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Evolutionary Blog

Distinctions to accelerate your personal and professional evolution

The Problem With Most [Male] Polarity Coaches [Part 2]

Part 1 of The Problem With Most Male Polarity Coaches is back »here«.

Part 2 is below.

 

Recently I have peeked into male-oriented polarity groups and I’ve been researching how a lot of men are coaching men around relating to women in all-male containers. 

I am going to make some sweeping generalizations here, and I know not all men’s groups and coaches will fall into this category, but the overwhelming majority I have seen falls into what I will talk about. And I will explain why I think they are making some grave mistakes.

First, they are addressing a real problem. The problem that has women lamenting “where have all the real men gone?” for at least the last decade. The problem of the lack of polarity. The problem of milquetoast intimate relating between men and women. There are many things in our cultural evolution that have led to this problem - one I have been examining and hearing about for over a decade now with some intentionality - but I’ll get into the “why” we find ourselves here at another time. For now, suffice it to say they are addressing a real problem. That, and men who feel isolated or guilty simply for being men. So there are men attempting to regain their masculine core.

Fair enough.

But what I have noticed - by far - are men giving men coaching that has them be liked by other men. Not be more effective with feminine yet empowered women. It’s as if they are more comfortable high-fiving in the locker room than they are gazing into a women’s eyes while you make slow, deep, connected love to them.

The themes I see are these:

  • Women are basically children and behave like children and you have to treat them that way
  • Women “can’t be trusted” because they have feelings that are transient that make agreements or understandings fluid and - the one that finally had me say “enough” and write this:
  • At her worst, she is broken and at her best, she is fractured. No matter how many accolades, successes, or children - a man is what makes her feel complete.

Frankly, it borders on misogyny.

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My basic reaction to this is: “Wow. How do you say you date young women with low self-esteem to make yourself feel superior without saying you date young women with low self-esteem to make yourself feel superior?”

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Jesus man.

There is a lot to unpack there, but to men who buy into this sh*t: don’t listen to men who have clearly only dated low-quality, still in trauma, or immature women who have low self-esteem.

These opinions not only reveal more about those men who think these things but also, reveal a lot about the kind of woman he has dated and continues to attract than it does about women in general.

These aren't insights. They just reveal low consciousness. Average mindsets. Mediocre relating and below-average relationships.

But if you say any crap congruently enough, plenty of people will buy it. Especially if they are lost and looking for direction. And in the echo chamber of man-on-man polarity coaching, there is a lot of crap. But are they effective with women? Are they having fulfilling relationships - regardless of how long? Or are they just plowing through one-night stands and getting high-fives from their “bros”.

Humans rise to the expectations we hold for them, communicate to them, and if we are developed enough and aligned enough within ourselves, we become a truing element - we don’t even need to declare a boundary usually because it is woven into the fabric of our being. It is an outgrowth of self-respect.

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The Problem With Most Polarity Coaches [Part 1]

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Read the introduction to The Problem With Most Polarity Coaches »HERE«.

Part 1:

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There are two major problems I see in the “masculine polarity coach” space.

The first is that it is not evolution - not a new stage, wave, or level that is solving the problems of the stage before. Rather it is a contraction and a regression to previous forms. Instead of moving from rigid to flexible to fluid, it moved from rigid to flexible and then back to fixed/rigid. This is not a solution that will work in our post-conventional world. It may be attractive for a while. It provides respite from what seems like chaos and the mental and emotional fatigue in those that do not have the capacity to engage with that. AND it is an answer (and direct response) to the milquetoast nature of what has become the conventional norm in our society with empowered women and emasculated and uncertain men.

Many men have become afraid, timid, and uncertain. And many women are aching for a man they can surrender to - but surrender not because of his degree of force or dominance - that will do for a while for some, but quickly turns unhealthy. While they may want to be “claimed” at first, they will often find it stifling and will long to be free from the possessiveness that can turn into.

