be a man

“Why can’t he just be a man?” The number of times I have heard this hefty comment from my girlfriends about their current lover, boyfriend or husband, or thought this myself is countless. But what exactly do we mean when we say this?
It means we want you, the men, to stand in your masculine power and not get emotionally involved with our whimsical highs and lows.
By our very temperament, women are bound by the ebb and flow of nature. We live our lives by a rhythm, not governed by us, but by hormones, environmental impacts including the moon and countless other influences. As women, we are quite comfortable with this and are used to riding the waves of emotional impetuousness as they may come. Sometimes we react to them, sometimes we traverse them, either way ever knowing that they will go by.
What we are experiencing is not about you. It is our feminine wiles which include a continuously extensive range of emotional experiences that we draw upon that makes us the intuitive, creative and sensitive lovers, nurturers and carers that we are.
What makes it incredibly tedious however is when you, the men, start to involve yourselves and react to our emotional journeys. Women are accustomed to act on impulse. Impulse directs our journey, however we need our men to be the steadfast mast to accompany us in our adventures.
The next question that women commonly ask then is “Why? Why do they do this?” It is integrated into us to understand things so we may change them. We are driven to improving our current state of being.
There are many reasons for this, all of which play their role. Men have lost their sense of identity, have been shaken at the root of what being a man is. The last 50 years of incremental changes have been confusing and let’s be honest, most men aren’t that good at change in general.
Men are eating too much chicken and soy products and other foods full of triggers that change their natural testosterone and hormone balance. We suddenly are living in a society when men carry unusually high amounts of oestrogen in their bodies.
Men are missing out on crucial opportunities to explore and find themselves and connect with other men on a deeper level. Men are also no longer enduring a form of rite of passage which allows them to move from being boys into becoming men.
It’s about providing a space of safety and comfort despite emotional ups and downs with the knowledge and recognition that these upheavals are not meaningful and will pass.
This generally leaves them in a Peterpan-like status, forever the little boys clutching onto their mothers apron strings, unable to navigate their adult emotions because they have never learnt how to.
Clearly, there are some men who have moved past this impediment within themselves and have become empowered individuals with a strong sense of who they are, where they stand and what roles they choose to play. They are, however, few and far between.
Certainly this brings us to the next and final question. How? How can men learn to be men again, as we women so delicately put it. Or how can men learn to be empowered individuals once again?
This is a passage of self discovery unto itself and each mans journey is unique. This is the part where you, the men, must choose to look forward with the intention to grow and change and figure it out for yourselves. The moment that you make the choice within yourself and are willing to become the empowered man that is lying dormant within you, the opportunities show up. For some men it is joining a men’s group, for others it’s reading books, doing seminars or weekend retreats. Others prefer exercise, meditation and indulging in creative past times. Most men use a combination of methods to overcome obstacles and become more themselves, more men. This is where you need to figure out what works for you.
Until then, women the world over ask you to please; listen attentively, be there for us, but practise compassionate detachment to our highs and lows. Our emotional journeys are not about you and we need you to remain strong and uninvolved in them so that you can present us with the balance that we crave in our relationships with you. Be the men we need you to be.

what women want and men confuse

What is it that women want from men?
The answer is this: exactly that which you crave for from within yourself.
Women often say “Just be men!” but what does that mean?
Women want men to be warriors, to be honest, to be strong, to be the creative directors of your lives so that we may lay our trust upon your laps and cherish you and spoil you with our love and nurturing care.
Above all women want authenticity and integrity. We want you to be yourselves.
Impress us with your audacity of unbridled rapture. Show yourselves fully, not through a screen of social politeness, but as you would, had you never learnt the formal way to approach us and merely had your instinct to guide you.
Say what you mean and then do what you say.
We want to admire you for your kindness, your efforts, your thoughtfulness, your art and your skills. We adore you for being capable with your hands, flexible with your mind and devoted with you body.
Express yourselves freely, not caged in by what you think others want of you but by what you truly are.
Stand strongly within your own values and beliefs, unwavered by the opinions of others. It matters not what others think. We delight in a man who is true to himself and has the inner strength to assert himself.
Be free. Be wild. Be true to the motions in your loins and the passions of your heart.
The more you accept yourself and are yourself the more we will know how to accept you and love you for it.
We have no desire to control you, to cage you or to guide you. We want to walk by your side with conviction and the confidence that you will always be yourself and thereby do your very best.
That is what women truly want.

