Saturday, June 19, 2010

In the Beginning: A Retrospective on My Spiritual Awakening

Most people who come into my life are picking up the story of my awakening after a lot of big shifts. But this is hardly my starting point, which happened in 2006 (This was the start--not the awakening). I know a lot of people are curious about my story, but for the most part, I like to keep a lot of that sacred to me and apart from the many stories I've already shared on this blog.

Tipping Point
Lots of stuff happens to lots of people, and it doesn't change the course of their lives. Plenty of people meditate for years or read tons of spiritual books, and still their lives and their internal set-up remains unaffected. I've run across a lot of really frustrated spiritual type people who can't figure out why something hasn't happened. I can't say why or why not a lot of people don't move into awakening. It's the divine mystery at work.

Shouldn't an awakening just happen? Yes, absolutely. There is a flow that you have to surrender to in this process, but most of us have sixteen types of barriers to the flow. And if you're a go-with-the-flow type person, your barrier may be an aversion to hard work and discipline. We all have something (at least at this point in the human evolution; maybe some people don't). Most people need the spiritual discipline to get energy moving to overcome whatever internal blocks they have. Then we need to have the faith that the awakening will do what it needs to do and that we'll be all right.

My Spiritual Tipping Point
People have heard me tell this story a number of times and in a number of ways. It morphs as I re-tell it partially because of the perspective I'm gaining as I get further away and have more awareness around what was happening. After I broke open in August of 2007, I'd already gotten into a deeper flow, and then things started to unravel everywhere as I became more and more aware of the truth about me and the idea of me that I'd created.

Realization Strikes for the First, but Hardly the Last Time
The big realization that started me on the path to spiritual work came when I was sitting in my office cubicle. One day I was pissed about something, and I realized that "I" was making myself miserable. I realized this as I'd had no actual situations to warrant this anger. I realized just how good my job was and that I was making it a bad situation. That was the start of me trying to make amends for how I was being with people at work.

I honestly can barely remember exactly what I did. I think it started with listening and being more present with people, especially the people who were the most difficult for me to work with. This went on for about three and a half months, and then the next challenge came, which was the universe's way of asking if I was really ready to go on to the next thing. I said "yes," not really knowing what I was doing, but that is how it ofen is. As I already mentioned, faith is central to all this.

If you're looking for the spiritual path, just start at work. There's always plenty of ego and attachment for all of us to work on in that space, and there's usually someone there lighting us up. I remember taking a walk into a park, absolutely fuming about something. At some point sitting on a picnic table staring across the field and at Mount Rose, I let go. At the time, it was probably more like, "Fuck it." But sometimes close is good enough for spirit.

The Power of Letting Go
This was probably my first real experience with letting go and a first experience with a deep sense of completion. In college and high school, we're told we're done after a set criteria is met. That's powerful, but the completions in our lives that are most meaningful just happen. We can't control them and can predict them only rarely. When I let go of the issue, I felt in my body and soul that I was done with that job. I had nothing left to prove.

Shortly thereafter, a friend invited me to her dad's meditation group. That group became my next set of spiritual connections and my next sangha. Her dad would eventually become my teacher when my heart opened to him a year and a half later, and then that too would come to completion.

And so much more would happen and move and shape me leading up to August 2007, which would be a major turning point (a turning point is something that you can't go back from; a tipping point is just the start, the opening). After the turning point, I would learn many, many lessons as I walked the humble path of the spiritual journey. It is always a humble path too. There is no room for self-aggrandizement, and even as we grow into our true greatness, our humility grows right along with it because humility is a central aspect of true greatness.

Next blog: Defining Spirituality and Religion

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Fire: Entering the Crucible of Awakening

In a recent discussion, the term of "the fire" came up in reference to the spiritual awakening process. It seems to be an unavoidable part of the process. Maybe it has to do with all the false stuff we've built up around ourselves in this culture. There are so many things we don't need to be happy, to be. So perhaps that's why when the awakening process starts for many of us, while we get some amazing moments of connection and awareness, we're also having our lives and our thought patterns thoroughly incinerated. It feels like we won't survive.