And the second is that what some think is clarity is not - it is simply rigidity born out of the fear of the unknown and discomfort with fluidity. It is a regression - not an evolution. A contraction - not an expansion to embrace more of what is. That and/or it is a trauma response and so the unhealthy masculine experiences a contraction, regression, and that comes out a dominance with an unhealthy residue.

This is why so many people who are highly sensitive to what feels “off” know that many of these polarity coaches feel out of tune.

Let me be clear: I am not saying that one should never lead, be in control, and even be dominant, but to do it from a healthy place of creation rather than an unhealthy regression will have a palpable difference in texture; one will make her drip with desire and naturally surrender. One will frighten her into submission - with varying degrees of subtlety. Both may turn her on at first, but the clean, healthy approach will be more sustainable as it is deeply intimate. While the other will be shorter-term and has a subject-object quality to it. Cool for a single BDSM scene perhaps, but not for sustained play.

The answer to the problem of the lack of polarity in Stage 2 relating is not the regression that most of the coaches promote. It is not a return to 1950s style patriarchal households, but rather an expansion to include - and embrace - previous forms but to do so in context, and have greater fluidity.

Healthy Stage 3 relating involves - at the very least - a woman who knows she does not need a man for her life to work - she gained her autonomy at Stage 2 - and with that freedom, her authentic desire to surrender in the presence of healthy Stage 3 masculine is motiveless except for her own feminine pleasure and arising desires - physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. And reciprocally, a man who is coming from a Stage 3 level of ego development does not desire a woman who is simply submissive. That may work situationally, but for a sustained, healthy partnership, he desires an empowered and autonomous woman who chooses to surrender to him for her own pleasure. In context. When she chooses.

In this scenario, it is more of a dance. It is fluid. It is contextual. And its lack of rigidity is the very element that gives it its sustain as well as its heat.

What do I mean by these stages? Movement through stages of ego, moral, and emotional development. Stages of increasing wholeness, stages of increasing degrees of freedom and acceptance, increasing choice. From fixed to flexible to fluid. From ego-centric to ethno/natio-centric to world-centric. It can be discerned what one needs to resolve or release at one stage and what they need to embrace or include in their map to move to the next stage; to evolve. It is critical to all humans because where we are on that scale/matrix/stage conception determines - by and large - how we relate to ourselves and how we relate to and interpret events around us.

When it comes to polarity and masculine/feminine (which we all have degrees of in each of us and these are not gender-bound), at each stage of development, we have even more options for expressions of those modes of being [see attached image]. This is both the beauty and wonder of it and - for some - the scary nightmare part of it.

This can make a lot of - heck most - people uncomfortable, and in the face of it, most regress and contract. Sadly, they will have more and more pressure and their position will become less and less tenable in an ever-changing and evolving world.

The choice is simple: embrace the complexities and expand our embrace of difference and expand the scope of what we can navigate, or regress to a more 2-dimensional view of man-woman relations. But here’s the thing: no matter how much they may resist it, there is a directionality to personal and cultural evolution. So go ahead and dig the heels of your boots in and grow your beard out, but the world is moving forward whether you embrace it or not.

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Post Script: the unfortunate thing is that it seems these polarity coaches have all read "Selling to the Lizard Brain" or something as their marketing is effective at triggering the most base of fears and desires and as such will always attract more people at first. Even those who disagree with them are drawn to it. But their model is bankrupt - spiritually and emotionally - and ineffective at creating sustainable, intimate relationships - regardless of how effective their business model may be at scale.

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Continue The Problem With Most Polarity Coaches, with Part 2 »HERE«.

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Relationship Postmortem | How to Decide When It's Time To Leave

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#RelationshipPostmortem

While most of this section is going to deal with what to do after the breakup - how to process the grief, how to use that period of deep pain for your own development, transformation, and personal evolution, and how to set yourself up for success in the next relationship so you don’t repeat the same mistakes, we’ve all wondered at some point … 

When is it time to leave?

