What self respecting man is going to say he needs help to be a man?
Men possess emotional power but often lack the emotional agility ‘in the moment’. Power plus agility = finesse. McNamara shines light on the path for a man to grow. Satisfaction offers deep insights and positive actions for a man to clarify what he wants to become. For example The Female Frixion and The Male Stack are crucial keys to unlock the similarity of our differences.Drawing on the lives of actor Zac Efron, olympian Silken Laumann, humanitarian Terry Fox the author highlights the intricacies of development amidst the challenges of making a living. If you have a sense your life has a trajectory but want to clarify it and elevate it: read this book. This is a handbook for men who believe that a man is born with the resources to stickhandle the issues of his manlife.
There is the visible, the world of form, and then there is the invisible, the formless, which inexplicably erupted 14 billion years ago. If all we’re aware of is the world of form, we’re semi-conscious, lost in a mad whorl of thought and emotion.
As Gordon Lighfoot alludes to in the song ‘If You Could Read My Mind (the lyrics at the beginning of the book), one of the world’s biggest mysteries is what your own wife is thinking. This disconnect is caused in part by generation after generation ignoring natural wisdom thus minimizing the relevancy of a man knowing himself. These pages have been a rebellion against the devaluing of the emotionally agile man. That’s why here were highlighted various insights as techniques and tools to incite and support the growth trajectory of a man.
In life there is so much unknown: what’s around the next corner, at the bottom of the ocean and the logic in your wife’s emotions? Which is why it is vital to have confidence in your man instinct and abilities. Put this book on your bookshelf. Pick it up and read a few pages when you are actually looking for another book. Know this book ( a nugget of actionable wisdom is standing steadfast to the truth of you the man) is ready when you are. Know it is there. So in moments of frustration or stress (A Myriad Moment) your mind can connect with it and thus with the man you want to become.
Life has mystery and magic and unanswered questions. Now because of your proactivity in insisting on growing (and applying the insights from this book into your life) there is one mystery less. People in your life will know the quality of man you strive to be. And that you adhere to a trajectory of growth as a man all of your days. The way you lead your life as a man is the foundation for you thegentleman.
This book is for tough guys. Like me. Like you. Tough nuts to crack. When we aren’t as good as we want to be at our own emotional display we can get frustrated. Frustration is rarely associated with satisfaction.
The spark of this writing is the belief that a man who is creative in achieving his satisfaction, able to share the successes and let downs of pursuing what he wants, will use his stressful challenges to grow. Life has shown us that when one of us is frustrated in the moment, stressed by life, wayward in his manlife, he can easily lash out. He can be hurtful with insults and beatings.
The purpose of the book is to be a spur for men to access their emotional agility as they strive to get what they want.
A man who knows himself at daily and higher levels will appreciate what he is becoming despite his shortcomings. He will have a sense that there is more to the definition of a man than can be found on the internet.
A constant theme of this book is that we are indeed on a development journey during our whole life. That journey for a man differs from the journey of a woman. Whether or not male and female journeys have converging priorities, understandings or emotions we all want to enlist each man to ‘be his own man’ in the moment.
When a woman wants something different from her man, or wants more from her husband or wants better from her boyfriend it is a good news story. It locates the man in what she seeks. It’s not a strike against you that, as a man, you cannot immediately figure out what she wants. Perhaps it provides her a sense of being valued by knowing she can look to you for man services. So, what kind of man services do you offer? Sexual services, fixing flat tire services, humour, tenderness, encouragement services, mortgage payment services, opening jam jars services, packing the car, parking the car, washing the car, barbecuing …
A man is a good thing. Anyone who feels differently does not have the full story. Or as is often the case, has had more bad man experiences than good. Those damaging experiences are often the result of his lack of belief in himself . This poverty of self-belief contorts the love of those that believe in him as a man. When we can rise above the tyranny of our energy sucking ego we ascend into new thoughts, fresh intentions, rejuvenating conversation … This elevation into realms of value, success and connection makes your man feel like the MVP.
