3 stories of entitlement and awareness

3 stories of entitlement and awareness


It's a pretty rough time right now, in life and in the media.

If you've followed along and read my stuff for a while, you know how I feel about men. I can't give up on the beautiful menfolk, nor do I want to.
I want the world to be different (and better) for all of us.
Yes, it's fucked being a woman right now, but I don't know if given the option that I would choose to be a man ether, because it sucks being a man right now too. #bethebear

So I'm not going to put a #notallmen after everything I write. I know it's not all men. You know it's not all men. But it is the responsibility of all of us, to do everything we can.

So today I'm going to attempt to write to solve all the problems of the world (my fave thing to do!) I know I have no chance of fixing anything but lets chat all the same.

So let me start with some stories...

Story #1

One of the first times I met an entitled man was when I was 19 and getting some driving lessons. I didn't get driving lessons when I was younger as I was living in the country, I had no car and knew that I would be moving to Melbourne so wanted to learn how to drive in the city instead of the country (The country town I grew up in had one set of traffic lights!).

Once I'd moved to Melbourne, I looked up the local driving instructors, called someone and made an appointment for my first lesson. I was learning manual so that first lesson was in the driveway learning the clutch etc.

Eventually I learnt how to drive and off on the roads we went. You know when learning something new, you are hypersensitive, trying to remember the 17 things you need to remember, well of course that's your first few driving lessons, so I don't know when it started.

As my confidence in driving grew and my awareness changed, I realised that my creepy driving instructor was feeling up my thigh, every time I needed to change gears saying something about getting the clutch right.

The first time I noticed it, I thought that was strange. Why was he doing this?
The second time it happened, I could see that it was very deliberate.
The third time, well it didn't happen a third time because I cancelled my lessons with my creepy driving instructor.

This is a benign example, I'm very aware but what upsets me most about this story is I did nothing about it. I didn't make a complaint and I didn't say anything to him. I just cancelled my lessons. I thought later about all the other women younger than me, 15 or 16 getting their driving lessons from this creepy old man and it still makes my skin crawl. It just shouldn't have happened.

Story #2

5 years ago, I went out with a man, Jack, I met in yin class. He was reading the same book I was reading and seemed very self aware. What I came to learn was that Jack's marriage had broken down recently and he was now divorced, he didn't get a promotion at his job, where he had been working for many years and he was, for the first time in his life, examining his self.

His life wasn't going the way he expected.

Not getting the promotion and his wife leaving him, were the first times in his life, where his life wasn't following the track he had been on. And because these things happened around the same time, he was forced to consider that maybe he had something to do with why.

He wasn't as self aware as I initially thought but was learning about him self for the first time in his nearly 50 years. He was reading the books, taking the courses, doing therapy, trying out yoga and doing all the things to learn about himself

This man blew my mind (probably still does, to some extent) that he could exist in the world, as is, for so long. Women are constantly told to change, be better, dress differently, be less, be more and this man just existed, never a thought or demand to change.

Ultimately through these things happening and him developing some self awareness, he was able to exist out in the world and have a new understanding of both himself and others which is something we need more of.

I admired Jack's courage and curiosity to learn. As Brene Brown says "Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen."

Story #3

Last year I did some project work and worked with a man, named Jon. Now I've written about Jon before, Jon is as tall as I am small and he is as solid as I am skinny. (Jon would want me to be very clear here that he's not overweight!) We are opposites of each other and exist very differently in the world.

Early on, when Jon and I were becoming friends, I can be pretty touchy feely with people I love, and so a push on the shoulder or a friendly punch were the norm and Jon would say "Don't touch me"
He told me it was a joke but it did make me think about it all the same.

Anyway we became firm friends and eventually the touchy feely stuff, hugs etc became part of our friendship too. And because I love a long game gag, 
I waited for my moment.

One day, Jon  and I were mucking around and Jon grabbed my arm and I said quietly and calmly "Don't touch me" Jon recoiled in horror, mortified, he pulled his arm away and apologised profusely over and over.