This may be the most difficult question for us to answer for ourselves and there are so many variables - if there are children involved it makes it even more complicated even if the end result is the same.

But one thing we want to be sure of is that we do not stay in the relationship for the wrong reasons.

What are some of the “wrong” reasons?

Let’s start with a few mindsets or orientations to the process before we answer that question. For me personally, these aren’t just mindsets or beliefs, they are convictions; I am willing to assert them as self-evident truths.

First: every human is worthy of a loving and of a fulfilling romantic relationship and/or partnership.  What does fulfilling mean? For me, it means that you're lit up in every way: sexually, lovingly, intellectually, and spiritually. That they are an incredible lover and your best friend. Most important of all:  that you can express yourself - just be you - without being judged or shut down. That you are appreciated, encouraged, loved, and feel a deep connection to this person. That you can communicate through anything.

At the very least, your values need to be aligned enough - and your preferred forms of those values - how they would show up in your relationship need to have enough overlap that the little things don’t matter.

But whatever “fulfilling” means to you, every human is worthy of a loving and of a fulfilling romantic relationship and/or partnership. 

If you are reading this and you are single, you can use the Values and Forms exercise we laid out earlier in the book as a way of determining a greater degree of likelihood for success in your relationship. Values are a far greater determinant of compatibility than any typing system [zodiac, Myers-Briggs, Enneagram, etc] as your level or stage of ego development will have a far greater influence - for instance at a certain stage you may experience differences as problematic, at yet another stage you may begin to see them as more of a benefit - complementary rather than conflicting - and so on. 

If you are reading this and you are in a relationship, you can use the same exercise to gain an understanding and deeper insight into why you are in conflict and … ultimately … whether you are a functional fit or not.

Second:  while it takes two to tango, it only takes one to transform [the relationship].

This is another fundamental truth. If you alter your internal relationship to the person and behave differently - and come at the whole situation fresh and open to possibility, they will respond to that. It may take longer than you desire - but I firmly believe [and this part may not be true but it is still the powerful way to relate to it]  any relationship can be transformed if one person is lovingly but unwaveringly committed to transforming it. You can infuse new life into it at any point. 

The question is not can it be transformed or not, the question is how.  

Not all relationships should be, but I believe all relationships can be transformed.

Lastly - and this makes a good segue to the “wrong” reasons to stay in a relationship:  

Longevity is not an effective gauge for success. You can be in a relationship that feels dead 20 years and people will congratulate you just based on the amount of time you have been together. Here’s the problem with that:  most humans aren't in a relationship. They're just in a habit.

Having said that, there are a few “wrong” reasons to stay in a relationship:

1. You are afraid to be single or alone. 


If you are afraid to be alone you are very likely in some form of co-dependent relationship and are having to sacrifice your happiness and - at times - your mental or emotional well-being. 

In this case, if you are in a relationship you consider “dysfunctional”, leaving may be the bravest and most powerful and empowering thing you can do - despite (or maybe even because) of how scary it is at first.

2. You don’t think you are good enough to have a more fulfilling relationship.

In my research, I was surprised at how often this came up - that some people didn’t think they were worthy of a more fulfilling relationship - or a higher quality partner.

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Guilt, Shame, and Self-Acceptance | How Shame Requires Your Consent

Shame-still-better Jason D McClain on shame

Shame, Guilt, and Shaming

I caused quite a stir a few years ago when shaming and the campaign against shaming was all the rage. And the stir I caused was by simply posting “shame requires your consent” followed by “self-acceptance is the antidote to shame”.

These two concepts are very closely related and let me explain how and why they are both so important - and how much freedom they can provide you if implemented and - through practice - embodied. But first, let’s distinguish a few things. Primarily, what is the difference between guilt and shame - because they are different and the distinction is important and most of us have them collapsed.

