Masculinity-Movies blog

Authentic Man Program intensive: A journey into brotherhood, feminine radiance and…darkness

posted by Eivind on January 30, 2014, at 7:08 pm

It was at the tail end of 2007 that I realized, under a night sky in India, that I was heavily into spiritual bypassing. That’s when my life changed and I resolved to find out what it means to be a man in today’s world. Since then, I’ve been through a lot of trainings in the realm of masculinity. I went through a powerful course series over three long weekends in Norway with two of the Norwegian heavyweights in the field; Dag Furuholmen and Eirik Balavoine in 2008-2009. I did my New Warrior Training Adventure with The Mankind Project back in the summer of 2011 (and participated in a multitude of MKP trainings since). I experienced Noble Man with Celebration of Being that same fall. I’ve done myriad online trainings with Authentic Man Program, such as the powerful No Woman Diet, and I finally experienced The New Tantra in early spring of 2013.

I’ve done most of the things I wanted to do. Only the Authentic Man Program intensive remained on my bucket list for men’s trainings. Frankly, because it’s expensive and because it only happens in the US. Well, it so happens that I temporarily live in the United States and I got a deal on it. And it happened a five minutes stroll away from where I currently live, at the Integral Center in Boulder, Colorado. It was a no-brainer.

Friday and Saturday: Forging brotherhood

amp-logoMost of the men’s work I’ve done has taken place in men only environments. I love that work; forging brotherhood, learning to trust and recognize the beauty in men, bridging power and vulnerability, coming home in my own sex.

The first two days of the AMP intensive provides more of that. One of the most transformative experiences of going on journeys like these is noticing the ways I judge some men at the start of the journey and then noticing how fundamentally things change as I get to know them and their challenges in life. It is a life-changing experience that you get to pocket and use as reference in your daily life, where you likely, like me, judge people all the time.

Day 1 was, as is to be expected, the “safest” of the three, moving us deeper into brotherhood and contact with our primal masculinity. I will not share details in case you should be tempted to go on this journey yourself.

What I will share, however, is that I realized this weekend how much of a sucker for intensity I have become. There is a Warrior exercise in day #2 of the AMP intensive that just has my heart sing with delight. Without sharing too much, it has a whole room of men tap into their killer instinct, that part of them that would kill in service of someone they love. It’s so fucking awesome.

My whole body tingled with delight in that room. Just writing about it now has me feel intensely alive. I realize at this point in my life that I can’t fully trust a man who is not comfortable with his power, and having a whole room of men move towards that place of trustability, that dark masculine love, is something that lights me up in all kinds of ways.

And that insight gives context to the journey that I was on this weekend, which more than anything was a deep dive into my power and my more primal instincts. In one of my circles on day #2, I started tuning into a fierce anger towards the lead facilitator. I have core issues around feeling like I have to perform to be lovable and it resurfaced in this circle and I went “to hell with it”. So instead of collapsing into that, I let it rip. It was awesome. An intense experience for us all.

While these two first days were evolutionary more than revolutionary for me, given that I’ve done so much men’s work and am familiar with the format, I still felt tapped into a deeper and more primal place in myself as I went to bed Saturday night, anticipating the massive turnaround that Sunday provides.

Sunday: What separates AMP from the rest

I’ve done a lot of men’s work. At some point along that road, I realized I had become more comfortable with men than women. I had become a much more powerful person in the presence of Brothers than in the presence of a woman I desired. I would challenge my Brothers on their bullshit and the places they played it small, but I would still play nice with women.

The work with Celebration of Being went some way in addressing this, but the core issues of attraction and owning sexual desire remained. Not even the work I did with The New Tantra addressed that in the way I needed it to. However powerful it was, the women there were not trained to give skillful feedback regarding the core issues of attraction and how being around me felt in their body, and so the lessons I left with were of a different (yet very powerful) nature.

This is where AMP shines.

