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What does it mean to be a man today? How can men
consciously express their masculinity without
becoming cold or closed-hearted on the one hand…
or wimpy and emasculated on the other? What’s the
most loving way for a conscious man to express
himself?
Here are 10 ways to live more consciously as a man:
1. Make real decisions.
A man understands and respects the power of choice.
He lives a life of his own creation. He knows that life
stagnates when he fails to decide and flourishes
when he chooses a clear path.
When a man makes a decision, he opens the door he
wants and closes the doors he doesn’t want. He locks
onto his target like a guided missile. There’s no
guarantee he’ll reach his target, and he knows this,
but he doesn’t need such guarantees. He simply
enjoys the sense of inevitability that comes from
pushing the launch button.
A man doesn’t require the approval of others. He’s
willing to follow his heart wherever it leads him.
When a man is following his heart-centered path, it’s
of little consequence if the entire world is against
him.
2. Put your relationships second.
A man who claims his #1 commitment in life is his
relationship partner (or his family) is either too
dishonest or too weak to be trusted. His loyalties are
misplaced. A man who values individuals above his
own integrity is a wretch, not a free thinker.
A man knows he must commit to something greater
than satisfying the needs of a few people. He’s not
willing to be domesticated, but he is willing to accept
the responsibility that comes with greater
challenges. He knows that when he shirks that duty,
he becomes something less than a man. When others
observe that the man is unyieldingly committed to
his values and ideals, he gains their trust and
respect, even when he cannot gain their direct
support. The surest way for a man to lose the respect
of others (as well as his self-respect) is to violate his
own values.
Life will test the man to see if he’s willing to put
loyalty to others ahead of loyalty to his principles.
The man will be offered many temptations to expose
his true loyalties. A man’s greatest reward is to live
with integrity, and his greatest punishment is what
he inflicts upon himself for placing anything above
his integrity. Whenever the man sacrifices his
integrity, he loses his freedom… and himself as well.
He becomes an object of pity.
3. Be willing to fail.
A man is willing to make mistakes. He’s willing to be
wrong. He’d rather try and fail than do nothing.
A man’s self-trust is one of his greatest assets. When
he second-guesses himself by worrying about failure,
he diminishes himself. An intelligent man considers
the prospect of failure, but he doesn’t preoccupy
himself with pointless worry. He accepts that if a
failure outcome occurs, he can deal with it.
A man grows more from failure than he does from
success. Success cannot test his resolve in the way
that failure can. Success has its challenges, but a
man learns more about himself when he takes on
challenges that involve risk. When a man plays it
safe, his vitality is lost, and he loses his edge.
4. Be confident.
A man speaks and acts with confidence. He owns his
attitude.
A man doesn’t adopt a confident posture because he
knows he’ll succeed. He often knows that failure is a
likely outcome. But when the odds of success are
clearly against him, he still exudes confidence. It isn’t
because he’s ignorant or suffering from denial. It’s
because he’s proving to himself that he has the
strength to transcend his self-doubt. This builds his
courage and persistence, two of his most valuable
allies.
A man is willing to be defeated by the world. He’s
willing to be taken down by circumstances beyond
his control. But he refuses to be overwhelmed by his
own self-doubt. He knows that when he stops
trusting himself, he is surely lost. He’ll surrender to
fate when necessary, but he won’t surrender to fear.
5. Express love actively.
A man is an active giver of love, not a passive
receiver. A man is the first to initiate a conversation,
the first to ask for what’s needed, and the first to say
“I love you.” Waiting for someone else to make the
first move is unbecoming of him. The universe does
not respond positively to his hesitation. Only when
he’s in motion do the floodgates of abundance open.
Man is the out-breath of source energy. It is his job —
his duty — to share his love with the world. He must
wean himself from suckling the energy of others and
become a vibrant transmitter of energy himself. He
must allow that energy to flow from source, through
him, and into the world. When he assumes this role,
he has no doubt he is living as his true self.
