Saturday, December 22, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
My freelance work is growing, partly because of a recent upswing in body painting jobs - For parties, special events, and commercial shoots. I'm also doing a lot of freelance illustration.
"It is time to evolve beyond the macho jerk ideal, all spine and no heart. It is time to evolve beyond the sensitive and caring wimp ideal, all heart and no spine. Heart and spine must be united in a single man, and then gone beyond in he fullest expression of love and consciousness possible, which requires a deep relaxation into the infinite openness of this present moment. And this takes a new kind of guts. This is the Way of the Superior Man." - David Deida.
This Tuesday, on what will be the last official meeting of the first Integral Warriors Men's Group, we'll be doing The Men's Challenge Deck: Practicing the Way of the Superior Man.
The Men's Challenge Deck is a deck of 88 cards to be used as a tool for men's personal and spiritual growth. Each card offers a challenge for a man to carry out - either alone or with others - that will help him clarify his deepest life purpose and live his fullest gifts in each moment.
The Challenge Deck takes "male bonding" a step further than eating and watching a game together.
What is a Men's Challenge Session? Is this a game?
The "sessions" are to help you live on the edge. And believe me, after reading through some of the cards, they can be challenging. Surprisingly enough, the low challenges can seem more challenging at times. We will be choosing from the low challenge cards.
What are the Rules?
1. Every man must commit to follow through on their challenges before the session begins. If everyone is not authentically committed, we will not begin the session. Instead, we'll address why the required commitment is not there.
2. The deck will be shuffled and the first man will be dealt a card. The man dealt the card should read it aloud to the group unless the card instructs otherwise. No other cards will be dealt until the first man has followed through on his challenge.
3. The man dealt the card does whatever the challenge demands of him. The others present should not interrupt or interfere unless the the challenge card allows for interaction. At any time, the man dealt the card may propose a modification to the challenge if he believes it better serves him and the group, or if a health challenge impacts the challenge. The group must consent.
4. Any consequences required by an unmet challenge, or an inauthentic one as judged by the group, should be determined by the group (Keep the discussion within 2 minutes).
5. When a man finishes with his card, place it in a discard pile separate from the rest of the deck.
6. After everyone has taken a turn, there will be a debriefing discussion so that experiences may be integrated and learning may be shared, an opportunity to build trust through open communication and support.
From Geoff Fitch's Amazon review:
The Challenge Deck is a great tool for growth. This is not about having more success at work or in you relationship as much as, like the Way of the Superior Man, it is about living your life as an expression of your deepest truth (although achieving that certainly might improve your work and relationships).
Every card gives you something to do, either right there in the moment or over a few days, that challenges you to live with more integrity, more openness, more aligned with your deepest purpose. These are not easy new age prescriptions-I knew the deck was powerful when, after looking at the cards, I got a twinge in my stomach and said, "oh, no!" (actually something amazon.com wouldn't print), realizing that the challenges would clearly push me and were things I wanted to do to grow.
Highly recommended! As a man, you can't avoid growing if you take on these challenges.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Get one (the T-shirt and the workshop)!
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Stumbling on Happiness is a book about a very simple but powerful idea. What distinguishes us as human beings from other animals is our ability to predict the future--or rather, our interest in predicting the future. We spend a great deal of our waking life imagining what it would be like to be this way or that way, or to do this or that, or taste or buy or experience some state or feeling or thing. We do that for good reasons: it is what allows us to shape our
life. And it is by trying to exert some control over our futures that we attempt to be happy. But by any objective measure, we are really bad at that predictive function. We're terrible at knowing how we will feel a day or a month or year from now, and even worse at knowing what will and will not bring us that cherished happiness. Gilbert sets out to figure what that's so: why we are so terrible at something that would seem to be so extraordinarily important?
When we talk about our brains being wired in certain ways, we're really talking about the upper right quadrant, the physical, what we can touch, what can be observed with the proper equipment, etc.
