is she better because often her mental process can provide perspective and inclusion that men don’t. But it sure is valuable. And could well be used in leadership, business, personal religion, environmental policy, hospital design, food production, couples therapy, curriculum design, etc.
Again he is not lacking anything because he doesn’t think along the lines of this conflict. The fact that this Female Frixion is not the male reality as well is confusing to all participants. The fact that we don’t even know it exists it puts an unseen, unnecessary stress on our relationship. This can be infuriating. Some infuriated, and unsatisfied men can suddenly become a violent man. Even if he doesn’t want to be violent. Even if he doesn’t want to hit his wife. But some men do. Even insult or threaten her because in the moment he got to the limit of his understanding of women ,of life stages, of life roles of the counsel from his mentors.
Men need to hear from Women about the Female Friction
Imagine this: For him it is a no brainer deciding about which daycare. They can argue or agree about the price or the location or the reputation of the business or the policies around health or holidays. For him that is all part of making up your mind. For her it is an influence on her sense of managing the three Life Roles: it causes internal friction in her but not in him. Men don’t have this friction so they don’t feel it permeating daily life. “What’s wrong?” He asks frustrated because there is something she is not saying. “Is it the price?” “Is it the location?” “What is it?” “Is it me?” “Is it what my mother will say or think, or what you think my mother will think?” Maybe. But her thoughts are getting powered by the invisible Female Frixion. There may be no problem but she still has to manage the Female Frixion because it is real.
The Male Stack
The way to relate the Female Frixion to the male management of the three Life Roles is to picture them as blocks.
Men deal with their roles one at a time, handling the stress that comes with their work or their parenting tasks or relationship. Likewise women have their version of life’s stress in the same three Life roles yet there is an added stress of feeling all three, at the same time, all the time.
Men are thinking vertically and women are feeling horizontally. Men are scouting linearly and women are observing in the same direction in a spiral fashion. Men are useful for being matter of fact about certain decisions while women are to be valued for bringing their varied considerations in their own time.
Related to this, I was having a conversation with a retired man on the driveway to his home. He told me that he used to be a chemist so he was very exact in how he looked at life. While talking I commented I could still smell the fragrant lilac bush beside his house. It was mid June so it was past its flowering prime but still offered a strong and beautiful perfume. Yes, he said the garden was good but lots of work. His wife, he told me, would tell him to move a flower pot to the other side of the yard. And then look at it and ask him to move it right back. He was frustrated by this non logical approach to gardening. And his back hurt from gardening and also caring for his grandson.
The chemist’s wife’s Fulfillment is valid regardless if it is not linear or logical. From the way I heard him talking he needs to learn that. And add to that a knowing that following her requests is actually feeding the romantic life between them. Just shut up and move the flower pot. Stop whining and before bed take a bath with epsom salts.
What is your SOLAS? Recall at the beginning of this chapter a positive outcome of the Titanic sinking was the development and global adoption of the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) treaty. The treaty declared there were “minimum requirements for construction, equipment and operation of ships …” So what are yours? At work: what are your professional ethics when selling: When managing a team or leading a company? In your family: how do you teach children, create boundaries and guide them into their future? In your Romantic Life is there attraction or repulsion, warmth or cordiality, growing love or a plateaued marriage?
Is there some personal character trait you can apply and adjust to all three Life Roles?
Perhaps The minimum requirement would be respect for the other person taking into account about them whatever you want others to take into account about you. This would include Life Roles, Life Stages, Devotional Life urges, momentary and accumulated Satisfaction/Fulfillment. That’s a lot to take into account. But that is what is happening and more all the time. All the more reason to be in touch with one’s instinct and in the flow of your life trajectory.
To construct you need a foundation or foundational materials. Personal foundations based on upbringing and life experience. Woman or man foundations to uphold what is true and illuminating about your version of woman or your version of a man. Human foundations of the qualities you want to make relevant now and cause to be immortal at least to you.
Equipment in the human case includes: High and Low emotions, brains and mind, soul and spirit all packaged nicely into a self healing human body.
Operations get tricky. We are talking about Psychology, Ego, ambition, communication, worldly meaning and Higher Purpose all having seen and unseen impacts on our mood, decision making and ability to listen, see and understand things for the way they actually are.
The construction of a Life Role requires a lot of input from other people like your mom, colleague, uncle, sister, wife, neighbour, husband. Is there a mix of humility to accept other people’s ideas and the confidence to know you are a good mother or father?
What will your life partner say you are steadfast about in your Romantic Life?
What can your colleagues rely on you for because your Professional Life has proven you repeatedly uphold (specific human qualities) _________________
U smile. Justin Bieber’s anthem on the infectiousness of infatuation. Both people are smiling for the same reason but doing so each in their unique way.
Likewise, we all have a unique response to Life Stages. Some guys don’t move out of their parents basement until they are 32 years old (because their parents sold the house). Then there are the girls who get kicked out of the house when they get pregnant at 18 years old.
So there can be confusion. For the young woman she will be a mother by the time she is 19 years old yet she is barely entering the adult stage. The maternal role can be forced on a woman quite early so she finds herself late at night panicked by her baby that doesn’t stop crying. That same night her teenaged friends are posting on instagram from an awesome party with no worries about motherhood. Then again a 38 year old woman can yearn for years until pregnancy magically arrives. Both are valid expressions of Maternal life of a woman. Hopefully they are accompanied by an equally valid expression of a Paternal life from the man, the father.