The underlying concept that powers this book is that men have the emotional finesse enabling them to instinctually respond to the Daily challenges and Devotional callings of life.
There are many men in the various communities you participate in that don’t subscribe to the dogma of sexism. They go along with insulting jokes and remarks because they don’t have something stronger they believe in. Or they fear for their job and crave respect as a man’s man. They most likely believe in women; in a deep and beautiful way. However most men don’t get the education they want to become a man of self-respect, love and belief.
There is a lack of readily accessible guidance for men to become the reliable husband that is also the spontaneous guy who is also the nurturing man. There is a paucity of seed pods for him to cultivate the male version of instinct.
Each day all men search for the missing pieces in the life puzzle of career, love and meaning. At the risk of alienating himself from the lowest common denominator of macho manhood there are those that insist on being ambitious, clean and versatile. It takes balls to be a man that resists the mafia of moronic male behaviour.
The guy who strives beyond the poor understanding of women and lack of self knowledge as a man needs your support. Most likely he is energized by sincere love yet doubts his version of a man authentic. He is juggling his professional ambition, the questions for his higher self and his residual anger of youth. He wants to bundle them into a brave vision of him as a man, spouse and gentleman.
This book highlights that we are all capable of and responsible for our own Satisfaction in the ongoing stages of life, evolving relationships and variety of experiences.
Did you see the 2007 movie Ocean’s 13? It’s the third movie in the Ocean’s series of a modern band of thieves. The sudden news of one of their own falling ill from shock of a business deal gone bad id bringing them all together again. About ten minutes into the movie George Clooney as ‘Daniel Ocean’ and Brad Pitt as ‘Rusty’ are just getting off their private jet.
‘It’s not their fight’ Linus, played by Matt Damon had just asked Ocean where Tess and Isabelle were. A seemingly harmless question as they walk across the tarmac. Tess (Julia Roberts) is Ocean’s wife; Isabelle (Catherine Zeta Jones) is the love of Rusty’s life.
Since Linus wants a bit more info he turns to Rusty and asks a little louder above the jet engines. ‘Where are Tess and Isabelle?’
Out of nowhere Ocean explodes on his colleague Linus and repeats with an anvil of force closing the issue, ‘It’s not their fight’.
Ocean is right. A man takes responsibility for his struggle. He doesn’t make it hers. Men are experts at the quiet struggle. Like the earth is coursing with ley lines and the body is strung with energy meridians, men are marionettes to the undercurrents of genuine emotion. The task at hand is to make this struggle less solitary, these emotions more accessible.
For that reason it is to be aware when you need help with your response. Ask for help, accept help. Appreciate the help and love the helper. But never make them responsible for your fight. Your fight is to evolve into you. Become the version of a man that is becoming of you.
Some men who are jacked up: cocky, confident, full of their preconceived idea of their importance to the moment. There are those guys who are understanding, laid back and funny. Of course we all know those guys that are lost, lack confidence and have more things they dread than they look forward to as a man. How could they ‘man up’ in a difficult situation. They don’t have the education, training, or reference to find their mojo.
The degree to which many a man is lost and alienated from a development journey as a soul bearing gentleman can feel bigger than huge, and deeper than bottomless.
The lost man can’t seem to get traction on his passion and skills. That’s part of why it can appear to his wife, a man doesn’t want to be a part of the solution to a withering marriage. His relationship is complicated by him not knowing how to shine his light on the path of their marriage.
One of the core messages this book carries is that men are a creative force, wildly willing to be a part of something good. And they are sincere. Sincerely in need of help to understand themselves, women and relationships.
Move the words out of your heart – say anything man. Be funny, dumb, endearing, stilted, embarrassing, true and simple. If they stay in your heart they will block your arteries and give you a heart attack.
