Lessons from the pivotal year 2010

posted by Eivind on December 31, 2010, at 10:00 am

We're on the last leg of the journey, guys. December 31 is here and mere hours remain of the holy year of 2010. So HAPPY NEW YEAR 🙂

This has probably been the best year of my life so far. It seems that every year since I started my journey in my early 20s is a little better than the previous, yet sitting here writing this, I am still present to an inner sensation of not being where I want to be in my life. I still carry anxiety and nervousness in myself. I still harbour ugly thoughts of judgment and separation. I still feel afraid of people sometimes. I still act out immature and childish habits more often than I would like. I still want to have more sex and more abundance of women in my life, probably a stable relationship again by the end of 2011. I want to improve my financial situation. I want to live from my passion. And yet, at the end of this sacred year, I embrace all of my sensation of lack and celebrate what is already here. I'm a work in progress, as are we all.

I want to thank all of you for being part of this part of the journey. Masculinity Movies has seen a dramatic increase in its readership over this year. At the start of the year, I averaged between 15 and 20 unique visitors a day. Today, I average between 100 and 150 unique visitors a day. That's a significant increase! It brings me some sense satisfaction. Thank you. I would say it brings me a lot of satisfaction, but my satisfaction doesn't come from mere numbers alone, it comes from meetings of minds and hearts. That's where the juice is for me – of that intense feeling of shared humanity that comes when several people join forces to do something great together. That feeling too is building, but we have a long way to go in the creation of a truly generative global brotherhood.

I write this post to share with you some of my learnings from this year. I will take my time to make this significant for me (yes, my motivation for writing this is partly selfish), so feel free to just scroll to the headline which resonates most with you. Without further ado, here we go:

Lessons on my core wound

I have realized this year, more deeply than before, that my core wound in life is fear of not being good enough. A core wound is that childhood trauma that, to a greater extent than any others, runs our lives. As a little boy, I used to fish for love from my parents by being a good boy, especially by getting good grades in school. I remember running home excitedly to show them my grade book, how that computed to an opportunity to receive validation, which I equated with love.

This behaviour has left deep grooves in my consciousness. I was living for others and not myself. As long as I wasn't good enough for others, I was simply not good enough. Period. What *I* thought was irrelevant. I'm fascinated how my once innocent habits of pretend life mastery became such huge limiting beliefs when I grew up. If only I knew then what I know now – that everything matters in who we end up becoming and that no-one is happy if not with themselves first – there might have been less deprogramming to do.

I'm a sucker for validation. When I don't get validation, I often feel insignificant, as if I don't matter. I'm improving in my ability to deal with this in a mature way, but I still feel how strong my need for outer validation is. Strangely, I don't mind so much if the validation is negative, it's just about being seen. The worst thing for this inner child dynamic in myself is to be ignored. Overlooked. This is why people have been such a challenge in my life. I'm outwardly a quite sociable and confident person, yet there is this real vulnerable part of myself in which I'm still afraid that people will ignore me and thus annihilate me. So at 32, I still isolate more than I should. Yet at times, and ever more frequently, I feel a place that is beyond need for validation. I long for that place, but know there are no shortcuts.

2011 will be about honoring and loving this validation seeking part of me more. I haven't found it lovable and have wanted it to go away. But it is there for a reason. I'm not going to try and muscle through it anymore – bulldoze it with spiritual practices or success with women or work. No, that core wound will get my full attention, for my inattention is what keeps it in pain. That little child who I once was, and still, as far as this is not dealt with, on some level is, wants my love – and he'll get it.

Lessons on Brotherhood

(From right), Peter, Pelle and I inside the glass pyramid at Venwoude.

2010 was the year when I really discovered Brotherhood. Full disclosure (this may be a bad idea): For the last several years, I have been disillusioned with many of the men in my life. I felt they didn't want their maturity with quite the same intensitry as I did, as if life wasn't an existential struggle for them. I felt that, as long as what they prioritized was that which took their mind off of the "heavy stuff" in life, they weren't real good allies in the hunt for our true hearts. I have, in no unclear terms, felt a lack of men of presence and integrity in my life. Or maybe it was simply that their yearning for radical freedom didn't quite match my own? My ex used to remind me that all of this is in the eye of the beholder – that it was my own fault that it was like that. She was diplomatic that way, always taking the side of the "losing party". Maybe I didn't honor the men in the way I saw them? Or maybe I was so in love with the existential struggle that I didn't want to see what was already there (probably some truth to this)? Or maybe I simply wanted to keep seeing myself as the most evolved guy and was too damn cocky to attract high quality men into my life (a scary thought)?

