Sweaty Eye Syndrome is okay, Courage is a chameleon, and even Badasses make mistakes.
Back in 2010 I realized that I had a serious deficiency of good man friends. I didn’t have anyone regularly checking me on my BS, and I didn’t have anyone I felt sure I could call and ask for advice over a beer or coffee. I’ve always had good guy friends, but I had been in Los Angeles for a few years and nothing naturally consistent had cropped up. So I got a couple of guys I knew I respected and we started a group for forward-thinking men who seek self-improvement. We know that men are creatures of action, and we often do our best thinking and growing when we are physically and energetically moving forward, so we made it a weekly hiking group and The Moving Men’s Group was born.
We literally walk the walk and talk the talk every Sunday in Griffith Park, where we work on finding real clarity, formulating goals and, most of all, connecting with other like-minded men who will strive to make us accountable to ourselves.
It’s been nearly 3 years, the group has grown and evolved, and I’ve gotten a lot from the group. I wanted to share a short list of some key lessons I’ve learned with the help of my peers:
- Own yourself. I am my own responsibility. My integrity and power are not subject to circumstance or coincidence. My BS is mine to work through. My awesomeness is also mine to work with.
- When in doubt, check the compass. My purpose/calling/passion/
mission is the compass that helps me navigate the journey.
- We all want sex, and we all want intimacy. They are best together, and unsustainable separately.
- Accept her challenge. My woman/partner challenges me to be my best self everyday. If I’m paying attention, she will show me my blind spots; and although it’s painful and frustrating… I actually want that.
- Men are non-violent at our core. At our core we are goofy creatures made of laughter. Let the goofball out more than the goon.
- Surround yourself with good men. If I look around and don’t have men in my inner circle who I admire for their integrity and highest intentions… I need to find new men or challenge the men around me to grow with me.
- Shhh. Intimacy among men is just as achievable in silence as it is in conversation.
- Masculine and feminine are equal and opposite energies, neither good nor bad. Both are necessary for healthy sex, work, love, and self-awareness. Also, Good and Bad are both man-made concepts… so be careful when assigning them to anything.
- The greatest gift a man can give a group of his peers is his powerful commitment to his own purpose. It is honoring to the world when I give my fullest (the masculine).
- The other greatest gift a man can give a group of his peers is his brilliant vulnerability. It is honoring to the world when I open my fullest (the feminine).
- Sweaty Eye Syndrome is okay. Tears shed among brothers are tangible bits of trust, courage, and love. If you can’t deal with a little crying, maybe you should toughen up you big non-crybaby!
- Explore! There are thousands of ways to climb the same mountain.
- Appreciate the journey. Remember to look around. There is always something to appreciate along a journey.
- Courage is a chameleon. Courage doesn’t always mean charging ahead. Sometimes it looks like admitting a weakness out loud. Sometimes it feels like motivating the guy in the back of the pack with a helping hand. Sometimes it sounds like asking for support.
- I don’t know everything but I know everything I need to know when I need to know it. I have to learn to trust myself and the process.
- Challenge is natural. The tests are there to make sure I’m paying attention
- Badasses make mistakes. I know that mistakes are just part of the process of becoming my badass super self.
- Always be moving. Steps forward create momentum. We are all victims of inertia. If you’re stuck, make a move and then course correct. Stillness is a move when chosen consciously – but is stagnancy when it becomes a set-point.
- Powerful significance comes from embracing insignificance. Step 1, learn how to be myself for myself, Step 2, learn how to help others by being myself, Step 3, Realize that nothing human persists—I can’t save the world forever—and then commit to living fully in my purpose/integrity because it’s the most infinite and integral thing I can do with my little life.
- Hug people more. You can never get or give enough hugs. Especially other tough guys.
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Photo by Eric Beteille of www.pedestrianphotographer.com