6 amazing books I’m reading right now

6 amazing books I’m reading right now

The Magicians Way
A very wonderful friend of mine actually gave me this book to read and quite serendipitously it was exactly what I needed at the exact right moment. I finished the book quite quickly and then wished it had lasted longer so perhaps I need to go back and read it again! Every single page gives me one of those aha! moments that clarify certain things I have been thinking, wondering or experiencing but not yet been able to put it into words myself or have it reflected back to me. The book outlines the 7 Secrets of Magic and is a novel type guide on how you can manifest your life through positive thought, focus, feeling good and listening to your intuition by staying in your heart. An excellent and entertaining read which I would recommend for the men/ man in your life who is interested in taking charge of his life but gets disgruntled by all the woo woo self help books out there.
You Can Create an Exceptional Life
It is no secret that I have a mega girl-crush on Louise Hay. She is my absolute idol in every single way and I admire here so deeply. She is the mother, grandmother and wise counsellor that I dream of having in my life. So when I heard she was publishing a book on her own practices in living the life of her dreams, I knew I must read it. The book is very sweetly and simply put together, with Cheryl Richardson very humbly interviewing Louise on certain areas of her life. My favourite part is when they meet at Louise’s house in San Diego and Cheryl briefly describes Louise’s sanctuary of a house….. it sounds absolutely gorgeous! Ok, so maybe that’s not my favourite bit but I certainly did fall a little bit in love with the home she has created! Many of the practices I know of and use from time to time but haven’t been doing as a daily practise which I actually want to incorporate back into my life. It was a good reminder, one which I really needed and the book itself left me feeling all warm and happy and full of hope anticipation for the future and gratitude for my life.
Kafka on the Shore
My sweet friend Rachel has started a book club and the first book for us to review is Kafka on the Shore. I friggin’ loved this book and as you can see it was the only novel in the stack beside my bed so it had to to be fun and lighthearted as well as entertaining. Murakami writes like a poet, full of vivid imagination and shades of every colour in emotional prose. You fall in love with every single character and are entranced and find it quite believable when fish fall out of the sky and a human has conversations with cats. The book contains quite a lot of depth, and being set in Japan explores modern culture which is inextricably intertwined with ancient folklore and spiritual beliefs. Every page has a little bit of a philosophical tinge to it leaving you wondering about life in a beautiful, mystical and mysterious way. Gorgeous, gorgeous read! Just go ahead and buy it if you’re looking for a good book.
Opening Our Hearts to Men
I was recommended this book by Tom Starke, the quantum physicist that gave the workshop on Understanding Men which you can read about here. I….. hmmm, let me be honest. I find this book really wordy, boring and kind of obvious but I can see how it would be very helpful for women who actually have issues with men. I haven’t finished it so I can’t give a full review just yet, but I think perhaps the book would be essential for women who have a lot of anger and resentment around men and don’t believe in their own ability or desirability to attract and keep the type of partner in their life that they want. It’s about releasing your negative beliefs around men and moving onto higher ground as well as seeing things from all perspectives and improving and widening your communication skills. A great book if that’s the sort of thing you are looking for in your life right now.
The Art of Earning
I bought this e-guide at least 6 months ago, which I read straight away, and then stumbled upon it when I was doing a clear out a few weeks ago, which was one of those subtle reminders that perhaps it’s time to review this beautiful and important message written by the clever and intelligent Tara Gentile again. If you are an artist, a creative, an entrepreneur or dabbling with making money in a different way, then this is for you. Tara clearly and carefully demonstrates how our beliefs and thoughts around money affect our ability to throw ourselves into the prosperity stream. Often we restrict our ability to make more money by believing that the only way we can get paid is from a salary or even by under-estimating our own worth. She gives simple and clear guidelines on how to get out of your money rut and start being the prosperous and financially abundant person that you deserve to be. Hurrah! (I sent this e-guide to my mum who loved it and all her neighbours asked for copies of it too which made me laugh when she told me; clearly this fabulous fabulous e-guide became the talk of the town in their little neighbourhood!)
The 4 Hour Work Week
This book has been sitting on my bedside table for about a year and for some reason we seem to have this on again, off again relationship. Tim Ferris is brilliant and every single page is jam-packed full of very succinct and practical advice on how to make running your business or managing your work time most efficiently and effectively as possible. It is well written and for me I think, almost too direct with TOO MUCH practicality, which is why it’s taking me such a long time to get through it. Every few weeks I pick it up, open it randomly and read a chapter or two, nod with enthusiasm and valour, am whole-heartedly inspired and then have to leave it for some time to allow my mind and heart to digest it all and take the relevant parts out to practise myself. This book is definitely for left-brainers who would appreciate the way Tim writes and essential reading for anyone wanting to get more time for themselves from their workday. It’s not about working harder, it’s about working smarter.

