What is Beautiful

I saw this ad circulating around facebook and it really struck home the point of how far gone our advertising trends are these days and how NOT FINISHED we are with the gender equality movement. In looking for a good sized image I ran across Julie Clawson's blog. She says very eloquently what I think about this whole thing. No reason to re-invent the wheel!

Transient

The Invitation

The horse has turned his head and is looking at me, I am on his back. He is asking if I'd like to journey with him. The road is long and it leads in to the mystery. He says I shouldn't do this alone. He is power, grace, nobility, beauty, strength and freedom.

 When I first perceived the horse in this piece, I was not convinced that I should coach him out of the initial chaos of the paintings foundation. After turning the canvas upside down and seeing a mirror of him I ceased to doubt the process.

In researching horse symbolism and history it was interesting to learn that horses have been in partnership with us for over 5000 years and are probably one of the biggest contributors to the enhancement of our civilization. Honestly, I've been mostly afraid of them and not given them a whole lot of thought up until now. Only recently have I begun to feel on equal footing. I like this slow respectful development.

Transient

The Troll Under the Bridge

I've lived a week from hell. This piece was thwarted from the get go, everything in my life was going wrong; conspiring to stop me from painting. I'd started the foundation and I hated it, it was surely a mistake. I wasn't ready to deal.

My Aunt, Leah Hokanson, called and asked "how are you?". We've created a safe space to express ourselves to each other so I told her how I really was. How all this crap was coming up and how everything was wrong and how I felt I was failing myself and my family. She was drawn to offer a poem written by Rumi:

~~~

The Guest House 

This being human is a guest house. 
Every morning a new arrival. 

A joy, a depression, a meanness, 
some momentary awareness comes 
as an unexpected visitor. 

Welcome and entertain them all! 
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows, 
who violently sweep your house 
empty of its furniture, 
still, treat each guest honorably. 
He may be clearing you out 
for some new delight. 

The dark thought, the shame, the malice, 
meet them at the door laughing, 
and invite them in. 

Be grateful for whoever comes, 
because each has been sent 
as a guide from beyond.

~~~

My avoidance came clear to me. I had such an intense desire to not look, to push away, to deny this dark dark part of me that lives just under the surface. The harder I ignored, the harder I pushed it away, the stronger it became. It was wreaking havoc everywhere I looked.

At that moment of understanding, I began to paint and poured that acknowledgement on the canvas. It told me it was stubborn, undeniable, headstrong, unstoppable... like a moose. I opened the door and laughing, I invited it in. I let it and its environment take shape, I felt SO MUCH better. I realized as I was finishing that I was creating a container for it. My final gesture was to gather the remnants of that energy and give it to the canvas. Seal it in. Let its realness, its existence always be acknowledged, always be seen. Never again denied.

Transient

David Suzuki: What’s so radical about caring for the Earth and opposing Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline?

 "But is it radical to care for our country, our world, our children and grandchildren, our future? It seems more radical for a government to come out swinging in favour of an industrial project in advance of public hearings into that project. It seems especially radical when the government paints everyone who opposes the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project as American-funded traitors with a radical ideological agenda “to stop any major project no matter what the cost to Canadian families in lost jobs and economic growth.”"

The New Macho ~ Boysen Hodgson

The New Macho

He cleans up after himself.
He cleans up the planet.
He is a role model for young men.
He is rigorously honest and fiercely optimistic.

He holds himself accountable.
He knows what he feels.
He knows how to cry and he lets it go.
He knows how to rage without hurting others.
He knows how to fear and how to keep moving.
He seeks self-mastery.

He's let go of childish shame.
He feels guilty when he's done something wrong.
He is kind to men, kind to women, kind to children.
He teaches others how to be kind.
He says he's sorry.

He stopped blaming women or his parents or men for his pain years ago.
He stopped letting his defenses ruin his relationships.
He stopped letting his penis run his life.
He has enough self respect to tell the truth.
He creates intimacy and trust with his actions.
He has men that he trusts and that he turns to for support.
He knows how to roll with it.
He knows how to make it happen.
He is disciplined when he needs to be.
He is flexible when he needs to be.
He knows how to listen from the core of his being.

He's not afraid to get dirty.
He's ready to confront his own limitations.
He has high expectations for himself and for those he connects with.
He looks for ways to serve others.
He knows he is an individual.
He knows that we are all one.
He knows he is an animal and a part of nature.
He knows his spirit and his connection to something greater.

He knows that the future generations are watching his actions.
He builds communities where people are respected and valued.
He takes responsibility for himself and is also willing to be his brother's keeper.

He knows his higher purpose.
He loves with fierceness.
He laughs with abandon, because he gets the joke.

Boysen Hodgson

If anyone knows who to credit for this photo, please let me know!!!

