I believe it is time for us to step into a new paradigm of relating with each other. One of the most potent ways to do this is to begin creating intentional spaces where both men and women’s voices are heard, wounds felt and healed, and both our light and shadows are given space.
The encouraging part is both men and women have already been doing this. While often for different reasons and intentions, it seems both genders recognize the value of cohesion and unity amongst one another.
It is important to note that in many ways, women have lead the way. Through both good intentions and sadly all too often due to the need for cohesion in the face of discrimination and strife, united women have brought much strength, hope, and healing into the world. Red Tents, women’s gatherings, empowerment circles, and other intentional spaces have given women a place to be seen, their stories heard, and for Sisterhood to grow deep.
For the men, it seems only in the last few years that we’ve picked up the scent of what’s been missing in so many of our lives, Brotherhood. Especially in light of #metoo, men have been collectively confronted by their shadows and firmly asked to do better. I believe the recent interest and attention on men’s issues and development will only continue in its depth and potency as men gather in the spirit of benevolence and service with intentions set on holding each other in accountability while honoring the goodness that lies in the heart of men everywhere.
We’ve all done well over the last few years. And there’s more to be done.
I see three roads that must be walked at the same time in order for there to be true collective healing amongst the genders. Women in sisterhood and solidarity, men in brotherhood and accountability. Both with authentic intention to bring the best out of their gender and to be good shepherds of our communities and the planet we live on.
The next less untrodden road is the one that leads to both genders sitting in circle together. Where without guile, we unmask the shadows of both the masculine and feminine and give with love and grace the medicine we have for each other. There’s only so far men can go without women, and only so far women can go without men.
I believe without conscious awareness that the next step involves all of us, it is too easy to fall into the all too prevalent trap of creating echo chambers where we speak of empowerment but in reality, are only parroting blame and victimhood.
The danger of thinking the work ends with men and women in their respective circles lies in how it becomes too easy to forget why we are doing this in the first place.
I believe we stand at the forefront of a new threshold. Where men and women join together in circle, to share, to heal, to evolve together. Spaces where both women and men are both held in esteem, accountability, and love. A space where our differences and gifts are recognized and honored for their unique contribution. Where wisdom is shared without judgement, with open ears and spacious hearts.
If this brings up feelings of resistance, anger, or even joy, I urge this to be shared within safe spaces with your sisters and brothers. This vision of unity does require work, and while it will be rewarding beyond measure it won’t be easy, nor will it always be pretty.
This next step requires patience, listening, and a deep knowing and honesty towards our individual and collective shadows. It also asks us to go beyond just being in our hearts and arriving with good intentions, but requires clear willingness to use skillful communication tools, employ elder wisdom, and bring in fair amounts of humility and surrender on both sides to broaden the scope of what’s possible when we join together for the sake of collective evolution.
I believe its the only way forward.
Allow this to be a gentle reminder that our road does not stop with men working through their grief, anger, and shadow. Nor does it end with women stepping forward and sharing their gifts. The golden road I believe we are walking towards requires both sides to hold each other in a collective vision of healing and unity.
If you are someone who holds space for either men or women, I invite you to carry a vision of what comes next in your work. If it is not something you or those in your care are not ready for, let it be an unspoken direction.
Let us continue these essential steps of gathering with our genders but remember we are not on this journey with just our brothers or sisters. We are here together, and I believe it is time for us to recognize this fact and act accordingly.
Conversations need to be had, voices need to be heard. I believe it is time we do this together. Gently, slowly, with much presence and care in our hearts.
Let’s keep walking each other home, eyes wet, hearts open, one step at a time.
If you’d like to learn more about starting a men’s group in your area, send me a message and I’ll be happy to share some resources with you.