Building Community: Learning from the Masculine and Feminine
Day 17 of 100 days of blogging
A few weeks ago, a female friend invited me to a group called The New Masculine Community. When I first saw the words, I wondered why she was inviting me to a men’s group. I am a woman and I work mainly with women in my organization, Heal My Voice.
The description in the group:
This group is for education, discussion and debate. It originally was formed to support a men’s program by Zat Baraka, Ken Blackman and Robert Kandell called the Razor’s Edge that was run in Winter 2015.
Masculine does not necessarily mean man.
Feminine does not necessarily mean woman.
This page is for ALL genders and ALL sexual orientations to discuss the topics of masculine and feminine nature in today’s ever-changing world. To help breakdown the bullshit conventions that run us, which haven’t worked in a very long time.
We are a community of people who want to learn more about how we tick and how others. We are here to share ideas and concepts. You might not like everything that you read. However, we hope that it influences you enough to notice your programming.
Having spent the last three years in what appears to be a female-centric practice (Orgasmic Meditation) and being committed to living in community and practicing with men, I decided to hang out in the group and read some of the comments. (I also really admire and appreciate the work of Ken Blackman and Robert Kandell who originally started the group and I know there is a team of women and men monitoring the posts.)
This week, one of the women in the group posted an article about Bradley Cooper (an actor) supporting Jennifer Lawrence (an actress) in her article about the Hollywood Pay Gap. Cooper has been teaming up with female stars to negotiate salaries before film production starts. “I don’t know where it’s changing otherwise but that’s something that I could do,” Cooper said.
I feel like that is the point. If we see something in the world that is wrong, we can do our part. Do something. Support someone. Teach a woman or man how to negotiate a salary. Look around and see where you can offer your unique talents and skills. It begins with each of us making that choice individually.
I made a choice in my life 30 years ago to live in community where every person is supported and encouraged to be the fullest expression of who they really are. (By community, I mean finding like minded people who wanted to do the same thing. We all lived in our own family homes all over the city)
We were all committed to heal the wounds of what we were taught are the roles of feminine and masculine. I made a choice to look at my own actions and behavior first, decide where I needed changes. I left a marriage because in that verbal and sexual abusive environment, I was not being the role model I came to be for my two little girls. I made the choice to leave and start unraveling generations of patterning about submissive women.
When I first read the article, I wrote the first comment and highlighted words Cooper spoke about seeing a problem and doing his part to make it right. He isn’t trying to change the whole world by himself, just making a change where he had power. I invite you to let go of the amount of money they are making. That is a distraction from the bigger picture. This is an example of “In my world, I can change this.”
After the death of our son and my own life threatening illness my 2nd husband and I decided to homeschool our children to provide an environment where they had more self-expression and freedom to be themselves. We connected with 1000 families in the Baltimore~DC area. Pooled resources, offered our unique talents and skills, daily interaction and field trips. Stroked out the best of each kid. Male or female. Gave them the freedom to find out who they are. Then, it was up to each child to make their own choices. We laid the foundation.
Instead of talking about a bunch of theory about what is the new masculine and what is feminine leadership, how about each of us taking a look at where we can support someone to be the best they can be instead of using humor or criticism to diminish them. Ask yourself, how can I be the best version of a man? How can I be the best version of a woman? How can I integrate masculine and feminine characteristics of creativity, intuition, action, strength into my life? Feel. Think. Open your eyes and look around.
The commitment to your own growth doesn’t end until you die. I imagine that every person reading this blogpost has a desire, a longing for better communication with others and deep down wants to peel away the facade of who you thought you were supposed to be. And underneath, there is another part of you that wants to be seen and felt and heard.
You don’t have to do everything. Do something. Do your part.
We are all in this together.
Andrea Hylen believes in the power of our voice to usher in a new world. She is the founder of Heal My Voice, an organization that inspires women and men to heal a story, reclaim personal power and step into greater leadership. Andrea discovered her unique gifts while parenting three daughters and learning to live life fully after the deaths of her brother, son and husband. In addition to serving as Heal My Voice’s Executive Director, Andrea is an Orgasmic Meditation Teacher and Sexuality Coach.
She is following her intuition as she collaborates with women and men in organizations and travels around the world speaking, teaching and leading workshops. Her passion is authentically living life and supporting others in doing the same. To connect with Andrea and learn about current projects go to: www.andreahylen.com and www.healmyvoice.org.