Toxic Masculinity

Toxic Masculinity

My darling boys,

The world wants to tell you that there is something wrong with you. You are being taught that you have to fit into a box. To conform to their dreams for you.

You are hearing how men are the problem. We are facing an influx of toxic masculinity and have created all of the evil in the world. Men have ruined our planet and created this evil society and now it is time for women to take over. Better step aside and let us handle this. But oh, while we’re doing that, don’t you dare show any sensitivity or break outside of the mould that we expect you to grow in. Boys must man up and men must step down.

I want you to know that this is simply NOT TRUE and this rhetoric is damaging. The world is filled with incredible men that are making it a better place and are doing so in a unique, authentic, loving way.

Many of the problems that we are facing today come from an imbalance in the energies that we hold within all of us and the cultural paradigm that we have operated from for so many years called “the patriarchy”. Now “paradigm” is just a fancy word for a model of beliefs that we have held as a society. 

There are four types of energy that we can hold within us – the wounded or toxic masculine, the wounded or toxic feminine, the divine masculine and divine feminine. I have to be really clear here. When I say masculine, I do not mean only men. All of us, men and women, boys and girls, have access to both the wounded and divine masculine and feminine energy. 

The wounded masculine may be forceful, dominating, overthinking, over-doing, controlling and demanding, whereas the wounded, or toxic feminine, will repress the truth, feel unworthy, live from shame and guilt, have weak boundaries, be co-dependent and sometimes manipulative, frequently apologise and over explain a lot. 

The divine, or sacred, masculine is present, aware and structured. He will hold space and be very discerning and decisive with a clear purpose in life. The divine or sacred feminine is expressive and creative and relies a lot on intuition. She is connected with love and compassion and is free-flowing and radiant. 

For too long we have let wounded or toxic masculinity and feminine control our world. By doing this, we have been forced to push forward at all times, suppress emotions and compete/dominate at all costs. We have been taught to pursue growth and money without thought to the consequences and then feel guilt and shame about our behaviours.

Because we have only operated from that energy, our bodies can’t keep up any more. We see this coming out in stress, burnout, depression, anxiety, martyrdom and addictions. 

What we need right now is a rise in the divine energy in BOTH genders so that the sacred masculine and feminine energies can work in unison. 

This does not mean “turning boys into girls”, but we do need to accept that one reason that the suicide rates are so high for teenage boys is that we have taught them to “man up” and suppress their emotions from such a young age. Boys can be tough, and play rough & tumble, enjoy sports. They can also cry, and be great artists or dancers, and embrace their creative side. We need to stop holding them back from the greatness that they can achieve and allow them to access the beauty of the polarised divine energies inside.

Look, your mother is a feminist, that much is true. I am also a masculinist (I might have just made that up!). I believe in equality for all and that starts by lifting our boys in the same way that we do for our girls. 

Yes, women have been suppressed for centuries by the patriarchy and are starting to reclaim some of the power and equality that they deserve, but I am afraid that the pendulum is swaying too far in the other direction. I am speaking to you today my darlings to say that I don’t want to see this happen. 

I believe that lifting one gender while demonising another is dangerous. We will only reach the bright world that I see for your future if both the divine masculine and divine feminine rise in all of us and are given an equal chance at the table. If we stand together, balanced with our own ying/yang energies, we can forge a world rebuilt on collaboration, love and truth. Where respect for all humans, creatures and the planet is central to all decisions made and where we give and take resources in a sustainable, enriching way. 

Less hate, more love. 

Less toxicity, more acceptance.

Less ‘man up’, and more leaning in to the truth of our souls.

That is the world that I am building for you. And I know that there will be no stopping us once we allow ourselves to get there

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Snowflake Syndrome

Boys & Emotions

snowflake syndrome

Snowflake Syndrome: To My Boys

I have heard the phrase “Snowflake Syndrome” a number of times recently and it makes me feel very sad. Men and women who are connected to their emotions are being described as being snowflakes. This is particularly used to insult men who are open with their emotions or defend the rights of those who don’t have a voice. 

To me, being called a snowflake is not an insult. How could it be?

