On Women:

Men think. A lot. Sometimes, thinking too much doesn’t allow much room for feeling.

When we’re sick or something is broken, we try to figure out the problem. We look at the issue systematically. What’s broken? What can we use as a replacement? How do we fix it? Finally, after identifying the cause of the issue, we decide on a solution.

Eventually, depending on the problem, we buy new brake pads, take some antibiotics, or smash twelve shots of whiskey and put an irresponsible bet on the number six horse. Just like that, the problem is solved. The brakes aren’t screeching anymore, our head cold is gone, or we blew off the steam we needed to blow off – even if we lost our rent money for the week in the process.

When we relate to women, our problems start when we try to approach issues in the same way. When we try to force our way of doing things onto the women we love.


Picture this;

We have plans with her in the evening. When we arrive at her house, we’re instantly aware that she’s in a shitty mood. She’s wearing a permanent frown and won’t speak to us. We watch as the storm brews inside of her. The room goes dark with her anger. We’re a bit put off by the entire situation. There’s something repulsive about her wrath. An ancient piece of ourselves is a little afraid at the dreadful power of our wild woman.


What’s HER problem? We think as we immediately go into problem fixing mode. Like virtually every other problem in our lives, we assume there is a single problem we can find and fix to make this situation better.

We think and think and think, but can’t come up with anything. We don’t know what we said, or did, or didn’t say, or didn’t do that caused this issue. What’s worse is, no matter how much we ask her what’s the matter, she constantly tells us it’s nothing.

Why does she have to be so COMPLICATED, we ask ourselves.

Eventually we become sick of asking what’s wrong, so we simply sit next to her without speaking. Maybe she breaks the silence by lashing out at us for not knowing what’s really going on. Maybe we make the very dumb mistake of saying “calm down.” The storm finally breaks, and we feel as though we’re forced to duck for cover.

We walk out, telling her to call us when she’s willing to talk about things calmly. At this point we’ve not only failed our woman, but we’ve failed ourselves as men.

We’ve wrongly assumed our woman’s situation is the same as a bike with a broken chain. We’ve wrongly assumed it’s as simple as finding the piece we need to fix. We’ve wrongly assumed – like all other problems in our lives – that it’s our time as men to TAKE CONTROL of the situation. Like a ship’s captain that finds his vessel has strayed off course, we attempt to change her direction.

We’ve tried to steer her, but our woman is not our ship. She’s the ocean that we’re sailing in. Vast and mighty, if we try to wrestle her immense waves we will lose every time. We will drown. She might not even know she’s doing it, but she will swallow us.

Our job is not to be the captain, or a ship. Our job is to be the rock, standing strong off the coast of the ocean that we love. Our job is to be there, and to be there for no reason other than our love for her waters.

Like any body of water, there will be days when she crashes against us. Wave after wave, it might feel like the ocean will never again be calm. When her tide is high we may feel like we’re close to drowning. Sometimes she hits us so hard we think we might crack. But if we remain full and abundant in our love for her, and constantly present in our masculinity, it will pass.

Her waters will quiet. She will once again lovingly caress us, her waves gently lapping at our ankles. She will completely open her heart in response to our stubborn love. She will trust in our strength, and feel safe in showing us the depths of her dark and healing waters. She’ll let us dive into her completely and we will taste her salty kiss. She’ll show us just how much we have to learn from the mysterious gifts she has to give us.

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Will you only swim in her when the waters are calm and the scenery is peaceful?

Until, of course, another storm shows itself on the horizon. But our job as the rock never ends.

So, if you cannot love her sunrise as much as you love her stormy weather, she isn’t the woman for you.

If you cannot find humour in the situation and need to lash out or walk away, you’re not the man for her.

If you cannot give unconditional love to her when her waters get rough, you’re treading in waters too deep and powerful for your abilities. It is better for you both if you find a smaller pool to dip your timid feet in, and for her to find a man willing to embrace her inherently wild and endlessly passionate nature.

Be good to each other,

~MG

Featured Photo Courtesy of http://www.wildwomanjourney.com.

