Offering a No From a Masculine Perspective

The feminine doesn’t like to hear the word no. Or at least the feminine in me doesn’t. It can get bratty, resistant, and even a bit defiant. And yet the feminine longs for a strong no, a no it can’t shake or get past.

Recently I did some work with other men, one of the men asked me to take on a practice. I said no. I felt him fully with my heart, I loved where he was asking from, but I was still a no.

It was perhaps the most powerful practice I have offered another man, my complete honest and loving no.

For the masculine the no can feel quite powerful, you draw a line, you put it forth with aggression NAY ANGER, your no is furious, full or power, and solid.

Or the no can be plaintive, rejecting, longing for freedom and throwing no’s like daggers of resentment.

But there is another way. A way to offer the no with love and clarity. A subtle sense that there will be aggression or stand if need be, but for now the no is offered, with an open heart and a strong back.

For a long time I felt afraid to offer my NO this way. I either threw it angrily or flopped it out on the table hoping no one would notice. I’m afraid my no would make her leave, make him mad, and make me bad.

So I hid my no until it became ferocious until my NO was scary enough to be listened to.

Slowly I have learned to see the gift in the NO. NO and I love you. NO and I’m not making you wrong for asking. NO and I mean it.

This gentle loving line, this supple stand, the clear and powerful offering of a NO to the feminine. The feminine may not ‘like’ it in every case, but it learns to trust it. As I have learned to trust my own masculine more and more.


Receive Her No With Grace and Graciousness

The true test of a man shouldn’t be how many women he can bed, or how much money he can make, but rather how much grace and graciousness he can show in receiving a no.

No one likes to be rejected, shut down, or told no.

It can give you a feeling of being stifled, shamed, judged, or even of having your worth denied.
But even though you can do a lot to impact the no that’s offered, what really matters is how you react to it.

A no is not something to be worked around. To be cajoled. To be pushed past.

A no is an invitation to pause, to get curious, to reflect, and to lean in with an open heart.

This is especially true when a woman tells you no.
And even more true when she tells you no gently.

It’s brave for a woman to say no.
Because we live in a world where no from a woman is a dirty dangerous word.
So if she gives it, gently and with love it means she trusts you or hopes to.

She is asking with hope that you will be the kind of man who honors this no, feels the fullness of its gift, and is willing to swallow any pain that might arise and simply be with her.

A no isn’t personal anymore than a fenced yard is, or a keep off the grass sign.
No is the simplest unit of a boundary.
No is a line that helps you see where your desire hits her comfort or willingness.

Her no is a gift because it tells you exactly where you are.
It gives you a ground to stand on and explore with her or within yourself.

Sure you can ask about the no, get curious about what might have it be a yes, work through nos that want to be changed, but you can only do this with honor, if you can receive it with grace and graciousness.

The grace to hear it and really feel its power.
The grace to let it land and to pause before you react.
The grace to own what it brings up, while also honoring how it was offered.
The grace to learn from this no and to hear the no behind any yes so that you can feel where the chance for growth (mostly yours) lies.

And alongside these graces, graciousness.

The graciousness that she trusts you to tell you no, (esp directly)
The graciousness to be strong enough to not collapse in the face of it.
The graciousness that she doesn’t want you to step over an edge that might damage your connection.
With a graciousness that she is offering you a chance to honor and even heal her with your loving reception.

This is a true test of what it means to be a man.

Because a man who is strong in himself, truly honors the one he’s with and is capable of accepting challenges with dignity and courage, is a man all men should all work to be.


