Jeff Brown [A Male Warrior in Transition]

The awakening man is a warrior of the heart. He moves from love and compassion. He is noble and responsible and he brings forward the healthy masculine, evolved from being comfortable in his vulnerability.

Jeff is the author of the book 'Soulshaping, A Journey of Self Creation', an inner travelogue on his journey from being a archetypal male warrior, to a more surrendered path. He is also the author of the 'Awakening Man, A Portrait of Possibility for Humankind', and 'Apologies to the Divine Feminine from a Warrior in Transition'. They are both statements of intent for men in the 21st century.

Introduction

Jeff has lived an extraordinary life and laid it bare for all to see in Soulshaping. He has been a criminal trial lawyer, a psychotherapist and a door-to-door salesman. Most importantly, he spent much of his life as an archetypal male warrior, who struggled to find his heart and a more authentic soulful path. As a warrior-in-transition, he heard a whisper of something truer calling out to him, amid the distractions of modern life. In his writings he reminds us that we are all truly connected. That our seemingly isolated struggles are actually part of the shared challenge to live a life that is heart-centred and soulturned.

Soulshaping.com is Jeff’s primary website. He also has a new movement based at LoveItForward.net, which is going to be developing a whole economic distribution system for the economically challenged.

Graham
Jeff, could you talk about your background as an archetypal male warrior, as you describe yourself, and about the warrior spirit that seems to be constantly with you?

Jeff
I grew up on a battlefield in my family home. I have a super feisty, aggressive mother and intermittently violent father. It seemed clear from the beginning of my life that I came in with an edgy warrior spirit. Instead of backing off from the battleground, from a very early age I went toe-to-toe with my mother and battled, fought back and defended the integrity of my being.

It was evident in every part of my life, that I seemed to be born in this incarnation with a feisty backdrop. In my adolescent years I saw a famous Canadian criminal lawyer and defence attorney, Eddy Greenspan, on television. I said often, “I know that man, he feels familiar to me. I know where he is coming from, and one day I will work for him.” It was evident to me that I was supposed to become, at least for some moment in time, a trial lawyer. I ended up practicing law with Eddy in Canada. From the moment I walked into his office he felt so familiar to me. From the moment I walked into a courtroom I felt like I had been in courtrooms in many incarnations.

I stood on the precipice of being called to the bar, making the decision to become a trial lawyer in Canada, after a year with him and a major murder trial together. I was his student and I heard a voice, or a call, something inside of me that pulled me off in another direction. It was clear to me that the new battleground was one between this familiar, habitual way of being—as an edgy warrior personality—and one in the direction of a more surrendered path. Soulshaping is a book that describes that process.

Graham
You still call it a battleground, for you the battleground just moved from the law to your internal self.

Jeff
Absolutely. That is how I have understood and still, to some extent, understand reality. This is the perpetuation of the warrior consciousness. I still carry that forward. I tend to self-identify more as the benevolent warrior now. I was not sure back then which direction I was going to go, it could have gone either way. To me it is still a battle from survivalism as a way of being to authenticity as a way of being.

You want to push your way through, to live in this world in a way that is more genuine and heart-centred. You have to fight your way through it. You have to fight for your right to the light. I do not think we are at a stage, yet, where anybody hands it to us.

Graham
I love that idea of fighting for your way to the light. I am interested that you do talk about it as a fight. It is not something that comes naturally to you?

Jeff
Well I do not think it is something that comes naturally in the culture, at this stage of human development.

I carried a lot of light forward internally, but I have had to work for that. I think of where I was in relation to the light before I embarked on a therapeutic journey versus where I came to after. I have a lot more access to the light than I did, because I did some work, using my warrior will, to clear my emotional debris. The funny thing, Graham, is that when I left law, when I stepped back, everything turned black and white. I was going to leave the warrior path and become a surrendered healer.

Then I went and did all this work, I wrote this book. I had to push on through to write the book while running the business. Then at the end of it, I realised my warrior had been with me all along, I was just utilising him in a positive and benevolent way. I could never have achieved any of that without my warrior energy.