Just take a look at The Bieber himself. His Professional Life ignited at 13 years old when he was discovered in Stratford, Ontario by music promoter Scooter Braun. Considering his age he handled himself with aplomb. His response to the call to come into his own as an adult has been well documented on social media. He mixes a double hydrogen dose of humility with the oxygen of confidence giving life to his broad range of talents. His emergence from a boy into a man has been a struggle just like it is for you and me.
Life Stages aren’t the same as Life Roles. Life Stages are the development episodes of life from radiant newborn to marvellous infant and quickly into curious child. The child lurches towards adolescence when, as teenagers, we battle with the intensity of youth. The intensity of youth is almost smothered by the responsibility felt by the adult life. Then the (in)famous midlife: what will the midlife crisis reveal? As if emerging from a pressure chamber we appear as an elder.
The Life Roles of Maternal/Paternal, Professional and Romantic are addressed in another chapter. These Roles are another world unto themselves that we have to manage at the same time as grow and develop. By no means are Life Stages the same as the various parenting tasks or marriage realities. Regardless if you have a life partner, get married or have children you will be processed by these Life Stages all the same way.
Having children, while its impact is undeniable, does not make any Life Stage more difficult unto itself. Anyone will have less time and energy to think about where they are on the metamorphosis of maturity if you have 3 children under the age of 5. Inevitably your sense of Satisfaction or Fulfillment will be complicated by the moment to moment experience of your life partner in their current Life Stage.
Being single means you have the freedom to complicate your own life. And as quickly simplify it. A 45 year old man married for 23 years and a single man of the same age can equally draw anxiety or Satisfaction from their Life Stage. They will rationalize the negative or positive of their life through the range of events with people, emotions and emotional baggage in their life.
The three Life Stages are: Youth, Adult and Elder. They are ready with experiences and uncertainty. Hey, are we going to find love and all the healing that comes with that?
Each stage has its function: Youth is to gorge on experience and program you for the challenges to come; Being in the Adult role is to apply your personal algorithms to life so that you can actually grow and not feel left behind. Elder is to beacon into the generations that follow from your inner core the path forward. Elders offering settlement and belief is crucial for the people in mid-life who are stressing with payments and relationships and the undercurrent of meaning or purpose.
You are responsible for you in all Life Stages – You are accountable for your actions. You are the generator of your own emotions. Nobody has control over you. No matter how much you get frustrated and angry because you don’t understand your wife. No matter how confused you get about what you want and why. No matter how bad you think you look. For everyone the stages of life cause us to feel out of sorts So it is good to partner with whatever will outlive your current stage in life. Of course one candidate for partnership is your ego that will never leave your side until your dying day. Another potential partner is your soul. Unlike the ego, the soul is true to your growth as a person and a human.
Taking responsibility for our Emotions is a fabulous personal development step to offer our life partner. You can be right. You might be wrong. You probably forget. We all do. What is the challenge is to be accountable for our words and actions. More to the point is to understand the ripples and waves that we can cause in others. Ripples of amusement or frustration; waves of love and appreciation.
Please Remember: Your soul will never leave you, it is always true to your Satisfaction and Fulfillment.
Mind Sprouts: About mid-life – it is a natural stage lasting a decade or so and unto itself does not come prepackaged with a crisis. We create the crisis. When we can’t find a purpose we create drama. Welcome to your crisis. If you are 45 years old then it gets labelled as your midlife crisis. We all do dumb, or spontaneous or silly or regrettable things at different stages of life. No doubt you have seen, or been the guy with the sporty yellow convertible that is a man cave on wheels.
Mid life is a re-orientation. The crisis comes from lacking orientation before getting to mid life. So it makes a lot of sense if you feel unoriented and fall into panic because something is lacking in life …. there is an elusive Satisfaction at some level …
Previous to mid life we were growing as a preponderance. Somewhere around mid life, growing gets accompanied by the development of our Higher Soul response to life. Whether we are aware of it or not. Our body and soul are expecting us to answer a calling or a nudge for a Devotional life. A Devotional life can yank us out of any mid life potholes. A life with purpose can transcend some or all of the weight of depression.
Believe it or Not: Who you marry is not who you divorce. What? Yes it is the same person but not the same woman. The person you are divorcing is not the woman who said yes to ‘Will you marry me?’. Here there is zero (0) room for blame. If someone refuses to let themselves be urged by the Human Soul into the man they are meant to be then they end up changing without growing. We all change. We always change. That’s the force of the trajectory of Life Stages The conflict comes when we don’t keep up with the change by accompanying inevitable change with personal growth. Grasp the difference between change and growth. Change is the same person in different clothes. Growth is you with new power that you learn to connect to. Growth is you learning that loving yourself is at the same time simple yet weird and beautiful. Growth is keeping up with the moving sidewalk that is the process of Life Stages.
You decide. Daily. You can stagnate. Or you can Grow. Leading yourself to developing your Personal Religious Life. Think Transcendence. Think My Best Ego.
Know this: What you want and the Life Stage you find yourself in are distinct. They can seem to be aligned to the same goal of your happiness and success. They can also be adversarial. As a means to not have your life direction usurped by the demands of any Life Stage yet at the same time not running away from the reality of where you are now, it is useful to decide what you want. It’s a lifelong process to repeatedly declare and refine what you want then follow through with action. Decide and communicate what you want as a: spouse, man/woman, parent, human. Have the humility, agility and confidence to provide constancy in their pursuit.
