When I know Better, I do Better

With the #MeToo phenomenon being ‘Front & Center’…

(& rightly so) I’m hearing a lot of “he Should Have”… known better, done this or not done this, etc – and YES, he should have. Folk with an ounce of common sense (or should I say, ethical common sense) are pretty much in agreement on this – and…, here’s the rub. Many really don’t know better.

I grew up with Han Solo pushing and pressing (verbally & physically) Princess Lea until she finally acquiesced. In essence the message of the time was… she probably will say no until you get her to say yes. This was the entirety of what the concept of consent looked like to me. A yes was required but the ‘how’ of getting it was wide open interpretation and a lot of gray. Fortunately in my case, it was also somehow clear in my mind that violently, sexually attacking someone was rape (that understanding has since been revised). Sadly, anything in between was also part of the ’Game’. These concepts never were challenged in any significant way so they followed me well into adulthood. I imagine the whole philosophy of what “Good Girls’ do or don’t do might have been equally confusing for young woman.

Over the past decade I have been sooo lucky to have been places, been with people and been in circumstances that have fostered (and even forced) self growth/examination. I now have skills and perspectives that I had never possessed. Though I’ve pretty much been a ‘Nice Guy’, I had huge blind spots supported by wrong or skewed information. Nowadays, when I know better, I do better.

For example, I remember a person where there was a mutual chemistry. On occasion when things would head toward intimacy, it became what seemed to be the dance of ‘hard to get’. Though it was frustrating at times, I stayed in integrity which was fed by that very chemistry and the promise of things to come coupled with my newer foundation of inner query. We finally did get together… and it was at her invitation, at her place. I can proudly say this is one of the times I did it ‘right’. It was a sweet and fulfilling time. To my now horror, there were times I didn’t act appropiatly and for that I am truly sorry.

If you’e a man reading this I encourage you to seek out knowing better, and, subsequently doing better. Here’s a few places you might check out:
https://www.esalen.org
http://mankindproject.org

If you’re a woman reading this, I ask for a just little more grace, especially for the guys just starting to get it dialed in. I realize it takes a herculean effort to grant this request and acknowledge its absolutely not your responsibility… but if you seek out the dudes that are evolving/woke – positive change will snowball because you participated infostering a solution

~kenji

Make It Personal

Hey, I’m 57 and just beginning to understand some things…

I am not stupid but I am finding that I am ignorant (or at the least unaware) on some rather big issues.

I am learning, because I’m willing to, and more so because…
I am lucky & blessed to have women who have come through my life that dared to share..
…their stories, with their vulnerabilities, their fears and even their judgments. They made it Personal… and because of these amazing woman, I have been given the opportunity explore and challenge myself toward change.

The current ‘me’ pretty much doesn’t fit the ‘in you face’ attributes of the stereotypical white male living under the patriarchal umbrella. I am a very lucky fellow.

Here’s what’s so special and valuable about making things Personal. It gives US the opportunity to relate – because it’s a person, sharing their experience(s), not the relating someone else’s experience or parroting someone else’s words – its so very real. When I hear a catch phrase, a slogan, a rant or some such thing over & over, relatability starts to fall away. I tend to start to numb under the info barrage and the message eventually becomes just words or noise amidst all the clanging of social & mass media.

Given the opportunity to connect with YOUR experience, it can ignite empathy in me. It makes it Personal. If you (a person), talk to me (a person) and don’t automatically lump me in with ‘them’ (men et al or maybe those that hurt you), the conversation becomes more pliable, and with that, receptivity expands.

I remember my first experience of this type of thing with a lovely woman willing to lead the way and to practice this with me. I had just begun my ‘conscious journey’ and was struggling with admiring pretty woman (because I had the idea that spiritual people didn’t do such things). She smiled and said “its ok, its natural and normal. Where guys get into trouble is they camp there (energetically & in action) – don’t do that”

With the ever changing Tribe of Woman I’ve encountered, we’ve covered such volatile topics from rape to abortion and the trials of female puberty. I can tell you that sometimes it was not pretty and never easy but I walked away with better understanding than I ever would have the anger and blame filled words that readily fall from people’s mouths.

I am truly sorry for my role in all the hurt, for the times where I acted out of integrity or ignorance. I hear you… on your (repeated) hurt – really. I acknowledge it’s not your job to fix this or train men… yet making it Personal to another person, could change the world

~kenji

Leaf

I watched a Leaf fall today
and wondered how it felt
as it let go… its Life

Was there fear when it broke free
from its very connection to Life…?
Its fall was gentle, nearly flying – before
finally coming to rest gently on the ground

In its Afterlife, it would feed the Earth
as it had given new air to the Sky

I imagined its first budding
and then unfolding to the Sun

It captured the Sun’s rays
and passed them through itself,
Seemingly just a servant,
destined to feed the Tree.