exploring the realms of ownership + sex in intimate relationships

exploring the realms of ownership + sex in intimate relationships

Guest post written by Lillian Bell. An intimate exploration of the dynamics within and beyond ‘conventional’ relationships.
I believe that in a relationship between two people, ideals will not always align. This is because each person is influenced by many different things, and is (hopefully) always evolving as an individual. Therefore, I believe the best we can do to evolve a relationship is to be CONTINUALLY open, honest, compassionate and supportive with each other, free of judgement. We should also, simultaneously, be all of these things to OUR SELVES as individuals (I acknowledge that this is no easy task for many and may take time to achieve!!).
I also believe in realising NOT ignoring our instincts, and then rationalising them to see if we can reconcile our logic with our instinctive reactions. That is, to let ourselves feel our emotions but then consult our logic to see if we can reach inner peace. If you cannot reach this state it could be because:

  1. you have not invited yourself to explore the situation thoroughly on a rational level; or
  2. you have put much consideration into the situation and your logic aligns with your instinct and, therefore, you cannot accept the situation

The concept of possession [ie possessing someone within a relationship] is directly related to oppression (and the sense of undesired ownership) and it is also the result of instinctive (as opposed to logical) evolution (ie to protect one’s chances of reproduction). This idea of possession is very subjective, however; it can be interpreted as one partner being ‘protective’ and the other feeling ‘safe’ because of it, or it can be interpreted as one partner being ‘posessive/dominant’ and the other feeling ‘submissive/oppressed’ because of it. It is one of many potential imbalances in a relationship. Some people see monogamy as an expression of ownership because people may state that their partner ‘belongs’ to them. Monogamy assumes each partner will not explore other people on a deep emotional and/or sexual level (the two are not always mutually exclusive) and some people see this as inhibiting/restricting (again, it’s all a matter of how each person involved perceives the situation).
The concept of polygamy is complicated because there can be as many emotional variables as there are people involved (and the fact that each person can continually change). Not to mention health issues associated with sex. The idea of a committed relationship is so often seen as synonymous with sexual exclusivity. However, there are people who believe that you can have sex with people outside of your relationship without it affecting the intense loving, committed feelings you have with your primary partner (and that this can, in fact, improve your relationship through a perceived sense of freedom and increased happiness derived from the other person’s happiness). In addition, there are people who believe you can maintain several equally intimate relationships without one being at the expense of another (the analogy for this is that a parent can love all of their children equally so therefore each partner can love all of their respective partners equally).
As with any relationship between two people, I believe the best we can do to evolve relationships with more than two people, is to be CONTINUALLY open, honest, compassionate and supportive with each other and ourselves, free of judgement.
In a case where the concept of polygamy arises between a couple, where one is for it and the other is not, both partners have perfectly valid perspectives….they just do not align. What is important is that there has been open, honest dialogue between them, however, as this allows both individuals to make informed decisions. There is no wrong or right in this situation. At the end of the day if people don’t feel like they can express their true, honest selves within any relationship, then some thorough examination of the situation is needed to reach a resolution. This will most likely mean changes need to be made – what these changes will be is completely up to each individual.
Opening our relationships up to more than one other person can mean we may have to confront our own instincts somewhat more closely (eg jealousy). I believe that if we expose ourselves to challenging situations we can grow emotionally as people, but only if we are open to doing so.
Since the end of my long-term, monogamous, relationship I have been exploring different forms of relationships. I am currently engaging in a committed relationship with myself. Simultaneously to this, I am interacting with someone I respect, and have much affection for, on a sexual level (commonly known as ‘friends with benefits). I think different types of relationships can suit different people at different times in their lives. The best we can do is be honest with ourselves and each other.

Why the ones we want run and the ones we don’t cling.

Why the ones we want run and the ones we don’t cling.