Graham
You foresee this warrior staying with you in talking about grounded spirituality. In a more spiritual view of life you still see the warrior in there?

Jeff
Absolutely, when you bring your work out into the world, then all kind of crazy characters come and all kinds of opportunities appear that look quite wonderful. There is all kinds of trickery, however, below the surface. I need my warrior now more than ever. In fact, I added fifteen pounds since Soulshaping came out, and I am sure it is so I can throw my weight around and build a boundary round myself, so I can bring my work into the world and remain intact.

Graham
I like that you talk, in the book, about being a workaholic, about the workaholic huckster, and how that huckster brought you through this period of moving from a tough male life to what you see as a more surrendered, perhaps softer, life.

Jeff
Yeah, more of a truer life. It is truer, but it was always true. I had to walk that path, before I could walk this path. All of these elements are adaptations and disguises, including all of my warrior personas. They have been absolutely essential to bring me to this stage. The idea that I could just imagine moving in a softer, sweeter direction and somehow make that happen, simply because I envisioned it, seems entirely preposterous to me given the circumstance I have had to overcome.

Graham
We are led to believe by many spiritual gurus that if you just sit and meditate, and imagine or envision how your life is going to be, it will come about.

Jeff
Well, they are actually just envisioning you purchasing the book, or the workshop, so that they can actually pay for the lovely home they’re living in.

That is just ungrounded spirituality. I can not tell you how many people I have known who bought into that system, sold everything, gave up everything that they had accumulated and ended up with nothing, starting all over again. I believe in ascending with both feet on the ground, which is holding the foundation solid and then embarking on a more subtle realm journey, but never letting go of everything, unless letting go of everything is absolutely essential to your forward movement.

Graham
I have spent most of my life working, and during that life, I pursued my idea of spirituality, but I never gave up my work to do it. It has always been there in the background. The true opening, for me, was when I brought them all together, when I brought my spiritual quest together with the work I did.

Jeff
Yeah, that is right, I call it enrealment. I used to see running a window business as something disconnected from my spiritual life, until I realised that if I had not run the window business, I would not have had the money to write the book. So now I get it, that it has all been this beautiful dance. You want to make them all indistinguishable threads of the same weave, because they are. It takes a lot of time to become conscious of that and now I am grateful for that very pragmatic, grounded, survivalist business. The reason I am able to write in a way that resonates with day-to-day people is because I live like a day-to-day person most of my life.

Graham
It is about continuing to live your life and living authentically. Authentically is a word that is often abused nowadays, what is it that you see as being authentic?

Jeff
It is a sacred, purpose-oriented life. I have come to believe that the whole point of all of this is to identify what I call Soul Scriptures. The idea that we come into the incarnation with a particular path encoded within us and we are here to find that path, excavate and live it. That sacred purpose includes your calling, the calling to write for example, or your calling to do this show. It includes archetypal transformations, for me from malevolent masculine to a more benevolent masculine, from warrior to healer. It includes working through unresolved emotional material, the grist for the soul mill, that expands us and matures us in our spirituality. For me that is an authentic life, one that is absolutely true to our path.

Graham
When I first read Soulshaping, I got very frustrated with your constant doubting and your changes, but there is one point when the warrior says to you, “Now you are leaving another career, why can’t you finish things?”

Jeff
“What’s wrong with you?” I know, I know…

Graham
I kept reading the book thinking, “Where is the spiritual life that you are talking about?” It just seemed to go from here to there. I realised eventually, that it was actually a sign of my frustration with myself doing the same thing, not quite choosing. I think that is common to a lot of people.

Jeff
Right, it is safer to be a seeker than a finder, but I do not think that was what was happening with me. I think I was marching in the direction of my true path and learning the little lessons that I needed to go there. But your voice, that voice in you, of course, reflected that warrior voice in me. This is the impatient masculine that just wants us to be a Nike commercial and JUST DO IT already, right?

It is one of the greatest enemies of the path of the masculine, because we do not have that internalised voice that says, “Go, be confused, flake it till you make it, figure it out with experience.” That is a voice that men need to acquire.

