This is the ‘age of attention’ where we must become mindful of our experiences 24/7. It is imperative to be present in every moment. Then, we can decide what lessons have been learned, and shore up with new skills that will help us be better members of the global society. We must aim for personal excellence.
The world has shifted a great deal in a very short time. And our current politics continue to create challenges in the harmony between femininity and masculinity. Yet, we are still stuck with the S.O.B (Same Old Brain). Yes, the same old brain from 300 years ago at the pre-industrial revolution era, and we would argue, the S.O.B from as far back as 10,000 years ago. It’s the same brain that sizes up others in relation to oneself. It’s the same ol’ brain that influences our mating behavior and virtually every single choice we make, from what to eat to where we live. Men are in a peculiar time in history where a grounded understanding of self can be of great service globally.
In the information age, where all of mankind’s accumulated knowledge is at our fingertips it is very easy for us to chase the superficial and vain. We possess in our hand a device that gives us access to all of humankind’s accumulated experiments, trials and experience. Some men will use this to their advantage by acquiring knowledge, skills and habits that were previously impossible to cultivate in one lifetime. In this era, more than at any other time, one can design the life that one wishes to lead.
This is the “age of attention” where we must become mindful of our experiences 24/7. It is imperative to be present in every moment. Then, we can decide what lessons have been learned, and shore up with new skills that will help us be better members of the global society. We must aim for personal excellence. People and planet can be transformed by our collective and applied focus. The price of remaining average is just too great on an existential level. We must lead by example, be heroes in our own right.
It’s important for each man to define for himself what it mean’s to be “a good man”. It’s crucial for each of us to understand our personal values. It’s imperative that each man to define and understand his sense of personal boundaries. The level of trust you inspire in others and the feminine will be related to your level of congruence with these three things. They provide a powerful and evolved lens through which on can view one-self as we move through the repeated challenges and trials of life. This level of personal introspection provides a powerful mindset that gives a man permission to lead when required to do so, but also to step aside and be led when it is called for. One’s aura is free of chauvinism and sexism- and affects others with clarity and kindness.
Consider these 5 internal status symbols every man can cultivate for navigating mindfully the modern social and economic landscape…
A Body by Design. Train your body in a sport specific manner to show how your mind has exerted itself over matter. Possessing a body by design reflects your level of self -discipline and your ability to commit to something consistently. This means that if you like running, develop a leaner, lankier frame and a body that is adapted to endurance. If you like martial arts you are quick, strong and agile. If you like to express strength, bulk up and be able to do a few hundred push-ups on the spot. This specificity communicates powerful bio-markers to the opposite sex. We’d like to offer our mating partner signals about our over-all health and reproductive fitness from our posture, skeletal structure, lean muscle mass, movement pattern, and even our mindful breathing pattern. A body by design provides respect as a go- getter, someone who can contribute to the pack and pull their own weight. Architecting one’s physical frame in a manner that suits our constitution and interests reflects a mastery of physical training and nutritional alchemy. It’s a mindful practice, maintained over a long period of time, to achieve the specific results.
An Absolutely Unshakable Frame. This is a strong mindset- possessing a frame of mind that is congruent with your values, habits and lifestyle. It’s having clear reasons for living the way you do, free of inner conflict. Be a true maverick. If your preferred bed- time is around 9pm, maintain that ethic. It supports the healthy, rhythmic lifestyle you embody. Your day has purpose from your morning yoga practice to your last meal. Hardwire this daily ethic into your personality and let it be the mechanistic wheel that drives you, while maintaining feeling and sensitivity for the world. You do your best to maintain your established routine and discipline. When you find others who also vibrate at this high level of congruence, you can become extremely flexible and “share the frame,” for there is a great deal to be learned from another’s dedication to personal mastery.
Know When to Say When. Poise and self -control are expressed in nicely calibrated Yes’s and No’s without compromising your care and love for yourself or others. A man with depth knows when to have a drink, when to leave the party, when to take rest, when to decline on a creative collaboration, when to take an adventurous road trip with his buddies, when to not have a second date, when to commit, when to break up, who to marry, how to surrender, and when to express leadership. A dynamic masculinity is aware of personal and internal boundaries inclusive and respectful of all.
Devotion. A man sets himself apart from the pack when he has stayed with one thing for a very long time. A commitment to years of practicing one art, skill, sport, or vocation will provide a template for mastering many things that are to come. Once the mind has become concentrated there is virtually nothing you can’t do if you apply yourself in the direction of your choice. Men who understand and embody devotion make wonderful friends, fathers, husbands, partners, employers, co-workers, and citizens of the planet.
A Partner That You are Totally Attracted to – Inside and Out. The key is less about looks and more about the level of trust and playfulness you are able to cultivate with one another. This means a high level of team-work, where you each cultivate a space that allows the other’s best self to step forth. There is a subtle challenge to the other as each individual strives for their best, most developed, most actualized versions to come forward. There is a strong emphasis on “theme-work” because you know how to laugh and have fun together. You know which salad dressing he/she likes and he/she buys you tickets to the Warriors game (or to Hamilton) for your birthday. This dynamic trumps the limitations of a vapid connection based on physical characteristics alone. You are devoted to feeding the relationship and go into it with eyes wide open. A high level of awareness is maintained throughout!
These internal status symbols provide power in the eyes as you gaze out upon the world. One’s energy is palpable, confident, and clarified. You inspire trust, because you know yourself. When coupled with external markers of success, these traits will only amplify your strength and effectiveness. Relying on the luxury car, watch, and beautiful home alone are limiting and subject to change. Who we become on the inside, as a result of our focus, discipline and noble thoughts lives on in the minds and hearts of all the persons we impact in a positive way.
This article was a team effort by BOSTON YOGA/LA YOGA contributor Henry Cross and Jai Sugrim. Jai is a keynote speaker, athletic trainer, yoga teacher, peak performance coach, television personality, and recognized men’s health expert. Jai is the creator and host of Yoga Sutra Now, a 65 episode Television Show on Z Living, which airs in over 20 different countries including the U.S, Russia, Poland, Egypt, Australia, and Morocco. Jai has worked with many professional athletes, including the New York Yankees, during the 2000 and 2001 seasons. He earned a 2000 World Series Championship ring as the Yankees defeated the Mets in the World Series Championship. He has been featured in Psychology Today, The New York Times, and on The Today Show. Jai has completed three NYC marathons, hundreds of other road races and has practiced yoga for the past sixteen years. Learn more about his teachings and retreats at www.sadhanapada.com.