Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Art of Manliness - Being Fully Present as a Man

The Art of Manliness site has been named in several articles as one of the foremost retrosexual men's sites on the Web. I'm not sure I believe that to be true.

Sure, there are articles about manly pursuits such as old school weight training, how to dress for power, and lots of other possibly retro topics. But there are also articles such as this one, which is as Buddhist as it gets without being Buddhist.

Brett & Kate seem to be presenting a whole-person model that centers on being emotionally healthy and present, intellectually curious, physically fit and well-groomed, interpersonally connected, and connected in some way to a spiritual belief or practice.

This is certainly in-line with with the intent of this blog.

Being Fully Present As a Man

by Brett & Kate McKay on November 22, 2010

Awhile back, I was taking a tour of a cave in Missouri. As our trolley rolled through the cavern, I was surprised to see people taking pictures….of the walls of the cave. Not pictures of the cavern or some spectacular formation of stalagmites, just pictures of the wall. Rock. I found this rather bewildering and couldn’t imagine these folks looking back in a few years at these dimly lit pictures or sharing them with their unfortunate friends.

This is perhaps an extreme example, but it’s also something I see whenever I go on vacation. There are people who seemingly cannot walk a few feet without stopping to take a picture. You’re seeing this phenomenon at music concerts, too. Instead of holding up a lighter, people hold up their digital cameras to snap a photo.

I’ve never been much of a picture person myself. To me the payoff-the documentation of a moment in time-is not worth the interruption of the moment itself. I want to soak the whole experience into my brain as it happens, letting it flow and taking it in through both my eyes instead of through the lens of a camera.

Of course I understand the desire to capture memories and recognize that for a photography buff, taking the picture is the experience. And how many pictures you like to take isn’t a big deal or test of your manliness. Rather, I mention my feelings about picture taking simply because it relates to my philosophy toward life itself. My goal is to be as fully present in every moment of my life as possible. And I humbly submit that this goal is one that every man should strive for.

Being fully present in all aspects of our lives-emotional, physical, and mental-is a manful way to live. It involves the self-control necessary to focus and engage body and soul with the world, while avoiding being distracted from what really matters. And it requires the bravery to face the world head on-to open oneself up to both unmitigated pain and undiluted joy. The easier path is to pursue every shiny thing that crosses our way or to numb ourselves and sleepwalk through life. But the easy path is not the path of true manliness. Isn’t it about time you started showing up for your life?

Being Fully Present, Emotionally, Physically, and Mentally

Read the rest of the article.

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