First and foremost, you need to learn a lesson. And that lesson is that you always need to look out for yourself. Even people that you think will always have your back could stray. That’s a tough lesson, but it’s been true for many for too long. Whatever you need in life, you are the person who needs to go about getting it. You are your own protector, guider, enlightener, guru, etc. If you have questions about your life that need answering, then look within.
Now that my quick lesson is out of the way, I want to share with you the most important lessons that I’ve uncovered on this recent road trip of mine. I should say that these are lessons that I’ve been holding on to for a long time. But if you’re looking for some guidance, then trust that these lessons will only add quality to the experience of your life.
Are you here to live this life, or to get lived? Are you here to make an impact, leave a mark, and contribute to others’ lives? Or do you just want mediocrity. The most successful people in life are intense. Think about athletes, CEOs, heads of non-profits, and the military.
How about in your relationships? Are you bringing your all to your intimacy, to your love, to your sex? Or are you half-assing it with your vulnerability and with your thrusting.
If you want to be the man you’re meant to be, or be the woman you’re capable of being, than up your intensity.
Respect others. Honor and respect those who are in positions of control, even if you seek to change things. Remember that there are 7 billion people on the planet, 310 million people in your country, and 150 people in your social circle. Live respecting others rights, including their right to exist and be who they are.
Love people around you. When you could contract and go within to old patterns of pain and fear, expand. Be vulnerable. Allow yourself the space to grow. Be receptive to other people and their ideas. Love first, fast, and hard. When you see a person in need, help them. If there are people that you see suffering, help them. If there is an old lady trying to cross the street, help her! Every time that you turn towards love you become more whole.
So much of life is bullshit these days. Pay less attention to the petty gossip and celebratory selfies. Pay more attention to truth. Pay attention to what is actually going on on the world. Are people seeking power over you? To control you? This could be corporations or the media. What about eternal truths? What is the point of life? Why are you here? The important questions are answered when you seek truth. Enlightenment is for everyone, not just for the Buddha. Seek truth and pay attention to what isn’t true. Ask yourself – is this true?
People can revert to lesser emotions, but when true joy is in life, everything is awesome. How can you add more joy to your life? To your relationships? To your work, to your vocation? When you are doing things that bring you joy, you know you’re on the right track. Bring more joy into your life.
Some people take powerful sacred medicine like 5-MeO-DMT or psylocibin mushrooms in order to experience and perceive the oneness that permeates us all. If you’re seeking to find the oneness, you can certainly take those sacred medicines to achieve those experiences. You can also find them through meditation. The truth is that you have access to this oneness, because it is your birth right.
When you put these lessons into practice in your life, it will improve in quality far beyond your imagination.
Ah, the selfie. Everyone’s taken them. I was taking selfies before there was a term for it… back in my day, we called it “taking a photo of myself.” How our lexicon has changed.
But that’s not the point of this article. The point is that you and me live in an era that is at once completely averse to masculinity, and in other areas completely wide open for true, masculine expression.
In no other era besides this can a man go to a city where he knows no one, and find a mate for the night or more in just hours…
Yet due to increased anonymity created through Facebook posts and increasingly digital lives, more men are feeling more alone than ever before.
In no other era besides this can a man cry in public, or hug his friends or father, and his community openly supports it…
Yet if he fails to drink enough beer, or talk to enough women, he’ll still be called a p*ssy (let’s not denigrate such a sacred word, men).
In short, men all over the civilized world are experiencing something akin to an identity crisis.
Men want to be able to feel, but they also want to be able to fuck the sh*t out of their woman.
We want to explore our vulnerability and then toss a football with our beer in the grass.
In countless tribes of humans come and gone, men went through rituals to become men.
The Jewish people had and continue to have the Bar Mitzvah, though this ritual is mostly symbolic and has become about the gifts at the end of the ceremony more than the manhood itself.
The Spartans would send their 8 year old boys into the tundra to fend for themselves and kill as many slaves as possible undetected for ten years… Only if they came years months later would they be considered a man.
Unfortunately, the only ritualistic paths of manhood available to most men today is through college fraternities (who advocate for a childish, bro-centric masculinity rather than evolving to become a mature adult man in our modern world), and the military.
What of boys who wish to become men without succumbing to beer bongs and bullet-machines?
What of them?
The thousands of men searching for these answers have turned to drinking, and drugs, and fucking and fighting, in search of a masculinity that they can look up to.
They’ve rejected father figures and embraced them.
Interestingly, something has happened recently. Some men, who have walked the gauntlets of life and survived on the other end, have returned from their hero’s journey in order to give something back. I can count friends on more than one hand who dedicate their lives to improving the quality of life for men in this country. Some are dating coaches, and some focus on helping men give their gifts to the world through their work.
Just one of them does both, so far as I know, does both.
I met this man, Mike Hrostoski, when he crashed my couch for a couple nights last year. He was crashing because he was joining my crew of Burners – people who were headed to the glorious bacchanalia that is Burning Man.
I got to know him on the drive over, and we talked about how to be a modern man in this world of digitization and screens and media-fueled faux-manhood. We talked about how important it is to embrace non-judgment around a woman’s fantasy life, and how both a man and a woman’s sex life can be deeply enriched by tuning in to where women are fantasy-wise, and embracing it rather than rejecting it (men, if you want to learn more about this world, and I can’t see why you wouldn’t, then please read My Secret Garden by Nancy Friday).
