Why men’s work, surely we’re over dividing things by gender in the 21st century?
Good question. We can only speak from our experience from doing this work for many years, which is that men and women have different challenges and experiences of the world. We are all impacted by society (what some call ‘patriarchal culture’) but we are wounded in different ways.
Many of the world’s oldest wisdom traditions, from Buddhism to Taoism to Hinduism, have concluded that the world manifests itself fundamentally as polarities, yin/yang, masculine/feminine.
As the Hindu tale has it: “God got bored being an it – so divided into a he and she”.
Taking our lead from the great psychologist C. J. Jung, our experience is that everyone contains both a masculine and feminine side (what he called the anima and animus) – and that it is only by consciously and deliberately developing both of them that we become fully present and embodied.
But this is not the same as gender neutrality, quite the opposite – instead of seeing gender as a ‘spectrum’ – we can see it as two spectrums, an inner masculine and feminine in each of us.
Our experience is that true charisma comes from integrating both of these elements in ourselves, for men that means both to be able to stand in our relaxed confidence as men, and also to access our emotions and express them cleanly.
Our experience is that men need the support and challenge of other men to develop their masculine side. The kind of accountability, fierce loving energy that men can give to each other.
Men who disrespect women are weak men who fear them, a sign that the man hasn’t yet done the work to develop his own independence (from mother) and sense of relaxed masculine confidence, so is still stuck in an unhealthy relationship to the feminine – fearful of its power.
There is far too much of this immature masculine in the world – manifesting as some of the most powerful people (yes, we are talking about Donald Trump) – and the answer to this is the need for mature men who have done the work, which then means they can support others.