posted by Eivind on February 20, 2012, at 10:34 pm
Last night, I facilitated an evening workshop on the King Archetype with my friend and Brother, Pål Christian Buntz. En route to the workshop, I felt somewhat flat and hollow. I am familiar with that feeling. What I yearn for then is being filled in some way, to “feel seen and embraced for exactly who I am”. And that means, I need to feel blessed.
The need to feel blessed is, I believe, a bedrock need for all human beings. When we grow up, we need to feel blessed by Mother and Father – demi-gods that only the passing of time reveals as imperfect human beings with their own set of challenges. And yet, no matter how mortal, if the level of blessing that I needed was not provided for by them, my blessing tank will need to be filled by others. The person for whom that is true will set out on a journey to seek out others who will provide those essential drops of blessing water. Some people spend their whole lives finding but droplets. They surrender power over their lives and look for that one person who will make everything just right, in the way Mother or Father never could. We know how that story goes…
The good news is that there are good people in this world – be they elders, loving and wise peers or a good partner – who will help fill up that blessing tank outside of the context of co-dependency. And yet, this afternoon, all those people who have contributed so immeasurably to my life could not help keep at bay this subtle, but pervasive longing for something more, something richer and fuller.
Four hours later, the workshop was over and I felt full, open and warm. Many people I care about attended and in the time I held space for them and facilitated their exploration of King energy, I was more focused on blessing than on being blessed. And this dispelled my flatness and hollowness completely.
There can be only one explanation for this – when I bless others, I get blessed.
Embracing the awkward
Now, the challenge that many have is that blessing others – telling them truly good things – feels really awkward. It seems to me that many are so used to minimizing their own worth that they simply won’t consider themselves worthy of blessing another human being. Instead, they will remain negative, masochistic or self-involved, and hope that one day, their blessing tank will magically fill.
What gets in the way of addressing this challenge is often people’s sense of integrity. It seems to me that there is a danger to conflate integrity with maintaining habitual patterns (I saw that in myself first by the way :-). The weird logic that a lot of people end up running their lives by then goes something like this “I’ve felt empty and depressed for most of my life. I have never felt like I had anything to contribute to others. I am not worthy of that. So for me to go around caring for people all of a sudden would be totally inauthentic and out of integrity.”
Now, I’m not saying that this thinking is completely without merit: To put on a happy-mask in an attempt to bless others is futile and incredibly draining. But the truth is that many of us have done the requisite work to authentically bless others. And what this evening reminded me of is that even when I believe I need to be blessed, I can choose instead to bless. I can go against the current of my own habitual patterns – which tells me I must wait for others to make things right – and bless others even in moments when it does feel awkward, when it does feel out of integrity. For feelings are as fleeting as clouds in the sky and if it takes but one little move against what feels like “me” to dispel days of brooding dark clouds, is it not worth it?
Emperor Marcus Aurelius blesses his loyal servant General Maximus - even as he nears death. We used this movie example in the evening workshop.
Bless another today!
I was reminded yesterday that instead of surrendering to the pain of my heart like I often do when I feel the need for blessing, I can tap into the vast energy of the archetypal King. I can open that channel and be nourished and fully served by it, as its gifts flow through me and into the eyes and hearts of another. For as the archetypal King pours through me into Other, he blesses me in full measure. It is a win-win situation.
Blessing another may not feel natural, but try it. Find someone, look them in the eye, and tell them they are beautiful, powerful, worthy. Then report back here and tell me how it felt.
I’m not kidding around. I want to hear some good stories here.
posted by Eivind on February 8, 2012, at 11:30 pm
Brett Churnin of www.mensgroup.info wrote me some time back and told me about his website. I checked it out and loved it. It is professionally done and offers lots of great resources on how to start a Men's Group.
They've even gone to the length of compiling a Men's Group field guide. Click here to get to that.
On their site, I read
Men in Men’s Group hold each other accountable to live a life at the edge; to us, this means being committed to a fulfilled life consistent with your unique purpose, and to be held accountable for what it takes to live that life.
I'm in a men's group myself. In fact, I spent last weekend with a majority of its members on a men's workshop in Sweden. I really enjoyed it. We are such a diverse group of men – many are guys whom I would likely not have connected with outside of the context of a men's group.