No matter, Brotherhood has arrived in the form of new men who have stepped into my life with presence, integrity and beautiful, powerful masculine hearts. Their yearning is deep, their commitment profound. So I can say with deep satisfaction and gratefulness that there are now men in my life who I refer to as my Brothers. I have Peter Kessels and Pelle Billing in my little group of musketeers out there in Europe and then I have a core group here in Norway of beautiful, solid, powerful men. Of all the things which have happened this year, this is perhaps the most significant.

There is something that changes in me in the presence of Brothers. I have sustained so much inner arrogance in the absence of Brothers and have been used to placing myself above others in my own inner hierarchy of consciousness evolution. I'm not proud of this. (Such is the thinking, I have come to see, of a guy who has worked with consciousness for ten years, without having embraced his core wound of not being good enough. Need for validation often becomes "I'm better than them".) With Brotherhood, that way of being in the world is quickly collapsing. It's a wonderful thing.

I love men. I feel I can say that now without being afraid of attacks from my inner homophobe.

Lessons on putting myself out there

This year, I have started broadcasting myself to the world in a more outspoken way. Thanks to my core wound, this is scary, and I remain my own worst critic. Yet apart from a few harsh comments on the Facebook page of The Mankind Project as well as the slating of my character by a spiritual teacher after I criticized a manifesto he wrote for being less than perfect, almost all the feedback I have received is very positive. I remember that when I did the interview with Uncle Bob about initiation in Aboriginal society, I kept feeling that it was slipping away like sands through my fingers. Already, I was criticizing myself for it not being good enough. And then held back for fear that it wouldn't be "good enough", that I wasn't "manly" enough or present enough in it. Yet once I put it out there, people loved it. WTF?

The most important learning of putting myself out there, however, came with my criticism of a Manifesto for Conscious Men. As those of you who have followed the dialogue that resulted from my criticism probably know, that became a huge growth opportunity for me. There was a point at which the criticism of my character in private exchanges with one of its authors turned so severe that I entered a type of zen mode; I felt a sense of total calm descend over me and realized I was being tested. From that moment, I understood that what had presented itself was an opportunity to convince myself once and for all that my intentions are for the betterment of mankind and not to escalate existing problems due to my own personal wounding. It was a godsent opportunity and with the support of my Brothers and the other people who contributed in the debate, I managed to stay true to my values and emerged on the other side of those intense days a more integrated man.

Paradoxically, mobilizing a little bit of Warrior energy to point out that it would feel good for many men to have something at least remotely nice said about them in their own manifesto turned out to be exactly what I needed to embrace more of my inner Lover. It's a strange story to be sure, but my criticism of the Manifesto lead to with clear causality an increase in my ability to appreciate the Feminine. For that I'm very grateful. And I see the Manifesto in a different light now. A lot of the pain I felt in reading it the first time around is now gone. Yet I still think I could've written a better one myself, simply because I think I could infuse my understanding of the movement from boyhood to manhood into it, thus making it an evolutionary document. But then I'm cheeky that way.

The main lesson from all of this is that my own self image needs to be adjusted rapidly for the better. There was a time when I couldn't even say the name of the website "Masculinity Movies" without feeling like a fraud. Now, I'm finding increased conviction in my words as I present what I do. Pelle Billing has challenged me to back up my work with more research, which will further improve it. Also, the networking through the site has really skyrocketed and an increased sense of global Brotherhood is building in my heart. There is truly something to the old adage "ask and you will receive". Once I felt a lack of "good men" in my life. I feel it no more.

I ask that you stick around in 2011 as well. It makes me feel better about putting myself out there more and more vulnerably. And I hope to turn this work into my livelihood by the end of 2011. I'm tired of spending my time on what is essentially pointless. I came to this planet to make a difference, not to be a cog in the increasingly rusty machine of capitalism.

