Tag - empowerment

Sacred Masculine or Scared Masculine?

The truth is, it’s a fine line!

I lived the first fifteen years of my life in fear that my step mother would assault me while I was at home and when I was at school I lived in fear that I would be teased by my peers for wearing uncool clothes or be verbally or physically attacked by the rougher kids from the other more working class estate.  After I left home I spent seven years with no fixed abode in fear of my fellow drug crazed traveller friends, the abuse of power by the police or local vigilantes.  Yes, fear was my constant companion.  It was there lurking in the shadows all the time like Gollum in Lord of the Rings, following, waiting, whispering.

Fear is a natural aspect of being human.  It is designed to keep us safe so that we alerted to danger and choose appropriate action when our safety is threatened.  But what if we are a child and there are no options that will make us safe?  Then we find ourselves in fight and flight all of the time and the flow of cortisol and stress chemicals become our default state, placing great stress on our adrenal glands and our biology so that our bodies have to try to compensate for this as best they can.  Add to this, if you are in a male body, the platitude that ‘big boys don’t cry’ so that these fear based emotions are not allowed to be processed and we have the beginnings of boys supressing and denying their feelings.  Every young boy will experience fear to varying degrees no matter how lovingly he is raised and consciously or unconsciously will absorb the information that you are ‘less than’ if you feel fear and often are actually  taught to feel shame for feeling fear when it does arise and it can’t be concealed. So we learn to give ourselves a hard time for having a hard time, we shame ourselves!

When a baby is upset or fearful it will cry and alert it’s carers that something is wrong and hopefully it will be attended to.  The emotion is expressed through the sound and through the release of tears.  When a duck has finished a skirmish with another, it will raise itself up and flap its wings to release any of the emotion created in the conflict.  Nature has designed it so that emotional energy is released as it is felt and therefore causes no lasting physical, psychological or emotional harm.

But what happens when a boy or a man’s fear is not expressed?  Then we have a whole society of boys in men’s bodies who adopt many different ways to numb or distract or to conceal their fear. This is most commonly done through addictions like overworking, alcohol, pornography, over consuming food or material things, wearing the mask of status or striving for what our dysfunctional society calls ‘success’. And sadly we leave the realms of our bodies, of our hearts, of our feelings and we retreat into our heads. We become talking heads. If our male leaders were truly in touch with their feelings they could not make the decisions that they do which they know will cause so much suffering to children, women and the planet. These are the very things that the sacred man knows he was born to protect, to raise up and honour.  But we live in a world where men are taught not to feel and we see the result of this disconnect between head and heart.

Let’s be clear that most if not all ‘negative’ or uncomfortable emotions arise from fear: shame, jealousy, guilt, anger all have fear at their root.  This is why the road to sacred masculinity is paved with fear.  To make that epic journey from the head back to the heart I have had to feel much of the fear that had been trapped in my body for decades.  Sometimes I feel fear and I don’t know what it is related to and I just have to trust that it is old energy leaving. Sometimes a situation will trigger an old memory and fear will arise that is far in excess of the current situation.

I know that this issue is not necessarily gender specific.  Women carry the same wound to a large extent.  So it is vitally important that when a man is making that courageous journey back to his heart that he is not shamed or dishonoured for whatever arises.  I have been held in the arms of men and sobbed and sobbed uncontrollably at times when I felt safe enough to allow the years of unexpressed fear to be felt and to leave.  The sacred masculine is not a hunky, tattooed, warrior who fears nothing. He is a man who dares to walk a road without a map because there is little record of this happening before on this earth in our recorded, censored and distorted ‘his’story. He is a man who keeps stepping toward what he fears regardless of how much it evokes haunted memories of past injustices or abuse or shaming that he suffered.

I feel it is no coincidence that the words sacred and scared are so similar.  To become sacred you must acknowledge your scaredness.  You must make fear your constant companion until it is time for you to go your separate ways. Perhaps that day will come or perhaps it will not.  I don’t know because for now I know that, although in much smaller ways, I still find, that I am asked to embrace and honour my fears most days. It seems the journey of becoming the best version of ourselves is never ending and letting go of fear is key to this process.

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The Sacred Dance of the Feminine and Masculine

There has been a lot to do recently. A never ending ‘to do’ list that phones me, messages me, emails me and arrives through my letter box.

We live in a world where the masculine energy of ‘doing’ is put on a pedestal.  Where action is revered and venerated, often on the altar of avoiding oneself.

