"Understanding is the key to love" - Teal Swan
It’s time to stop simply writing the masculine men of the world off as “toxic.” It’s not helpful. It’s creating an entirely new field of shame and hostility around being a man. This is exactly the opposite of what the world needs right now. Wouldn’t you build resentment if your entire being was minimized down to one simple stereotype? Don’t you? I’m sure every gender, race, creed, body, and mind know this suffering and pain.
The world is in desperate need of HARMONY. Harmony is the ultimate expression of masculine and feminine unity, and of life itself. We cannot have one without the other. We cannot reach our highest human potential if we minimize, berate, or belittle the “other.” This obviously goes for ALL sides.
As our consciousness collectively evolves it begs to ask the question: “why?” Why are men hurting, therefore hurting others, or hurting themselves? The suicide rates for men, especially Veterans, are incredibly high, and only getting higher. Just last year it was reported that we lose 22 veterans a day to suicide. This year, a new study reports that we actually lose closer to 44 Veterans to suicide* every single day.
Men are known to “shut up and suffer.” Men are stereotyped as violent, abusive, and domineering. Many men are taught “not to be an inconvenience.” What is this doing to our men? What is this doing to the collective? Most of us have very graphic personal answers to this question, and if we ourselves don’t, someone we know does.
Since the 60’s, we have been seeing a LOT of attention being brought to feminine empowerment. Rightfully so! It’s no secret that women have been taking abuse in endless forms for centuries; more at the hands of men than not. This movement is a beautiful reclaiming of power that so many women are in dire need of. One I’ve personally spent years of my life rediscovering and navigating. One that cannot and should not be minimized.
Fortunately, and more recently, we are also seeing men embark on their own journeys of healing and awareness. We are seeing men form groups, podcasts and networks to have important conversations to raise masculine, thus collective, consciousness. My personal favorites are @will_t_white, @holisticlifenavigation, and @evolvingman.
What we aren’t seeing a lot of are safe spaces where men can be seen and heard amongst themselves AND by women/other genders. Spaces where women and others can ask questions and seek understanding from different masculine perspectives perhaps other than their partner, family unit, or friends.
@Will_T_White (US ARMY Veteran, Piked Antler Project Survival Skills Instructor) and I are starting a group with the purpose of exactly this. We are calling it: “Understanding The Masculine.”
This group is meant to give men their chance to be seen and heard, without projections, names, or stereotypes thrown at them. To raise human consciousness and awareness. To bring us closer to unity, peace, and understanding.
Disclaimer: This group is no way meant to diminish the feminine perspective or experience. We have plenty of time to explore and highlight the feminine experience in future gatherings, and we will.
Men and other masculine-presenting humans will be invited to share any and all parts of their experience that they feel shame, obligation, pressure, etc. etc. around. Women are invited to join to listen and ask questions on what they hear or what they need clarification on. Conversation prompts will be offered.
This group is meant for open-minded, semi-to-very conscious and aware individuals and couples (past or present). There will be little tolerance for projection, grandiose egos, and other unconscious behavior. Not sure what that means? That’s okay. Will and I will be moderating the group to provide guidance on things like conscious communication and listening skills, if needed.
Men: we need your voice. Women: we need your presence.
We need each other.
Understanding The Masculine will be held in-person and virtually on July 22 from 3-5PM.
Please click the link above or visit www.withinyouyogaAVL.com and go to “events” to sign up. A potluck-style dinner may be offered afterwards depending on attendance. Attendees will be notified of this opportunity + Zoom details (if needed) after signing up. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
**A special invitation to our trans and non-binary community: we recognize that trans and non-binary folks have most likely put a lot more thought into what it means to be a man or woman than most of us cis-folk. Your perspective is especially welcome and valued here.
*America’s Warrior Partnership Study