Lessons on the inner Wild Man

Finnkroken: The tiny, almost abandoned fishing village from which my mother hails

This summer, I had a tremendous experience in the Norwegian Northlands. I was spending a few days in a cabin with my parents out by the sea, at the place where my mother was born. The weather was terrible, the sea cold. Yet, I felt compelled to go swimming in it. As the rain was pouring down among the crooked birch trees surrounding the cabin, I saw the icy waters lapping against the shore below me. I took my stuff and walked down to the ocean. At this point, it was July, I had already started feeling stirrings inside of a new type of energy; something primordial, deeper down than anything I have felt before. I felt an enormous reservoir of suppressed feeling there, just waiting to burst out. I now know that is the Wild Man whom Robert Bly talks about in Iron John.

As I went into the ocean, I noticed how different the quality of the ocean is up North. I can't quite describe it, but it's like there is something more untamed about it up there – as if I should respect it more. This "woman" could consume me without as much as a second thought. Maybe that's why I didn't stay in long. Or maybe it was the way the cold water felt a bit painful against my skin. But making my way back up the grassy path to the cabin, I noticed that while I only wore my swimming trunks, I wasn't cold – and the weather was cold! So I entered the cabin, left my stuff and went back out into the cold rain donning only my swimming trunks.

I walked across the marshlands barefoot. I laid down in the creek and washed myself, singing at the top of my lungs. I looked for a particularly wet piece of marsh, laid down and felt my body just sink into it, embraced by the muddy soil that caressed the back of my body. Something happened that day – I felt I reclaimed part of myself, that a journey back to oneness with nature started. As I made my way back to the cabin once more, I wept tears in the rain as I bowed to nature – the big She – and expressed my gratitude.

When I got back into the cabin, my Dad shook his head and whispered "boy, you think up a lot of weird things to spend your time on." I smiled and felt some quirky appreciation for him then. I guess the man I got this inclination from was more ancient than my father. For the rest of that day, my body was shaking subtly and my hair stood on end.. And I felt gooood.

This energy is still working inside of me, yet it is far from completing its journey out from the subterranean parts of my murky subconscious. I have continued this work through emotional release work and energetic practices such as yi gong, yet my habits still limit its free roam. Though when I feel the stirring inside, I feel soo fucking awesome. Eivind disappears and I become something greater: A ripple on the surface of Creation, a bead on a cosmic necklace of souls living and breathing since time immemorial, entrusted with the greater duty of stewarding the planet for future generations. There is vast emotion here. And lots of grief. For what could have been and as of yet isn't.

Lessons on Women and the Feminine

Halfway into the year, my time of mourning the end of my relationship ended. I decided to try online dating again and quickly got the feeling that it wasn't where it was at for me this time around (it didn't represent my edge). Though I did meet a beautiful redhead who I've enjoyed a sweet and intimate connection with as lovers for the past six months. I appreciate what we have shared a lot. Though she is uncertain if she can go on in an open relationship.

I'm however clear that what I need now is to be non-monogamous for a while. There is the biological need to "spread my seed" and also the feeling that I was so committed to the heart of one woman for three years that I should now play a little. But I've had to calibrate to what that really means. A ladyfriend told me earlier this year I wasn't the guy women would have a one night stand with. I am the kind of man, she told me, that they will seek to build a life with. I considered that a compliment, yet it reflects to me that there is an energy in me – the more animalistic side – that I haven't really dropped into.

I understand there is a bad boy quality that genuinely doesn't care about a woman, and that there is something attractive about that to many women in that the guy doesn't cater to her every whim. But this way of being in the world is not my style. It's too enmeshed in the trappings of power and ego. But then there is the mature take on the bad boy quality that comes from integrating the inner Wild Man, which is of a different calibre entirely. There is nothing really bad about this boy, he is just eternally committed, in his love and wisdom, to his own values and unwilling to veer from his chosen path, which is to open the world into increased love. To do that, he must be willing to plant his staff in the ground, claim his "you shall not pass" and be prepared to die in defense of that boundary. This, I understand, is the kind of "bad" that good women truly want and at this point in my life, the only "bad" I'm capable of pursuing without losing my soul.