Over the course of the week, Mike and my crew did what we could to express ourselves as modern men. We led our tribe on glow-in-the-dark bicycles to dance raves and workshops on Sexual Power. We passed around flavored-tobacco-filled hookahs, and we danced naked with nothing more than zebra scarves around our waists.
We felt like true integrated men – fucking the world fearlessly, embracing women and art and expression and opening our hearts in moments of tension (and yes, there was even tension between Mike and me when we both expressed our affection for the same woman).
But then again, we were at Burning Man. It’s easy to do whatever the hell you want at a 7 day festival where anything goes, everyone wants to be there, and the only thing you can count on is that you’ll be accepted for completely following the whims of your honest desires.
What about when you return to the “real world”?
That’s a question that people like Mike, and my dating coach friends at The Tao of Badass, aim to address every single day.
These are men that lead with their experience. They teach not from a place of ego but rather from knowledge, capability, and action – in other words, they walk their talk.
And now, Mike has organized a conference dedicated to bringing men together who can finally embrace all sides of their masculine essence in a safe space where both men and women will coach them on opening up their hearts, wisening their minds, strengthening their bodies, and enriching their spirit as a man capable of integrating his raw desires and his higher-minded ideals.
The aptly named Conference For Men is going to be held in San Diego between April 25 and April 27. Speakers include not only Mike Hrostoski but Michaela Boehm of David Deida’s tutelage, entrepreneurs Dave Booda and Phil Drolet, fierce women who focus on opening men’s hearts including Lauren Sheehan, Kat Bird, Charmaine Lamb, and many more. If you’re a man who wants to love more, f*ck more, and earn more, all while becoming the truest and boldest version of himself – or if you love a man who you’d like to see embrace these qualities (send him this article) – then register for The Conference For Men. And welcome to the tribe, brother. You’re in good hands.
by Gil Gold
Sitting in a restaurant in Big Sur, I see people trickling in to enjoy the good vibes and tasty treats. I see a couple people on their cell phones, but to be honest, most of the folks here seem pretty present.
Aware of their surroundings.
There is a great multi-ethnic mix here… white folks, Latinos, Asians, and one half-Israeli tucked away in the back corner (that would be me).
I arrived to Big Sur with no expectations, and it’s a good thing, because that’s allowed me to have a great time.
Last night, I went to one of the local bars in the town (there are two, by my count).
It was around 11:30, and there were perhaps ten people sitting outside.
What are the first words I hear?
“Rochester Hills, Michigan”.
I had been planning on having a quiet beer, but instead my social curiosity got the best of me…
“Did you just say Rochester Hills?”
Me: “Awesome, I live in Royal Oak, about twenty minutes from there.”
Next thing I know I’m being introduced to every person at the bar. At least four of them were from Michigan.
And the night turned a shade of golden.
I sipped my beer and chatted with people who have been in Big Sur their entire lives.
One woman named Rose, who just turned twenty one, was cute as a button, and had a firecracker personality. She works in a surf shop.
One man named Lyle, who hates waiting tables but loves working on the Earth. He’s retro-fitting a barn on his family’s property because he loves to build things.
Then there was the hippie dude with dreadlocks, who was all about getting “what’s in here” sorted out (he pointed to his brain). He guzzled a beer in a drinking contest faster than any drinking I’ve ever seen… and I’ve seen plenty of drinking in my day.
We all chatted about all sorts of interesting things, and then parted ways when the bar closed around 1.
Now, I’ve been sitting in a restaurant called the “Big Sur River Inn”, and doing some writing and Facebooking. Looks like I have a couch to crash on in San Diego with my friend Destiny. I’ll be heading there tomorrow.
When I got here, the place was relatively empty, but now it’s packed. I can hear the energy of the place increasing as people get more lively in their conversations.
For some reason, it feels like the conversation is getting more energized. People are just feeling the golden vibe. Lahiri’s presence is very strong here. It’s very safe here. Eternally safe, as a result of Lahiri.
How wonderful is this, right now? Everyone around me is happy.
Big Sur is a place where whatever you want instantly comes true.
Actually, I think I may have just described California.
I am so excited to work as an executive coach with Josh Pellicer and the Tao of Badass.
I can’t wait for them to promote my e-book to their list. Josh has personally told me that he’s going to do a number of email blasts of my book, because he believes in my capabilities and wants to help me get my career to the next level.
By the way, this food is delicious! Those were probably the best chicken wings I’ve ever eaten.
And the lemonade… it tastes like it was fresh squeezed.
Big Sur has been a big surprise, and a good one at that. I had no expectations, and now I see that the pace of life, indeed life in general here, is extremely attractive. Just as I am extremely attractive.
I can’t wait to marry my soul mate.
In fact, I am excited that I did marry my soul mate, and we had a boy and a girl. They are precious children that I love more than life itself.
My relationship with my wife is incredible, we have mind-altering sex every day, and our love for each other grows and matures with every second.
She is undoubtedly the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Along with my kids.
I have a few million dollars in the bank, and it is wonderful to have the financial support to be able to take my family on vacations and go on trips at will.
I don’t work more than ten to twenty hours a month, and as a result, I spend the majority of my time doing things I really love doing.
With all this free time, I have the ability to do anything I desire.
Life is perfect. For me, and for everybody else in this restaurant, and in Big Sur, and in California.