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Celebrating the Individual:

It is time to celebrate who we are.

There’s always something about the first words you type onto a blank page. It’s like splashing paint onto a crisp-white canvas. I believe we all have words pent up inside of ourselves. Those first ones break the pressure. You kind of just let the words fall onto the paper as they naturally would. Your soul is the bursting cloud, allowing droplets of inner wisdom to sprinkle the land underneath it.

It seems much too rare these days that we allow our soul the ability to speak its truth. Too often we are stifled by social and cultural concerns. I think its a pretty sad notion that our individuality is being suffocated by the very people that should be celebrating it: ourselves.

We’ve seen the unique nature of each human being oppressed in many different ways by many different tyrants.

We saw it masterfully done by the Catholic church after the dark ages. We were told we were all beautiful children of God who loved us infinitely. God would love us until the end of our days, unless we looked upon the stars with our own eyes and suggested, perhaps, that our solar system wasn’t exactly structured as the church had taught us it was. That, maybe, we weren’t the centre of it all. Then we were heretics; we were blasphemous, spoiled spawns of darkness.

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This isn’t just our solar system, it’s our entire universe. If you disagree, then you’re going to burn in hell, you God damned heretic.

We were loved by God so long as we accepted our fate as peasants, farming for dukes and bishops we would never see. Don’t worry, we were told, if we allowed ourselves to be powerless and impoverished in this life, the next one would have rainbows and beds made of clouds. Our sons were loved by God as long as they didn’t love other men. Our daughters were loved by God as long as they didn’t stay connected to their feminine nature or the earth. As long as they didn’t embrace their sexual power and remained subservient to men, our daughters were wonderful indeed.

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How dare this woman worship the earth she came from and the rivers that gave her life. I heard she also sex with Satan, doesn’t she know she is the property of her husband and of God?

We saw it done by Hitler and the Nazis, who told us we were perfect specimens of greatness. Unless, of course, our hair and eyes were too dark or our skin produced a higher amount of pigmentation. Then we were somehow sullied; we were somehow corrupt. Capitalism told us we were successful and smart, as long as our car was new and we had the latest smart phone. We were always perfect as long as we fulfilled someone else’s definition of it.

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What a perfect little Nazi. Now why can’t your brunette sister be more like you?! She would be perfect too, if she was.

You would think after all of the great individuals, the great men and women who stood in defiance of the oppression of the uniqueness of humanity, that we would learn to celebrate the diversity of one another and of ourselves.

We are shape shifters by nature. We are flexible and bendy. We can wear many different hats. We are water.

Our ability to bend and twist and move and flow is proof enough that none of us were made to be packed into rigid little boxes of conformity.

And yet still we act as our own corrupter. We still restrict our own freedom to be individuals. We are still barbarically behind in a deeper understanding of who we are as individuals and as a species. From the very time we are school children, we speak and act harshly toward those who stand out, instead of celebrating them.

Celebrate who you are, and support others who do the same.

Because you’re all pretty fucking awesome.

Be good to each other,

~MG.

Photos:

Featured Image: inesperkovic.com
Geocentric Solar System: pics-about-space.com
Witch Hunt: hiduth.com
Hitler Youth: spartacus-educational.com

On Going Through the Motions:

In meditation, there’s a few different reasons as to why the mantra is used.

Some sects of Buddhism or Hinduism believe that muttering certain words manifests change. The words plant a little seed in the plan of the universe which is then nurtured by our positive deeds, good intentions, and dedication to our practice.

Other sects believe that the mantra is a set of arbitrary words used to numb the mind.

This is because when we take any word, and say it over and over and over and over again, it loses all meaning.

When the word eventually fades into the realm of meaninglessness, we are essentially muttering nothing at all. We have short circuited our way to an empty mind. A quiet mind.

A mind content in its meaninglessness.


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[ Source: http://www.keypersonofinfluence.com ] .
An integral element of turning a word or a mantra meaningless is that there must not and can not be anything behind the words. We have to say the words without putting any feeling behind it.

