They Don’t Understand Women – AYM4

How young men end up being angry young men and probably violent even though they don’t want to be.

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A man by design is an authentic, brave, believing expression of the man version of human.

Alas, what you meet on the street or get into an elevator with is likely an insecure jumble of random goals, half baked intentions and unrealistic self-help affirmations.

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Regardless of his facade many a man is a cocktail of doubt and aggression. In many of us men this seamlessly translates into very little self-confidence to access our natural emotional agility to be able to listen. We can listen. We listen to deliver satisfaction. However if the person speaking seeks fulfillment, instead of getting either satisfaction or fulfillment, we have conflict.

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Men are great at one thing: being men. The art of Being a man is doing that one thing to get many results. Like going to work pays you money but also brings you satisfaction, admiration from your family, peace for spouse/children and life education for challenges ahead.

Society’s life education about men and women is lacking to the point of being harmful. Therefore the level of man in the world today is low when compared to our abilities and innate sentiments.

It is exactly these beautiful emotions a man has for those who surround him that he needs to shine on himself. That way each man can be his own salvation or inspiration or …

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Now because women are naturally different they very often arrive at certain insights via different avenues before a man does. Women might assume that men will, and should, have complimentary insights.

Our history of interpersonal conflict illustrates that men don’t work like that at a societal level. We can create a new narrative for men.

A man connected to his natural spontaneity, vision and get-up-and-go will have put himself in the position to observe the similarities with women in the desire to grow and the differences in their expressions.

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The Bridge Series – 2

The Bridge connecting your emotions with your words

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We all admit there are areas where we can improve. It’s painful to the ego but a dose of humility can keep many things at bay.

My wife told me I had become very militaristic in my communication with our teenage daughter. I had no idea. Of course I thought I was showing up to do my dad job by instilling good habits. Good intention with poor execution. The reality for my family was that I was now irritating; at best. And my approach would have become alienating if my wife had not mentioned it to me.

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The point is to get more references/ education/ feedback/ input. These are the materials to build a bridge to cross from the ignorant side of the river to the other side. So there can be change from one reality to another – also known as growth:).

Change doesn’t make us wrong. It means we can grow. Especially for adult men this can be a bridge we don’t want to be seen crossing. Often we don’t know how to accept being wrong, or deal with feedback. Especially from our wife or children. Likewise we don’t know how to express ourselves. We don’t know how to say that we want to grow but don’t know how. We don’t know love can be expressed in words as well as actions. Small words, quiet words.

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So to help to grow let’s picture a bridge that can help us cross from one perspective – our current outlook – to integrate a new mentality into our range of options. Your bridge can be made of wood and rope straddling high above the river. Or it can be an abandoned wooden railway bridge, made of massive steel beams or a beautifully designed stone bridge with arches.

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This bridge spans the River of Accompaniment. The water of this river is soothing because it makes us feel welcomed. We are not alone when we take off our shoes to walk ankle deep in the cool, cool water. We switch from the side of loneliness to the other side various times in an hour, day, life depending on our emotional equilibrium.

One side of the river you look up and down the river bank and there is no one; at least no friendlies.

Having built and crossed your bridge to the other side you realize the river is the flourishing of you and others. The river is life. The river is what you make it.

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You crossing the bridge may be an act of desperation because you feel left out and lonely. Paying attention to your spouse according to their need now has relevance to you. Or crossing the Bridge of Strength can be because you want to offer your spouse a good relationship.

The challenge here is manifold. However the response is singular: build a bridge through belief in action.

It’s your bridge. Build it as you wish so that others can experience the best of you. So your family can benefit from your accumulated wisdom from a history of accomplishments. Which is what you want too.

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Build your bridge because you want to understand and accompany your spouse with respect. Even if you don’t really know what you are doing (be that on the dance floor or in bed or at an awkward social gathering or talking about your marriage or stages in life). But there you are looking good and participating.

It’s you leading – laterally. Which moves your marriage forward – simply in a sideways spiral – meaning you won’t be alone.

Where’s The Bridge ?

