Many men, if not most men, have been trained to follow a definite stereotypical archetype as we progress through childhood into young adulthood. We are taught to embrace a 'hero/warrior' style of life. "Chest out, stomach in, shoulders back" way of moving through our world. It's an unnatural way for men despite the recent imposition of it upon us. By embracing it we lose contact with our natural way of breathing, our natural instincts of compassion and service and intimacy, and become the 'heros/warriors' that we think is the natural way for us. As a consequence we bring this same 'style' of life into adulthood and wonder mid-way why it just isn't working for us, not serving our best interests or that of others who are significant to us, and wonder why we feel so disoriented and confused and depressed.

We are entering into mid-life, a time of 'limbo', a time of transition. We are meant to wander for a while and learn to become aware once again of what lies within us through our bodily senses and not just our intellects. Our ego has been formed and we have mastered as well as we can that stage of armoring ourselves like heros and warriors. Now it's time to let go of that armor and dismantle it. It's mid-life now and we need to shift perspectives.

Not only is this the case in our chosen career fields and our relationships, but it is also the case in how we are living out our sexuality. The 'macho' life style isn't getting us further, but has become a hindrance. Our need to bond with other men beyond the sporty slap on the butt isn't helping us to form intimate, satisfying relationships with other men. No matter what our sexual orientation, we are now recognizing that our sexuality is so far more fluid than we were taught. Our attractions to other men, our need to bond, doesn't indict us as "queer" or "gay", but rather highlights a natural need among men to relate at a level of depth, a level of deep masculine camaraderie. Adn, even how we have used our sexuality has been perhaps shallow and on the surface, hiding real needs to communicate with others rather than posture toward others.

Mid-life is an opportunity to embrace wholeness, to ground ourselves in a 'deep masculinity' that goes beyond the hero or warrior forms. It's time to explore, be adventurous, and tap into the wisdom that our former years has to offer, but also a time to embody it anew using a different paradigm..."Trickster/Shaman".

Ken Stofft, MA, CSB

Author's Bio: 

Ken is a Somatic Coach for Men. He works with men who want to change, living their sexuality mindfully and passionately, embodying their sacred energy.