I realized that the Tree also
was a servant to the Leaf
pulling nourishment from below
and it too passed it through itself

Neither really had a…
greater importance
one touched the Sky,
and one touched the Earth

Life is what happened
in between the Sky and the Earth
a whole world, a whole Universe
Interconnected in ways ignored or unknown

Thank you Leaf
You reminded me to be grateful
in serving, in receiving
in all that touches me

~kenji

Chosen ->

You chose me,
and I didn’t know…
We passed each other,
and I didn’t know…

I look for reprieve from the day people
at the pools, at sunset – there you were
Simple silence, simple conversation
I rub your feet. I notice your youth, I notice your ease
You channel Universal Mother & cradle me to your chest
I let go ,
the sun lets go the day,
both floating in the moment
We let go the sweet connection,
don clothing and go our own ways

You chose me and almost walked away
Telling yourself stories that were not true
Yet you found a boldness,
daring the danger of being rude
to break, the spell of my silence
With our conversation
we weave baskets that begin to take form
Duties, not sunset draw you away
a parting promise to weave some more
sometime

I saw you and almost walked away
You busy and animated in your circle tribe
roundabout a campfire of food
I found a braveness,
at least as much as to catch your eye
You ready smile ignited hope as you casually disengaged
This time conversation, our baskets grew more intricate
becoming a bridge over our twice attempts
at leaving

We meander paths & trees to my abode
perch ourselves atop pillows,
sultans of the night
You we’re not greedy, nor was I
so our lips first touch
were as butterflies to flower petals
til the gravity of desire
press them together
as if the astronauts
hurtling toward the unknown

Laying spent amidst our pillow throne,
roles reversed from our first meet
You chose me, I chose you, we chose…
You lay glove perfect in the cradle of my arm,
As we stare through the portal to the sky
Rain has begun to fall,
above our heads,
one thousand wood nymphs
dance their approval

~kenji

This is life ->

The sun comes up every day,
The sun goes down every day,
Life fills the space between.
Going with the flow,
Doing what is natural,
Letting life unfold,
‘good’ or ‘bad’…
It doesn’t matter,
It is where life is juiciest,
and ultimately the most fulfilling.
A tree knows this.
A dog knows this.
We just need to remember it.
This is life.
This is living

~kenji

Circles ->

Remember behind the mirrors,
You are seen as you are…
This time,
life packed in cardboard,
Smelling of dead trees,
regret, and… even hope.
You are seen.
Another time,
star shining bright
amidst sparkling eyes
manic high with a guru heart.
You are seen.
Life is circles
A dervish of beginnings and endings
leaving you exhausted & exhilarated
all in the very same breath
Be…

~kenji

Leaders

To get the best out of someone,
give them your best,
and be willing to do
the very thing you ask.
The best leaders are the ones
that lead by supporting others.

~kenji

New Age Narcissists, Money & Manifesting


There seems to be a breed of new age/’spiritual’ people that embrace a way of being that seems to ignore the need for self-reliance and the ability to hold a ‘Big Picture’ view of relating to humanity when it comes to money/finances

Why this is up for me is…
my roommate and I invited someone into our home (who seemed to have fallen on hard times) that could ‘parrot’ spiritual concepts (but it turned out the actual living of them was not a daily activity). Anyway, there was an exchange arranged for the rent and actual payment required for utilities. End result…,
after six weeks – no money and minimal exchange. Apparently we were her personal agent of the Divine to meet her want/need (in this case)
Our request for her to fulfill her commitment was met with accusations, insults and anger. We share space no longer.

I don’t believe the Divine requires me to be the provider for someone’s wants/needs based on their whim or a desire to be rescued from their own doings. The process of someone just simply ‘taking’ is called stealing – not manifesting.

I’m ok with being a tool of the Divine (it’s what I try to do… and will continue to do, regardless of some ‘negative’ experiences). How it has worked for me in the past is usually someone is put in my path plus the ‘desire to help’ at the very same time. When someone tries to tell me that the Divine whats me to do something (anything), red flags go up. The Divine tends to give me a ‘heads up’ first.
Historically speaking, it usually doesn’t usually work out so well for folks when there is a middleman between the Divine and the seeker.

I believe the healthy approach to ‘conscious selfishness’ really is one of self-preservation, self-growth and… in doing so, being open to how one can one provide for others in the midst of that very pursuit – interdependancy.
I believe its unhealthy to have the mindset of I gotta ‘get mine’…
(irregardless of consequence for one’s self and others)
It’s pretty hard to ‘be of service’ with this attitude, and, fully experience what the Divine can do in your life.

~kenji

*Definition of Narcissism: the personality trait of egotism, vanity, conceit, or simple selfishness. Applied to a social group, it is sometimes used to denote elitism or an indifference to the plight of others.
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**Reference – Hotchkiss’ seven deadly sins of narcissism

1. Shamelessness – Shame is the feeling that lurks beneath all unhealthy narcissism, and the inability to process shame in healthy ways.
2. Magical thinking – Narcissists see themselves as perfect using distortion and illusion known as magical thinking. They also use projection to dump shame onto others.
3. Arrogance – A narcissist who is feeling deflated may re-inflate by diminishing, debasing, or degrading somebody else.
4. Envy – A narcissist may secure a sense of superiority in the face of another person’s ability by using contempt to minimize the other person.
5. Entitlement – Narcissists hold unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves special. Any failure to comply will be considered an attack on their superiority and the perpetrator is considered to be an “awkward” or “difficult” person. Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger narcissistic rage.
6. Exploitation – can take many forms but always involves the exploitation of others without regard for their feelings or interests. Often the other is in a subservient position where resistance would be difficult or even impossible. Sometimes the subservience is not so much real as assumed.
7. Bad Boundaries – narcissists do not recognize that they have boundaries and that others are separate and are not extensions of themselves. Others either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all. Those who provide narcissistic supply to the narcissist will be treated as if they are part of the narcissist and be expected to live up to those expectations. In the mind of a narcissist, there is no boundary between self and other.