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There is a swampy bit near the end of our walk in the park ravine where our golden retriever just loves to romp around chest deep in the muck. No doubt the muddy water would be cooling on a hot day but this is April. In Ontario. In a few nooks of shade there can be found caches of snow. Vestiges of a long and beautiful winter. So a dog wouldn’t be needing to cool down too much but for her there is so much exploring to do following the scent of the local fox, rabbit or squirrel.

As she emerges happy as can be now mud black on all four legs her next stop is the slow running river we cross to get back to the parking lot. She trots into the water and takes a few gulps as I take off my shoes and socks. She can sense what is coming up. She plays around a bit more and I get her by the collar now myself knee deep in the more than chilly spring water. It is invigorating for about a minute and turns to numbing soon after. So I scoop water onto her with my free hand. She absolutely hates baths but puts up with them in the river or lake. I get her looking clean but the swampy smell will only become apparent when we are back in the confines of the car.

She is panting and happy. Me rolling down the window to get some fresh air while recognizing the elongated buzz in my feet from the shallow yet still intriguing rocky cold river.

The water, the river, the flow – all them participants in the physical cleaning, mood healing and soul rejuvenating that we experience without fail.

Another river that catches my attention and awe is the River of Changes.

The River of Changes constantly runs through our life bringing challenges and opportunities.

From one grassy bank of the river we can observe in confusion with a victim mentality. Meaning we feel we are not the author of our life nor do we have the resources to be so. Sometimes we do nothing and get stuck in the habit of making this our personal outlook.

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Other time’s we are

Moved to grow. That means thinking what we want and what we can do about it. So.

How do you get to the other side: where there should be a different way of looking at the river. A different story for our life. Do we: use,Helicopter, drone, swim, ferry, canoe? All are viable options. However that means all your energy is invested in the focus required to stay afloat in the hopes of getting to the other side where apparently there is another way of looking at things. Looking at the same river, same flow, same current from another engaging perspective. Will you make it to the other side? Will you tip over and put yourself into danger. Do you have any passengers in your canoe? Maybe attempt a crossing and you just turn back as it is difficult to read the currents and avoid the rocks.

Not worth the risk. The uncertainty.

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Or.

Or you can build a bridge. A bridge you build with a pillars made of bricks of communication. Held together with the mortar of the Three Understandings (what, why, how).

A bridge designed to withstand the current of the river of change. What do you call that Bridge? The bridge that takes us easily (once it is built)from victim mindset to proactive?

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From viewing the water of change flowing in one direction to the opposite direction. Without making anyone wrong or bad. What help do we need?

Planetary Arts Series – Mars

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My teacher Elliott taught Xing-yi in the park. It was $10 a class or pay what you can. I think at least half the class took the second option. Most of us were 20 something new arrivals in Taos, New Mexico working in cafes or construction waiting for ski season.

This class was my first exposure to martial arts. Elliott was an awesome instructor. I remember he asked if I had any experience – ‘no’. He said that was usually better because I didn’t have any habits to overcome. I went for a few months that autumn and never returned.

However you could say I had been into martial arts most my life.

What is meant by that is illustrated in the following brief writing.

Martial Arts.

Bruce Lee was the man! He was the whole Hollywood package. Taking Kung fu to the people.

Martial Arts, if we break it down, could be said to be the Art of War at an individual level companioning the pursuit of peace at tribal level.

Fighting happens. We need to protect ourselves. Our community and at the same time each one of us. Because of the energies involved in the physical or strategic battles it can be very hard, coarse, adversarial, debilitating, draining. That does not mean it is artless. The very stress of the fight, battle and struggle calls for specific skills. If we can activate our skills of self management in war then we have the way to move beyond it. Fighting is a way to communicate what we value and is not a form of communication in itself. Meaning we are fighting for something. For safety or peace or integrity or dignity.

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Mars was the god of war from Ancient Rome which speaks to the tribal level of martial managment. The Chinese masters have brought forward with dedication through the ages the forms and sequences of self management of the energy of the red planet. Today we are equally tasked to manage what energy we attract, process and how we dispose of it. We dispose of energy in so many simple and natural ways: conversation, sleep, digestión and organ function in the body.

