While writing is so often my balm, my therapy, my means to try and make sense of my head, my heart, my spirit and soul on any given day, in any given moment, I have come to understand that it is also a pathway for me to connect with others, and for them with themselves. Years ago I had a blog called Man.Kind, that I did not fully nurture and develop as much as I could have. And, as with so many experiences in life, I learned again that if we allow ourselves to approach explorations with intention and non attachment, to give ourselves permission to try, to grow, to be, to be in the process and not focused on the outcome, we give ourselves an extraordinary opportunity to learn. About ourself, and those we touch. When I do that, I am able to get out from the vacuum of myself and learn what others may experience from the other side of the equation. To see what IS, not what I think it may be.
One of the key byproducts of developing Man.Kind was the consistent feedback that my willingness to expose my emotional self, especially as a man, resonated deeply, with women + men. Especially with women. Having never been a "typical" straight guy has provided its challenges and delights ever since I was a teen, everything from often being peppered with the question, "Are you gay?" (not that there's anything wrong with that!) to being called a Lesbian in a Man's Body. As a male who always embraced my yin, I took all of this actually as compliments. I was not TRYING to be anything, other than seeking authentic self-expression. For me, and not for others. As myself, not some externally driven version. What might the embracing of my full, individual alchemy be if allowed to shine? It's surely an ongoing unfolding and what I have come to realize is that, for me, so much of my expansion over these recent years has come from holding my yang more dearly, allowing it to rise up, and to "be a man" in my own way, from my particular perspective. And the more I became connected to my deeper vulnerability and truth, the more I received encouragement from others. To keep unpeeling, and to share openly. Because we all need inspirers, it seems. So here I am.
About 8 years ago I had a prominent literary agent (a man) who encouraged me to write a book proposal for Man.Kind. All I can say is that writing a proposal for a memoir is way harder than writing the book itself, it's an f'in beast. And after months of grueling effort and having my entire emotional kishkes stirrred-up fully, I handed a first-draft in. "I don't know what to do with this," my agent said. my eyes curled, and I looked at him with complete bewilderment. I asked him what he thought this was going to be. "A book teaching men about how to be a 'sensitive guy.'" I wanted to throw-up. Having read self-help books, and worked with a variety of teachers, I had no desire to be one in this case.
"I want to be a mirror, not a Guru," I said. "I have no idea what to do with this," was his response.
And, the proposal has sat in the drawer ever since. And while I have been writing, I haven't known which way to go with my writing, with starting a blog again, just to get in the flow. My brain goes in a million directions, I can even get hung up and paralyzed on even what to call it. On where to start. on how to begin. And then, of course, it became obvious. That there's no place better than the present. As Dr. Seuss said, "today is the day..." On some level I have this whacked out notion that aspects of my life would not even begin until I started actively and consistently writing again. So here I am. As a Mirror, not a Guru. I am committed to exploring the questions, not the answers. The types of explorations that I hope will inspire people to engage in conversations - with me, with themselves, with those in their lives. I am not here to tell people what to do, or to follow any rules or guidelines or specific paths to their own fulfillment, or journey. If "this is how I did it" is a catalyst for someone else's transformation or shift, or it serves as a validation of any sort, I could not be more pleased. I am writing to write, not for an outcome, for myself or others. Like what I do with a Bagel, I am Scooping Out, to make room for the good stuff. Whatever that may be.