Do you find it difficult to become mindful and aware as a man in today’s world? What does that even mean you may ask? I would like to shed a light on an archetypal theory of the healthy male.
My journey began from the yearning to raise my consciousness and awareness because I wanted to make a positive impact on the people around me; my family, my co- workers, my community. I realize that this is difficult when life is moving so fast, with so many responsibilities and stresses at every waking moment. My group work with men has revealed many lessons through deep conversation and contemplation.
Circumstances are generally the reason for the outcome. I wouldn’t be too far off by assuming that a lot of men have strained or estranged relationships with their fathers. This is most likely a result of the times; our fathers and their fathers worked laborious jobs in challenging circumstances in order to be the sole providers for their families. This resulted in hardly being home and when they were, they were rarely present out of pure mental and physical exhaustion. This hardened their ability to express themselves or show any kind of vulnerability as a man.
As a man in today’s world and reflecting upon my boyhood I noticed that we lack outlets to express ourselves. “Boys don’t cry” is what we commonly hear. So you may ask how do men raise their awareness and level of conscious masculinity moving forward? We are searching for a sense of identity and purpose that will ultimately nourish our lives.
As one of the facilitators at Helix Healthcare Group Men’s: Conscious Masculinity, I am offering 5 ways to ignite that journey.
1. Grieve: grief is something you do, not something you feel. Grief is the elixir that if you drink enough of, will act like lubricant to grow your awareness. The passing of a special moment or the death of someone or something is an opportunity for you to practice expressing your sadness in a ceremonial way. A way of caring for your sadness so it does not turn to anger. Say a few things to commemorate the passing of something in your life.
2. Be grateful: everyday hold a short ceremony in honour of being alive. Give thanks for your health, for your breath, the friends and family you have in your life. Get good at being thankful for the seemingly ordinary things. Life is in the ordinary. Give thanks for the everyday things that we’ve become so good at taking for granted. Watch how your eyes will open up to being more present and more alive.
3. Be responsible: take responsibility for your life, everything in it and all of the things that happened to get you where you are today. It’s your source of power. As soon as you blame other people and other things you give them all of the power. You lose all ability to learn, develop and grow. That’s where real wisdom lies: inside your ability to take ownership for all of it.
4. Be your word: all we are is our language. Our brains are a construct of the things we say every day. To ourselves and to other people, do what you say you’ll do. Be where you’ll say you’ll be and at the time you said you’d be there. If you can, own your language. Create yourself through what you say and your level of power and consciousness will soar.
5. Be among others who want to be conscious: if you want to fly like an eagle then you better start flying with some. Learn and grow together. Find groups of men who aspire to make the world better.
If we as men can learn how to be elders for younger men, we may just stand a chance to shift our ability to foster responsibility, integrity and consciousness in future generations.