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Said in a conceptual sense, Martial Arts are the system of cleaning, garbage and recycling. So in reality we could say planetary/environmental stewardship is a martial art. At which by majority we have been failing as a group. The human arts of these natural systems are qualities like: forgiveness, making important things important, humour, elevating vision, curiosity plus humility.

On a development journey Martial cleansing activity (yoga, tai chi, aikido) combines very well with the planetary arts of Mercurial vision or earth perception (topics covered in this series).

The art is of thinking ahead. Of engraving mental and emotional pathways in conjunction with life sequences of movements to process life in the moment. Thus maintaining focus on the journey without being sidelined by one’s own reaction or intrusion by bullying. These are forces that cannot grasp the need to hold the apparent contradiction of something in them and not pass judgement.

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Think about these three levels of engagement of your natural Martial art:

Low – not letting yourself get damaged but not being the author of your own story.

Medium – using what comes at you for you – think aikido.

High – using what comes at you to elevate your art of perception that powers your red art.

——

This is a mental model for understanding what you seek with your language and actions, intentions and vision.

The Avenue of Cedar

 

How many times have I ordered a coffee or a burger and the minimum wage worker has not had a good attitude, a fake smile or even given me a ‘Hi, welcome to my low pay part time burger hell can I take your order!!’   Can you blame them?

The thing is they are obviously not happy at work.  That is not the fault of the people in their family waiting for them at the end of the day.  Likewise if their family life is a disaster then that is not my fault if I am just looking to grab a quick coffee and have a question or two.

But it happens to us all.  Things build up from all sides of life.  We can’t complain or speak up at work for fear of repercussions.   So we bring our frustration home.  Which is unfair to our spouse and children and pets.  So to keep us out of trouble and therapy or the bar, here are a few suggestions.  Using your mind to get you into a better space quickly you will walk through your front door and offer your family the real you – the real deal!

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The Avenue of Cedar – Whether you are stepping into the hallway from your office towards the elevator or from the elevator to your condo to walk down the hall to your home this is an excellent technique to decompress from your crazy day.

Picture the hallway lined with tall, verdant cedar trees.  Growing at various angles, thick with branches and home to many birds.  Breathe in the fresh air they generate.  Breathe out your ________________ (fill in the blank with your frustration, disappointment, anger, disdain)  .  Repeat.  Breathe in clean forest and breathe out daily refuse.  Make good notice of the bright green of the cedar leaves.  Know that they are full of life and they clean you of the static energy you have collected in your day.  Picture the Avenue of cedar.

 

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Daily Cascade – as you go down the elevator at lunch or the end of the day envision you are enveloped in a long, cascading waterfall. Feel the water refresh you as it sprays and sparkles. Breathe in the clean, charged air.  Imagine the swirling pool at the bottom and the moss covered rocks bright green in the rays of the sun.  Close your eyes and stay in the moment.  Breathe in again and … walk out of the elevator rejuvenated.

Let me know how it goes …

Stop The Presses

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Photo by Jordan Pulmano on Unsplash

The Joker is mesmerized by the photo of Vicki Vale in a photo and says …
you guessed it,
“Stop the presses!!!”

That was from the Batman movie of 1989 with Jack Nicholson falling in lust for Kim Bassinger.  That was when we knew what the phrase meant and where it actually came from.

Even with the decline of print media it is still a great phrase to communicate your amazement at something that takes you by surprise – like when you walk by your teenager’s room freshly cleaned room?!:)

The ‘presses’ being alluded to here are a few incumbent processes on our developing lives.  Depression is getting more air time these days and that is great for those who can use the relief of being able to just talk about what they are feeling as a way to ‘take out the garbage’ and move on.  That is one of the presses: depression.  One of the pressures we feel as we grow and struggle with everything from identity to career choice to life partner choice to adding and subtracting to our beliefs.  Unto itself depression is sickening but it can somehow deliver a sense of belonging that can confuse us into thinking we want to stay under that cloud. That we are happier where we are depressed?!?

Repression of emotions is another effective and common press – ure we feel on a daily basis.  We don’t speak our mind at work about our feelings regarding incompetent politicians that seem to be multiplying internationally. Or we resist challenging cultural assumptions like polite Canadians, ignorant Americans, feminism or manism (what it means to be putting authentic man into the world).  These are daily emotions that we may not speak, we repress, for fear or repercussions.