Graham
I love that talk about confusion, the flake confusing you. I started realising that that is what was leading you forward, the balance that you caught out there.

Jeff
I already knew that I could do it. I learned that with my year with Eddy. It was an extraordinary year for a student. They gave me awards after this crazy murder trial. I was a student writing a jury address and cross-exams. I was directing in a highly prominent case, it was the biggest one in Toronto that year probably. I learned. Eddy empowered me by granting me permission to do that. As a student, I learned that I could probably do most anything I wanted to do. I built up my self-confidence.

There was a part of me that felt like it was OK, egoically. My ego was strong enough to dissolve, because some part of me knew that if worst came to worst, I could go and put my mind to something and I would do OK at it. If you do not have a strong enough sense of self, it is very hard to dissolve like that and surrender to the confusion, because then you hear the chattering voice inside disparaging your confusion and your path. It is Brahma who says you have to become something before you become nothing and I think in that year with Eddy, internally I became something and then I could dissolve more perfectly.

Graham
…without feeling that you are falling apart.

Jeff
…or knowing that I was falling apart in a peripheral way. At a core level my sense of Self was strong, clear and intact. That goes to the importance of honoring the male way, which is the building, through activity, of the Self concept, before the dissolution. Many ungrounded spiritualists dissolve before they create Self, and that is why everything ends up crazy, right? They are enlightened and they are sleeping in their cars on beaches in Maui. You really need to form the Self first, before you explore the rest of it.

Graham
…or they go and hide in a cave to find the Self.

Jeff
Absolutely, they witness their pain body and pretend it has gone away, and it has not gone away. It all comes back the moment they are in a relationship. You can not side-step parts of it and consider that an enlightened experience.

Graham
Can I ask you about your father, I know he recently passed? You wrote a letter to him which you published, saying, “I’m no longer afraid to get close. I know you won’t hurt me now, you have freed me to love you again.” I am interested because I think that fathers are crucial to men, even if they don’t know them. I am interested in the extent to which he has influenced you in what you are doing.

Jeff
He was a difficult person to get close to, we had a difficult relationship. My other two brothers had no contact with him and I had, I made an effort. I had intermittent contact with him in the last number of years, but he elevated me in a very ungrounded way early on. He thought I was going to become the prime minister of Canada, “grand things,” he wrote.

He lived vicariously, delusionally in many ways, through me and my achievements. The relationship did not have a reality-based quality to it. The way I identify the thread forward is in the depth there was to my father that I think sometimes comes through in my writing. He was a great writer. He could not really humanifest it because of his stuff, but I carry forward that writing voice from my dad.

I always felt as though he believed that I could do anything. He was a little hard on me in the early years, luckily I had grandparents to land on that were softer and sweeter, but positive. They were a much more positive influence than my mother had been.

Graham
It sounds to me as if that hardness might have really been a great help to you in your period as a trial lawyer, developing that hardness of the warrior.

Jeff
Eddy Greenspan tells this great story about growing up with a very difficult mother. He went to the Supreme Court and appealed a case once. He screamed at them and they hated him because he was Holywoodizing criminal law. So he said his internal voice was saying, while they were disparaging him and ripping his arguments to shreds, “you never met my mother.”

My inner narrative, as a boy from an overly intense Jewish mother and a mixed up dad is, “You never met my mother and my father, so you can throw anything you want my way after that experience, I am ready for you.”

Masculinity

Graham
Jeff, I would like to hear more about your view of masculinity. What is masculinity for you? What are the characteristics of what you call awakened masculinity.

Jeff
You are asking a question that I wrestle with on an hourly basis, Graham.

Graham
You are not the only one, Jeff.

Jeff
No, no, absolutely, and I think I’d like to talk about it from that place rather than giving you a kitschy answer.

I certainly understand it in terms of the assertive capacity, the wilful capacity, to move the energy outward in a focused manner. But I am not entirely sure, as we move forward and we shed some of these polarities in terms of gender, and bridge the genderation gap, I am not sure what we are going to be left with, other than some kind of stronger physicality, a tendency, energetically, to assert and move energy outward. I don’t know how different we are going to be from the feminine.