Nothing Personal. Satisfaction is you getting to your limit of deriving value from the experience. Sometimes we never can get enough: think of sports, drinking, gossip, shopping.
Life stages finish according to their schedules regardless if you were the best or the worst at that stage. Regardless if you did what you said you were going to do. Regardless if your wife knows that you really do love her for who she is.
Read – Erik Erikson, the German-American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst is known for his theory of psychosocial development. In The 8 Stages of Human Development there are very useful ‘conflicts’ that are highlighted that help us grasp what each stage is asking of us as we move through life. Themes like Intimacy versus Isolation and Generativity versus Stagnation are two that seem to apply well to a man’s need for Satisfaction and a woman’s need for Fulfillment.
Nature analogy The opportunity to see our reflection in nature with respect to Life Stages is abundant: The seed is a magical germination, the roots are reaching out for minerals, sprouts break through the earth with focus, the trunk surges towards a life giving sun, a blossoming of colour and fragrance accompanied by a fruit carrying the seed of the next generation.
In the chapter on Habits, Routines and Rituals we saw how champion chess player Bobby Fischer was able to rise above his own, widely known and expected, opening Routine in order to win. He made the moment more important than the past. Instead of the assumption he would start with 1e4, he opened 1c4. For me a no chess layer the change is minimal but in the chess world of the moment it was brilliant mayhem. 1e4 means moving your pawn that is in front of your queen 2 spaces forward. 1c4 is moving your pawn in front of your bishop 2 spaces forward. In the intense public spotlight and with years of the same opening move of he was still able to think for himself. He was in service to a higher master: world champion status.
And this is the challenge. In the moment of battle, be it world chess championship or an argument in your marriage or a strategic decision at work, can you address the adversarial with spontaneity. Is there a higher level of meaning or connection that you seek? This search for the way forward will lubricate your options at operational levels. Like when you give in and just agree with your wife when things get heated just to avoid a yelling match. You go beyond you …
Be Self Transcendental… It is mystical sounding terminology. Mysterious allusions to sessions wafting with incense and ensconced in chanting. What it boils down to is you getting over yourself. Getting over your low emotions about what is happening to you. Getting over your reaction to the Life Stage you are experiencing. Getting over your lack of foresight and your lack of discipline or spontaneity and self belief.
Transcending your historyallows you to be persuaded by your instinct, so the moment flows through you, the light radiates out from you.
The world doesn’t need your version of the hero/victim emotional pendulum. Meaning that you think your ideas are awesome yet you still feel you are still under appreciated and hard done by life. As a result you are going to usurp your conversations at work etc. as your therapy. So that when you are finished talking you feel better. Even though it can be made sense of it is not fair to conversation. Or the other person.
The nature of conversation is therapeutic. It is the back and forth aspect of people emptying out that massages their existing and exiting feelings and ideas so they can bring in new ones. It is the give and take of talk and listen, of confirm and refine. It’s refusing to be brought down by a person or topic while resisting judging others for where they are in the moment. If we realize how to benefit from it, conversation offers transcendence.
How do you transcend the darkness and step toward the light – by yourself and for yourself? How do you use your past and not be used by it? How do you rise above your fear, your stress, your limits, your anger and assumptions?
Awesome transcendence options include:
Seeking a connection with nature
Offering others a person on a development journey
Updating your Beliefs
Highlighting Your Best Ego
Being responsible for your High and Low Emotions
Mind Sprout: Transcending yesterday’s Satisfaction to get a new, different Satisfaction does not make yesterday dumb or waste of time. That is how growth works. Who knows exactly why you had to be the way you were yesterday.
Change is not the focus. That’s doing things the hard way. . That’s the style of military basic training. Where they break down the new recruits as a means to build them back up again according to military objectives. This way those young men think they owe the military inhuman loyalty for making them a man; for providing them some sense of belonging and a purpose. Well. Those military psychologists are on the mark that the vitality generating exercises recruits perform accompanied by the camaraderie are crucial components of a healthy person. The military, ISIS among others, are abundantly aware that a young man craves direction like a heroin addict scrounging for their next high.
Juxtapose the previous with the following
Improve the connection with what is possible as opposed to breaking what made us impossible. What is possible? Us the intuitive, us the provocative and proactive, us the inspired, the spontaneous.
1. You have ways, many ways to elevate into the person you want to be; the person your soul knows you to be.
2. In a moment of reflection … imagine … there you are, on the balcony, cupping, smelling your hot coffee, as the morning is in the throes of dawn. You feel that you have the embers of vitality, animated with your breath to fuel the flames of curiosity. You radiate the magnetism of belonging so others are intrigued by you. Your sense of direction nurtures others much like the forest canopy provides cover to the new growth in the forest floor.
Challengein Nature: Walk slow. Walk differently. Our gait gets set when we are young. It is amazing how difficult it can be to be conscious of our gait and walk differently than we normally do. Go to the park or back yard and if possible take your shoes off – check for dog poo first!:) Nature will join you on your little barefoot journey. Walk slow, walk differently. Try to walk a bit more on your toes, or roll your feet a bit more. Give it time today, or another day. The work is to be aware of you being different while actually remaining loyal to who you are. Sounds weird. So get out there!