Say how you feel. Because you want to understand and be understood. Understand what causes you to feel inspired or lost, confident or frustrated. And be understood as you go through the process of using these words to grow.
Find your words for love and vulnerability, of vision and belief.
Practice the words for sorry and appreciation, worry and forgiveness.
Repeat the words that elevate you and are a catalyst for other men.
Move the words out of your heart and into the world so we can all hear and learn:
What in the world do Nature Spirits have to do with the education of a man so he is a totem pole of warmth and protection for his spouse?
Nature Spirits are always and everywhere connected to their nature and the moment and their purpose. Imagine if a man could say the same.
How does a man connect with his nature, elevate in the moment, adhere to their purpose?
A few thoughts …
What are Nature Spirits. Nature Spirits are the religious life of planet Earth. The spirits of the wilderness are the abundant energy that resonates from the spinning earth. They are natural and are integral in your well being in various ways. In every life. If you have a soul you are an anchor for nature spirits. That makes you important to nature. That means you are appreciated by nature. Nature being planet Earth. Your home. Your power source.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of a soul. Or you as a soul bearing being – that’s ok.
Read these words slowly. Know that you have a soul; that you inhabit a planetary soul. That your soul registers the energy of nature spirits. When at peace anyone can sense this energy. When we get stuff done in our day we generate Satisfaction. Satisfaction is the foundation for peace. So the homework of connecting with nature is being good at your Satisfaction to be able to offer to others and nature a man at peace.
What the Nature Spirits need to know is the real you. They can mesh with the you of now. Not the Ego based needy version of some guy. What they seek is the you that loves responding to the call for a man. To do and to be. Not that the man knows everything. Far from it. They love the imperfect man that wants to grow. That accepts his faults because his human qualities are a better reflection of who he is. Highlighting his strengths is a better investment than correcting his faults.
It is crucial that a man understand he is wanted. Wanted by his family. Wanted by the powers of religion. Moved by religion. Animated by a relevant power to push into the world. To surge into the day. The amazing matrix with which a man can do all this everyday is the soul.
The soul is the amplifier of your passion, your emotion, your belief. Yours. No one else’s.
It simply cannot provide soul service to another body. Because you and your soul are intricately, beautifully and fatality intertwined. No body can decide for you the relationship you as an adult have with your soul.
Without a doubt you have programming from your childhood that impacts your decision making whether they are good habits or traumatizing events. Now you are an adult and you decide your habits, routines and rituals. Let’s say habits are more for the Ego, routines for your Best
Ego and Rituals for your Devotional life – the Higher Soul.
All three of these use your history that lives in your blood and your resonance from your bones as a source of power. Power to connect with nature and higher perception. Power to project rejuvenating energy to someone else. Power to keep learning how to use your Best Ego to help get your Satisfaction that generates peace to welcome healing Nature Spirits into your life.
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.
In 1980 Terry Fox ran a marathon a day on one leg as he made his way across half of Canada. In 143 days he did his one legged ‘hop of hope’ for 5,373 km. Terry was an athlete and he didn’t like being told by a disease how to ‘run’ his life. Terry used his athletic creativity to engage life according to his new reality. He used his mental focus to inspire a country. He found his purpose was to raise funds for cancer research. The Terry Fox Run takes place every September and continues to raise funds for research and awareness about realities of cancer. Awesome!
The Science of Satisfaction. Neurotransmitters generate dopamine and serotonin. This is the ‘what’ of Satisfaction.
The ‘how’ of Satisfaction is the colourful part. How you get your Satisfaction. Doing extra studying for the exam, researching multiple options for your market analysis report.
Our Purpose is the ‘why’ of our how.
So – find out why. That means to ask questions that reveal the inner core.
Ask questions that generate perception or connect to wisdom or germinate seeds of appreciation that grow towards the light of their Purpose.
Judging their ‘why’ without asking questions will not surprise you, help them or improve how you learn.
