• Mikaal Bates

WHERE ARE ALL THE (CONSCIOUS) MEN?

Updated: Aug 28


“Where are all the (conscious) Men?”


For years now, there is one question I repeatedly encounter, whether arising in response to a FB post, at the end of a workshop, during a panel discussion, or in a communal conversation.


It is a question that always comes from Women:


“Where are all the (conscious) Men?”


My answer to the question is generally a question in kind:


“You tell me.”


...


While the answers from Women vary slightly in the way all individual experiences do, there is a general unifying theme I have noticed, paraphrased below:


“Men of today are either some Open-hearted Hippie without a spine that I can easily bulldoze…


OR,


some Stone-age Relic, all biceps & bank accounts, oblivious to his impact on me, and the world”.


...


I have more questions than answers about this inquiry. The first one being, where are men supposed to go to learn consciousness? Yoga class? Burning Man? Somehow stumble upon a self-help book? Many men that show up to my workshops, even experienced practitioners, have a hard time offering a confident, operational definition for Conscious Masculinity.


I believe this topic to be of particular relevance to what we are about here in TRIBE. Rather than merely present my own answer as a man, I took this question to my partner for the female perspective.


After medicinally caffeinating to a mild degree, as we do, we riffed for awhile. The following transcription is a dramatic rendering of that exchange:


...


M: So Touch, as a Woman, how would you answer the question “Where are all the conscious men?”


T: Most of the conscious men are in or are actively seeking partnership, quietly working behind the scenes to unwind their patterning and find a harmonious balance between the two extreme poles of the common American man, “Brick Wall” or “Puddle of Ice Cream.” Many Men are still climbing off the pendulum of expectations that has swung wildly over the last several generations. (One generation is expected to go to war, the next to be hippies.)


M: Nasty. How did Men end up this way?


T: Men used to be able to get away with doing whatever they wanted. They’ve been in relative control over women for all of time. As women (and men) have fought for Women’s Rights and we’ve started to achieve increasing degrees of equality, women have realized their power to say NO to sex.


M: “What do you mean I can’t just take what I want?” “What do you mean you have to be in the mood?” “What do you mean the way I stand, and breathe, and speak and act in the world affects your desire for me?”??!!?


T: Ha! Exactly. Men are suddenly being called out for their unconsciousness. Today, being overly aggressive, dominating, or controlling, is a huge turn-off for women. Do those behaviors and you might not get sex. "NO SEX! WHAT???" Voila- birth of the “Puddle of Ice Cream” man.


M: So, how can a man find his way to the middle? Not a Brick Wall or a Puddle of Ice Cream? How would you define a conscious man?


T: A conscious man is a man of balance- one who can be impacted by the stimulus of life without immediately energetically collapsing OR fighting. A conscious man observes and integrates how his actions impact those around him, and himself. A conscious man penetrates life on purpose.


M: How can a man become “Conscious”?


T: He has to be willing to spend time every day sitting at the shore of the ocean of unconsciousness. He has to hold both “I know everything” and “I don’t know sh*t” at the same time. He has to realize which of those lenses he gravitates toward and consciously practice leaning the other way. For a beginner, that can look like meditating for 5 minutes every day. For the advanced practitioner, this practice exists in every breath.


M: …


T: Women want to be penetrated - but penetrated CONSCIOUSLY. On the surface level, this can feel like the desire to be fucked, but in essence, it goes much deeper. A woman wants to be hunted. A woman wants a man that can hold clear boundaries for her to rage, break, and heal within. A woman wants a man unable to be distracted from what matters most.


M: And men want to penetrate - but ultimately they want to penetrate Consciously. On the surface level, this can feel like the desire to FUCK, but in essence, it goes much deeper. A man wants to hunt. A man wants to hold boundaries. A man wants to embody laser focus and the ability to concentrate on what matters most.


T: All of the conscious men are trailblazing-- doing the work to find the balanced masculinity that has never existed before. Women don’t “find” a conscious partner, they “create” one. Just like men create conscious Women. This goes both ways.


M: If only men really knew that were they to commit themselves deeply to this Work, they could transform themselves into perhaps the rarest and most sought after commodity on the planet….


...


MEN OF TRIBE:


What are YOU practicing to become more present, more aware, more conscious?


What are YOU doing to BE the answer to the question women are asking?


(Your answers are welcome in the comments below.)