The Gender Shift

The Gender Shift

In the event that you aren’t paying attention, you should know that men (and women) are in the beginning stages of a very challenging, much needed and historic gender shift. Through this shift, men are painfully confused between the old ideas of masculinities and the newly forming behavioral expectations.     Researcher Jack Myers says “It will take decades but we are in the midst of an irreversible transformation. Women are gaining power and influence as traditional roles and expectations disappear and new gender norms evolve”. You may think this doesn’t affect you or your family, but it most definitely does. It affects our everyday interactions in the world, the media, our relationships, education institutions, business structures, pretty much every nook and cranny of life. When change happens there will always be those that resist it, and the polarized divide in our country shows that we are in the beginning stages of the decline of patriarchy (and there’s research/studies to prove it). Woman have been fighting and working for equality for a long time, and things have been slowly changing. But men having been entrenched in patriarchy mindset for thousands of years are going to need some help in adapting, especially young men and boys. The Marlborough man is long since dead and the new age sensitive whimp has been rejected, so where does that leave men. I think for now it leaves us in a limbo of possibility; new healthy masculine role models are needed, more education and training. More conscious fathers and husbands… And women, your help is greatly needed, one big piece would be to help...
Getting Your Needs Met

Getting Your Needs Met

This past weekend I was teaching a music and yoga festival. It was an amazing weekend of deep work with men and couples. After polling 100 men, I found that more than 75% of them felt they fit into the “people pleaser caretaker camp”. The people pleaser caretaker (or nice guy) is someone that doesn’t like to rock the boat, they feel more at ease when they are seeing to others needs and will often hear the phrase “you are such a nice guy”.   The people pleaser nice guy often feels dissatisfied with his sexual/intimate relationship. It is often the “people pleaser caretaker” that stews in dissatisfaction. He doesn’t have the kind of sex, affection or adoration that he yearns for.   Problem #1   He rarely if ever puts himself first.   The “people pleaser caretaker” doesn’t speak up to get his needs met. He doesn’t speak his desire, he thinks of his wife or partner before himself, his efforts are aimed at what he thinks is the noble thing: “making others feel good”.   The habit of putting others first leaves him to secretly sulk in frustration of not having his needs met. His already low self-esteem spirals downward into the whirlpool of the “poor me victim”. He then gives, even more, attention and loving to his partner to make up for his feeling of low self-worth. Breaking this habit can be terrifyingly difficult.   Solution #1 Own Your Warrior   The first step is: ‘Own Your Warrior’. Owning your warrior means coming into the awareness that you must make your own needs your priority. You...
Let the Sadness Be Sweet

Let the Sadness Be Sweet

After a breakup lying on the ground in front of my meditation altar tears pouring out of my eyes. Feeling alone on an empty beach watching the sunset in a soft and quiet sadness. Sitting on a park bench in Germany feeling confused in what to do next in life, unable to move as grief flows over me. These were a few of the many times of my life where loneliness, sadness, and grief have washed over me. In so many of these times of sadness the interesting thing is that the emotiondoesn’t arrive alone. When I have allowed the loneliness and sadness to be fully alive within me, a secondary feeling arrives, a sense of sweetness wrapped up in an underlying longing to be free. There is a gentle mood of reflection when the sweetness arrives. I could also describe it as a sort of tender melancholy. I’m not referring to the kind of melancholic depression or emotional resignation, but rather the feeling of being emptied out. The act of “allowing” invites a sweetness to join hands with the sadness. When I’ve been in resistance to the pain then the sadness turns sours and creates a self-judgmental loop. As a man this was not something I was taught, I had to move through endless amounts of pain and sadness to figure this out. And through my years of work as a coach and mentor I’ve seen countless men experience the same. The way through resistance is...
The Subtle Shaming of Men and Vulnerability

The Subtle Shaming of Men and Vulnerability

            A man I knew rarely if ever shared his emotions with his wife. He would often feel unsure and insecure about their relationship; his coping mechanism would be to go into hyper pleasing mode to try and make her happy. His nice guy pleasing mode was a nasty habit of neediness that he fell into often (and didn’t like). He never felt brave enough to share this issue with her. Another guy I knew went through a long period of money challenges and felt he wasn’t living up to his big ideal of what a “good and powerful man” should look like. The way he dealt with this was by being overly defensive to any criticism or feedback from his wife.  He would get easily offended because he was judging himself as not being enough, not being successful. In both cases the men were clear that there was “no way” they were going to be vulnerable and share these issues with their partners. Not vulnerably sharing is death to emotional intimacy in relationship, which amounts to inauthentic relating. Not only does inauthenticity impair loving connection in relationship, but in sex, friendships, your relationship with yourself, and in all the little moments of time in your life. The conundrum for men in being vulnerable: we want to be vulnerable, share our pain, our fears, even our darkness, but we also know that women (this is a generalization of course) find our confidence attractive. Mistakenly, however, men think of confidence as excluding vulnerability, when in fact, the foundation of true confidence is our ability to...
Be Less Tolerant

Be Less Tolerant

              In my 20’s I hung with this guy that was often critical, judgmental and not really enjoyable to be with. It was challenging being around him, but I chose to hang out with him because I felt his good heart beneath his shitty attitude. When we were hanging out and things didn’t go his way or if I would do something he didn’t like he would lob personal insults; and if I argued back with him, he would verbally attack me immediately. So why did I take his abuse?  For reasons unknown to me at the time, I tolerated his rude, judgmental and unkind behavior. Thinking about it now, it was pretty crazy that I tolerated someone treating me that way. The truth is, the unkind, critical guy was living inside of me, and it was me! When I made a mistake and screwed something up I would slam myself with insults. If I saw someone more successful than I am, I would put myself down to drive the point home of how I was “less than” him. If I felt sad I would judge myself as weak. Anytime there was an opportunity to find something wrong with myself, I would. I know many of you do this as well, you don’t give yourself a break, and you’re relentlessly hard on yourself. You tolerate a harsh inner critic. One reason I tolerated this unfriendly behavior to myself, is the same reason that someone stays in an unhealthy or even abusive relationship; because it’s what we know even if it’s unpleasant. We tolerate...
Vulnerability Better Sex and Intimacy

Vulnerability Better Sex and Intimacy

                      Vulnerably sharing is one of the things that a woman want most from a man, and it can also be one of the most difficult thing for a man. A man being challenged in sharing his feelings is not a new subject or perhaps doesn’t sound that interesting. But, vulnerability is key to creating a healthy loving and juicy relationship. Vulnerability traditionally means a place in which one can be injured. I like the image of the vulnerable places in the Knight’s suit of armor (namely the neck, armpit and even back of the thigh are the vulnerable places). In this example the vulnerabilities can mean being seriously wounded or killed, and for some men, that’s how it sometimes feels to share a hurt, pain or shame.   In my experience, vulnerably sharing a fear or insecurity has often felt like pulling teeth. Sharing anger is often easy, but confiding in what is underneath is not just scary, but also can take some practice in even figuring out those deep-seated emotions. Usually what is locked away is sadness. Rather than “going there”, I have often ignored or hidden the thing that could have been shared. It then becomes this secret internal burden that I must bare alone. And that ultimately will turn into shame or guilt.   There are different methods we employ to avoid our hurt and pain. One of the most common ways is to ‘numb oneself’ with external sources like porn, alcohol or obsessive shopping to name a few. Another way to avoid dealing with...
CLOSE
CLOSE