The Overgrown Wilderness
In the wild when an environment becomes too overgrown, eventually a fire sweeps through. It's searing flames can destroy huge amounts of plantlife. In the instance of areas with conifers, those fires often allow certain types of pine trees to release their seeds for germination. It's an apt metaphor for our lives. Think about all the excess stuff we carry. Ideas, old emotions, toxic relationships with our bodies and with others, and so much other stuff that we hold onto. All that stuff is in the way of true being and being in alignment with the universe. Until we burn it off, we can never reach into the kernel of being and allow it to grow.

At some point, a spark ignites. It's different for everyone, but there has to be some amount of spiritual awareness, aspiration, and knowledge. Otherwise, it's just a shitty series of events in someone's life. They won't learn and grow from it. The person will just hold on harder to old patterns, and eventually, the firestorm will subside, but nothing or very little will be gained. Really, there are a lot of points where things go south in our lives, and they are always opportunities to learn and to grow spiritually. However, that deeper awakening that hits and changes everything permanently is a whole other beast. That's the one I'm talking about. That's the one where everything burns to the ground, and you finally get a clear view of what is truly important.

Putting on the Asbestos Suit
Yeah, it's going to get hot in here, although my header suggests there's a way to protect yourself from it. That's really not the point. I'm just being silly because I'm like that. Or perhaps a good sense of humor is one aspect of the asbestos suit. Try not to take everything so seriously. It's all going to be intense. It's going to hurt like hell at times, and then it'll immediately switch to some kind of beautiful moment of presence. It's dizzying. You feel crazy. You're losing yourself--at least who you think you are. Relationships implode. You quit your job. Someone (maybe you) suddenly has a debilitating illness. You think it can't get worse. It does. You still think in terms of yourself, so you say, "Why is this happening to me?" Oh, I can go on and on. Which is why we laugh.

I wouldn't say I had an altogether easy childhood, nor would I say it was terrible. But my family definitely had a lot of financial struggles, and the way we got through a lot of difficulties was to laugh. You just have to laugh. Because life is crazy. You can't take it too seriously. It's the cosmic joke. "Really? Seriously? My laptop just got stolen. Okay. Fine. I didn't really need it to work or connect with people anyway. Joke's on me."

It's not black humor, per se. It's not Rodney Dangerfield "I don't get no respect" humor. It's more of an absurdist humor and a way of laughing at ourselves for being so self-involved. Life happens, and we have to change. Holding on brings pain and suffering. So a lot of this path in this culture seems to be about learning to let go of everything.

My Own Fire
Personally, I sat in the fire at varying temperatures for somewhere around five years (This number was updated, so it doesn't sync with the date on this post). It started in August of 2007. Jobs, friendships, an intimate relationship, living situations, and other stuff all changed, pushed me, challenged me to hold more space, to have more love, to endure and carry more than I'd ever carried in my life. I've felt more undependable to others that I'd ever wanted to be in my life as I've had to learn how to be uber-present to my own needs at all times and in all situations. At times, I felt like two wholly different people, and I've spent a lot of time re-merging different aspects of myself to come into a deeper union and presence within myself that I had not fully realized existed. Which would go along fine and then some other major change would wreak havoc through me. The hardest stuff would always be the stuff happening on the subtle plane with no outside reason for me to feel so terrified or so despairing.

But the fire has done it's work.

And of course, I'll say it's worth it if you truly want to be awake and if you truly desire deep connections to yourself and the world. It's not a happy-go-lucky path of workshops and famous spiritual gurus. It's a lot of work alone in the dark, but for some of us, there isn't a choice (or the alternative choice is so painful to go back that it certainly doesn't feel like anything I'd want to do).