So how do you get there? Well, I realized I had to extract all limiting mother energies from my life. I have been close friends with a woman who is old enough to be my mother for several years. We have supported each other in our respective fields of work, yet as my consciousness has grown throughout this year, I came to a point where I saw clear as day how willing she was to unconsciously use shaming of me as a means of getting  her will. She is a very conscious woman, yet this is a shadow of hers, as I think it is for many women.

On one day in particular, she said, in a state of hurt, things that felt so alienating and manipulative that I knew I had to get out. I knew immediately "I'm done with this" and had no desire to even talk about it, as I normally would. My conviction was further strengthened by having many of my Brothers report similar experiences of not feeling respected and feeling slightly manipulated around her. I knew that she didn't mean to be mean, it's just that she was hurting and wasn't brave enough to be authentic about that. (This, by the way, is the place where we all may from time to time say something like e.g. "you are so insensitive" instead of the vulnerable, authentic truth which may be e.g. "I feel sad and a little bit frightened when you say that". But then, we sometimes take on roles that prevent us from being vulnerable, and then we start managing other people to protect ourselves which in turn creates distance. Inauthenticity always does.)

I realized then that this woman had entered my life to help me sort through my relationship with the biological mother and archetypal Mother, which has been so hidden within my psyche. All the wounding of this female friend seems to have been perfectly designed to let me work through psychological themes that I couldn't with Mother. My friend embedded herself in my psyche in such a way that I thought I was empowered by her, yet what was actually going on was a domestication and neutering of my masculinity and a perpetuation of an endless loop of self doubt (I was always made to feel subtly guilty and "less than" when I didn't agree with what she said).

I have realized through this friendship some incredibly important things about how women may use their wonderful, nurturing side not only as a gift, but also as a means of controlling the more primal and uncivilized parts of the masculine energy that aren't generally seen as lovable by the feminine world (which is exactly why women can't initiate men). Shaming is the primary weapon a nurturing woman will use to defuse an intensity of masculine energy that she finds scary, intimidating or hurtful and it is extremely potent (and it tends to hurt more than physical violence). I take that understanding with me with gratitude into 2011. (And I still love my friend. I just need a break to plant my staff in the ground before I return to that dynamic is all.)

So that's how I've reclaimed some of my inner Wild Man. Yet I'm still so monogamous in my programming and have feared hurting women so much that I've put on the brakes in tapping into my animal sexuality. The No Woman Diet from Authentic Man Program helped immensely in unravelling this programming. And I can now feel in my heart authentic attraction and appreciation for multiple women at once without feeling any shame or worry around it. Playing with my polygamous side is good education.

I would be remiss not to mention a beautiful young lady who came in and just blew my appreciation of the Feminine wide open. Her energy was so strong when she entered my life that it literally made my body shake. She appears to have little consciousness of her ability to affect men in such a way and it all seems totally confusing to her, yet I have decided to just remain in my appreciation for her. I understand by now how many women have gifts way beyond their own ability to comprehend.

Navigating that intense sense of appreciation has been challenging, but it's been what the doctor ordered. More and more, thanks to her and myriad other beautiful women who I briefly cross paths with, I'm tapping into the reality beyond the physical form of a woman. I'm sensing the Goddess energy behind her, that she is actually a living, breathing Feminine entity that is the materialization of a Cosmic Feminine principle. If you're not spiritual at all, ignore this. But this is some epic shit, guys. Now it's just a matter of grounding it and feeling that truth in all women (right now, it's easier with the ones I find attractive). To that end, the new Getting Her World program from Authentic Man Program is serving my ass big time.

I look forward to the glorious women of 2011 with anticipation and some trepidation 🙂

Women of the world, I love you and am grateful to you for the teachings you give me every day of my life.


2010 has been pretty epic for me. And if you have come this far, your patience is also pretty epic - this was longer than I thought it would be. But 2010 has been a FULL year for me. And if my gut feeling is anything close to correct, 2011 will escalate the intensity even further. It will be the breakthrough year for many of us I believe.

Many thanks for your interest. I am profoundly grateful. I'll see you in 2011.


With Appreciation,

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