How Can You Connect with Community?
I asked my coaching client, Ron, who his best friend was and how connected he was with him or her.
He looked at me incredulously and said, “I don’t have any friends. There’s no one I trust!” When asked how he felt about that he stated, “Lonely and sad!”
I was saddened, too, to hear Ron’s story. Unfortunately, having no community occurs all too often for many men. And it is killing us! The statistics are clear on the damage of male isolation. Here’s just a few:
Isolating ourselves stunts our growth and development. As a consequence, we develop a false self to adapt and connect, thereby reinforcing a disconnection from our authentic self. To present a face of success to the world, we may adopt a conspiracy of silence about pain or trauma, neglect or shame. This silent barrier stops u
Two Models of Male Friendship. Which One Do You Want?
How Can You Discover Your Mission and Live it Fully in Your Life?
How Can You Discover Your Mission and Live it Fully in Your Life?
If you are like most men, I’ll bet you have longed to know what your purpose is for being on this planet; Why you are alive?
That question plagued me for a long time. Some call your purpose your “Mission of Service.” I’ve experienced men who know their Missions as men who move purposefully through the world, love themselves and others and the world. They seem to be happier, more successful, more motivated, and more grounded.
Mission is central to men living fully in the world as awakened men, as well as helping men make a lasting positive impact on others. It shines directly from our souls, informed by our wounds and our talents.
Are You Plugged into Your Inner GPS?
When I access the GPS in my car, I know that the Global Positioning System is connected to a worldwide navigational system. As it determines my position, processes my destination, and charts a course, I cruise comfortably without worry. And if I happen to not pay attention and miss an exit, the GPS merely tells me without judgment, “Recalculating.”
To access our spiritual nature and connection to a Higher Consciousness, we need a navigational system. Fortunately, we all have an inner GPS, one that is intricately linked to a Higher Power. When we feel such a connection to the Divine, we become Spirit-driven in our actions and interactions. We enter a state of flow where inner guidance and synchronicity miraculously appear. From that spiritual center, we become a beacon of light to others as we radiate love and inner peace.
How do we increase our receptivity and strengthen our connection to the Divine?
How Can You Be More Sexually Open and Available as a Man?
Our penises are so damned mysterious, aren’t they? How our genitals work—or don’t work—fascinates, scares, and confuses us. We are terrified that we are not masculine enough, hard enough, big enough, last long enough, or “hetero” enough. We take substances to get or maintain a hard-on. We rely on other substances to put us in the mood or calm us down. We masturbate addictively or don’t masturbate at all, due to the many messages we received as children. We have affairs with men and women, watch porn secretly, brag to other men about our supposed sexual conquests, perhaps become asexual completely, and never, ever, speak authentically about our sexual selves. Why?
Very few of us have had the benefit of being raised with a healthy attitude toward sex.
Men and Love. What's the Problem?
Give a man a problem to fix; he feels right at home. Ask a man to love; that becomes a problem.
Men tend to demonstrate love through acts of service like doing things or fixing problems, or we may seek to feel loved through sex. However, loving with an open heart is hard for us. Sure, we can give a woman flowers or tell a close male friend in an off-handed way, “Luv you, Bro.” However, real love asks us to embrace intimacy (Into-me-see).
Intimacy is about being vulnerable, something men have been taught to avoid. If we identify with the images of masculinity as portrayed in the media and by culture, we will value toughness, self-sufficiency, and invulnerability. Those qualities of a warrior may work in the field of sports, but they don’t translate well with love and intimacy. That doesn’t mean, however, that we don’t long for love. Find out how we can find more love.
How Can I Be a More Authentic Man?
My friend, Rita, confided to me her frustration at looking for a male partner. She asked, “Why are men so inauthentic?”
She wasn’t the first woman to ask me that question. I knew immediately what she was referring to: Many of us men have a propensity to exaggerate, lie, not take responsibility for our mistakes, and protect our fragile egos at all costs.
“And what can I do to find a man that is more authentic in relationships?”