Take the time and know it is valid to find or create your ways to elevate into the you of now, the you of vigour, vision and vitality.
UPDATE YOUR BELIEFS
It’s ok if you don’t really know what you are doing. It’s ok if you do. It’s ok if you know what you stand for. What do you stand for? You stand for something you understand. You stand for a principle you uphold. You stand for your marriage being real, alive, supportive of the man’s journey into the unknown.
Share a bit of your vulnerability about you morphing over time into a different, newer you. To share your desire to grow. To transcend your education, your era, your ancestors.
Transcendental Meditation (TM) emerged out of India coming to the west in the 60’s. TM is a technique for avoiding distracting thoughts and promoting a state of relaxed awareness. The late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi derived TM from the ancient Vedic tradition of India. He brought the technique to the U.S. in the 1960s.
One way to think about TM was that it took out the poses out of yoga and left you with breathing and mental imaging.
Breathing can aid you in transcending the many stresses of life. Mental imaging is activated to focus your energy on the growing side of stress. From the positive side of stress declare your beliefs. The debilitating side of stress we probably all know well.
Satisfaction is related to and impacted by stress, change, challenge, failure, growth, different, new, dread, negativity, unknown, lies, poor eldership by ancestors. This range of stress will highlight both your strengths and weaknesses that naturally are revealed by each Life Stage.
One of the messages of Jesus could be categorized as ‘be transcendental about yourself’.
In other words; Get over yourself.
Instead of the tyranny of your feelings, make something else the first consideration in the process of understanding. That ‘something else’ is what you stand for.
Get over what your Ego is screaming at you and strain to hear the nuances of Your Best Ego.
Your Ego is like industrial farming – based on numbers and not vitamins, succumbing to shareholders and not natural planetary processes, satisfying the fertilizer salesperson and not your instinct.
Your Best Ego is like organic farming – that can let land fallow because it is not addicted to now/profits/expansion but rather on a journey of learning and growing. There is variety and companion planting.
Self Transcendental is catching up with your Life Trajectory. Your Life Trajectory is inclusive of Your Best Ego and understanding of the Male Stack and Female Frixion. Low emotional baggage is filtered out. Your low emotional baggage will accompany you at the expense of learning and growing and sharing. That’s a hefty baggage fee.
Humility = Humanity = Humility
Self Transcendental is in the moment. A moment shared with inner and outer lives:
Inner lives of Peace, Satisfaction, Belief, Connection, Vision.
Outer Lives of accomplishment, belonging, service, happiness, challenge, growth.
Transcendence is a bridge. A bridging.
It relieves us of our downward facing habits like: judgement, grudges, comparison, negativity, excuses, jealousy, ______________, _____________.
These misdirected habits, like judgement, are Minimizing Marauders. They minimize you. Minimize your abilities. Minimizes the female instinct. Minimize the opportunity that offers itself in the moment. They reduce the value of your willingness to love and be loved. They suction out your Belief in Marriage. They make you good at being mentally critical of your wife for being a woman. They are nasty.
Picture that in your unconscious urge to transcend these Minimizing agents of nastiness fall like coins from your pocket. As you cross the bridge of transcendence into the New You these coins fall from your grasp. They tumble through the wood planks of the swinging suspension bridge. You can either grab the railing for stability and stay standing as the coins fall into the deep, narrow, cold river with a minute splash – gone – as you move forward feeling the wisps of clean mist rising from below. Or you can try and grasp those falling coins (agents of nastiness) prostrating to money on the planks of the bridge clutching a few coins, not having taken the step to step into today.
Your activated Vision is vital so you can see in your mind what you want to become. That’s why your Updated Beliefs are beautiful fuel so you can feel in your blood the man you are in the moment. Transcend the excuses and ridicule, the mistakes and regret. Your Satisfaction Skills are so much stronger than immature ridicule . Satisfaction Skills include: getting stuff done, knowing how to delegate, being an awesome teacher, _______________________, ______________________, __________________.
Transcendence causes change. Change can make us feel vulnerable. Change can be mislabeled and vilified by Ego based fear subscribing leeches. Don’t listen to them. Transcendence is a process to the New You. The New You will be received, loved and accepted just like the old you was received. The thing is the old you had a best-before-date of yesterday and the New You has a best-before-date of tomorrow. It’s a constant flow that uses your Inner Lives … to be you in the moment. The moment will renew and so will you. The New You emits constancy of Peace, Belief, Connection, Vision and Satisfaction.
Gravitate to the love. To let go of the old. Your former you doesn’t give you as good results as the new, as the now. In comparison the old you is stale, inflexible, brittle, musty and rusty. The task at hand is to harvest the residue of human qualities from your past experiences that now reside in your inner Life. Your past is valid and necessary as part of your foundation for growth of your version of a man.
Why? To offer to your spouse the real you, you of the moment with all your constant qualities and a history of success [???]
How? Breathe, smile, straighten your posture, laugh, share. Understand that we do things because of the power of the Life Stage we are living working through our Ego working towards My Best Ego.
Count in – 1,2,3 (deeper breath) …….4..5..6 (breathe into your pelvis) …….7…8…9…… Let the old yield to history and the new reveal you.
