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Posted on: August 17, 2018 at 9:12 pm
Last updated: September 17, 2018 at 9:12 pm

What does it mean to each of us to be called a man? If you ask that question to men from different cultures, we get many different answers. One man will tell you that being a man means being a provider; another will tell you that being a man means being a good athlete while another will measure his manhood by the number of women he’s slept with. Is that really what being a man has come to? – Base animalistic behaviours?

Men have always looked up to their fathers as mentors to define how they should show up in life. Our culture has always expected men to be the stronger gender. It’s made it wrong for men to cry. It’s made it wrong for men to be vulnerable. It’s made it wrong for men to be human!

In the beginning…

In my early 20s and 30s, I too behaved based on what my friends and elders thought men should behave like. I went to university and studied a program that I had no passion for, just because I could get a steady job. I partied and spent money I didn’t have. I chased women then felt insecure about myself when I was rejected so I chased more women. I went out and bought clothes, cars and stuff I couldn’t afford. I went through a marriage just because that was what was expected of me without really asking why I needed to get married. I went up the corporate ladder one company at a time until I reached a six figure salary with benefits. I was living the American dream! I never stopped to really take a look at myself and how my behaviour and thoughts were impacting my life experience.

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Eventually, I cheated on my wife because I thought there was something wrong with her and then got caught. Instead of owning up to my mistake, I decided to get a divorce by blaming her for our marriage falling apart. I went on to move to a new city to be with a new girlfriend and kept behaving the way I had been in the past. BUT, life has a way of making us stop and take stock…And Karma will eventually catch up with us.. My girlfriend broke up with me, I lost my job and I hit rock bottom. With $500 in my bank account, I had run out of people to blame for all the problems in my life.

What now????

That’s when I stopped to take a look at my life. I was blessed enough to have a few friends who recommended I attend a self-help course. This course started the shift I needed in perspective to start looking at life differently. I stopped blaming others for the situations I was in. I stopped claiming situations were out of my control. I actively started taking responsibility for my role in my life.

This course taught me many lessons. It made me aware of the self-sabotaging language I carried in my mind. It taught me to really see each situation in my past as a standalone situation that didn’t define who I was. It taught me to take control of my future without allowing my past to dictate it. It taught me to look at every area of my life that wasn’t working and explore how I was the source of the break down and what I could do to change it.

It’s now over 8 years since I first started the journey into self-awareness and conscious living. I went back and made amends with my ex-wife. I took responsibility for my role in the divorce. I worked 3 jobs to get out of debt and build savings. I built a business that allows me to follow my passion and live the life that I want for myself. I am now happily married to an amazing woman with a son on the way. I live consciously every day.

The journey to here hasn’t been an easy ride but it has been extremely fulfilling. I am now ready to share my experiences and the “hows” of my life journey. It is a journey I would like to invite every man to take.

We can shed our egos, and truly just be men without have to be defined by our material possessions or societal expectations. We have an opportunity to become emotionally intelligent and spiritually grounded. So let’s get started!

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I invite every man to stop and take stock of their lives. The journey to evolution starts by taking a look at our past, present & future.

A solution for everyone

Let’s start with our past. Consider every experience in the past as a pair of lenses we put on to see our present and future. Are we able to define what experiences in our past we use as lenses today? Let’s start writing them down in a notebook.

An example, as a child on the playground, I got bullied. At that point in time, I put on the lens that people can’t be trusted. Then at age 13, I asked a girl out on a date but she laughed and walked away; another lens came on: I’m not good enough and women will always hurt me. At age 19, I joined a fraternity and went through hazing as a pledge; the lens: I have to act and behave a certain way to fit in…..and so on.

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These lenses have created us as the men we are today and how we show up in our daily lives. These lenses define who we choose as friends and life partners. They define what career path we follow. These lenses even define what kind of car we drive and what clothes we wear! And in some extreme cases, they define what crimes we commit.

The first step to releasing ourselves of these lenses is to accept that those incidents happened in the past. Then, let’s acknowledge that those incidents don’t exist at this point in time – our present. Finally, let’s acknowledge that those incidents had no meaning attached to them; rather, we attached meaning to them.

This step is crucial and needs to be worked on for as long as it takes until meaning is dissociated from the incident. So then the experience of getting bullied was just that – I got bullied. That doesn’t mean all people are bullies and cannot be trusted. It’s ok for us to trust other people without allowing the experience of getting bullied to define our reaction. It’s ok for us to move past the experience of being a victim. Now comes the most important part. Take a moment to allow yourself to forgive the bully for bullying you and forgive the child in you for not being able to stick up to the bully. This forgiveness is our salvation. The art of forgiving will help release us from the prison this incident has created for us in our heads.

In my next article, I will talk about things we can do in our present that will help us consciously build our future. I will share more tools that we can have in our proverbial tool belt. I will also share some great books and authors that have been instrumental through my life journey.

I thank you sincerely for taking time to read this article and I want to celebrate the first step you’ve chosen to take to create a conscious life for yourself. The light in me sees the light in you…..

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Mo Hasan
Enterpreneur
Mohammed is a seeker who is on a journey of self awareness and self actualization. A successful entrepreneur and family man with a deep desire to share his learnings. He has a deep desire to impact as many lives as he can by sharing his own life experiences and journey.

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