“You asked the $64,000 question!” I told Rita. “Most men who come to me for coaching are mystified themselves by their own lack of authenticity and integrity! The truth is, it’s hard work to discover the source of our male programming, acknowledging it and then change that program.”
Why Are Men So Lonely and What Can They Do About It?
As a therapist, I have seen countless men in my office because they were depressed and lonely. Sadly, this was becoming common for men during the pandemic as social isolation prevented many from engaging in activities with others. Add to this the set of traditional masculine values that men have learned—be tough, invulnerable, self-reliant, and independent—and you have a perfect storm for loneliness.
Having been brought up with such beliefs, I used to isolate uncomfortable feelings and keep them hidden. As a boy, I had yearned to be like the superheroes in my comic books. Since they prided themselves on being invulnerable and not crying, I tried to be like them.
It wasn’t until I became a therapist and later joined a men’s group that I realized that shutting down and hiding my emotions stopped me from feeling connected, both to myself and others. Isolation and loneliness caused deep pain. Fortunately, I discovered the way out. Read more to find out.
Are you the King of Your LIfe?
Do you access joy in your life and connection with your family, children, other men, and the world? Do you have a strong sense of your Mission—why you’re here on this planet? If you answered yes to these questions, congratulations!
In our experience of working with thousands of men all over the world over the past 35 years, the two of us, Rick Broniec and Leonard Szymczak, have heard how men are isolated, disempowered, and purposeless. We have witnessed men who are plagued by depression, addictions, anxiety, and relationship issues. Can you relate? Read on for more info!
Crazy Making Mixed Messages About Being a Man: What Can We do about it?
In an Age of Super Heroes, Where are the Fathers?
The Avengers Endgame movie that was recently released brought in over a billion dollars the first week. A few of the male Super Heroes had children. This was a sharp contrast to Avengers, The Age of Ultron, where Hawkeye was the only Avenger who was a father. But he left his pregnant wife and two children at home so he could join the team and “save the world.” In Endgame Ironman, Antman, and Black Panther joined Hawkeye as fathers, but they left the caregiving of their children to the mothers while they, yet again, “saved the world.”
This model of fatherhood shows men leaving their children and demonstrating that their work is far more important and that violence is the way to overcome adversaries. Is this the message that we want fathers to convey to their children?
We are Losing Far Too Many Good Men!
Giving Men the Option to Expand Our Palates
‘Traditional male behaviors' have been recently marked by the American Psychology Association as harmful and limiting to men- and to women and children in their lives. Being isolated, going it alone, being tough and unemotional, competing with other men, being numb and always strong are behaviours associated with this traditional male model. That is not to say that these behaviours are all bad. To the contrary, many of these qualities that we men are taught from birth (some say from conception) are useful and life-affirming when used consciously and judiciously. And that is the key, in our opinion. Most of us are taught this traditional model from birth and don’t know any other way. As a result, we don’t have a choice. And that’s the tragedy of traditional maleness.
So, what are the alternatives? We believe it is the practice of our CLASSICS Model. This model, we have found, again and again, give men healthy alternatives to our old behaviors. These alternatives are life-affirming and life-changing. We believe men who practice Connection to feelings, Loving with an open heart, Authenticity through accountability and integrity, Spirituality, healthy Sexuality, Intentionally creating a mission of service, connection to Community, and expressing their Sovereignty have a much larger range through which to express ourselves. This wider range frees us from the tyranny and limitations of the old model.
Where are All the Good Men... Books?
This fact was not a bit surprising to Leonard or me. There is a dearth of books for men's personal growth simply because the market for these books is dismally small. Men, as a whole, simply are not interested in waking up or growing nearly as much as women. Sadly, we men are taught early on that we are expected to figure things out ourselves, that we are to do this in isolation, that we are never to appear to be weak or to not have the answers and that we are to tough out any issues we can't easily 'win'. These behaviours make up part of what the American Psychological Association has called "traditional masculine ideology", which they have branded as harmful.