The thing is the more we focus on the need to forgive, the process of forgiveness, what we need to forgive in ourselves and others we are submerging ourselves in yesterday. Making the past the focus. We are walking backwards while trying to get on the bus to the future. That can make a lot of unnecessary work for others. Others need to know that they are forgiven or we forgive ourselves without reliving the whole incident. It’s painful to poke old scars and opens healed wounds. A more fruitful focus is what we learned about ourselves, others, doing stupid things and how life stages can make something seem vital to us in the moment. Exhibit that you have learned by what you do. Let them hear it in your decision making. Let them see it in your eyes when you ask a question then shut up to listen.
Elevate. Find a reason for what you do. Adhere to that reason. A reason higher, greater than you reveals another aspect of you that is beautifully simple while being enigmatically you. A powerful reason is to be immortal. It was born before you and continues after you are gone. Over the first 18-20 years of life we are being repeatedly handed the baton of self-responsibility. The beliefs and values of those who nurtured us often become ours through osmosis. Updating them makes them yours. And that actually makes our parents so proud, when we take the family baton from them and do better than they did in their day. We carry their admirable qualities of humility, companionship, support, agility, constancy as our inheritance. At the same time we elevate above their downward facing habits, failures and arrogance before their instinct. Elevate above the Ego of the moment letting yourself be pulled up into perception by your reason for action and your desire to see it made real. This power fuels your service.
Service takes so many forms and expressions. We all know what it means because we have been put into a situation of service having raised children, helped siblings and cared for aging parents.
Parenting is a service industry that we signed up for with no pay but lots of incredibly rewarding moments, feedback, suggestions, arguments, disappointments, complaints and challenges to the ego that are answered with growth. Being a spouse is the same.
None of these service roles include violence. They do include communicating to generate understanding. That’s what this book is about – creating your own avenues of communication, expression, stress relief and Satisfaction. It’s about the you that is emotionally agile enough to offer your spouse support for her Fulfillment without the threat, hint or image of violence: sexual, physical, emotional, psychological using money, guilt or force.
We need to find something in the marriage or realize something about our wife to be of service to. For many reasons. Help others who need help. Service offers our qualities towards making things better. We get Satisfaction of being valued. At the end of the day we are not wanting for Satisfaction and so offer our wife a man that is: peaceful, cooperative and warm.
Service can be: coaching, volunteering to talk with elders or pick up windswept coffee cups in the park or accompany a blind person or cook at a homeless shelter.
Let’s say perception is you thinking outside the box ( the box that men put themselves in); You tapping The New You on the shoulder and asking for advice. It is almost for certain that your life is framed by societal understanding of you as a man. However the misunderstanding of the abilities of a man, especially in relation to a woman, is rampant. This vacuum of value for a man’s nature is not limited to any culture or race or socio-econimic class. We all underestimate the man that you are. It is the man that you have become that won’t let us talk to the real you – the New You. The New You loves perception. The man you actually are responds to the human instinct.
How do we meet this fabulous guy? This perceptive, instinctual dude? How will I recognize him if he is new …?
This seems to be a major reason for using psychedelics. Get past the conscious brain so your creativity creek can tribute into the flow of the river of innovation. Psychedelics, nowadays being used in micro-doses can do the heavy lifting of leapfrogging our mental pathways, negative or creative, to perception, to germinate innovation, enlightenment, possibly forgiveness.
There is a resurgence of psychedelics in behavioural research and bio-hacking.
Some famous and effective bio-hacking personalities are Tim Ferris https://tim.blog, Dave Asprey the Bulltetproof coffee guy https://blog.daveasprey.com/about-dave-asprey/. They are excellent sources of information as a result of using their bodies as guinea pigs, their minds as test tubes, their lives as laboratories. Doing whatever it takes; eating, climbing, swimming, fasting to increase the yield of your body and brain. The guys who do this are bright and brave and I am not going to follow their path.
I would say we are in constant reception of soul micro dosing.
David Bryce Yaden PhD. John Hopkins University is doing great research into what might be termed ‘soul hacking’. That would be another way of talking about the personal religious quest. A study of the Devotional and the daily life in cultures. The book is for academics but the search is for all of us.
If we eschew psychedelics there is a buffet of drugs on the market be that coffee, alcohol, delusion, love, work, money, success, sex and more. It is likely that most if not all the things on this list of activities are not as effective to deliver perception. Perception in this case being about The New You. Who is this New You?! New Me?!
This is a guy that already exists. It is a guy that makes you look good, look smart, on the ball. This guy is fast! Fast at knowing how to join in or to go it alone.
He has the sensitivity to get Satisfaction and let Fulfillment happen.
He uses the past and isn’t used by it.
He isn’t scared of the moment because he has no need to control it. The moment is free and so is he. Free to accept a compliment. Free to stop, smile and tell his wife she smells great.
Willing to see he has changed as he is processed through the succession of life stages. Realizing that his spouse will be similarly changed and it is his task to update himself with her growth. Admire her belief in moving the marriage forward that requires the best of you.
Leverage the future of the New You in negotiation with the Old You.
When I was ten years old I took my first communion. Because I went to public elementary school I had to take catechism classes once a week at night at the Catholic school. The Catholic school kids had their own mass for their first communion and then our public school group had ours a few Sundays later. It was a spring day with a beautiful blue sky full of potential activity. My parents made me wear a mustard yellow ascot to go with my burnt orange velvet blazer -the one with my dried snot on the right sleeve where I had wiped my nose which made my mom so mad. She was right. It really was a cool blazer. It definitely wasn’t a blue suit.
