Menstuff® is actively compiling information, books and resources on the issue of awareness. In a culture that encourages men to numb out and abuse themselves with drugs, alcohol, work, etc., the number one action, I believe, is to become aware. Know that all men carry fear, sadness, pain, anger and joy in their bodies. It is important what those manifest in the world by the actions you take. It's time to learn ways to transform unhealthy behaviors into life sustaining actions. Even for those of you who have "done a lot of work" and/or have been teaching others your knowledge. If you know that, regardless of how much you have studied, you have learned very little compared to the vast amount of information that exists. If you know this, if you know what you don't know, then you know there's much more work to be done. Updated 7/14/02.

The Invitation



The Invitation
By Oriah Mountain Dreamer from "Dreams Of Desire"

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dreams
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life's betrayals
or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another
to be true to yourself.

If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure

yours and mine
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
"Yes !!"

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair,
weary and bruised to the bone,
and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.


Just Dry Up and Blow Away

From a story in the 8/00 issue of Men's Journal, the author is talking with Jeff Bridges, who hikes, surfs, rides horses, fishes, is a husband and father, paints, draws, writes poetry, takes photographs, does ceramics, tends roses and cures olives, among other things. By way of explanation, he tells a story that has haunted him for years.

Shortly after doing The Fabulous Baker Boys, Bridges ran into director Sidney Lumet. Lumet said to him knowingly, "Those really were your hands on the keyboard, weren't they?"  Bridges acknowledged that they had been (although the actual soundtrack was performed by Dave Grusin). He said to the older man, "You play?"  "I was a concert pianist," Lument averred. Then he added, "But I haven't played a note in 20 years."  "Twenty years!" said Bridges. "Sadly, calmly, Lumet said, "It's not such a long time, Jeff. You wait and see. Things you love, they fall by the wayside. A day goes by, then another. Next thing you know, there's something you used to really enjoy and you haven't done it in 20 years." "Well," Jeff says now. "That really scared the shit out of me. Give up the things I love? Give them up without a fight, just by inattention?  I don't think so. I'd rather just dry up and blow away." What did you used to really love to do that you haven't done in years. Sports, musical instrument, writing, what might it be. Think about it.

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One does not discover new lands without losing sight of the shore for a very long time. - Andre Gide

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