So we walk forward into the crucible of the soul, and we burn it all away.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Understanding Subtle and Group Energies

I was talking to my grandma a couple days ago (who by-the-way is an exceptional lady and if she was on facebook, I would tell you to friend her), and we were comparing notes on different aspects of our awareness. She's much stronger in many of the psychic aspects such as astral projection. Personally, I'm just trying to get comfortable living in my own skin again, so I'm not much interested in getting out of my body any time soon (unless the universe decides otherwise, at which one point, all bets are off). My abilities are most developed around my intuitive awareness. That was a huge expansion point in the last three years, and it continues to evolve. However, when you step outside of the box of what society has deemed rational or scientific, it becomes extremely uncertain territory. Even after all the confirmations I've had about my intuitions that I've had through the years, I still get caught in my head saying stuff like, "Really? Why should I go talk to that person?" or "I'll be late if I decide to go to that extra store on my trip" and so on and so forth. But so long as my intuition is not tied up in an expectation or desire, they almost always lead me where I want to go.

Working With Subtle Energy
Energy, by it's nature, is subtle. It underlies everything, but it can be extremely present in a lot of situations. Go to a playoff basketball game during the 4th quarter, and I bet you can feel the excitement and nervous vibration in the crowd. That's not a "subtle" energy in the way that I mean it, but I'm using it as an example so you can say, "Oh, yeah. I know what that it is." Or you can go to a wedding, and in the instance that two people are really love each other, you can really feel that love at the ceremony, especially if most everybody at the wedding really is excited about the union (I've been to weddings where that wasn't the case and weddings where it was; it cuts both ways). I can still remember one wedding where the groom's words and his open heart literally shifted the vibration of the whole room. It was absolutely a gorgeous moment, and I felt it very keenly.

But those are bigger waves in energy fields, and my awareness is getting sharper these days. It's also putting me in places where I feel more vulnerable or uncertain because I feel like I have even less external confirmation that what I'm doing makes any sense. It's like Grandma says with some of her psychic experiences, at times, "You just feel crazy."

In the past several months, I've had moments of being drawn to people that were really strong. One moment in particular comes to mind where the person's energy was so strong that I absolutely had to meet her. Interestingly enough, that connection was what drew me into the conscious dancing circles. A much, more subtle feeling happened to me on Sunday. I was at yoga in the park in Walnut Creek, and I had a woman say that she recognized me from somewhere. While I have been all over the place in the last month and a half, I don't think we've ever met. So the subtly that I felt here was that there was something I had to offer to her, and she was responding to that subtle energy. I went to one of her yoga classes yesterday, not because I needed to go (but it was a good class), but because I felt like I was being of service in some way on the energetic level. I have no idea what that service was, but I said hello again and we chatted very briefly. Obviously, if something is going to come of that connection later on, I'll have to wait and see. But mainly, I'm using it as an example of the types of things that I'm starting to sense and work with and which are really pushing the edges of what even I have put in to the buckets of "rational" vs. "irrational."

Group Energy: There's Only So Much I Can Take
With this cycle of my life, I also know that having a strong community energy is super important to me right now. I am also repulsed by most group energies because they simply don't match me. For me to really open up into a group energy, I have to feel like the space is being kept clean and safe. Otherwise, my energy naturally starts working with whatever issues are in the room. I'm having a lot of difficulty these days with staying clear of other people's issues. There's this vast openness inside me that seems to draw stuff in. It's like having a part of me that has finished working on some aspects (not all) of myself and starts to heal others on the energetic level. I've already had this is problema in the past. I can get sick because of it. The person whose issue is really present in the room may not want to heal and in some way starts to act against me. That person probably doesn't know why he or she starts to not like me, and it sets up a bizarre dynamic that unless this person has a strong spiritual practice requires me to step away from that person or the group.