Gregorian Calendars Are Stupid

Gregorian Calendars Are Stupid

You see sister, we made it all up!
Most resolutions don’t last more than a couple of months. A good rule for life is to stop making rules, especially ones that don’t work. Here are 5 reasons your resolutions won’t work and 5 practices that actually might.
1. I Resolve to Be Miserable. 
If your resolution is to stop eating sugar or watching TV you’ll probably have a hard time. You’re basically resolving to not do things you enjoy. You can’t get anywhere by rejecting who you are. Instead you need to learn to honor and then co-opt these parts of yourself.
MindFitMove Practice: Instead of asking yourself to reject parts of yourself find a way to embrace other parts of yourself. Try to do more of what you love, especially if it’s something that leads to more balance.
If you love cycling, then try to cycle once a week for a month. If you love making fresh kale, then make a new kale dish every week for a month. Seeking misery leads to misery. Instead, seek the joys that lead to a mindful and balanced life.
2. It’s A Can’t Do Attitude
In the world of non-violent communication requests should be clear, doable, and on a reasonable time scale. If you couldn’t ask your partner or friend to promise it, then don’t resolve it.
“Sweetie would you be willing to stop eating sugary snacks?” This is not a doable request. It’s unclear what a sugary snack might be and how long the promise is being made for.
Try this instead, “Sweetie, for the next month, would you be willing to have a piece of fruit instead of ice cream after dinner?” In the second example the request is clear, doable, and on a reasonable timetable.
MindFitMove Practice: Take one ‘resolution’ and turn it into a doable request with a reasonable time scale. Remember that a reasonable time scale is different for everyone. If you are quitting smoking it may be one day, if it’s taking a new class it may be one month. Experiment and find what works for you.
3.  Getting To No!
Adults rely too heavily on NO! It’s the first word many children learn, because it’s the word they hear most often. When I was a preschool teacher I learned that saying NO! to kids doesn’t work very well. Instead we always tried to find something we could say YES! to.
MindFitMove Practice: Instead of setting a strict rule that says NO! NO! NO! find one that says YES! Instead of saying no to snacking, say yes to snacking on more veggies and fruit. If you eat a piece of fruit half way between each meal, you will likely eat less sugary snacks and fruit has quite a bit of healthy sugar in it.
4. No Reflection? Maybe You’re A Vampire
Many people make resolutions without asking 2 important questions:
1. What will I get/be if I maintain this practice?
2. What will I have to give up to make this practice work?
Making changes is hard, but often resolutions are made in the spur of the moment or without much planning. People don’t take the time to consider what it takes to transform their life. Instead of making short hand resolutions, make plans for life long transformation.
MindFitMove Practice: Instead of making a resolutions, set aside some time to write down 3 things you’d like to do this year. Agree to sit down and write down these goals and answer the 2 questions above. Then decide if the answer to the first question is worth the answer to the second. If it is, remind yourself of this often. If it isn’t, pick some new goals you are prepared to do.
5. The Transformation Will Not Be Scheduled 
Like the title of this post indicates, the schedule for your transformation is not Gregorian. Your transformation happens on your own schedule and pace. A better time to start might be February, June, Or September. The best time is the time when you do start with full awareness.
This isn’t an excuse to encourage you to procrastinate, but if this is a bad time or if you are already transforming then maybe something new won’t help.
Try and be honest with yourself. Maybe you feel more motivated to exercise when it’s warmer so start your workout program on the first day of spring. Maybe you are exhausted from visiting family; give yourself a few weeks to rest before you take on a new challenge. 
MindFitMove Practice: Cycles are important to reflect on your progress, but they aren’t always your best guides. The key to life long transformation is mindfulness and awareness. Use these tools to asses what is a reasonable and doable for you. No matter what you decide, focus on being mindful. If you decide not to change your eating habits, notice what that’s like. If you decide to change the way you eat, notice what that’s like.
What’s Next?
My goal is to support people walking the path of transformation. These 5 practices will help you get started, but transformation takes time and practice.
If you are ready to take the next step, there are 2 easy ones to take
You get a FREE eBook A Zen Buddhist Guide to Fitness just for signing up and at least 3 times a week you will get mindfulness practices, advice, and encouragement to support your path of transformation.
As a member of the team you will get:
1.     Free – A Zen Buddhist Guide to Fitness – upon Signing Up
2.     Free – Awareness eBook– on the 15th of January
3.     Discounts – on a new eBook every month on the 15th
4.     Answers to questions about your Mindful Fitness practice via email or Skype.