6. Re-channel sex energy.
A man doesn’t hide his sexuality. If others shrink
from him because he’s too masculine, he allows them
to have their reaction. There’s no need for him to
lower his energy just to avoid frightening the timid. A
man accepts the consequences of being male; he
makes no apologies for his nature.
A man is careful not to allow his energy to get stuck
at the level of lust. He re-channels much of his sexual
energy into his heart and head, where it can serve his
higher values instead of just his animal instincts.
(You can do this by visualizing the energy rising,
expanding, and eventually flowing throughout your
entire body and beyond.)
A man channels his sexual energy into his heart-
centered pursuits. He feels such energy pulsing
within him, driving him to action. He feels
uncomfortable standing still. He allows his sexual
energy to explode through his heart, not just his
genitals.
7. Face your fears.
For a man, being afraid of something is reason
enough to do it. A man’s fear is a call to be tested.
When a man hides from his fears, he knows he’s
fallen out of alignment with his true self. He feels
weak, depressed, and helpless. No matter how hard
he tries to comfort himself and achieve a state of
peace, he cannot overcome his inner feeling of dread.
Only when facing his fears does a man experience
peace.
A man makes a friend of risk. He doesn’t run and
hide from the tests of fear. He turns toward them and
engages them boldly.
A man succeeds or fails. A coward never makes the
attempt. Specific outcomes are of less concern to a
man than his direction.
A man feels like a man whenever he faces the right
way, staring straight into his fears. He feels even
more like a man when he advances in the direction of
his fears, as if sailing on the winds of an inner
scream.
8. Honor the masculinity of other men.
When a man sees a male friend undertaking a new
venture that will clearly lead to failure, what does the
man do? Does he warn his friend off such a path? No,
the man encourages his friend to continue. The man
knows it’s better for his friend to strike out
confidently and learn from the failure experience. The
man honors his friend’s decision to reach out and
make the attempt. The man won’t deny his friend the
benefits of a failure experience. The man may offer
his friend guidance, but he knows his friend must fail
repeatedly in order to develop self-trust and courage.
When you see a man at the gym struggling to lift a
heavy weight, do you jump in and say, “Here… let
me help you with that. Maybe the two of us can lift it
together”? No, that would rob him of the growth
experience — and probably make a quick enemy of
him as well.
The male path is filled with obstacles. It typically
includes more failures than successes. These
obstacles help a man discover what’s truly important
to him. Through repeated failures a man learns to
persist in the pursuit of worthy goals and to abandon
goals that are unworthy of him.
A man can handle being knocked down many times.
For every physical setback he experiences, he enjoys
a spiritual advancement, and that is enough for him.
9. Accept responsibility for your relationships.
A man chooses his friends, lovers, and associates
consciously. He actively seeks out the company of
people who inspire and challenge him, and he
willingly sheds those who hold him back.
A man doesn’t blame others for his relationship
problems. When a relationship is no longer
compatible with his heart-centered path, he initiates
the break-up and departs without blame or guilt.
A man holds himself accountable for the
relationships he allows into his life. He holds others
accountable for their behavior, but he holds himself
accountable for his decision to tolerate such
behavior.
A man teaches others how to treat him by the
relationships he’s willing to allow into his life. A man
refuses to fill his life with negative or destructive
relationships; he knows that’s a form of self-abuse.
10. Die well.
A man’s great challenge is to develop the inner
strength to express his true self. He must learn to
share his love with the world without holding back.
When a man is satisfied that he’s done that, he can
make peace with death. But if he fails to do so, death
becomes his enemy and haunts him all the days of
his life.
A man cannot die well unless he lives well. A man
lives well when he accepts his mortality and draws
strength from knowing that his physical existence is
temporary. When a man faces and accepts the
inevitability of death… when he learns to see death
as his ally instead of his enemy… he’s finally able to
express his true self. So a man isn’t ready to live until
he accepts that he’s already dead.

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