I told him that it was a joke but Jon said he was horrified at the idea of doing something inappropriate or me not being comfortable.

And so whilst my joke didn't quite land as intended, I've thought a lot about that interaction and the idea of being so acutely aware of treating and touching each other with such respect and reverence.

Imagine if the world operated like that...

Entitlement and Awareness...

And so I give you these 3 stories about entitlement and 3 very different levels of awareness.

Awareness is everything but it's also the difficult thing. Before we can even think about change, we need some awareness.

And awareness is hard if it's the water you swim in.

Believe me, I'm not making excuses, I'm trying to add something different to everything that's out there at the moment. As I said in a newsletter a couple of weeks ago, it's hard to be a man right now. (as it is women, I get that)  The world has created such a hard man box for men to live in. It's killing them and in turn, it's killing us.

It has been interesting watching men's minds be blown with the whole would you rather be left in a forest with a man or a bear debate. Men are starting to get a glimpse of what women deal with.

Awareness of self needs to come before you can become aware of others.
And we need to have awareness before we can change.

My one suggestion....

In my idea of changing the world, I love to give a list but this time I want to give only one suggestion, in the idea that you might do it.
It's achievable and it's mostly fun.

My one suggestion is; 

Watch Daniel Sloss' comedy show called X.

Whilst he has some specials available on netflix that I highly recommend, his comedy show X is only available to stream on his website (for free) and this is the one that I would like you to watch.

Daniel's show is comedy and it's fun but it's also about his changing awareness of being a man in the world. It's an incredible piece of comedy, that thing that all good comedy does, it makes you laugh whilst it makes you think.

Please watch it.

If you do watch it, I would love to hear what you think.

Anger and all the emotions....

Of course, I have many other ideas on how we fix the world for all of us but I think the next best thing after watching Daniel Sloss' show is for all of us to learn, recognise and sit in our emotions.

I can't remember the stats but there was something around that most people can only recognise 3 emotions, happy, sad and angry. And as we spoke about in previous newsletter, under anger sits a myriad of emotions, we just lump it all in together because it's often harder to recognise or name those other emotions.

And as with the idea of last week and Simon Sinek, that research that says to sit in and fully feel an emotion only takes 8 minutes. Imagine that, feeling that tough emotion for 8 minutes and then it's gone and processed instead of hanging on to that emotion and it coming out in all sorts of ways later.

I love what schools are doing with regards to emotional recognition and regulation. It's important work that we can all benefit from.

We all need to learn about emotions early and often. It's an ongoing thing for us to learn about.

Touch, love language and hugs... 

There's something else that I haven't quite worked out (I know! I haven't solved ALL the problems yet!) around boys and touch. A lot of men I know, touch is their love language. That makes it a bit tough to be able to feel loved if it can only be fulfilled by your significant other and the next best thing is the footy field. It's been said that your love language can be the thing you received the least of as a child, that makes sense right?

Often touch for men is the gateway into tuning into their emotions and what they are feeling. I see in when teaching Men with yin yoga. It's the stopping and getting in touch with our bodies, fully feeling what is going on. 

Eric, the farmer I work with at the market, gives excellent hugs. Lots of people love an Eric Hug but there are a couple of young guys that I work with, who come to get an Eric hug and it's just a beautiful thing that you don't see that often, 2 grown men hugging - like properly hugging.

What is this world we have created when it's a rare thing for men to hug like that?

Gosh, this world sucks, we have so much we need to change!

It's all connected... 

I can't be mad at men. I have so much empathy and compassion for them. 
One of my mates pointed out that I like to say "it's all connected" and I do say this A LOT. I do believe everything is all connected.

You can't tell me that not learning about emotions, not receiving touch, swimming in the entitled waters, lack of self responsibility, not having any or little self awareness, never needing to change, huge mental health issues, lack of language, anger issues, lack of belonging and a whole myriad of other things is not connected to the rate of women dying at 1 every 4 days in 2024.

Yes, laws need to change. there is no doubt about that. 
Men need to stop killing and hurting women.

There are a thousand things that we can all do,
to help change the world for the better.
For all of us.




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