‘Are you keeping busy?’  People ask. ‘I am doing my best not to.’ I answer.

The blind, distorted unconscious ‘doing’ is the energy of the lost masculine patriarchy.  But some doing is better than other doing!  We would do well to discern and know when our doing is just part of an addiction playing out and when it is an expression of our love, when our doing arises from the depths of our being, when we can’t not do it, when we have no choice but to put love into action.

In many ways we have done a thorough job of keeping busy in our search for love and happiness in the consuming of material stuff, entertainment, addiction and power over others; we have worked very hard inflicting suffering on each other, sentient beings and the planet.   Inside the hearts of humanity there is an insatiable poverty and longing for intimacy, connection and homecoming that can only be avoided by movement and can only be experienced by stillness, by receptivity, by surrender. This feminine energy of stillness in which expansion occurs has been denigrated and it is time for the balance to be restored.

It is time for humanity and each of us to make that epic journey from the head back home to the heart. It is time to have the courage to feel again. To feel all that was denied and supressed and to feel the joy and bliss and gratitude for this miraculous human experience of flesh and senses and emotions that we have been gifted. It is time to rest in the not knowing, in the uncertain, in the mist of confusion and deepen our faith that when the time is right the way forward shall be revealed because our minds cannot begin to comprehend what is really going on!

Yin and yang, ‘both light and shadow are the dance of life’. When there is imbalance between the masculine and feminine energy of creation there will be suffering. This imbalance is reflected in the disharmony between men and women. The mistrust, abuse, generations of pain live in all of our hearts and bodies and until this work is done there will not be peace on this earth.

It is time to unlearn everything that we were taught. The story of our world that has permeated our bodies is not the full story. We splash about in a small puddle of options unaware that that beyond the veil of doing and  busy-ness and not feeling, lies an infinite ocean of possibility accessed through presence.

The feminine, yin energy wants to be embodied inside us. Do what you need to do, but remember to value the spaces, the emptiness, the resting. Action that does not arise from the still, pure, clarity of a feeling heart may not be always be the best way to spend your precious time here in this incarnation.  Get back in flow with the cycles and flow of natur, for that is the true rhythm of life.

Make time to feel and grieve and shed your tears if that is what is needed. This is what may arise in this spacious place initially.  There is no need to do this alone, share with your brothers and sisters because they feel it too. There is no shame in lamenting that which was lost and this actually is a necessary precursor to coming home. Feeling the grief of the world means you are coming home and this feeling will be replaced by active hope. When you feel the depth of our lostness you can’t help but take action knowing that small things consistently done by many, will inevitably result in massive changes.  The results may not be seen in our human lifetime, but so what?  Do you only want happiness for your children while you are alive or do you wish them the best for all of their days?

Beneath the ocean of our collective sadness I believe there is a labyrinth of crystal caves that lead us to worlds and realities that our minds cannot begin to comprehend.

Remember to honour the spaces. This sacred dance of masculine and feminine energy, of man and woman is key to our homecoming. It is time to for union. Time to recognise fully the mutual value of yin and yang which are complimentary opposite and also present within each other.

A symphony of musical notes played by the greatest orchestra would just be a cacophony of noise if it were not for the spaces between the notes.  A note and a space, another note and another space.

Perhaps this dance of yin and yang, the divine union of the masculine and feminine is essentially the dance of Life itself?

What can we do but keep dancing our dance?  What can we be but keep being the dance?

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Fire, Earth and Darkness

Last night four friends gathered, as they do four times a year, and made their way through the woods as the last of the daylight faded.
They arrived at the round, natural hollow in the earth amongst half a dozen yew trees and prepared their fire.
The sacred space was honoured and the fire was lit.
They sat in silence for a while, alone and together with their thoughts and feelings while the darkness wrapped itself around their backs.After a short while the first of the friends broke the silence to speak of what was alive in them and what was asking to be shared.
The other three listened in silence.
When the first was done a short silence ensued until the second of the friends was ready to share. This continued until all four had spoken their truth and shared from the deepest place inside.
No conversation, no comments just heart felt listening and silence.
All the time the fire crackled and flickered, fed occasionally by some wood added to the embers and flames and the yew trees watched. Alchemy weaved and caressed them while they sat on the cool damp earth.
When all had spoken they shared a few words and gave offerings to the fire before making their way back out of the woods to share some food and warmth and mulled cider.
In three months time they will meet again.