Snowflakes are incredibly beautiful. A spider’s web of ice and snow, weaved into a tapestry. A feat of engineering. Each line, angle and pattern is geometrically designed. Nature’s miracle. Who knows how they are made, but each one takes my breath away.

Snowflakes are unique. Each one is different, like a fingerprint, daring to show the world their faces.

Snowflakes are magical. Just watch a child’s face light up when one hits his nose.

Snowflakes are refreshing. Feeling the cooling burst of snow against your cheeks. Enough to wake you from the deepest of sleeps.

And snowflakes are fierce and strong. Together, united, they can halt entire cities and send them hiding with their force. 

Like the snowflake, a human being fully expressed, open and unrestrained is a wonder to behold. Full of joy and light to give to the world. 

They are magical – for in shaking off our limiting beliefs and unexpressed emotions, we can strengthen our ability to hear messages from source and manifest miracles in the world.

They are unique and refreshing. In a world of hatred and division, if you can express your heart’s true message without fear of judgement and shame you should be revered and supported. That is one reason why your mum is using her voice today to speak.

And they are fierce and strong. Bravery is not waving a sword or starting a fist fight. It is diving deep into ourselves to face the shadows that we are afraid to see. Those who can go there and return renewed are the bravest souls on Earth. And so strong. There is nothing stronger than someone who can stand in their truth without giving a damn what the world thinks.

As Aristotle once said: “to appreciate the beauty of snowflakes, you have to stand in the cold”. To those who would use “snowflake syndrome” to insult someone, I suggest that you take a long, hard look at your own shadows before you cast stones. What are you afraid to see in yourself? Where are you not being brave? For in the mirror of our own annoyances and frustrations, we see the parts of ourselves that we do not love. 

I would say that what the world needs right now is a snowstorm pounding down in a blanket of love, embracing our differences and standing strong together.

So yes, I do consider myself to be a snowflake. What a compliment. And best wrap up warm my darlings, because winter is coming. And I am ready to rain down. 

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To My Boys: Feelings

Tomorrow’s Men

Releasing Emotions

To My Boys: About Your Mother

To My Boys,

In this video I wanted to talk to you a bit about your mother and more specifically what I plan to do with my one wild and precious life.

It is my belief that I am here to spread my light and heal the world with love and play. I will empower boys and therefore tomorrow’s men to lead an unrestrained, unfettered life. My inner wisdom is strong, but I have been holding myself back. I promise you that I won’t do that anymore. 

It is time to let my song be heard by the world and I am being told that my writing and my voice is key. My pen is like a magic wand. With it, I will heal hearts, change minds and spread my light. 

There are three things that I think my soul is here to learn and teach on this planet. Fun, compassion and justice. This is what I want to say about them today.

Fun

Life is far too serious sometimes. We are forgetting how to play and connect to joy in our lives. Even our babies are being taught to sit quietly and learn like grown ups in the classroom. Play time is concertinaed, squeezed like a lemon into five minute slots here and there and is the first thing to be sacrificed when we are short on time. And we wonder why we have children growing up unable to imagine or be creative.

Fun is everything in life. Without fun, our lives are grey and monotone and we lose all motivation to give back. Fun is how we connect to others and ourselves. It is how we make room to hear messages from the universe and manifest miracles. Having fun and playing is where we tap into our creative genius and pave the way to a better world. None of us play nearly enough.

Compassion

Love and compassion is how we will heal our hurts and reconnect a divided world. In these polarised times, compassion is how we will thrive and learn to live in harmony. Masculine and feminine. Black and white. Rich and poor. Adult and child. Tories and Labour supporters. Compassion will help us to overcome all roadblocks.

It is not always easy to come from a place of compassion but it is so important that we all get there in order to be happy, and not just with others, but in ourselves. In a place free of judgment, free of walls and free of hatred. When we all start to accept each other as we are and see through our mirror’s eyes, then we will be able to achieve a happier world together.

Justice

When we have truly embraced and learnt the lessons of love, fun and compassion across the globe, there may be no need for justice, but until then we need to embrace our inner warrior when necessary to defend the world from hatred, bigotry and division. It is up to us – the voices of love – to defend the earth and those who cannot yet speak for themselves – against those who would do them harm. 