Questions that promote your willingness to learn, your humility and mental alacrity, your interest in their success and desire to nick some of their best techniques. For example:
‘So, if I want to integrate what you are saying into my life on a regular basis, what is the first step?’
‘From your experience, what is it that people used to get past their first big obstacle?’
‘I have no idea what that means to you: why is it important to you (as a woman)?’
The purpose of the couple next to you in the movie line-up, the guy selling you the popcorn – his manager – the manager’s dad – the manager’s dad’s dentist – the dentist’s dog’s veterinarian are all permeated from our cells outward with the same human stamp: To love and Be Loved. A sincere need and want to be the receiver of someone else’s need to love and to, in return, have the opportunity, perhaps the honour, to love them back. Granted after 19 years of marriage and many thoughts of divorce and one conversation about it there may be some difficulty in finding the honour part of loving your wife and continuing to love her. In fact you may be surprised she still loves you. You know she does but you don’t know in what way. Why does my wife love me now, still, in the first place?
The Urge to Love and be Loved is, in truth, not a sexual urge. The sexual urge exists and it is wise to know it’s not incumbent in love. Sex is not bad. Nor is power or guns or money. It’s what we as a group do with them.
The Urge to Love and Be Loved is the push in us to create community. A community of 2 (a couple/marriage), a community of 3 (family), a community of 6 is a hockey team, a community of 5 is you and four friends on Thursday poker night, a community of sixteen is the local choir. There is the dog walking community, the community of coders, watercolour painters, hackers, bio-hackers, cousins, baseball card collectors, Game of Thrones fans… Many of those communities are now online in Facebook groups so without ever meeting you still feel a sense of community.
Let’s Remember You are a member in full standing, regardless of your history, in the global group of people who, whether they admit it or not, want to love and be loved.
It is a soul community; if you have a soul you are welcome in this community. This simple yet powerful urge can do a lot of the work for you when it comes to finding a partner, making a sale, saying sorry to your wife. A man naturally wants to be of service to his community.
This sense of service can get usurped by fear based decision making. FOMO – fear of missing out. Of not appreciating the community you are in or not doing the work to find your community. FOMO is thinking that there is an opportunity for loving and being loved that is happening and we are missing it. And the people who participate will feel more loved and feel more loving and have stronger bonds of love as a result. They will likely use different language that makes them look cool and autonomous but that is what is happening. Avoid FOMO. Participating in FOMO means you don’t love what you are doing, who you are with and the person that molds you into. It means you’re not responsible for your own emotions. It can mean you can hit somebody because you can insist on being immature and blame the person you just hit because they believed in you as a man.
There is no denying we all need the help and wisdom of other people en route to our Satisfaction. The question is who has the reins of the definition of your Satisfaction? Who is in charge of the resultant decision making to make our Satisfaction a reality?
Mind Sprouts – Satisfaction is a mosaic of efforts, help, failure, belief, ideas, visions, synthesis.
Each of us has our unique version of the Immortal Human Qualities that we use to extract Satisfaction in daily life. We want meaning. We need significance. We thrive on purpose.
Injecting human qualities into daily life is a giving action to others but like those points cards at the supermarket – even when you give out you get something in return.
Immortal Human Qualities include but are not limited to: listening, warmth, patience, finding the positive, finding the possible, _________________, ___________________, …
Whereas – Judging others with our assumptions is making them into something they aren’t. It is manufacturing a fake. A fake is a lie. A lie blocks out the light. Purpose brings light. Purpose liberates your natural abilities of resourcefulness. Purpose is the mother of all Satisfaction.
Ambition to succeed is not curtailed by the sense of Satisfaction. It is the opposite. The more Satisfaction you experience the more you know what you want and how to get it. Satisfaction is not settling for something lesser. Unless you have no purpose. Purpose urges you to make decisions, haunts you to take action, petitions you to ask for help, encourages you to share, directs your energy, focuses your thoughts, causes you to envision something new and different and bright.
