Men want to see where we are going, the terrain we will travel and the markers we can expect. A map shows you where you are going, gives you direction and orients you to the main points on your journey.
This post outlines a simple map of major benchmarks and concepts on the journey to become a Solid man. As the journey unfolds for you, discovery of deeper concepts and practices will continue to expand in your life. For now, here is the 35,000 foot view. More on each factor later.
The Context; Culture and Relationship
We cannot escape the fact that we live in culture. Culture informs us and gives us the lens in which we interpret life. Here in the U.S. we live in a western, post-modern, post-feminism, post-Christian, hi-tech and informationally driven world. The way we think, believe, see things and communicate is influenced by our culture.
The second major contextual factor is that we live in a world of relationships. Similar to culture, we are immersed in relationships in such a way we usually cannot recognize the water we are swimming in. The interaction between individuals and community is a defining factor of our humanity. We have internal drives for connection and belonging; relationship is in our DNA.
The Road; XVI
The road we will be traveling through our major stops is simple; it is a path toward becoming increasingly internally defined and driven. For most of us, we are too defined and driven by external factors; expectations, others opinions, pressure, shame, etc… XVI is the Roman numeral 16 and represents externals versus internals. Internal is our word here. Self-care/Self-awareness/Self-control are the practices.
First Benchmark; The Mountain
The Mountain represents our connection to the true Source of Life. Here we answer the question, “Where does life come from?” We will discover our counterfeits and how we get diverted by these ‘shiny’ objects that get our attention. Anchoring is our primary practice at this benchmark; it may sound simple, but actually will take more effort than you may realize. Anchoring requires building a daily practice where you intentionally connect to your true Source of Life. Integrity is our word here.
Second Benchmark; The Quagmire
For most men the Quagmire is the most difficult part of the journey. Here we answer the question, “Who am I?” At this benchmark, we will discover the definition of what it means to be a man, who we really are, how shame has tried to destroy us, discover our true narrative and how to build our true identity from internal realities. Remembering is our primary practice, because daily we will need to remember who we really are and move from there. We will learn to live with confidence. Identity is our word here as we seek to build a solid sense of self.
Third Benchmark; The Gold Mine
Here we answer the question;”What do I want?” Your wants and desires are at the forefront of this benchmark. We will discover and get your heart back into the game. Living From Your Heart is the core practice. Intuition is the word as you discover what you want and desire in real time as you move through your life.
Fourth Benchmark; The Horizon
Here we answer the question;”Where am I going?” This space is about finding purpose, meaning and calling in your life. We will take all the other categories and bring them together with a deep and meaningful picture of your life and your purpose, why you are here. Creatingis our primary practice at this stage. Intention is the word which describes a solid life of purpose.
To become a Solid Man you will need to become oriented and know the stops on the journey. This map shows the way.