Sunday morning, 14 radiant, sexy, badass women walk in. Some of them have done this work for a decade, some are there to learn. Yet they’re all committed to bringing their full selves in service to the men.

The rest of that day is a deep dive with these women, where we get to have realtime feedback on how it feels to be in our presence. This is where AMP shines.

These women, especially the most experienced ones, have learned to dial in to and trust the minute shifts of their body-mind as they are with a man, and have the courage to speak it freely. So instead of the more typical blanket statements of an untrained woman, e.g. “you seem so needy”, “I feel scared” or “I don’t want to be with you”, they can communicate minutiae realtime. Maybe, “I’m not feeling anything. You seem happy with yourself, but I’m not feeling anything at all. Oh, when you moved your chin down just then, I started relaxing more. Oh wow, my pussy is starting to get wet. No, it’s gone again. I feel nothing.” That leads to “WTF!”-moments for most men. And then the Matrix starts unravelling.

Into darkness

I’m on a journey to claim more of my wildness and darkness these days. And the standout moment for me in the weekend was the desire-circle, where one man gets to explore the nature of his desire for almost a full hour with four women and four men present.

I’ve had a somewhat unresolved relationship to my desire. I’ve been afraid of owning it fully. And I’m starting to get why. My desire is quite dark; wild even. It’s not a nice “oh you’re so pretty”-desire. No, if I’m going to own this fully, I’m going to become a man who sometimes says some pretty dark stuff to women. And that, Brother, runs counter to my postmodern nice-guy conditioning.

In this desire-circle, however, I was encouraged to go there. And I did, with some discomfort and a lot of turn-on. Step by step, making sure she was safe and felt seen and respected, I went for that darkness. In the end with my hand around her throat, telling me I could kill her right there, but that I wouldn’t, because I loved being with her.

That’s the kind of stuff people don’t tell you about. It’s not Mama’s dream for her sweet son, it’s not what political campaigning and feminism applaud. Yet this woman responded very strongly and the rest of the women got very excited. Clearly, women want this part of me. And in fact, more men are requesting it as well. So I guess I’m being called to embrace more of this in a loving way. That’s both scary and exciting.

The beautiful thing is that, while there is clearly a power dynamic going on, it feels so vulnerable and naked for me too. Going to that scary place, knowing that love is what takes me there, and not necessarily knowing if she is going to receive me, if she will get that the only danger she is in is of having to let her shields down and accept love into her heart.

It takes a lot of courage and is incredibly vulnerable.

Aftermath

I’ve felt great after the AMP intensive and had some spectacular connections with women. This is part of a larger trajectory in life, but the AMP intensive was instrumental. Clearly, this stuff works. And if you’re wondering if you should get on the bandwagon, my input to you is “it might be expensive, but it’s likely to change your life and bring a whole new freedom in your relationships with women.”

Just have a look at my before and after testimonial:

I’m confident you can tell the difference. And I’m confident you will be able to tell the difference in yourself as well.

Whatever you choose to do, Brother, good luck in creating the kind of authentic, intimate, tender, potent relationships you’re wanting, be it with one or more women.

Warmly,
Eivind

The importance of surrender: An intimate story

posted by Eivind on January 18, 2014, at 6:08 pm

I’ve wanted to “be a man” for many years now. It was David Deida’s work that got me on this path. I was in a 10-day meditation retreat by myself in the woods when I first read The Way of the Superior Man and I had so many aha moments. That was many years ago.

And while I had breakthroughs from studying his work, I got pretty consistent feedback that I appeared rigid and contrived in my masculinity.

Just before Christmas, a lover told me in bed that she wanted to feel more of my warmth. I was taken by that, because I consider myself very warm. Why was it that she wanted more of it?

I realize now she wanted more of me, who I am deep down, beyond concepts and ideas. And for many years, being me was not my path. I would reject anything inside of me that could be interpreted as feminine or young. Vulnerability, strong feeling, a desire to be held; they were off the menu. I contracted in the face of needs and feelings like that.

