As we men learn to cultivate our own tenderness, we become more adept at the language of relatedness. Our wives and partners have been asking that from us for years, and we have struggled to hear them. Our antiquated beliefs about masculinity, our homophobia, rage and shame, addictions, our increasing desensitization to our own pain … all have numbed us to our deep need for close and loving contact with other human beings. As a man, a husband and father, I have released the old beliefs about what a man is supposed to be. In so doing, I love the world in wonderfully new ways. While these changes are often frightening … for the old imprints never fully go away … I have places to share my uncertainties, reframe old beliefs, integrate more deeply.
I sit in circle with other men who struggle with the same issues. Together, we explore those attitudes and behaviors that keep us locked into old destructive patterns. We are daring enough, perhaps arrogant enough to believe that we are creating a new way of being for men. A place where men speak from our hearts, honest in the gut, honoring our truth, no matter what it looks like … a place to be juicy men.
In our circles, we honor each other’s vulnerabilities, our pain, fear, personal struggles, and joy. Where it is okay to say: “I am feeling really fucked up today.” or “I love you and I need you in my life.” There are very few places on the planet where men can talk like this to each other. Our circles are fiercely honest and compassionately accepting.
So, what will it take for us to make this change? How much fear and violence and abuse must we take and dish out before enough of us say enough? It is time to transform the old hyper masculine patterns and find ways to relate to each other with more awareness and care. While our species and planet need a healthy and loving Mother, we also need a powerful and loving Father.
Throughout the world, men are meeting in circles on a regular basis, to explore the existential, emotional, psychological, and spiritual issues that challenge us daily. Bookstores are overflowing with the ‘work’, both men and women committed to the imperative of transforming and transcending the old dominant masculine. The new (and ancient) deep masculine, in equal partnership with the new (and ancient) deep feminine are the new warriors for our time. Toughness, fierceness, discipline, logic, hardness, discernment, assertiveness … in alignment with tenderness, nurturance, gentleness, compassion, surrender. Alive in Both Men And Women.
This new way of being does not come easily. The ability to integrate and dance this paradox takes much inner work. Sitting in circles, trainings, workshops, coaching, maybe your own intimate relationships … all of these offer a safe container to do the deep dive. It is said that the only time we change is when it hurts too much to keep it the same. The truth is: we are running out of time … and doing it ‘one man at a time’ is not fast enough !!!