I am interested in your view on that. Quite often I have thought that, as we move forward, we are going to realise that gender was just a way-station on the path to wholeness. Then at other times, I feel that I tap into these energies, like when I am running in the woods I tap into this powerful energised warrior self. But at the same time, I know that is not distinctly masculine, the feminine has that experience as well so, I do not know.

Graham
You talk about the doing energy, as opposed to being energy, which I feel, strongly, is a way of approaching the difference between masculinity and femininity, but I go beyond that, because there is something there to do with our physical bodies.

You talk about us being spirits, and that as spirits we do not really have any gender, we do not have any sex. I suspect that we are probably all the same as spirits, but when we come into this world, we come in a body and I think much of the differences between masculinity and femininity come from the physicality of that body, the physicality of what that body does. I feel that it will always be there because of that. I do not envisage the physicality disappearing.

Therefore I feel that that directive strength of masculinity, and the more receptive strength of femininity, to an extent, will always be there behind men and women.

Jeff
That feels really true to me, and I find it interesting how I manifest that. I chose on some level—or it was chosen for me, in the incarnation sense—to come in as a male warrior who was here to soften that edge. You know I wrote that piece, Apologies to the Divine Feminine, that went pretty viral. I knew when I wrote it that I was meant to write it. It was all part of the template of my life. So, clearly, I had to come in masculine form. I am not so sure that it is just some kind of arbitrary thing—you are not saying this, but I have heard this before—that, for whatever reason on a genetic level, you just come in as a guy and that it is somehow distinct from the Soul Scriptures. I am not so sure that that is true. I feel like I chose to come in a masculine form for a particular reason, and that, whatever is happening, this body is inextricably linked to my spiritual journey. It is just finding the exact way of understanding that that is challenging.

Graham
Yes, I believe you. I do not believe it is arbitrary that we come in as a man or a woman, because we come in to either use the qualities, or characteristics, of a man or woman, or we come in to start shifting it, and to start softening it, or to start making it more real and authentic.

Jeff
One of the problems is that women are finding it necessary to take on what were more masculine qualities, in terms of finding equality with men at work, and men are equally finding it necessary to take on the more feminine qualities. But that does not create an equality, because when we come into relationship, everything changes. That polarity of masculinity and femininity becomes strong, and becomes necessary.

Maybe, because we have been so entirely polarised—much too polarised, when men can not cry—we know we have got a problem. When a woman can not assert her rank without being called histrionic (excessively dramatic), we know we have, culturally, got a problem. Everyone has a right to embody every field of possibility—I have got to believe that is true—so it may be that we do not really know what we are going to be left with. I know I just try to honor this voice in me. I know that, whatever it is I am doing in the world right now—even in Soulshaping, where I was revealing the attempts by a traditional male to shed internal and external armour, and move in a more heartened way—I know that that is intrinsic to my particular path here. I have got to believe in the bridging of the generation gap.

Graham
That bridging is about having a greater understanding of each other, of male and female, becoming closer to each other, so that each can understand, but not become like, the other person.

Jeff
Right, you are coming from the place where the basic issue is not that there is anything wrong with the polarity between masculine and feminine, but it is about how we have characterised it, how we have mis-identified it. David Deida writes this kind of stuff about how we would all see one another, or understand one another. We see the feminine and they are like a foreign species, they see us and we are like a foreign species. We have to humanise this process, but not shed those polarities necessarily.

Graham
We are meant to have these characteristics, or these polarities, but not as a battleground, and the problem, when I hear people talk about gender, is that, too often, the talk is about the battleground. That is how we have been in the past, how we have used the polarities. It is how men have dominated not just women, but the whole world. Men have used their doing energy to wreak havoc in the world.

Jeff
The malevolent masculine, right?

I’m just getting your view, and I think mine would probably be in the direction that we will be polarised, but not as extremely polarised. It is not just about re-characterising, it is actually about softening the edges of some of those polarities, as if we were sociologically mis-identified and now, as the world moves into hoping for a more humane way, we come a little closer in towards one another, while retaining the differences.