Guilt and Shame

“Shame gives guilt a bad name.”  -Mark Michael Lewis

Guilt and Shame. 

For years my good friend Mark Michael Lewis and I debated several concepts. These were spirited yet friendly conversations over the years - sometimes conversations on a single topic would span years. And one of these conversations had centered around guilt and shame and we only came to a resolution on it when we shared the sensations associated with each of them. How did shame feel in the body? How did guilt feel in the body? When we discussed the sensations, we discovered that we actually agreed. It was simply that we had not defined our terms.

For the purposes of our discussion here, guilt is defined as "a realization - an “a-ha” moment if you will - that you violated your own value system - and the feeling you that must make it right". It’s then followed by a bit of an adrenaline rush; you feel more alert and you feel compelled to fix it somehow - through acknowledging the wrong, through making amends somehow, or doing something to restore yourself in your own guidelines. In sum, guilt is the feeling you did a bad thing: a behavior you do not condone for yourself. We have all done something we are not proud of; a wrong we know we must right. Something that keeps bothering us in the back of our minds. Sometimes even years later. It may be something small - something that when we go to the person and attempt to clean it up they may not even remember it happening.

Shame is taking the additional step of thinking you are therefore a bad person. Bad or wrong at your core. It is when we take “I did a bad thing” and then tack on “so I’m a bad person”. Not only is that confusing of logical levels - confusing behavior, or what we do with identity, or who we are - but the heavy, oppressive feelings that can even lead to debilitating feelings where one may not even want to get out of bed - actually slows our progress. We have to move through the shame before we can step into the light and take the actions necessary to right that wrong. It’s an unnecessary step that provides no value.

And, sadly, there are times when people use this sort of self-flagellation for attention and comfort or even love  - and to avoid the shaming that may come from the other who they feel they have wronged. 


And as long as we are on the topic of shaming - let me drop this idea on you that may have a hard landing:  

 

Shame requires your consent

Think about this for a minute.

For someone to shame you effectively - which is them attempting to impose their value system onto you by emotional brute force - meaning for it to actually work, there has to be some part of you that buys into whatever they are judging you for. If you were 100% aligned with your own behavior - if you had 100% self-acceptance of all aspects of your being - it would fall flat. You may even laugh at their attempts to shame you, or at the very least shrug it off.

And it is at this moment that you realize that self-acceptance is the antidote to shame.

Self-acceptance does not mean you are okay with being a horrible person and running rampant over other people. What “self-acceptance” means is two things:

1. Being willing to gaze unflinchingly and without judgment at every aspect of yourself - both positive and negative aspects. To look in the mirror. Or if someone pointed out something you classify a character defect - something you perhaps are currently working with on your own development path that you would simply accept the truth of what they are pointing out. To refuse to be in denial about aspects of yourself.

and

2.“The refusal to be in an adversarial relationship with yourself”, as Dr. Nathaniel Branden put it.

There is tremendous freedom in admitting aspects of yourself and your desires to others as well - tremendous freedom.

It is also where the work begins. Once you acknowledge aspects of yourself that are out of alignment without your own espoused values or principles, then work must begin to bring that part of yourself into alignment or dissolve it altogether. And once you have reclaimed disowned parts of yourself and reintegrated them into the whole, and you lack internal conflict and a fractured self, then you not only can begin to move with greater velocity toward your hopes, desires, dreams, goals, and have the life you secretly long for, but your lack of internal dissent will lead to a glow about you - a true presence and you can be truly present with people.

And this is where we talk about how being shame-free leads to being able to have true presence - which people are naturally drawn to - vs simple charisma, which can be faked.

Some people have questioned “without shame, what would inhibit our behaviors which may harm others? What about having a conscience?” 

Well, that’s what guilt is for.

To be living in shame or using shame as a way to beat up on yourself or on others is to not only miss the point of taking action to right wrongs, but it is to deny the one thing we can all agree on:  universal innocence, and our inherent Divinity. Our oneness with Spirit. Our very connection to the beauty of all that is. Moment to moment.

