I’m really excited about a new direction that a part of my work is taking. I feel really honoured that more and more men are approaching me to work with them to support them and I feel moved to put out a note on my take on men’s work.
It feels to me that men’s work has rarely been more important and relevant than it is now. In a post-#metoo world, men are often feeling lost and confused about their role in society, about what is expected of them and even how to approach women.
I believe that we are moving into a new phase of human development
where the limitations of old paradigms about masculinity are being highlighted. We have the opportunity to move towards something new and exciting as men and women, to create an evolutionary culture where new possibilities may emerge. So how do we create a new masculine that is adapted for this evolutionary state of civilisation, one that can not only make sense of current culture but also contribute to developing the new society that the planet is ready for?
Use Love not Shame
First I want to name a caution that I have. I’ve noticed a trend with some men’s work that I feel deeply uncomfortable with. I’ve encountered groups that use shame to bully men into change; that use rigid structures (such as a 30-day No Ejaculation Challenge) to create targets that, when not met, lead to feelings of greater worthlessness; I’ve encountered groups that mistake confrontation for the deep masculine Warrior archetype; I’ve seen many approaches to bodywork that use force to attempt to smash through resistances rather than honour and respect them.
I feel saddened by these harsh and dis-honouring methods and have seen that although for some people they can be beneficial, more often than not they only compound the shame and the feelings of not being good enough. Instead, it seems to me, that a more gentle approach is far more effective.
Resistances exist for a reason. They are props that support us to function in the world, even if they also limit us. Instead of smashing through them, I’ve found that offering something more attractive to focus on is a much more positive and honouring approach.
The deep masculine comes not from being punitive to self or others, but from increasing our capacity for love – beginning with one’s self.
Two Journeys For Men
And for me, I’ve come to feel that there are two journeys that men need to undertake to step fully into who they can be. The first is from Boyhood to Manhood. This transition does not come about through simple chronological time passing but through deep inner work (psychological time and chronological time are not the same thing!)
The qualities of Manhood include presence, integrity, authenticity, having meaning and purpose (mission), owning our shadows, mastery, understanding sexual energy and becoming sovereign over ourselves. One model of this is to apply the archetypal qualities of Warrior, Lover, Magician and King. Much of this work is being done in the collective and it is important at this time.
However, I feel that there is a second journey and that is the passage from Manhood to Essence. Here the outer world becomes less of a focus and we turn our awareness inside to find the deep masculine, deep connection to the divine within. Here attention moves from Me to We, it becomes about how to be in service rather than what I can get from the world. Old ways of thinking that worked for getting us from the first stage to the second (Boy to Man) will no longer work here as they are based more on ego and external reality.
Deep transformation and our deep potency arise when we connect to Life, to Consciousness and to the eternal Void within.
This is the journey back to our Essence.
I feel that this journey to Essence is the evolutionary edge of consciousness in society right now. The move away from personal ego to collective wisdom; the setting aside of egoic power and the embracing of access to a deeper source of wisdom and power – these are evolutionary drivers right now. And we are blessed to be able to engage with them in ourselves and others, for ourselves, for our community and for our planet as a whole.
When we access our Essence we become who we can be, moving in the world not from a place of our personal, egoic power but from that deeper power that comes from Life itself, that is consciousness used to inform the movement of energy for the purpose of creating harmony and a deepening of the evolution of consciousness on this planet.
If you’re interested in finding out more, let’s talk!