Graham
I have a great belief in a masculine, or a feminine, core essence, which does not always match the sex you are born with. But I also have a belief that we have to get rid of our cultural conditioning and get back to the essence we are born with. Maybe that essence is really part of our spirit, our spiritual self, our soul, that you talk about spending your life discovering.

Vulnerability is a very important part of this. I think it is an important part of the softening, you talk about it being a sign of strength not weakness. I agree with that, but do you really think men at large can feel that, and do you think it is a realistic approach for men?

Jeff
I think most men, whether it is conditioned or biological—that we could talk about for ever—have very little access to their receptivity, or their vulnerability. I know it took an enormous amount of body-centred work to begin with, actual softening of the musculature, before I could begin to feel my heart. Then I did real intense breath work, holotropic work, bio-energenetic work, in order to peel away emotional layers of holding, in order to access it. That vigilance is so intrinsic to the conditioned male, it may be intrinsic to the biological male also. I think men are struggling because the world is still vibrating around survivalism. It requires the vigilant masculine to hold things safe, to hold things together, to fight and protect, and now we are being called in a different direction. The feminine have moved, they are exploring the embracing of masculine traits and I think there is enough safety in the world to allow for that, to allow them to have that journey of exploration. But I am not sure the world has changed enough, yet, for men to fully embark on the journey of shedding that vigilant armour. I feel like we are a number of generations removed from that. As a result, I feel as though we are a little bit stuck. I do not see the masculine moving and developing anywhere near as rapidly as the feminine right now, because survivalism still rules our lives.

Graham
A lot of men are scared by feminism. A lot of men support it, but they are frightened by it. They are frightened because they see it as a zero-sum game, that if feminism rises, masculism, if you like, descends. They feel they are having life taken away from them. One of our tasks is to help them see that we can both rise and support each other.

Jeff
Hey, dude, listen, there is nothing better than knowing that feminism has risen, that the feminine in your home has now the right—and is enjoying the right—to take over sometimes. There is some role flexibility, and now the dude can let his armour fall down to the ground, and actually feel his body and his heart again. I mean, what greater gift could there be.

Graham
I agree with you. I found that in my relationship that is the great gift; as my wife becomes stronger, I can become stronger, but also our relationship becomes stronger. But men are frightened of relationship and intimacy They find it difficult with women and with men. That is part of the problem, part of the fear that feminism puts on them. It is not the fault of feminists, it is the fault of the men themselves, not opening up in the way that you have been talking about.

Jeff.
Yes, and I still bring it back to survivalism. The state of surrender and the state of vigilance make very strange bedfellows. As much as women want to feel our hearts, if they feel too much of our hearts, and we do not sustain the protective tendencies that we have been conditioned to, things start to fall apart in many environments. So it is very complicated, because, as a man, I know intuitively that, if I am too vulnerable, for too long, I become unattractive. I become biologically and behaviourally unattractive to the heterosexual feminine. You know, there is more tolerance for it, and there is more space for it, and, independent of how the feminine will look at it, I still come back.

Graham
Women do like to see strength in men, and women can get very confused if the softer man just goes floppy and loses all sense of himself. I think that is very important for a man to keep clear.

Jeff
It is, very. It is highly unattractive to the feminine, except for limited periods of time in my experience.

Graham
Do you see yourself becoming more of a role model for men, and do you think you can contribute deeper into this development of the masculine?

Jeff
I do. I do session work with the masculine. I do a lot of private session work with men that are trying to open, struggling to open. My plan is to develop an awakening men’s movement, and that is something that I really want to do, because when I am writing this way for the feminine, I am preaching to the choir in many cases. There is an enormous amount of work to be done with our brothers, just to find the way. You and I both know how complicated it is to present these ideas in a way that does not get their shoulders up, and is moving in just enough of an increment that they will make the exploration without retreating. It is an art form and it is complicated and I look forward to that challenge.

Graham
What is the key to getting the masses of men to open to the new masculinity, getting the average guy to open to doing the work?

