This is part three in a three-part series on hacks for men in a #MeToo era. How men relate with women at this time is changing, and, evolution is necessary. This series is meant to drop a few ideas as to how to begin to engage differently. This change can be non-shameful and evolutionary for all of us. And, it needs to be.
Hack #9: Notice how you interact with young boys.
Please know that if you are interacting with a young boy, that you are, at that moment, influence on them, whether or not you want to be. They are watching you and they want to learn how to act.
As a single mother of a son, I notice the quality of interactions between men and my son. When men notice their role and slip into even the slightest mentorship role in the time they are with my son, it makes all the difference. This does not include jokes about beer or girls (which I’ve seen, which is confusing to children and perpetuates misunderstood gender roles). This does include honorable behavior such as a genuine handshake, modeling respect for their mothers and women, and asking them about their interests (as opposed to accomplishments).
Hack #10: Read King Warrior Magician Lover by Robert Moore.
When my male clients are confused about why they feel how they feel like a man, I recommend this book. And lightbulbs go off. This book has been mightily influential for the last few decades and the archetypes in it are the basis for many men’s groups, such as The ManKind Project.
Hack #11: Join a men’s group.
We live in a culture that is void of Rites of Passage for men, which has had significant negative effects on both men and culture. The missing Rites of Passage mean that individuation from the mother has not occurred, which perpetuates pleasing behaviors as well as shame.
I find in working with couples that men who are depleted trying to please women in their relationships are focused on the wrong things. When their empowerment returns through men’s initiations and ongoing participation in men’s groups, they are able to feel much more embodied in their masculinity in their relationships. You can not do all your personal development with your partner, and as a man, finding community with other men is critical.
Hack #12: Don’t stop at the men’s group.
How we integrate what is going on in men’s and women’s groups back into the relationship is actually cutting edge investigation. I’m interested in navigating this edge. But here’s what I know. Don’t stop at the men’s group. Don’t stop at one men’s group (keep going), and also, don’t think that the men’s group is a magic solution for what repair work needs to be done in your relationships with women. We all have reconciliation to do, and separate men’s groups and women’s groups are step one on a path to true healing.
Clearly, these aren’t hacks, really, because everything I’m writing about these last few weeks requires you to go deep. Hacks are ideas that are supposed to be shortcuts, and while I’ve written briefly about 12 topics now, none of life is truly a hack. Except maybe those things my child can do with duct tape – those are hacks.
After I started writing these, I saw that John Wineland frequently says, “F*ck hacks, go deep.” I actually agree. There are no hacks. You really have to go way in.
Learn more about the deep work I do with couples and individuals at www.yourembodiedbreath.com.
What’s Next? Talk with others. Take action.
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