I recently received an email asking:
Why do the ones I want run and the ones I don’t cling?
There’s one side of the coin:
You decide you like someone. So you start showing them some interest. Your mind wildly conjures up stories of romance and true love and images of lustful encounters. It drives you to start a saga of pursuit. You chase someone, actually deep down KNOWING that they aren’t right for you. And you chase them anyway. There’s a delicious gratification in trying to tame the untameable. And they don’t respond. So you get clingy. You start stalking them across the wide array of social media. You hang out in the places they might hang out. You wonder and squander many passing hours with fanciful ideas of what it might be like to finally have them in your life.
And then the other side:
You meet them one day amongst your wayfaring. A potential new friend.  Time passes and you realise there’s not that much of a connection there. They still text at random times to see how you are….. or late at night….. “good night angel“. You can barely remember their name. They unfailingly endeavour to capture your attention with less-than-subtle suggestions and a slightly desperate look in their eyes. Perhaps they’re a really nice person. But it’s possible that you’ll never know, as their advances and attempts carry with them a sense of admonished rebuke. Something just doesn’t feel quite right. It’s off-putting for some reason.
Both sides of the coin create conflict in some way or another.
It’s not rejection, it’s an outcome. You can only truly be rejected when you reject yourself & your emotions.” ~ The Daily Love
When I read the musings of  psychic Anna Costello in Sarah Wilson’s always intelligent and influential  article I started to think about how our relationships with ourselves affect our relationships with others, as I hear this story so very often:
“Why the ones we want run and the ones we don’t cling?!”
This is what Anna had to say:
“People want to know why the ones we love so often reject us or act ambivalent. And, why the ones we’re not that into can’t be shaken! As I psychic I can often see the inner feelings and beliefs people have, and see that people get caught in this dynamic because deep down they believe they are unlovable or unworthy.
When a person holds these kind of beliefs, they feel uneasy and uncomfortable when they meet someone who wants to be with them. After all, that person must be desperate or have something wrong with them! And people who reject or hurt feel safe. The relationship feels right because mistreatment fits with beliefs of being unloveable or unworthy. This is why so many women love bad boys and how you can have chemistry with someone who isn’t good for you.”
I possibly couldn’t have said it better myself.
Some part of us believes that we are not worthy of getting what we want. That the person we desire is out of our reach. That we are unloveable. So we seek out situations that reflect our beliefs back to us.
People have a tendency to chase rejection because that is what they expect. Their sense of self-worth isn’t what it could be and their negative thought patterns needs to be validated.
It’s so fascinating to see how we often put ourselves in a position to have our negative thought patterns validated, but it gives us the opportunity to take a good hard look at them and then take the steps to change them.
There’s a cycle here. You are rejected by someone who you think you want but doesn’t want you. Or you reject and thereby fulfil someone else’s need to self-validate their belief that they are unworthy of your love. Two sides of the same coin.
The point here however is, how to change this pursuit of self-affliction. It doesn’t serve you or anyone else. How, you ask?
Most of this behaviour pattern is based on insecurities and lack of self love.
Where you invest you love, you invest you life” ~ Mumford + Sons
Rather than seeking what you desire from someone else, make sure you are the one who gives it to you. Give yourself the love and attention that you crave. Treat yourself in the manner that you wish to be treated. Cherish and adore yourself . It’s radical self love. And it will change the way the world and people approach you. No longer will you glance wistfully at those that reproach you. As you no longer need them. You are self-approved.

1. End the cycle of negative self-talk by dropping the beliefs and replacing them with positive loving thoughts. At first the positive affirmations won’t feel real. It kind of feels like you’re lying to yourself. But persevere …. It works. Try saying “I deeply love and fully accept myself ” every day at least 100 times. At any given moment. This practise will transform you and your life.

 2. Stop investing so much energy focusing on another person. Focus all of that on yourself instead. What does it take to make you feel whole, fulfilled, complete, happy and thriving? The happier you are with yourself and your life the more you attract the kind of people you actually deserve and the more attractive you are in general.

3.  Realise that relationships are meant to be graceful; with ease and joy. If a relationship is a struggle and bringing disharmony and negativity into your life, then it’s highly likely not the one for you. Love makes life better, happier, smoother – not harsher, harder and scarier.

4. Recognise that all the qualities you admired in that person, you carry within yourself as well. Allow those parts of you to shine and encourage them to grow. Clearly they are attractive characteristics! We can only recognise the good in others that is innate to ourselves also. People and our experiences of people are always a reflection.

5. Focus on being YOU. You are a precious gift to the world and if you are waiting for another person to recognise that, well… may be waiting all your life. You have to be the one that recognises your worth first and then others will be able to do the same. As your sense of self-worth and self esteem grows, so will other people’s opinion of you. And before long you will attract the lover you have always dreamed of into your life.

Image source.

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