What happens we we free the upper left quadrant from fear, expectations, the past? The metaphysical, that which exists with, and without, the physical brain? That which we know exists, not because we can see it or touch it, but because we can feel it...we can experience it! That which goes beyond to the eternal, the everlasting, and the never ending? The part of "us" that is fully connected to all that is whether we realize it or not? Do any of us really know what our limits are?
What's possible with the full realization and activation of who we really are?
I think we do "stumble on happiness".. ..we stumble on it because we don't really believe we deserve it, that somehow, in our deepest places, we think we're really not worthy. I think we sometimes "stumble into happiness," as well: Times when, despite our stumbling immaturity, we still hit upon special moments and glimpses of perfection.
What if we could open our minds, releasing the stuff that holds us down, and train our minds to fully manifest all we are capable of? As a part of a perfect, limitless and abundant universe, are we not capable of that perfection, that realization, that limitlessness, and the utter and stunning beauty of freeing ourselves even further? What holds us back? What are we doing to free ourselves?
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Based on David Deida's book "The Way of the Superior Man," all eight men have stayed with the group throughout the entire process. At what might be the last meeting in this format next week will decide how, and if, they want to proceed together. I'm betting most will, and that a new leader will emerge and take charge of the group. I also think I know who that leader will be.
I'll be restarting the process in january with a new group of men, and unlike the first group, this one is already half full with four weeks to go -- quite a difference from the first group. The first group was also a fascinating learning and growth experience for me: stepping more into my power and role as a teacher and facilitator, learning when to step in. and when to let things play out.
It was also fascinating to watch the men as they stepped more into their power through this process, often calling out each other in moments of inauthenticity or lack of presence with one another.
I believe the men would agree that the group process has helped each man, in his own way and as needed, step up into a deeper realization about what it means to be a conscious authentic man immersed in purpose and their deepest realization.
I can hear women all over breathing a sigh of relief and saying, "right on." My own Beloved welcomes this, saying, "I'm tired of being the man," and falls, relaxing into the Divine Feminine. Hoo-boy!
Tongue-in-cheek image of He-Man source
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
"If a woman suggests something that changes a man's perspective, then he should make a decision based on that new perspective, but he should never betray his
own deepest knowledge and intuition in order to please his woman or "go along' with her. Both she and he will be weakened by such an action. They will grow to resent each other, and the crust of accumulated inauthenticity will burden their love, as well as their capacity for free action."
So opens Chapter 6 from David Deida's The Way of the Superior Man. At this weeks' meeting, we examined what it means to trust our own wisdom, and where we sometimes weaken and fail to stand up to our deepest truth to please others.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Take the Beatles' song past green and on to the next level with this T, available in masculine and feminine styles and lots of colors.
The line below the 6o's style logo reads "and a little accountability," in "teal," of course!
Visit the iBoutique for this and other integrally informed apparel and products.
In our check-ins at Tuesday nights' Seattle Integral Warriors Men's Group, we'll be examining how we either trust our own wisdom, or , perhaps, where we sometimes weaken. This often happens between a man and woman, but can also apply to other areas of your life. How do your actions and your trust, or lack of trust, of your own wisdom affect those around you? Are you someone who can be trusted? Do you make your decisions from your deepest realization or to please others?
David Deida says an attitude of self-trust engenders others' trust in you. How's your self-trust doing, and how are you doing with your self trust?
And finally, how do we build our self trust?
I've been learning to go deeper around my own self trust. This is especially important around relationship, and even more critical if you're in relationship with a strong woman, because if you can't trust yourself, she'll eat you alive and never blink twice. She might be disappointed that you weren't the one, but she'll get over that. She may mourn not having met the one, but she won't mourn you.
And if you can't step up, what will you mourn? Your own inability to trust yourself? Not likely. If you can't step up, you're more likely to blame her (you can't step up, remember?) Your inauthenticity is the reason you can't act with clarity, and your being is out of step with with your core.
You must act from that core, and make your own decisions based on your deepest intuitive wisdom and knowledge....and if you're wrong, it was still your best shot, and whatever happens, right or wrong, you'll be developing a greater capacity for your future actions.
PS: I'll let you guess what the "W" stands for.....