if you move carefully
through the forest,
like the ones
in the old stories,
who could cross
a shimmering bed of leaves
without a sound,
to a place
whose only task
is to trouble you
but frightening requests,
conceived out of nowhere
but in this place
beginning to lead everywhere.
Requests to stop what
you are doing right now,
to stop what you
while you do it,
that can make
that have patiently
waited for you,
that have no right
to go away.
– David Whyte
from “Everything is Waiting for You” & “River Flow: New & Selected Poems”
©2003 Many Rivers Press
Beatrice Wood, artist. Her most productive years were from age 80 to 105. “I owe it all to art books, chocolate and young men.”
Photo by Tony Cunha 1986
It takes courage and strength to stand in truth. If we don’t practice with the small truths how can we get stronger for the big Truths? I am so grateful to have acknowledgement that EVERY voice deserves to be heard. Thank you to everyone who supported me in that. The TRUTH really does set us free and TRUTH at the Community level is even more potent!
This is going to take real work, which is why so many men resist it. It requires destabilizing your own identity, and giving up attitudes and behaviors from which you’re used to deriving power, likely before you learn how to derive power from other, more just and productive places. There are real risks for men who challenge toxic masculinity, from social shaming to actual “don’t’ be a fag” violence—punishments that won’t ease until many, many men take the plunge. But there are great rewards to be had, too, beyond stopping rape. Toxic masculinity is damaging to men, too, positing them as stoic sex-and-violence machines with allergies to tenderness, playfulness, and vulnerability. A reinvented masculinity will surely give men more room to express and explore themselves without shame or fear. (It will also, not incidentally, reduce rape against men as well, because many rapes of men are committed by other men with the intention of “feminizing”—that is, humiliating through dominance—their victim”
What does it say about our society that when a man is “friend zoned” – it is somehow equated with him being less of a man?
Humility is very powerful friends. Intense morning – (re)activated patterns. When we move on and try to carry the pain with us – it creates a vengeful energy, need to be “right”, to prove, to show – that the cause of the pain wasn’t true. We pray, “oh God, don’t let them/him/her be right, it hurts too much” These are the dynamics that try to bring the “old” into the “new”, keep us trapped in old patterns and set up the perfect conditions for us to be humbled. The choice is… Do you want LIFE to humble you the hard way or, will you stay with the pain and cut through it with a humble and vulnerable presence… and rise…. from the ashes of needing to prove: society wrong, the bullies wrong, your family wrong? I know my answer…what’s yours? With grace and ease… I rise – knowing that I AM LOVE
“I came to realise my own complicity as a consumer in the deaths and suffering of people lower down the value chain.”
We cannot “get men to fight for women’s rights” without first helping them realize their own oppression. Any effort outside of this is mis-informed -Mirona Constantinescu
We cannot realize another’s oppression without first realizing our own. We don’t have the motivation to “fight for” another’s liberation until we fight for our own. Context: Sexism/Racism
One of my favorite things to do is surprise people with willingness to help and support. To offer help in an area where I know the person needs support and has a hard time asking for it. What stops me at times are 2 things
1. Being afraid that they will then EXPECT that of me all the time and I will be over-committed.I can give more when I release myself from the pressure of that expectation and give myself the right to say ‘No’ at anytime after that. I wonder if this holds other people back from giving sometimes too?
2. When I offer that level of support I also have to let go that helping people freely when they need it doesn’t guarantee they will be there when YOU need it. So I do as much as I can until I feel a resistance within myself. I often reflect how many people have their cause they want support on but how we also want support on our stuff. It’s truly an art that I am still mastering.
When was the last time you surprised someone with your willingness? Without asking to be paid for ‘coaching’ or your ‘webinar series’? Today – see if you can put your concerns of not being reciprocated and let go of the fear that you will become over-committed aside for 5 minutes. Take 5 minutes to give even just 1 honest opinion/feedback – admit that thing that you haven’t wanted to admit, say that thing that is rolling around in the back of your mind or heart.
To illustrate: I was recently approached online from someone I don’t know to go on a date. After a little chit chat I could feel that he was so lonely. Instead of being turned-off or pushing him away with some retort I just wrote “Why are you so lonely?” He was surprised but delighted because indeed this was true. Playfully he writes “Who asks people that the first time they talk?” I said, “The question is: who has time to waste?… that should be the norm – not pretending we don’t sense things.” From that place we could have a more meaningful conversation
Of course there is always the risk of being inaccurate in what we sense – but that’s the risk of authenticity – the unwillingness to live life on the surface any longer.