I didn’t know it at the time, but your body speaks to you when you are out of alignment like this. For me, I struggled to orgasm. This led me to work with a hypnotherapist who helped me understand who I was. Without sounding dramatic, this changed my life. Soon after, I trained to become a coach myself to help others on their journey. In the last few years, the notion of masculinity has been up for debate and, as a man who has significantly changed myself, I’ve been pulled towards conversations in this area.
What is it about our understanding of ‘masculinity’ that you think needs to change?
For me, society’s idea of being ‘manly’ means we miss out on expressing who we are. Every man (and woman) has the capability to be anything from a soft, gentle person to a tough, aggressive leader and everything in between. Society encourages men to believe we should be strong, tough and unemotional. The reality is, sure, perhaps at times that side of us is required, but we can also be soft, loving, kind and emotional when needed too. I’ve worked with enough men now to know that, however strong and tough they present, underneath all humans there is a loving heart. By denying that heart, we are limiting our experience and repressing our ability to experience deep connection with both ourselves and others. Connection is the most powerful of mental health tools.
Is that notion of being manly now an old-fashioned concept?
Absolutely. My dad was born after the war, at a time when their dads had to strip out their emotions. There wasn’t the freedom to feel low or have bad days when you’re going off to war. There wasn’t access to food like we have now, and there wasn’t a sense of security like we have now – men had to fight hard to create a sense security for themselves and their families. My dad isn’t the most emotional, but I understand why: he learned from his father and he’s doing the best he can with what he saw and experienced growing up, when things were different.