Like Terry Fox crossing Canada men cross the mid life period of their life. Canada is vast, beautiful, rugged and it would take a lot of energy and drive to run across it day after day. Terry must have questioned what he was doing and wondered how to keep going on that long, long road. Likewise men need drive to push through this middle age. This time in life might seem to others innocuous from the outside because you see he (husband, son, father, brother, friend) has his work, family, friends, hobbies. At the same time there is an undercurrent of power that is prompting him, urging him, nagging him, calling him. Like the nature of the land of Canada is vibrant and clean so too there is a power that accompanies men. It’s vibrant. It’s natural. It’s potent. When a man is able to direct this vibrancy like Terry focused his energy, he gets success and peace and perception.
When this man power seems to slip through his fingers he gets frustrated and impatient, depressed or angry. Men need companionship that knows how to comfort and challenge them at the right time. Men need understanding from outside and from within. Men need to understand living through a feeling of vulnerable, weird and not knowing does not mean he is weak or bad or not masculine. It means he is alive confronting life and synthesizing it like no one else can with his insight and sense of humour, using his emotional agility and his care.
This man experience can feel like an endless, difficult journey to traverse from 40 to 60 years old for: a man with little direction; a man who lacks a guide; a guy who hasn’t learned how to elevate his life into the devotional realms that can bring him peace, perception and direction.
But, We will not be victims! We have the resources we need. To cross the wide spaces in order to make connection. To elevate from our daily emotion into our Devotional self, even for just a bit, to dwell in our sense of purpose. And then apply it back into daily life to improve ourselves and the life around us.
At any point or level, purpose can become unclear, remain elusive or get lost in the details. So instead of waiting for someone to impose their Satisfaction, or for us to ride on the coattails of their epiphany of life purpose, we can go and get it for ourselves.
Ask – What gives you Satisfaction? Your Answer …..
What do you need to get what you want? What do you need to provide a Satisfied husband to your wife?
Your purpose is full of satisfactions. Some are fast – like cooking a meal at home. Some Satisfactions are slow – like growing a business. And some Satisfactions are incredible – like having a family.
The 5P Process is a reliable, self orienting method for developing your purpose to be multi-dimensional. One dimension is that your pursuit of your purpose accomplishes many things with one action. For example by repeatedly looking for ways to get better at your communication you share lots of energy and interesting ideas with others. Thus making possible clear connection with others; inclusion of others; understanding.
Simply the 5P are: The Point; The Practice; The Principle; Your Passion; What do you make Possible.
The Point – What do you want? Be Specific
The Practice – What are you going to do about it? Keep it simple.
The Principle – What The Practice upholds.
Your Passion – The Power that Transforms your emotion from Daily to Devotional.
What Do You Make Possible? – What do your decisions, actions, beliefs and emotions create.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An excerpt from an article by Sam Samson of the CBC:
Winnipeg woman said she will continue to advocate for body positivity after being the subject of misogynistic comments in a private group chat involving NHL players.
“Everything I post, I post online because I feel beautiful. I feel great. I feel worthy,” said Nicole Zajac. “I just don’t think it’s worth it to let a few comments from people who clearly don’t respect women get to you.”
Ms. Zajac is a hero. Those guys are a product of their environment. But at some point a man is called to decide for himself how he thinks about women, what he wants to become and as a result what he will say. What each of these guys needed was help from their coaches and parents to use their upbringing and hockey training as a springboard into his unique robust, version of a man. Did they get it?
From her comments you can see that Ms. Zajac is emotionally agile. She has made decisions for herself about what she thinks of herself. She is strong enough to endure the low end of social media with the goal of helping others feel good about themselves. She is brave. Those guys…? They didn’t heed the call of being a man. They have FOMU: Fear Of Manning Up.
In order to support Ms. Zajac and to help guide young men, please take a look at my previous post: