From Marcus Aurelius to Mark Manson, the message is the same. The world needs more good men. Not nice men. Not people pleasers. Not followers. But men who are alive, awake, willing and able to show up as the best versions of themselves they can be.
There is a rhythm that beats every single day. It’s the pulse of life. It’s in you. It’s in me. It’s all around us. Some call it a life force, source energy, a flow, god, the universe. He, she, they, it. I don’t care what you call it. It’s there.
Stop, pause, listen. Step away from the chaos, the hustle, the bustle, the busyness of life, the drama, the domestics, the job, the train, the kids, the car, the madness, just for a few minutes.
Recalibrate your thoughts. Feel them. Let them be and let them go. Take as much time as it takes to allow your own vibration to get back in sync with who you are, back in sync with itself. Breathe. You are life itself.
Have you ever just sat with your own thoughts? Not analysing, not recounting them, not thrashing them around in your mind, ruminating over evert detail. Just noticing, without judgement, without expectation.
Ever stopped to notice your own breath. The rise and fall of your chest. Your own beating heart.
Ever paused in a day, just for even a few seconds, found a quiet place and listened to you, your inner rumblings, your emotions, inner voice, and felt the frequencies that vibrate throughout your body, all, freaking, day, long.
Have you ever just sat with yourself, noticed what is going on within you, and not tried to escape, get busy, forget, deny, ignore, play victim, justify, cover-up, defend or distract yourself?
Have you ever stopped to give yourself some time, some focus, some attention, before you seek it from others, from your work, from your next purchase, car, your family, your sex or your achievements?
Too many men have been taught to never surrender. Fight till the death. This might be fine when you’re on the battlefield. But too many of us have been taught that to be a man, you must be strong, invincible, powerful, stoic, in every situation. This is BS. And when it comes to relationships, surrender is strength. It is the act of a man who values love and kindness, over being right.
To be awakened means to wake up from being unconscious, asleep, warm and comfortable in your own safe bubble. It means to move into awareness, because awareness is curative (Zan Perrion).
Ever had that feeling when you are warm in your bed, but you know you should get up. You can feel the day calling you to greet it. And when you do, you are so glad that you did. You wanted to stay warm. You wanted to stay in comfort. You wanted to stay asleep.
In contrast, to have open eyes, newness, a full life, passion and aliveness surging through your veins, you need to wake up and become an awakened man. I can’t stress this enough.
Let me tell you. In all this, I am still human. As an awakened man, I still have challenges. I still have crap days. I still get sad. I still get mad. I still have difficult times in relationships. I still wonder WTF at times.
You might very well ask, what’s the point then Steve? If you have all that sh*t still going on, what is the benefit of being awakened? Wouldn’t it be better to stay asleep, obliviously unaware of myself? I know people who are, and they seem happy enough.
Let me tell you, being an awakened man, does not mean all of your problems go away. What it means is, you deal with them differently. So, rather than reaching for the escape hatch, the distraction, the volume on my heavy rock Spotify playlist, I make a conscious decision to in that moment, do something different.
That might mean going for a walk. That might mean staying calm in a conversation where I normally would trigger. That might mean trying to see something from someone else’s perspective. That might mean meditating. That might mean not making it all about me. That might mean giving my wife a neck and shoulder massage, rather than giving her my whining.
I learn to accept who I am, strengths AND weaknesses. I accept that to be awakened, means that I am moving toward being a better version of myself. But to be awakened means that I take consistent action. It’s more than awareness, but that’s a start. It’s about conscious action.
In the words of Marcus Aurelius from the year 180, “waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be and be one”. Or in the words of Mark Manson from 2019, “unf*ck yourself”.
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