Jeff
I do not know, maybe we are doing our little part here. This is a complicated process. I know this with men that I have known, that I have really come on strong with, in terms of really encouraging them to do the therapeutic work, which is I think really where the work has to start. Doing the work on the emotional body was not effective, unless they came to it on their own terms. My coming at them with it became like a competitive framework, like I was the one who knew, and then their unhealthy ego rose and resisted that possibility. With a very good friend of mine I learned that if I pushed to hard he would push back, so I would just read books. We would go on trips and I would leave a book on my table, but I would angle it a little towards him, just a little, not so much that he would know what I was doing, but just a little. Eventually he picked up Beachcombing in Miramar, Richard Bolt’s book, it changed his life. He went to Ram Dass, it changed his life, and then he started to do therapy, and it all started with that one little book placement.

Graham
Men don’t like to be pushed into this.

Jeff
Oh no.

Graham
But they love to take an opening, they love to think that it comes from them, because, deep down, most men want to make this shift, and want to find this new masculinity.

Jeff
Absolutely, yes, want to and willingness are such different things, though, that is where I think it gets complicated, the willingness to take it on. There are so many levels of resistance to this journey of shedding, not just in terms of role and society. Most dudes are still identifying with the sports team of their city, which is a whole biological city. When you are dealing with that kind of consciousness, to try to move in the direction of shedding all of it, feeling in the heart, crying from the heart, raging from the heart, there is about 2,000 steps in between.

Graham
A lot of men are doing this work in men’s groups, where they have a safe space to open up their heart and scream and shout, but they still tend to go back to their life, to their job, to their family, to what they believe is their role in life.

Jeff
And to a society that is still set up based on competitive survivalist structures. Men are well aware that these are all wonderful considerations till you have to go and make a living in a competitive marketplace. The masculine is not idealistic about that, we are pragmatic about that. We understand the way the world still works and that until that shifts, until the world is a safer place, and rule of law prevails everywhere, and we do not have to have such a high level of anxiety, we are still going to stay armoured.

The Awakening Man

Graham
You talked about this traditional approach to masculinity in the article you wrote, The Awakening Man, A Portrait Of Possibility For Humankind, there you wrote, “The new man is always in process, awakening through a deepening interface with the world of feeling.” What was your purpose in writing this document?

Jeff
I was trying to clarify for myself the direction that I was going. There was the work that I had been doing, but there are times when I feel like I fall back to the traditional framework. I put my armour on real fast, and sometimes I want to get clear on what the purpose of all this is, where I am headed, and where the rest of humanity is headed. I had written the Apologies to the Divine Feminine and I met with this profound response. Then people would say, “OK, so, we have apologised. So let us say that gets absorbed and accepted and taken in. You have provided, in that piece, some insight into where the masculine was coming from, some context which allowed the feminine to feel delighted, that not only were they apologised to, but they got to understand the source spring for those behaviours, that was quite healing as well.” But then it was like, “OK, now where are we going?” It was just the most obvious next question, what is the next step? I was attempting to speak to that in that piece, as well.

Graham
It is very powerful doing that. I love the way you balance assertiveness and vulnerability, where you talk about a man being empowered but not exploiting power. That seems to me a very realistic path, if men can find a way of bringing that into the everyday, doing, life that they lead.

Jeff
That is the next step. We move away from warrior survivalism in the direction of a calmer, a somewhat safer world, and not as desperate in the survivalist place. We begin, then, to move in the direction of holding the belief that we are connected to all of humanity, that we are not just trying to protect our tribe, or our family or ourselves, and then we start to ask the question, “OK, how do I do this in a way that is in integrity?” You still go out into the market place and do your thing, but you draw the line somewhere, finally. That felt, to me, like the step I had taken, even in business where, in the beginning, I would have said anything to make a sale. Then I reached a stage where I would not say anything to make a sale, I wanted it to be cleaner.

Graham
That was very interesting, to see that shift from when the selling was just to make a sale, and to give you the money to write, and then as you took the path, you shifted. You would only make a sale when it was authentic, when it meant something to you.