We may have originally known the intention of our mantra, and we may have started our chants with intense purpose and sincerity, but somewhere along the way we must lose that intent and meaning in order for words, and their meaning, to fade into oblivion.


 

This is exactly what happens in life when we go through the motions.

We get up every day and follow the same routine. Go to the same job, to perform the same functions, with the same faces surrounding us, who are also performing their own monotonous functions.

Too many of us call this life. Too many of us call this living.

Like the mantras that lose all meaning, along the way we’ve lost what’s behind our words and our actions.

We’re performing the action of living, without actually possessing the intent to live.

We’re just saying the words over and over and over again. Our actions are for the sake of action.

And in this way our lives become meaningless.


 

We confuse the action itself as being the crucial element of life, when in reality it is the intention behind our actions that matters the most.

Life isn’t about the vacation or the trip, it’s about why we’re going, what we’re getting from it, or what we’re running from.

It isn’t about the code we live by, it’s about why we’ve chosen that path. It’s about discovering the fears and the pressures that have convinced us to live life a certain way, and it’s about choosing – for your own reasons – to find a different code to follow.

It’s not about the corner office job, but why we get up and work there every day.

Once you lose the intention behind the action, it becomes meaningless.


One should therefore not rely on mere words, but everywhere search for the intention behind them.” Buddhist Scriptures.

And that goes for anything in life.

You can be a brilliant poet, painter, athlete, lover, worker, or mother, but if the intention behind it isn’t pure or has been forgotten, then your actions cease to have meaning.

Your actions become a mantra.

Your boss, your partner, your children, and your team mates will all begin to feel the insincerity behind those meaningless actions.


 

Life is never about the choices we make.

It’s about why we make those choices. It’s about those tiny moments of integrity, when we know we’ve made an unpopular choice but have stayed true to ourselves.

It’s about being fearless in the face of external pressures or socially constructed fears.


Portrait Herm of
Socrates : One of My Favourite Examples of a Man Unconcerned With Social Fears or Pressures.

Life is the fire, intention is the oxygen that gives it strength and beauty.

So breathe some fresh air into your life.


 

Take some time to reflect on why you’re doing everything in your life. Look at everything you do today as a choice, and question the intention behind that choice.

That is where your power comes from.

You have the choice and the power to live life how you want to live it.

Don’t let any person or misplaced fear take that away from you.

Don’t go through the motions.

Live your life with conscious intention.

And you’ll be living a meaningful life again.

Be good to each other,

– MG.

On Sincerity:

I’m not talking about the superficial sincerity you try to muster into your facial expression when you tell your friend their dodgy haircut looks great. It’s not in the tone you try to force into your voice when you tell your significant other they didn’t burn the (completely black) steak and that it tastes fine.

Growing up, we all picked our sides; cowboys or indians; ninjas or samurai; the (very talented) blue players or the (slower, less skillful) red players on a foosball table.

As much as I loved those genetically mutated turtles who ate pizza and ran rampant in the sewers, I was never really a ninja kid. Personally, there was something about the samurai class that I was always drawn toward. This affinity for the samurai travelled with me well into adulthood. There was a certain romanticism about them. They were, to me, the very definition of warrior poets.

I studied Bushido (the way of the warrior) which inevitably led me to stumble upon Yamamoto Tsunetomo’s work, Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai. I found that the more I read, the more disappointed I became. The teachings were often elitist, sexist, selfish, ruthless, and sometimes extremely barbaric.

A player from team blue with the foosball, presumably about to score due to poor red defending.
A player from team blue with the foosball, presumably about to score due to poor red defending.

I found myself able to forgive these massive flaws, however, when I put everything into the proper perspective. These men were not by nature the skilled killers they had become famous for. They were born the same as you and I.

These men could be our fathers, our brothers, our husbands, or our boyfriends. These men were capable of love, compassion, mercy, and generosity. I found it fascinating that they were able to completely transcend their humanity in becoming samurai. I felt myself drawn to the teachings that helped these men – who were people just like you and I – rise above the human restrictions they were born with.