The Kingdom of heaven is within. Stop obscuring it with the heavy clouds of shame.

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This is an excerpt from Jason's forthcoming book on Evolutionary Relationships from the #RelationshipContinuum section.

To be Guided by Jason - whether you are currently in a relationship and want to transform it, or you are single and want to “do the next one right” - check out the Evolutionary Relationships offering.

Or just schedule a complimentary initial conversation here to get the process started.



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Evolutionary Relating | Introduction to the Book

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This is from the introduction to the forthcoming book. You can find additional excerpts here.

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It’s the one thing that unites and connects us all.

We are not united by national origin, gender, politics, ethnicity, and the like. Not universally. The one thing that universally unites us is this:

Love

It's the one thing every human has in common.

Any poem about love in any language still transmits the same experience regardless of the language we translate it into. Sufi mystic Rumi and Nobel Prize winner Pablo Neruda were separated by several centuries yet both their poetry still translates to this:

Love

Love. Love and a clear reverence for the women they loved without losing any of their masculine centers. It's almost become a lost art.

But it does not matter where your lover came from or whether you have the same birth language - or even speak the same language. Or what color they are. We can fall in love with anyone from any place - from any religion or cultural background - at any time.

We’ve all experienced some version of it. 

Perhaps it was the rush of the chemical attraction--they touched your hand and the electricity was unforgettable. Or maybe it wasn’t the chemistry, maybe it was the feeling of finally being home. Or a kind of comfort and safety you felt almost immediately. Or maybe it was a feeling of familiarity--as if you've known someone for years even though you just met them.

Then at some point when those feelings (many of which we discover are Illusions and projections) are dispelled, and the person begins to behave in ways that disappoint, confound or even anger us, we may begin to question the connection that we have with them and at times, perhaps, even our own judgment. 

Inevitably, we come face-to-face with how many assumptions we've made. How we have built our entire relationship and levels of trust, as well as our fantasies about the future, on these assumptions. And in our pain and confusion, we often make grave errors that only make matters worse and tragically make our future in that relationship - or the next - even worse still.

Sucks, right?

But you know what? 

Virtually all of that is avoidable.

Most of us do not know how to set ourselves up for success in the beginning - we start dating based on chemistry and attraction or availability - not on aligned values. We do not know how to have the conversations to set a baseline for what we will agree on - what our agreed foundation is - heck, some people wait so long to have these conversations that they are not even sure if they are monogamous or both dating other people months into dating (!)


These are conversations that need to be had sooner rather than later. And some people know that, but they don’t know how to have those conversations.

Or worse, they are simply too scared to have them.

Then when conflict arises,  we lack the tools to navigate the situation in a way that feels good, let alone connective and satisfying to both of you.  

Or when the relationship stalls we don't know how to keep it alive, sexy, and have it continue to inspire and uplift - to bring out the best in us.

Then when it ends we have no constructive way to deal with the grief, the self-doubt, the anger, and no capacity to deal with feelings of betrayal or loss or confusion. 

At that point, some of us immerse ourselves so deeply into the process and feelings of loss that we may even think that we are destined to repeat the cycles - and perhaps some of you have - that do not work and lack fundamental workability.

This book strives to solve most of the avoidable challenges and problems that arise in all three stages of relationships and provides structures and tools to assist you in working through the unpredictable - and in some cases unforeseeable - problems that arise. 

In the beginning: how to avoid unwarranted bliss and the inevitable crash - disappointment and even, how to avoid mediocrity in the middle or simply being in a habit rather than in a relationship, how to deal with anger fear jealousy all those things that can arise and create conflict in that middle stage. And of course, the confusion, anger, and grief that can arise when it ends if it ends and how to set yourself up for Success without vilifying the other person and how to reclaim your power if you've lost yourself in the relationship. 

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