This is my path and this is why I am here. And remember, sometimes to bring a light into the darkness, you have to walk into the cave and stand with the monsters.

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Tomorrow’s Men

Boys Feelings

 

 

To My Boys: Feelings

I know that our world shuns boys expressing feelings and shedding tears. I know that you are afraid. Afraid of the shame and the name calling and the laughter. I know that you are afraid of being rejected and so you swallow those tears down. Lumps in your throat the size of a tennis ball, but still we push it down. 

I know that when you fall in the playground, you scramble to your feet hoping that no-one saw you. Your knees stinging, you blink back the tears. If anyone asks, you mumble that you are fine. “I took it like a man, miss”, boys are taught to reply.

I am here today to tell you why it is good to feel. This is LIFE. It is what we are here for. It is beautiful – all of it. The raw tears. The feet stamping anger and the uncontrollable joy. The full spectrum of light and rain/love and hate.

This is why I am teaching myself to feel it all. I have two beautiful boys and you need me to show you how to play on the full spectrum of emotions. You have a calling and a purpose in this world and unless you are able to listen in to your heart, you cannot embrace that. You also need to feel for yourself. To be truly happy. Because you really deserve every happiness in the world.

Learning to feel really will help to heal the world. It is so divided right now. Whilst everyone is arguing about surface level differences, no-one is looking underneath at the scared, sad children trapped and unheard inside. When we embrace and love that little boy or girl, we can learn to show empathy and love to our fellow humans and the planet and start to heal our differences. 

So use me, let me be your safe space to let your emotions out. Stamp your feet, scream and cry. I’m not going anywhere. Write down anything that you can’t voice in your journal – but GET IT OUT. Talk to your friends. Share your soul. 

Leave space for love and reflection in your life. Be bold. Be strong with your boundaries. Don’t let distractions or hurtful people get more of your energy than they deserve. Ask for help and accept it. Draw, paint, sing, play, and be happy. Embrace the scary silences, because it is in there that the magic happens.

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I see you

Tomorrow’s Men

 

 

I See You

You are torn between a life of daily errands and a life of purpose. Your time is taken up with bowls of half-finished rice krispies, rushing from school run to after-school clubs, desperately pleading with your kids to get into bed so that you can just have 5 minutes to yourself. And “oh crap” – did you hand in that form the PTA needed for yesterday?

You are terrified about what you see for the future of our planet. It wakes you in the night with a gut-wrenching pain in your stomach, and a heart racing so fast it feels like it may burst.

But what can you do? You are just one person and there is no time to do the stuff you already have on your plate…

I know you’re thinking that you can’t make a difference on your own. That you don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Your recycled milk bottles don’t stack up against the pollution caused by huge corporations.

I feel your fear. And the “I’m not enough” echo ringing out in your head.

I feel your shame when you leave your bag at home and have to take a plastic one from the cashier. When you are rushing about from meeting to meeting and have to grab a bottle of water. Or when you choose chicken over a sodding cauliflower-steak for dinner! I feel your huge emotions. Because they are mine too.

I want you to know that everything you are doing is enough. Your efforts are amazing and our planet thanks you. I want you to know that it is not your fault that we have been tricked i

nto trying to solve this crisis on our own when really our power is when we stand together.

I want you to know that I stand with you and I can feel into a future where the collective can heal our world. A future where life on Earth HAS a future. We can do this together.

Want to know how? Book a discovery call with me today: https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=16280382

Climate Change: Feel The Fear

As part of my seven “Share The Magic” articles that share my feelings around climate change, I have decided that I would start with the emotion of FEAR, which feels fitting because it was actually fear that almost stopped me from writing this week. Fear of judgement. Fear of rejection. Fear of people “unfriending me” for banging on about this climate stuff too much. Fear of facing the truth myself.

And even as I write this, I can feel it rising in my body. The heart-beat skipping when I think of pressing the “publish” button. That nervous few hours while you wait to see if anyone has read it. Liked it? Commented? What if there are trolls or haters? But I press on anyway. Because I must.

