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July 11, 2019

Redefining Manhood

The concept of masculinity seems to be growing ever increasingly in media attention and casual conversations today. On one end there are those who believe that toxicity has consumed the ideals of men and their masculine expression. On the other end there are men who are kicking back against this notion, claiming that there is a war on masculinity. Who is truly right here? Are men toxic, or are we a product of confusion spurred on by a society lacking initiation into manhood. A society lacking in ritual and in healthy masculine elders. What will it take for men to be both accountable for themselves, and fully expressed? The answer lies in two areas. First each man must embody their unique masculine expression. Every human has both masculine and feminine essences and the ratios are different depending on the person. We must stop requiring men to uphold a rigid and unhealthy definition of masculinity, which typically goes something like this. “You are a man, you must always behave in _____ way.
Stoic, unemotional, confident, the adjectives are endless. The problem with this conception of manhood, is that the very essence of being alive means that we will never be confined to one emotion or way of being. In fact when we cannot make room for different expressions to flow within us we are cutting ourselves off from our vitality. If we are cut off from our life force we won’t be able to show up in the world as fully integrated and powerful men. To further illustrate this, imagine an oak tree and a palm tree. On the surface the oak tree is the more powerful of the too however it is rigid. The palm tree is strong, but it is also flexible. It sways with the wind and adapts to the forces placed upon it and when a tremendous storm strikes it is the palm not the oak that survives. When we can allow ourselves to embody this flexible state of being we can access our true power. Second we must reintegrate guidance into the lives of men. So often the problems we see perpetrated today that are quickly labeled as “toxically masculine” actually stem from a lack of elder masculine presence. Without proper guidance boys will never learn how to develop into grounded healthy adult males. Without positive masculine role models boys must turn to media and other less than optimal sources to form their conception of masculinity. It is truly each man’s journey to allow his unique expression to shine through. That journey starts with self discovery, allowance of what is and ideally support from other men on the path. If these things are in alignment we can begin to see a new birth of healthy masculinity in the world.

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