As I sit here now, that seems to have dissolved more or less entirely. It’s been a journey and I’m glad I went on it. And while I currently have embraced more of what I would consider “feminine” inside of me, women feel closer to me than ever. They also perceive me as more masculine. Who would’ve thought? What’s that, Deida? Did I get you wrong back then?

In my experience, many Deida students become robotic, trying to effort their way to an idea of “3rd stage practice”. They approach it from a conceptual level and become contrived. But true masculinity is not something we do, it’s something we are. And it’s a product of having a relaxed relationship to our biology, not shaming any part of ourselves, and then just letting nature take care of the rest. A man who has embraced himself will be effortlessly masculine. There’s nothing to do. He just is.

Doing vs being masculinity

I experienced the truth of this in a visceral way recently. I met a beautiful woman early in 2013 and we developed a relationship over Facebook. I felt met by her in a way that I normally don’t by women and was eager to spend more time with her. For privacy reasons, I won’t at this point give any details or write about it in great length, but a day we spent together recently was a threshold experience for me.

She’d just given me an amazing round of body work and I felt open and surrendered. I said I wanted to be inside of her, but that I didn’t want to lift a muscle. She happily accepted the invitation, straddled me and started enjoying herself. I felt an enormous amount of sensation, my whole body was alive with her and I felt a total surrender to her and the bliss of the moment. “Doing masculinity” was far away.

But conditioning has a tendency to rear its head when we least expect it to, and all of a sudden a thought entered my mind that it was time for me to be more assertive. I was starting to “do masculinity”. I placed my hands on her hips and started contributing to the movement. And immediately my whole body started tensing up.

I was in such an open and surrendered space that I could pick up on subtleties. And from that level of awareness, I felt in a powerful way how much work it is to “try to be a man”. I let go of her, surrendered back to the moment. Some tension and a huge piece of learning remained.

In retrospect, I’ve thought much about this. It makes so much sense to me that my body is full of tension. I think I need to do things, create things, force things. I’m supposed to be a man, right? But in reality, there are better ways. It’s possible to be empowered and surrendered at the same time.

And that is my next evolving edge. It’s counter-intuitive to say the least. And it’s a theme that I will be focusing much of my writing on in 2014.

What are your experiences with surrender in the context of masculinity? I’d love to hear your experiences below.

2013: Year in review

posted by Eivind on January 15, 2014, at 7:00 am

I’ve created a video for you with reflections on the year 2013 on Masculinity-Movies.com. Enjoy!

Thank you for your help in reaching my Facebook 1000 likes goal

posted by Eivind on December 31, 2013, at 2:23 pm

A couple of days ago, my goal of reaching 1000 likes for this site on Facebook, seemed unrealistic. But I asked for help and a whole host of people stepped up to help out.

These people, and several others, somehow got excited about helping out. The result is that Masculinity-Movies.com received more likes over the last couple of days than in the 4 years preceding them.

Truth be told, I haven’t really worked hard to make a huge impact on Facebook, but I want to get this work out there more and this is such a great start.

I feel really grateful and a little overwhelmed that so many people care about this work and I want to extend my warmest thank yous to you all.

Happy New Year!

Much love,
Eivind

Preparing for 2014

posted by Eivind on December 28, 2013, at 11:54 pm

2014 is very close and it’s time to start getting intentional about the transition. We live in an era devoid of ritual; New Year’s eve is one of the few we have let. The passing of one year and the coming of another is a powerful metaphor in itself, made all the stronger by the fact that billions of us are present to it. The human collective consciousness unites on this single point of focus.

That is powerful. Which is why it makes sense to take advantage of it.

I encourage you all to take some time in the coming day or two to spend a little while with yourself, reflecting on what was good and bad about the year that was and getting clear on your intention for the new year.

As for me, I will summarize the year on Masculinity-Movies.com in a little movie that is coming up in the next day or two.

Be well

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