Most of us have no desire to transform ourselves into heartless marauding mercenaries, myself included. That doesn’t mean there are no important lessons to take from Hagakure and the legendary code of the Samurai.

I think we’re all looking for a higher version of ourselves. We all have a deep seated desire to become someone that reaches beyond the limitations we’ve all convinced ourselves we have. Yamamoto’s teachings emphasised a single word that, until that point in my life, I had never placed much importance on.


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There will be many giants for us to face in this life; we must face them like samurai; we must face them with sincerity.



In the Hagakure, the importance of sincerity is constantly stressed. It emphasises the absolute necessity of sincerity in not only self improvement but in all aspects of our lives.

I’m not talking about the superficial sincerity you try to muster into your facial expression when you tell your friend their dodgy haircut looks great. It’s not in the tone you try to force into your voice when you tell your significant other they didn’t burn the (completely black) steak and that it tastes fine.

I’m talking about true sincerity, the kind that can only flourish inside of you. You can put on a Leonardo DiCaprio-esque performance to the rest of the world, but you can’t fake true sincerity to yourself. There is no such thing as almost sincere, or partially sincere. Whether it’s an action you’re taking, a plan you’re making, or words you’re speaking, you either absolutely mean it with every last fibre of your being, or you don’t.

Sincerity does not only complete the self; it is the means by which all things are completed. As the self is completed, there is human-heartedness; as things are completed, there is wisdom. This is the virtue of one’s character, and the Way of joining the internal and external. Thus, when we use this, everything is correct.” – Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai.

It is an extremely simple and logical concept. Sincerity is the distinguishing factor between those who actually want something and those who only claim that they do. Many people wish to lose weight; those who take it upon themselves to research proper nutrition and exercise before implementing what they’ve learned into their everyday life exemplify sincerity. Those who take the option of a gluten free bun for their burger, before adding a large fry and a coke, are those who are demonstrating insincerity. Sincerity will quickly show you results and insincerity will leave you wondering why you’re not achieving your goals.

The samurai, for example, were so sincere about living an honourable life that they would actually disembowel themselves – a practice known as seppuku – rather than shame themselves in battle or die a dishonourable death. This practice is actually one of the things I found barbaric about the samurai, but there is certainly no denying the absolute sincerity by which they lived their lives and by which they honoured their code.

They were willing to sacrifice (literally) everything to obtain and maintain something as intangible and obscure as honour in their lives, while most of us couldn’t even give up chocolate for lent. Through sincerity they were able to completely transform their human selves into automatons of destruction. Sincerity was the power behind their ability to become the fearless, emotionless, masters of death that they were.

Suicide by River - Kabuki (1856) by Utagawa Kunisada
Suicide by River – Kabuki (1856) by Utagawa Kunisada

Sincerity is present in every aspect of life. In sports, sincerity lives in the child who gets excited for practice, who studies the game. Insincerity lives in the child who’s playing because his parents want it for him, or because it could translate into millions of dollars. Insincerity exemplifies itself in the workplace, in those who switch onto autopilot for forty-plus hours a week in a job they chose because there was a market demand or because it sounded prestigious. Sincerity emits from the ones who jump out of bed in the morning because they’ve chosen to do something they love, regardless of the money they make or the status it brings them.

The more we look for sincerity, the more apparent it becomes. The more we act with sincerity, the more we’ll develop a reciprocal relationship with it. When we act out of sincerity, sincerity acts back. It acts back in the form of noticeable improvements, lessons learned, successes, and (most importantly) failures. These failures tell us we’re on the right path, they tell us we’re going in a sincere direction.

When we speak with sincerity, sincerity responds. It responds in the form of advice from others, grapevine opportunities, offers of help, and real talks with those around us. When we love others with sincerity, with all of our soul, our lives become full of love that is – in turn – sincere.

Life becomes simple when you live it with sincerity. Be sincere with every one of your actions and words. Be sincere with those around you. Most importantly, be sincere with yourself.

And you’ll find the life you attract is sincere to you.

Be good to each other,

– MG.

Photo of giant samurai courtesy of: azertip.deviantart.com