Jeff
This it what is interesting about it, Graham. I started selling with God, or selling with Soul I called it, but I was afraid, there was a part of me that was afraid that economically I would suffer. For sure, if I am in my nastiest, edgiest place in the old days, I would have done better. But there is a shift now in my market place, so, when I am more genuine and connective, I am actually more effective now than I was in the old days. Zig Ziglar, that famous hustling American salesman who wrote many books, had some wisdom. One of his greatest lines was, “People do not care what you know until they know that you care.” I love that because it allowed me to be connective, and realise that there was a human being not just a wallet in front of me, that I was trying to pull something out of, and to become more effective person in business. It can happen, not in every market place for sure, in criminal trial law it is not necessarily going to help you, if you do murder trials, I mean.

Graham
You talk about the Apologies to the Divine Feminine. Tell me more about this idea of reverence for the divine feminine, about how men can go there in strength.

Jeff
The reference for the feminine piece for me, that grows through my individual experience, through my own heartbreak in a love experience I wrote about in Soulshaping, was a subsequent deepening connection with my grandmother, who began to look to me to be the most courageous member of the family. When it came to dealing with anything in the family, or anything heart-centered, or reality based, my grandfather preferred to just go to the racetrack. My grandmother sat there, holding the space for all of the real emotional lives of this family, sitting in her chair, waiting for the phone to ring, calling people on their birthdays, really understanding what mattered on a deeper level.

Women used to want to partner with me in my twenties. I used to think they were crazy, they just kept crying, and releasing, and it mattered so much to to them to connect. Then we would break up and they would be on to the next one and they would just keep opening and closing and opening. I thought they were just nuts. Now I have reached a stage where I think, “Oh my God, this is the courageous path, right? This is really the hard-core stuff.”

Graham
That is a great way of looking at it. I had not really seen it as you viewed it, the divine feminine, through the eyes of your family, through the eyes of the women in our own life, particularly starting with your mother and the other women. It helps me enormously to see it because, sometimes, it is difficult to see the concept of the divine feminine in many of the women we see around, but that is just being judgmental.

Jeff
But it is also not knowing that, it is also what you said earlier: we don’t know each other, so it is like they are occupying their fields and we are occupying ours. This is a polarised thing, and we are not understanding, they are not understanding, why our path is hard, and we are not understanding why their path is hard. We need to hear from each other—and understand and recognise—that there is courage in both directions.

Graham
But if we start with members of our own family we can understand a lot more, hopefully we can understand more deeply and allow them to own what they are and who they are in this life.

Jeff
Well, and be honoured for it, and we can be honoured for us too. I wrote a subsequent apology, Apologies To The Sacred Masculine. I wanted it happening in both directions, that is the healing. Instead of having to have a vision of this powerful woman with a sword, who is like a wonder woman figure, just look at the 98 pound grandmother, sitting in her chair with the little phone address book on her left knee, so she could look at it every day and make sure she didn’t miss the birthday call and go, “But here is the warrior, sitting there, the 98 pound warrior.”

Graham
I remember you saying that she actually called you to see her just before she died, because she wanted, perhaps, a sense of release from you.

Jeff
We had a lot of profound healing moments together.

Making A Difference

Graham
Can I ask you an important question? What is the one thing a man can do today that will make a big difference in his life, out of all the stuff we talked about?

Jeff
He can create space to get deeply acquainted with his emotional current, whether that requires therapeutic work, to help to clear the emotional debris that is blocking access to the moment, or just spending time having a little soulitude every week, where he just spends time listening to his inner life. Because my belief is that if the heart is not open, we are not actually here. So do any work that he can do just to get his heart open.

Graham
…and just doing it in the way that works for him.

Jeff
Absolutely, you do not have to go do hard-core therapy, you can just go walking in the woods, just to feel into the Self, below the adaptations and disguises and the roles that we play. Just to feel into the core self that lives below all of that.

You are not a wuss if you spend a little time with your heart.

Graham
It is important that men really get that strongly in them, that actually going into your heart can be very powerful, the complete opposite of being a wuss. It is creating that inner certainty and that inner power.