I can picture the photo of us outside on the church steps afterwards as we posed for the portrait of the moment. My mom was shining her beautiful smile as always. My dad was in full 1970’s style with the big tie and bigger sideburns. Grandma, my dad’s mom, was there in a nice baby blue dress. She was of the era, born before 1900, when you didn’t smile for photos. She definitely didn’t break rank that day.
I got paired with a girl from our catechism class to take the Communion offering and collection up to the altar. She got the money. I took the Bread of Transcendence.
I was really nervous as we walked up the aisle. It was my first time. There was nothing I was repeating. No Habit to tyrannize me; no Routine to coach me. The girl and I and everyone at mass were participating in a Ritual. Called Communion. This Communion ritual is the act of elevating the Daily version of ourselves to experience the Devotional one. A communion of Daily and Devotional.
Priests, parents, teachers and Elders are understood to instruct the young on the arts and skills of releasing the Devotional into the Daily. That means the religious service connects the participants with higher energy – Devotional; and young people need help to walk the talk of this life wisdom. Actually we all need guidance to process the impression of formal religion on our mind and soul so we can create habits that amount to a personal religion. It might feel easier to release an elephant from the local zoo into your city centre than to step into your personal religion.
Ritual abounds in religion, in sports, in art, in making tea, in meditation, in martial arts, in connecting with nature, in nature. Ritual is high intention combined with mental focus and followed through with an action that attracts confirmation from the higher purpose of those doing the ritual. The Ritual is a vehicle for the person to accumulate in their blood and bones the residue of higher forces. The sound, movements, words, songs, dances are in support of this human – energy connection. If we lose sight of this then what was supposed to be ritual becomes tradition.
This topic is important because all men are constantly receiving real energy to grow as a male, man and gentleman. The confusion is while some guys seem to be able to manage their energy without getting into too much trouble, why do some men use the energy they receive to disrespect women through violence and other forms of aggression?
The energy that powers a man is powerful. If we suffer from an inability to give this power expression then we might: feel agitated, lack confidence, get crushed by depression. And some of us get violent. The violence can be swinging fists, hurling insults, sexual perversion to name a few of the many forms. Instead what can be really useful for young men is to learn their unique energy management. The violence against a woman can happen in a brief, horrible moment. But the frustration of a lack of self understanding in a man builds up in him over years. Bomb like. They can explode in a fit of violence, be detonated by a psychologist or be dismantled by the man himself.
That is why it is crucial to develop Habits, create Routine and be ready for Ritual.
We are all allowed to get frustrated and talk about it. Get angry about the frustration. Anger doesn’t imply aggressive words or threatening stances or personal insults. There is no blame. A man is responsible for his energy management. That is something he needs help with. Something he needs to learn and refine all life long. So when we have an argument with our wife there is no violence because we don’t have pent up energy. Instead we have some sense of momentary Satisfaction. Generated by Habits of cleaning up after yourself in the kitchen, checking your sports scores; Routines of taking the dog for her walk, of seeing your buddies in the weekend; Rituals of eating dinner together, of pursuing your personal religion. That way we have avenues of expression for our energy. Because the frustration or disrespect or stress you bang up against in daily life is handled by a foundation of Habit, Routine and Ritual.
There are lots of variations of energy in men including: sexual energy, Devotional energy where one is caused to look for meaning and a higher purpose, the energy that goes with their Life Stage, marriage energy and male energy to list a few. It is good to recognize there is a lot going on all at the same time. We all need help. Conversation. It is our role as a man to grasp the natural influences in our life and do something about them. Your energy and how you react or respond to it actually has nothing to do with your wife or girlfriend.
A quick word about sexual energy. The human sexual energy is very strong. It is not bad nor is it well understood. It is not just sex. Physical sex. It is a range of creative powers that can result in a new business, a new relationship, a new recipe or even a new baby. You see teenagers and some young adults, even some famous adults, who can’t think about anything else. It makes their decisions for them. It runs their life. Their inability to resist it or manage it ruins their life. For a pubescent teenager this makes sense it almost consumes their life because the connection with this energy is itself always new, so intense in the moment and powerful in its impact.
Poor sexual energy management can have harming repercussions that cut deep and last years. In marriage, family, society and men in general we generally make it difficult to talk about and direct this power. The youth need guidance from elders like mom and dad. And they need to do stuff that uses up the energy. This is a huge challenge. How do you use up the undeniable sexual energy running through the bodies of young people without it being physical sex? Think sports, guitar lessons, dancing, hanging out, parties, fixing up your bike, fixing up your car, cleaning your room!, hiking, swimming, help them get a part time job, volunteering, anything and everything, … Keep thinking and doing and talking and guiding.
When a man is beyond the reach of his elders because he won’t listen to them, they aren’t worth listening to or he has simply outgrown them in his case – how does he know when and how to use the natural sexual energy? Hopefully throughout this book there are ideas and inspirations that generate avenues of investigation and belief that help in this aspect.
Please remember that sexual energy and your Devotional energy are not the same thing and should never be confused. Both can have an aspect of attraction/calling, companionship, loving and being loved, connection and an impulse for meaning that drives you to do things you wouldn’t do yourself. But they are not the same. Those in positions of power that they wield to confuse others about these two natural energies are misusing their power. The priests of the Catholic church has a lot of damaging experience in this territory.