Climate change and global warming have always been on my radar, or at least since I was a teenager who learnt about it in science class at school. But it always felt like some far-off problem. Something that generations of humans waaaayyy off into the future would have to face. We had time to fix it…I thought. Yeah, it was happening – the science was clear – but it was centuries away from being a problem, wasn’t it?

Then one fateful night, about six months ago, I read THAT IPCC report. (Side note – for those of you who are about to shut off because I used an acronym or mentioned the word “report”, please don’t – it is so important that you hear this!) The IPCC is basically a fancy name for a group of scientists getting together to talk about climate change and how well we are handling things.

If you haven’t read the report yet, basically the answer is “we’re not”. We have less than 12 years, 11 now, to make radical changes to the way we live, or we simply cannot stop the freight train – the Earth will become more and more uninhabitable until all life is wiped out. And that could happen a LOT quicker than we expect. Our children could end up facing a lot of the consequences of a barren planet. Like this terror-inducing post by Marc Doll points out, it is actually much, much worse than the IPCC says it is. Honestly, once you go down the climate change rabbit-hole, it is utterly terrifying.

When I first read the report, it was like my whole world had already ended. I felt my stomach lurch and my heart start pounding out of my chest so fast that I thought it might explode. I felt sick to my stomach and lay there weeping at what humanity had done. It was what inspired me to write THIS poem: The Monster In My Room – which likens climate change to a monster that we are too afraid to look at in the night.

I fell into that rabbit-hole and wallowed in despair for several months. I found myself lying awake every night scrolling, endlessly wading through Facebook and Twitter, and reading article after article about climate change. Note to self – do not read the comments on environmental Facebook posts. There is some seriously dark content there. A lot of people have completely lost hope.

My whole night was spent searching, trying to find just one positive post in the sea of negativity, just so that I could relax enough to go to sleep. To take the edge off the terror.

I was afraid of our world getting hotter. Terrified about what horrors my children might face in the future: famine, sea levels rising, extreme heat/cold, climate wars as countries scramble to fight over territories, uncontrollable spread of diseases, water shortages…the list goes on and on.

I am still terrified for my children’s future now, and for my future, and for all life on our beautiful Mother Earth. It continues to keep me up some nights when another particularly scary article gets published.

As the UK seemed to rejoice at the summer weather last month, I was mortified – could I be the only person who thought that it wasn’t normal to have 20 degree heat and daffodils sprouting in early February?! Was this the beginning of the end? Every time I heard the phrase “lovely weather we’re having”, I felt like I had to clamp down on my tongue to stop myself from talking, or face becoming a bit of a social pariah. THAT person who bores everyone moaning about the environment.

But here’s the thing about fear. It can paralyse us into doing nothing if we let ourselves sit there for too long. It is much easier when faced with fear to just ignore it and do nothing. To block those friends who share articles about climate change, or un-follow those environmental Facebook pages. Or convince yourself that the one article that you read about “that climate change hoax” was actually the truth and 97% of climate scientists were wrong or liars.

Fear can turn us into ostriches, or, if we choose, it can be the spark that sets us into action to creating a new world. I don’t believe that we can reverse all of the effects of global warming now. We have done too much damage already, and I think we have some very difficult years ahead, but the sooner we feel the fear and DO SOMETHING ANYWAY, the more likely we are to create that green-filled, community-based utopia that I see in my dreams.

Because these days, my goal-setting is less personal than collective. I don’t really care how many zeros I earn in a year, or whether we can get a new car with fancy gadgets. I am like the Eagle – soaring above the world surveying the bigger picture, but simultaneously staying laser-focused on that vision. An Earth robed in green. Communities living off and with the land – cooking and thriving together. A life that is abundant AND sustainable, and where greed, corruption and toxic behaviour are a thing of the past. A future where life on Earth HAS a future. That is the only goal that I am interested in these days. That is my vision.

I know that you are afraid as you read this – if your fear has even let you read this far. I feel that fear too believe me. I am terrified. Part of me is to afraid to try, because what happens if we fail? What if we don’t change our ways in time? What does the future look like then? Some days, I am just so frightened that all I can do is weep.