But having been in a group with them for over six months, I'm feeling ever closer with them and am really enjoying the expanded horizon for what kind of men I want in my life. It's a real blessing to me.
So it's clear that Brett and his partner in crime Mike Britton are onto something here. I suggest you check out their page now.
posted by Eivind on February 3, 2012, at 9:23 am
For the first time ever (so I'm told), there will be a Mankind Project event on Scandinavian soil this weekend. I will facilitate at it and I'm looking forward to it with anticipiation.
I did my New Warrior Training Adventure last summer and the Primary Integration Training in Edinburgh shortly after. Many of my NWTA-brothers didn't have that chance and several of them will have the opportunity this weekend. I enjoyed my PIT and I'm looking forward to facilitating it this time around. MKP-work features some amazing tools that I will be glad to revisit and integrate more fully.
The NWTA is still one of the most powerful experiences I've ever had and I recommend it whole-heartedly.
The Men await. I wish you a weekend full of joy and truth-telling.
posted by Eivind on January 2, 2012, at 8:32 am
Recipients of my newsletter, please respond in the comments below:
Some snippets of what I wrote you:
It's been a while since I wrote you! That's why it feels good to sit here in the dark of a early January morning typing out these words.
I spent the New Year in the woods with a group of 12 people, facilitating what was to many the best New Year of ther lives. There is a hunger in Norway growing for authentic interpersonal connections, dropping the social masks and just being real with one another.
I think that's the real challenge for men as well in 2012. So many of us are still stuck in roles. It often takes some form of "I can't show how vulnerable I really feel inside on the outside, because then I won't be a man and everyone will reject me and think I'm a loser and then I'll be lonely".
But it's those exact thoughts that make men lonely and weak.
In that way, 50s male stereotypes still live on in modern men. But I see signs that a tidal wave of change is coming. I look forward to us men becoming truly powerful in 2012 by dropping our masks and stepping into our true, authentic power.
One of the most important things in 2012 will be that more men of consciousness enter into the public's awareness. I expect that men's issues and authentic masculinity will be larger themes than ever before.
I challenge you all to start manifesting those wonderful visions and dreams you carry deep inside of you in the coming year. The world will need them.
posted by Eivind on December 2, 2011, at 7:26 pm
There's not enough of me to go around. That's the feeling I've been having lately. I'm involved in many activities and they're all rewarding. And as long as I work a normal job four days a week, time is limited.
The big thing for me this fall has been my involvement with Authentic World. Bryan Bayer visited Oslo at the beginning of October to attend the Morten Hake Summit. The following Monday, Bryan and I put on event together following their Authentic Games Night formula which took off. A third of that group signed up to Authentic World courses on the spot and pretty much everyone there seemed to love what was going on. The room was on fire.
In the wake of that, Bryan and I realized there is so much interest here that we should start up some sort of activities. And all of a sudden I was the head of Authentic World Norway. So that's taking time - particularly facilitating the currently ongoing Authentic Community Leadership course. We're a group of more than a dozen Norwegians who meet up every Sunday to learn how to facilitate and inspire authenticity in our respective communities. It is very rewarding work.
Just this last Wednesday, we had our first trial run of an all-Norwegian Authentic Games Night. Everyone seemed to love it and we're all hungry for more. I was facilitating with my buddy Pål Christian Buntz, who I will be working more with in the time to come. We're a good team.
All of this means that I haven't had as much time as I'd like to work on Masculinity-Movies. No time at all to be honest. But for me personally, it's all part of the same "energy". But I don't think that's necessarily the case with you readers.
Let me tell you that I was incredibly inspired to hear a man tell me the other day that reading my reviews had served as some sort of defining moment on his own personal journey. That reminded me of why I'm doing this. And I'm still committed.
In 2012, I will take more of my work into the world in the form of talks, workshops and media presence. In May, I will be speaking at a conference in Frankfurt (Men and the Future: Sex, Authenticity And Power). Maybe all these activities will mean that I can start making a living from this at long last. Too early to tell, but it feels good.
I'll be with you with more material soon. I've been happy to see that the site has lived on just fine without my ongoing contributions to it. That makes me inspire to think what may happen if I start working hard on it again.
Have a great weekend!