This book is written to create some distance between all men and this confusion of sexual/devotional energy mentioned above. We urgently need passion and ideas and people to clarify a man’s path forward and specifically highlight the unique man they may see before themselves.
It is vital to grasp that this is a daily challenge for a man. The challenge of finding his path forward using his unique abilities to synthesize the task at hand into daily life in a satisfaction producing way. This urge upon him for self-realization is non stop. At times subtle. At times shouting. At times a beautiful congress in the moment of life trajectory and courage. At times a complete mess of what he wants in contrast to what he is doing and what he thinks he should do. Some guys can wake up and even before they open their eyes they are already depressed! And others wake up without an alarm at 4:30 am everyday to: work out, meditate, write, make breakfast and then get to work by 6:30?
Habits can categorize a man’s energy. Routines can process it. Rituals can reveal it.
You can’t talk about Habits without mentioning Routine. With a mention of routine then the next logical step is to see the where and when of Ritual. If it this isn’t your experience then you need to create the circumstance and meet the people and ask yourself the questions to generate your own purpose. In the moment that can make us vulnerable to not know the way forward and ask for directions. And it can also can take us to new places and introduce us to the New You.
Stanford University psychology professor BJ Fogg has a good grasp on the aspect of habit as a way to improve daily life. He has been looking into the topic for many years and has many anecdotes to share in his book Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything. He is practical in finding how to side step self sabotage on the journey of growth. It is annoying for those of us who think we are maximizing our time and producing based on our work habits. Take a look.
It’s all in your head. And it is also in your blood and bones. A few connections to ponder:
Ritual – Projection – Energy – Beliefs
Routine – Imagination – Power – Prayer
Habit – Location – Strength – Declaration
Tradition can be reduced to a routine, converted into a ritual minimized, squeezed into a habit. Or you can build your own traditions that have the power of Habit, the reliability of routine and the Attractive energy of Ritual.
For guys to hear mention of the word ritual they can go down four different mental paths.
1 .Ritual to mean religious ritual that is something you do in a temple/house of worship and it has always been like that, you unconsciously repeat a few prayers and you are done. Whether there has been a transformative process is another question;
2. New Age flaky ritual based in ancient traditions with everyone bearfoot, wearing white and chaniting themselves into a trance. Perhaps the greatest difference between these first two types of rituals is that the New Age one is probably more effective at delivering on the concept of a transformation.
3. The ritual display that guys know is in sports: The goalie goes onto the ice first. Or the quarterback puts eye black under his eyes (TB12) because that’s what he always does to get him to his peak performance.
4. The ritual well known through the animal world: mating. This ritual can take place at any hour in any place. Popular mating ritual temples are bars on Friday night. However increasingly the ritual has gone online. The ritual nowadays amounts to swiping right. Dating apps and websites made famous by Tinder.
Untangling ourselves from the many demands and distractions of life,
It is the task to remember and to realize …
A Man is a Vibrant Power.
With a Willingness that is Clean.
With an Agility that is True.
He Seeks how to Help and be Helped,
As one of his expressions of Loving and Being Loved.
He insists on finding a way to grow
and bask in the flourishing of others.
This is you. You know it. You love it. And then life happens. Life Stages contort us. Stress manhandles us. Age changes us. Both husband and wife can feel when this declaration above doesn’t describe the man in their midst.
No big deal really. If he can get his boot in the stirrup to get back in the saddle. If he knows how he can find his power. To do and to be.
A woman loves her nurturing nature. She savours the fulfillment when she can embody her nature. When that nature gets usurped by ‘saving her toxic boyfriend from himself’ then the morass of emotion that ensues is bottomless. The problem is when he can’t find the stirrup, or his power or doesn’t know where he is at.
Man = Control x Dexterity + Purpose
Man = Versatile/The Moment x Love.
Go for it. What is your Man Formula?
Man = ________________________ + ____________________ / __________________
Man = ________________________ x ____________________ + __________________
If you are reading this on a device then in your cell phone put your ideas in notes.
There is no right response. There is you, the moment and the man you want to be.
Is your Man Formula an algorithm for reliable growth or a declaration of predictability?
In the moment whatever is needed of the man for his own Satisfaction or in service to others is the Formula for that moment. And that is a big part of how men can fumble and stumble. This feeling of being lost. The idea they are not valued. Not knowing what they want because things move too fast for their This-is-the-man-I-have-become Mind Set.
Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus writtenby John Gray in 1992 is a seminal work on relationships. From there we get a concrete identification of the Man Cave.
To hear the man himself take a look at this TedTalk:
The Man Cave of my childhood was my dad in his furnace room. I was born after he had established that dark, hot cramped room as his retreat. There were no windows in that basement emotional hideout. But it did have all kinds of little nooks where you could hide a mickey of whisky. He kept tools and screws, seasonal clothes and various knick knacks collected from trips. He also kept all kinds of sports jerseys and equipment long after it was of use except to act as his personal jailer that wouldn’t let him join the present moment. You had to be very careful if you wanted to get rid of anything from his cave.