And some days, when the fear gets too much to bear, I take myself off into nature on my own Climate Change Fearto be with the trees. Sitting at the roots, with my back pressed against a huge oak tree, feeling the support as it holds my weight and almost pushes back on me, telling me it feels my fear too. Feeling the wind in my hair and the soles of my feet rooted into the ground. Standing out there, open and receptive – I can feel our world trying to connect with me. Sometimes, if I listen really carefully, I can almost hear the whisper back from the trees, carried on the wind from their leaves – like a soft voice sliding into my ear. “You can do it. You do make a difference. Help me look after my babies and I will look after yours.”

So, dear reader, this is my invitation. Take my hand, and the hand of your brothers and sisters beside you, and let’s go face this fear head on and do something about this mess. Because fear can only control us if we let it. Instead, let’s start with looking fear straight in the eye and seeing it. Feeling it. Embracing it.

And then we can harness the collective power and let fear motivate us into crafting our own vision of a new world.

Who’s with me?

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The Monster In My Room

There’s a monster lurking in my room.
I can’t bear to turn around.
Just there…in the corner of my eye. 
I mustn’t make a sound.

There’s a monster prowling in my room,
That I’m trying to ignore.
But it takes up so much space.
Creeping up to roof from floor.

There’s a monster biting in my room.
I wish someone could save me.
But it also lurks inside their house,
If only they could see.

Maybe if I just don’t look,
The monster will leave me.
Someone else can deal with him,
And I can run and flee.

I feel the monster moving now,
Heading for my babies’ rooms.
I promised them I’d keep them safe –
Yet here the danger looms.

And whilst our generation may escape
The monster’s full attack.
Our children will most certainly
End up taking all the flak.

There is only one way to defeat
The monster that waits there.
We have to look it in the eye
And show how much we care.

Accept that we have put him there
And through our actions made him grow.
We have to grieve and shed the tears –
Let those healing waters flow.

Then when all the tears are done –
And there will be a few –
We’ll roll up our sleeves and face this mess
The way that humans do.

Together arm-in-arm we stand
Against that monster grim.
With kindness, love and empathy
We can challenge him.

And when we stop to really look
At the darkness up above,
We’ll see there’s no monster after all.
Just a world in desperate need of love.

By Sarah Claire Ryan

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Tomorrow’s Men

Changing A Will After Death

When someone dies, theprobate solicitor hertfordshire bedfordshire buckinghamshire executors who are appointed will look to their Will to find out their wishes and see who is to benefit from the estate. However, sometimes the beneficiaries who are due to inherit from the estate may not want to. This could be for many reasons, e.g. because the inheritance will push their own estate over the inheritance tax threshold, or they simply feel comfortable with what they have. In those circumstances, the beneficiaries may wish for someone else to benefit in their place, such as grandchildren or their siblings.

Other reasons for changing a Will may be to equalise the gifts. So, for example, if one child was left a smaller percentage than another, it can be agreed that the percentages are evened out using a Deed of Variation. It can also be used if one child is not as wealthy as the other and would benefit more from having a larger share.

Deed of Variation

If all of the executors and the beneficiaries who are affected agree to the changes, the terms of the Will can be changed after death using something called a Deed of Variation. This must be signed by the executors and affected beneficiaries within two years of the death to be valid. If the agreement of all parties can’t be obtained, the Deed cannot be signed and the terms of the original Will stands.

If any of the beneficiaries are under 18, then this would need to be approved by the Court.

Do I Need to Register The Deed of Variation?

There is no need to register the Deed of Variation. It is simply a contract outlining the agreement between the executors and beneficiaries, so it only needs to be signed to ensure that it is legally binding. It is important that none of the parties are compensated for what they have given up and that none of the original assets were affected by a Gift with Reservation (where the asset was given away during the deceased’s lifetime, but they continued to benefit from it). However, the parties must keep a copy of the signed Deed in case the Revenue has questions regarding it in the future.

If you are considering a Deed of Variation for an estate you are involved in, I would strongly suggest that you seek independent legal advice, as the effects can be wide-ranging. A simple Deed of Variation starts from £400 plus VAT and can be drawn up within a couple of weeks. If you want more information on this topic, contact me today.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.