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Male Suicide and the Divine Feminine

At different points yesterday I found my mind wondering about the suicide of my homeless friend Rem and I saw the connection with the feminine, the heart, the feeling centre.
Rem was loved by many folk but he could not feel it. I can relate to this. When we are young and our needs are not met or we suffer trauma, we build protective layers around our hearts to protect them from feeling more emotional pain.
I think of these walls as made of ice and and all the unexpressed emotions that we were not able or capable of feeling at the time.
So we live in a world where the heart, the feeling centre of most people is encased in ice, frozen and inaccessible to varying degrees.
For me the heart is the throne or home of the divine feminine but for too long She has been locked away in this self made prison inside the hearts of men and women.
The ice prison bars protect us to some extent from feeling more pain but unfortunately the bars also prevent us feeling Love that is given freely by people that care about us.
Rem could not feel the Love because of the bars he had unconsciously created around his heart. If he could have felt the Love maybe he would not have taken his life.
My heart was also in an ice prison for much of my life but by the grace of God I realised that I could begin working to dissolve the bars. This is the journey back to the heart that we each are invited to take at this auspicious time in humanity’s story. This journey on a macro level is the pledge to restore the Divine Feminine, to her rightful throne. As each of us make progress on this journey to our own hearts we affect the collective and take more steps towards a new earth built on the foundations of Love and Truth and pure masculine and feminine principles.
This journey is not for the feint of heart because as we set our intention and walk the road back home we will initially feel everything that was not felt before. As the ice bars melt the old ‘frozen alive’ feelings are released and we must have the courage and awareness to know how to feel these feelings which are often intense, especially when we have been numb for so long and are so unaccustomed to know what it is to feel acutely.
For me Rem’s story is symbolic of the journey that man is invited to embark on at this time, back home to the heart, to honouring our feelings, to have the courage to feel the full spectrum of emotions that are part of the miracle of this human experience.
And this journey is not just for men but for women too. Perhaps it is just more of a challenge for men because we were often given even less permission to feel as boys growing up.
Melting the ice bars, feeling again, coming back to life,. walking each other home, courageously feeling what needs to be felt, remembering that not only are we all worthy of Love but that we are always Loved and in actual fact Love is our very essence.
Now is a good time for the sacred masculine to fully embrace the divine feminine, to set her free from the prison where she has been for too long and in this way there will be less and less stories like Rem’s until one day these stories will all but be forgotten.

 

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Divine Feminine Moon

So here we are again you and I fair lady of the night.
Again you have slipped into my bed naked save for your silvery splendour.
What is it you want from me?
Why is it that you cast your full glance upon me
And insist I do not sleep but instead that I lay awake with you?
What kind of Lover are you
That you come and go from my bed as if it were yours?

Speak clearly now for you have my full attention.
My mind, body and soul are yours and I need not give permission
For you will do with them as you please.

These restless tides are yours that carry me beyond the shores of my mind,
In search of distant lands that I do not know.
On the oceans of Why and How and Perhaps you cast me adrift,
Seemingly never to reach a place where answers lie.

But, for tonight, you shall have your way with me.
And we will make strange Love again,
For I really have no choice.
Yes I will lie with you now,
And again when the time comes,
For one thing is clear:
I am yours.

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Young People are the Future

youth

Today I spoke to the secondary pupils at Maple Hayes Hall Dyslexia School. The title of my talk was: ‘It’s not what happens but how we choose to respond that counts.’ I wanted them to know that despite (and perhaps because) of their challenges with reading and writing etc they can still lead happy, loved and successful lives. Thank you Jackie Tweedie for your repeated requests to the head teacher to get me in to talk.

It’s hard to say how it went but I know I gave it my all and I hope that some of the things that I shared will stick with them. I know my heart felt very open as I looked around into the eyes of so many young people.

With dyslexia they will have their additional challenges as if life isn’t tough enough for young people already. I keep hearing about the massive increase in mental health issues amongst our youth and on Radio 4 while driving to the school there was an interview with a 9 year old boy who was depressed and said he saw no point in living. What is going on??! He said that he asks himself the big questions like ‘why are there wars?’ and ‘why aren’t people kinder to each other?’ My suspicion is that these larger issues, that young people can see no solution to are having a massive detrimental effect on their well- being. It makes me a little sad.

Young people are the future. The extent to which we invest in them now will determine the future of humanity.

One Love x

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