There was actually a lot of love he had for being a father that, if he could have grown some emotional agility, could have been repurposed. Instead he spent his time rearranging running shoes and ski boots completely cut off from any sense of togetherness. Imagine if he had received the guidance from his father or other family members about how to deal with the emotional challenge of being a man in the succession of development stages of life. He could have still been the king of his Man Cave – no one was going to take it away. His cave could have been an engine for Satisfaction in him that reverberated through his family. And ignited his interest in the unique way of Satisfaction of others. This scenario is more common than sad. The details are obviously different in every family but the dynamic of a man cave becoming a prison is likely a pandemic.
The Man Cave Function (fill in the blanks) My Man Cave generates in me: _______________________ + _________________________ so I can offer ___________________________ + ________________________ Into my personal and professional life.
The Man Cave is actually quite varied in its expressions. It can be the convertible he drives 8 times a year and keeps in a storage unit in impeccable condition, the shed out back, the garage that is completely organized, swept and labelled, or the garage that is a wanna be junk shop. Some guys are very efficient at Man Caving – finding Satisfaction in their guy time. Other guys their Man Cave becomes their life. Their Man Caving might be sharing their photos of antique cars or buying and selling baseball cards. It might be drinking beer and looking at his phone.
Does he emerge from his cave and offer a confident man to his spouse in times of marital stress. Or to share the paternal sensitivty to know when his son needs guidance in school, about sex and drugs. Or to clarify the concepts of Male Stack and Female Frixion? If we can’t handle stress or provide sensitivity because we hide in our Man Cave then whatever the cost of our Man Cave – it becomes really expensive.
Question: The Man Cave has its purpose. It’s a matter of ROI. Is the return on the investment he puts into it worth the human life energy that it soaks up?
The song These Eyes by The Guess Who in 1969 is what can happen if we get swallowed up by our Man Cave or are otherwise unable to communicate with our spouse.
It’s not that your Man Cave is a bad place. It is a matter of management.
Man Cave can also be seen as an action if the Man Cave is functioning as an aspect of his emotional management leading to Satisfaction. Things like: working late, volunteering, sibling/parent issues, exercise, coaching, professional development, attending church/temple.
Nothing wrong with your unique man cave or your Man Caving routines – as long as you are in charge. See Chapter 7 on Habits. Man Caving process allows a man to breathe, think, process his emotions, organize his stuff and his thoughts whether consciously or not, create new avenues for expression of his unique synthesis of love and of being autonomous.
Autonomous can mean to the man to be in control. Control may be useful but it can become tyrannical. Tyrannical it may appear to be, at first glance, on one’s family members. But really it is limiting the emotional range, spontaneity and willingness of the man.
Man Caving is the natural experience to regroup and then re-engage with family, with life and personal growth challenges.
Man Caving is the process of a Satisfaction craving creature getting what he needs at his speed.
Man Caving can be cool and rewarding and stress relieving but it is not an end unto itself. The world keeps rolling while we are man caving. The point is to re-integrate with renewed energy to seek and create opportunities to offer love and be of service. Service can be telling a hilarious story from work, taking out the garbage, asking your daughter what she finds interesting about studying chemistry. Being of service to others delivers Satisfaction to you. As a result you can offer a man at peace willing to love and be loved. Checkout this post:
We may use our Man Cave because we just had an argument, need some space and want some autonomy. Or from boredom of being at home and everyone is doing their own screen time on a phone or laptop. We may go Man Caving out of habit: after dinner, load the dishwasher, kids do their homework while pretending not to peek at their cell phone, wife reading beside kids so you go to the garage to clean the car and organize your tools. What is the residue from our cave time?
When a man, or the man and woman can’t extract the necessary value out of the Man Cave experience then he feels incomplete, lost; can be irritable and fragile. Let’s avoid blame and find a way to communicate.
What he likely won’t say with words is that he lacks confidence. Success begets success. However the change process from lack of confidence, that semi-consciously expects failure, to a good attitude with resilience and resourcefulness can be challenging. A fragile man lashes out at others who are trying to germinate little successes in him. Even a man not so fragile thinks he is seen as incompetent because he can’t see that getting help is natural. That needing help is normal. Accepting help is smart and being grateful for help is very becoming of a gentleman.
Mind Sprouts are opportunities to use your Focus and Belief to grow mental pathways.
I am not wrong because change is constant and cannot be controlled.
I am not being made wrong because my family asks more from me based on their beliefs in my ability to grow.
I am not a bad man because I am being tasked to elevate my understanding.
Where are there five minutes in myday to think about elevating my understanding?
We are all responsible for our emotions.
‘no man is an island’
Share without counting the cost.
Forgiveness is a by-product of your energy being refocused on growing.
Let go of yesterday; Grab the Now and Point it up at your Future.
As a way to generate Emotional Self-Responsibility – what are your thoughts today:
I am proud of me as as man because __________________________________.
I get disappointed with myself when I __________________________________.
I get frustrated with myself because I can’t understand my wife.
I can laugh at myself when I _________________________________________.
I feel Satisfied because I did my morning exercises before going to work.
I feel ____________________________________________________________.
I have settled into mid life somehow. I think it has something to do with when I can sit out on the porch early on Saturday mornings. It seems to bring me some kind of peace. It’s like a meditation watching the birds and the squirrels and the trees.
I have a little ritual that brings me ____________________________________________.
This Satisfactioning is life long work. Each man is a work in progress – each day. Which says over time, your Art and Skill of Satisfaction will become part of your Personal Religion. Whatever that means and whatever that looks like.