“Dance your Soulful path / and you shall know the magic / of your mind & heart / and all the beauty laughing / to fill your rising self.” ― Jay Woodman
it is interesting how slowly and surely, I find myself drawn and pushed towards the very place I knew I was heading, yet somehow resisted. for what reason, I know not why. fear? uncertainty? doubt? quite possibly all 3 and more besides…
and yet if I am going to meet my stated goal, to use my story as an example to others in similar position to where I was, then it makes absolute sense to tell the full story. the one where I didn’t just lose weight, or gain fitness, or become someone with goals and ambitions; I embraced my spiritual nature, my eclectic world view, and in doing so found balance, peace and happiness within me.
and that’s the sort of thing that can often get you into trouble as a bloke. you’re supposed to fix engines, go fishing, drink lots of beer and any tendency towards sensitivity, creativity or navel-gazing, is viewed as borderline suspicious. it’s certainly not “alpha male” behaviour now, is it?
and yet within that soulful sensitivity lies real strength, compassion, and an inner confidence that comes with the appreciation of life, of others and a sense of purpose.
when I first dared to broach the subject of spirituality in a more open manner, I started to get an appreciation of what it is like to be a gay man. you feel the need to somehow hide your non-blokiness, your non-conformity, your unique gifts that you bring to the world.
and the funny thing is, I reckon a lot of the blokes who go around acting blokey, doing blokes things, and proving their blokiness by drinking a dozen pints – they are actually masking their true selves, acting out the stereotypes and templates that they think society wants them to.
let’s get one thing straight – there’s nothing wrong with a drink, or owning a ute, or fixing cars, or fishing, or any of that stuff. if it’s what you enjoy, if it is your passion, if it lights you up inside.
and at the same time there is nothing wrong with being an artist, a musician, a sensitive soul, a soulful empath, or simply being a more mindful, balanced individual.
but we don’t cater for those things, we just “teach” boys, young men, to head along to the pub, to bond through manly sports, or drinking, or both. and the way a “man” settles an argument is to go outside, have a fight with his opponent, and then come back inside and have a drink together…
which normalises violence, alienates peaceful, gentle souls, fosters all kinds of issues locally, nationally and internationally (entire governments adopt the same blokey response to disagreements) and generally fixes nothing.
bloke culture, lad culture, macho culture, and if you’re born a male, there’s not too many alternative role models and templates on offer. work hard, get married, be man of the house, emotions are a sign of weakness etc. etc.
it creates unhappiness, it creates unfulfilled men with unrealised potential and deep sadness in their souls.
and that is a tragedy. in our modern era we are getting very good at encouraging females to be strong, to be themselves, to be what they were born to be. we are not so good at letting males know the same thing.
it’s ok to be you, it’s ok to be whatever version of “bloke” you want to be. and whether that includes traditional blokey activities and interests or not, is neither here nor there.
the world needs men and women, of all shapes, sizes and degrees of soulfulness. full and proper balance.
by being more open about this, perhaps others will find it easier to step into their light, to start fulfilling their purpose in the world.
and make the world a better place…