Mankind Project - New Warrior Training Adventure

I am a member and huge believer in the Mankind Project and its initiation experience, the New Warrior Training Adventure. The processes and understandings I gained during my weekend showed me how to plant my feet firmly on the ground as a man among men and every day since then I sit more in my power. The following is an email that was passed through the MKP community in regards to getting men on board for the next NWTA in our area. Camp Pringle, Shawnigan Lake, BC in April of 2012. With Boyson Hodgson's permission I am offering this as an excellent window in to the MKP process:

------------------

Hey men,

 Someone asked me the other day what I needed around marketing in the project ... 

My answer to him was that I needed more men willing to drop the shame and take a stand for the work we do. 

 

Here is what that means to me:

 

You CAN'T understand the NWTA until you attend it. 

You CAN'T compare your other experiences, because there isn't another one like it.

 

There are many imitations. There are many organization that try to do what we do without going as far as we are willing to go.

 

The power of the NWTA is that we took a stand ---- that we would be the ones to push the boundaries and challenge a man's comfort zones ---- even KNOWING that we would piss him off. We ask a man to go to the edge and often beyond it and STAY THERE until he gets what he came to get. We ask a man to do whatever it takes in a culture that only asks for what a man 'is comfortable with'That is the gift. As uncomfortable, ridiculous and sometimes cheesy as I may think it is, the gift of the NWTA is that it takes men to a place where every lesson can be relearned, where wounds can be healed, and where a man can find his voice after unpacking all the bullshit he keeps in his life to cover it up. 

 

And the NWTA is NOT the 'end-all, be-all' of personal growth. [we shouldn't pretend it is!] There are lots of experiences that will help a man grow and deepen his wisdom, abilities and tools. But I would submit that the NWTA is Emotional Manhood 101, it is the PREREQUISITE training that will help a man access his own personal store of power, power that will take him anywhere he wants to go. The NWTA is a foundation for personal growth. Its intensity means a whole lot less time wasted down the road doing remedial work. When you learn how far you can actually push yourself - surrounded by other men - when you learn what you are capable of feeling through your entire being - and can share it with other men - then you are in the best position possible for YOUR next step. 

 

I was doing 400 level reading before I did the NWTA. I had done other workshops, been in therapy, been in groups, I had 'gotten it' a dozen times. And yet I still hadn't learned some absolute fundamentals to growing into mature manhood ... because the 400 level courses can't teach them. 

 

Because they CAN'T be taught without the kind of cauldron that we build for the NWTA. No Guru can match it. Tony Robbins can't touch it. And G*d can't answer our prayers for it. It takes a community of men. It take A LOT of men. Messed up, beautiful, wounded, brilliant, mature, childish, growing men willing to stand firm and assist other men. It takes men willing to look one another in the eye when it is REALLY hard to do so, men who have heard everything shameful and hidden that a man tries to hide. Men who have seen other men collapse and be reborn. 

 

That is the NWTA. We are not perfected beings. We're not a church, a club. or a 'secret' cult.

We're the container that will hold any putrid, bubbling, poisonous potion of manhood and help it to transform into something sustaining and nurturing. 

We're the container that will hold any golden elixir of empowered and compassionate humanity and help it shine and be shared with the world.

 

And if a man is willing to complete his initiation ... which means coming BACK from the experience and taking a place in a community of men with continuing commitment to his own self-discovery and responsibility ... then we DO change the world. 

 

As one of our pioneers in this work has said often ... it's time to grow the fuck up. 

Time to stop pampering ourselves and each other. 

Time to stop letting our culture of toxic masculinity off the hook.

Time to stop expecting that someone else is going to step up and teach the next generations of boys what it means to be mature men.

Time to stop letting ourselves off the hook in our own immaturity, denial and ignorance.

Time to stop hiding out ashamed of what we ourselves needed in order to heal and grow.

 

Growing up means going beyond what I'm comfortable with. 

Like a first bike crash, a first fight, a first fall, a first broken bone - it's painful, sometimes it's bloody, and it leaves a scar. 

New Warriors are willing to be wounded - knowing that their lessons come from their wounds. 

 

My scars teach me and remind me, remind me what I am capable of. 

 

So when will we stop hiding out in shame about what we experienced from Friday to Sunday?

 

Love and Service, 

Boysen

----------------

Here's a picture of the men who were part of my NWTA. I count every one of them as a brother who I can get real with right now.

Camp Chilliwack, October 2011

‎"My secret to a long life is simply the tea, work & enjoyment." I saw the bliss on her face. Beautiful, simple, pause.

My friend Maia from julia warr on Vimeo.

Shot in Fire Island, New York, this film (4min. 23 sec) captures the secrets of eternal youth as Maia Helles, a Russian ballet dancer turns 95 but still remains resolutely independent, healthy and as fit as a forty year old. Made by Julia Warr, artist and film maker (juliawarr.com) met Maia on a plane 4 years ago and became utterly convinced by the benefits of her daily exercise routine, which Maia perfected, together with her Mother, over 60 years ago, long before exercise classes were ever invented. (2011)

Made by Julia Warr, artist, film maker.
Music Lola Perrin

‎"Be Impeccable With Your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love." — Miguel Ruiz

Found this via Ingrid.

My Impeccable Reverie ~ i.am.Jenius