Repression continues when we resist answering any kind of higher calling.  A higher calling doesn’t imply the priesthood – but it comes from the same source for the same reason.  This is where our society (education, religion, corporate) is failing – in a big bad way.  Soul satisfaction is calling, is available, is normal/natural/necessary and we aren’t sure who is calling, why, what the message is and how to respond.  We repress our searching urge with elegant distractions like shopping, social media, hobbies, travel and even religion.  In fact none of these things is bad and some are excellent manners of personal growth but not at the expense of souling.  Feeling lost is the best thing that can happen to you if can locate the desire, the external help, the internal resources to forge your path into the future.  We can’t kid ourselves – there are very few of us in our daily lives who use same the tools and techniques of living a modern life to investigate and understand what to do about fate and destiny.  We repress the real reality of being called to a development journey and its painful.

Compressor – compression – compress – that’s the name of the game.  Take life and get the residue out of it that is valuable for daily success and elevated connection. Go for it!  Try it.  Think about it.  Ask the morning breeze about it as you walk through the park early morning, lunch break, late evening.

GPS means Good People Soul

 

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The 3 year old child that lives on the floor above us really doesn’t make that much noise. As in I have never lost any sleep or been woken up by him/her.
I can’t say that about the young guy who used to live beside us and have friends over (they weren’t parties according to him). My daughter would be kept up late at night or woken up many times – and she was really tired the next day.

How we manage our energy determines a lot about what we do and what we become. Personal energy management is exposed to various factors that can challenge its effectiveness. Sleep, as we saw above, or any other aspect of health that is not in well being can be a drag on our physical, mental and personal health.

Since in school we generally are not introduced to the concept of a development journey or the idea of levels of energy it can be really useful to take the time to find a few practical tools that can help us deal with daily life and still have a little time and desire to pursue an active soul life.

Lower levels of energy are heavier or coarser and impede your best you. You won’t be as willing to grow or have the same insights about how to address all the challenges and opportunities of life with coarse energy. Energy, as it elevates is refining and fosters your mind to be agile and look for a positive way forward in life.

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One way to delve further into these gradients of energy is through the 3 levels of you: Ego, Soul, Spirit. Another way you can call them is: You, Man/Woman, Higher self.

Each level of energy is a natural state to be in for any of us. However we don’t spend our whole life in just one level. Nowadays I think it is safe to say that most of us spend 80% of our time in the Ego level. Then perhaps 18 or 19% on the Soul leaving just 1% for the Human Spirit.

If we find ourselves looking for meaning in life or a sense of purpose in our personal and professional life then having a specific strategy for energy management can be useful. Simply put it can be broken down to the Ego level of your life gets FEELING energy. This means it is about how you feel about you in the moment. This is important but not very powerful because it is about just one person.

The next level is the Man / Woman level as we grow into our abilities to use life’s twists and turns to help us develop into an honourable person. This soul level of us gets EMOTION energy. This energy is about human qualities and so it is a much more powerful energy. So in fact the more we want energy and attention for our ego self it is recommended to focus more of our time into the human level of us because being in service to something bigger than oneself makes us more attractive. This may seem like a funny apparent contradiction. However it can pay off for all levels of our life and for those around us as we become a person whose words are congruent with their actions and therefore can be trusted by the people around us to follow through.

Level 3 of 3 – the Higher You; Spirit realms. And quite often unknown territory. We can feel this aspect of ourselves when we are out in the park or forest early morning. A few birds are chirping and a fox lopes away at the sound of our footsteps. There is a connection that has been built overnight in the park between the energies of the natural life that we walk into and are graced by. The energy of this sensation feels peaceful. When we try to visually locate it it seems elusive – dashing behind a tree. It is the finer levels of natural energies that we can connect to and arrive at clarity about what we think about and we are worried about – what we want our life to be about. Because it is about what you want in the spiritual context it is the energy of PASSION. What we want others to know about us as we really are. This can have the greatest impact on: all levels of our life, those around us, those yet to come and the atmosphere of the planet.

Find what words can locate you in each level of your life and use those words to become the person you want to be at each level.