But in spaces where the space is being held well and the vibration is good, I get a lot out of it. Part of this is because I've been a little bit of a loner for a lot of my life. I think in many ways I haven't been able to find too many people who could play on as many levels as I could play on. So I simply didn't invite a lot of people into my life. This is a varied issue too because in many ways I didn't know how to invite people into my life--who I am now is so vastly different from who I was at 10 and 5 years ago that it's absolutely incredible and in some ways I'm unrecognizable from those earlier aspects of myself. Joining in a healthy group does a lot for me, and I can tend to find a variety of people to interact with on different levels. I do like to break things up by energy center, and since most people don't have the force of awareness that I have in most of their energy centers (nothing wrong with that, I've done a lot of work and continue to do a lot of work to bring that awareness into me), I can find different people to dance with for wherever I am on a given night. Some people can play in that upper chakra energy plane, and some I can dig down deep into tribal 1st chakra stuff. It's lots of fun to have that variety.

5 Rhythms in Mountain View
With all that said, the group energy of the 5 Rhythms class that meets in Mountain View on Mondays is really phenomenal. There's a lot of good energy and diverse people in that space that allows me to really start to open into that space. I feel like I'm still just exploring my body and the energies that move in it, but so far so good. I have a lot of gratitude to the dancers there and to Claire Alexander who is the teacher, guide, and holder of the space.

Experimentation
It's always a little bit of an experiment to learn how to interpret subtle energies, to flow where you feel you're supposed to be. It's not that things will always feel great to you; sometimes the process is to become more comfortable with discomfort. But having friends to discuss this stuff with as well as an openness to the experiences allow me to work through it and find absolutely amazing moments that I never would have discovered if I hadn't given myself space to believe and to trust my deeper awareness.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Mastering Emotion

Working Our Way Back to You Babe: By "You" I Mean Our Authentic Emotions

Sadness
Okay, so here's a break down of the five times in a man's life that he's allowed to cry according to cultural standards:

  1. He was hit by a bus or another really heavy object resulting in major physical damage. I'm talking bone protruding from skin here (If it's not protruding, it doesn't count).
  2. His wife or child died (He can cry in private, not in public)
  3. His car or truck was totaled (He can cry in public for this one)
  4. His sports team which hasn't won in over 5 decades or has never won a championship finally won the big game/series (This definitely applies to Chicago Cubs fans)
  5. His sports team which hasn't won in over 5 decades or has never won a championship loses in game 7 (This still applies to Chicago Cubs fans)

But any other time in your life as a guy, it is not okay to cry. Which means for all the sadness, loss, and uncertainty that the average male goes through, he's locking all that stuff down inside. It's hugely debilitating. You end up carrying it around in your body.

Fear
Fear is possibly worse, but men can be afraid, try to hide it and then lie about having it. Guys do talk about facing fears (asking out a beautiful woman, facing a bully, going into a tough job interview), but it's rarely so much in a supportive way as in a "Hey, dude, man-up and do it." This isn't the worst of all ways. It's one of the ways that guys challenge each other and push each other, and at times, it can be really helpful. But to really engage with fear and to look at it and understand it, no, we don't do that. That would mean admitting weakness. To be fearful is weakness, so a lot of times, that emotion gets stuff down too.

Anger
Now as far as anger goes, we get that one. We can be as angry and irrational with it at times as we want. Men aren't necessarily deft at using it, but some guys really can get in a fight and then be friends afterward. They've worked the stuff out of their system. They probably weren't really angry with each other--just activated to anger. So they acted it out, but they probably don't know where the trigger point is, or they don't know how to clear the trigger. That's where the spiritual path can step in, so we aren't constantly getting into fights.

Doing Emotional Laundry
Men, I want to tell you how weak you are right now if you're not doing your emotional laundry. You're a house of cards, and I can control at will because you don't know yourself. That probably pisses you off and makes me sound arrogant. But that's the truth of the matter if you're a guy. If your girlfriend is really sad about something, you can't handle that. If you're really scared that you might not get a job--maybe it's your dream job--you probably just go and drink instead of facing that fear. I'll get your girlfriend and take your job because I can handle my emotions, their emotions, and I'm not afraid to win the job I want. That's the power of being in your emotions.

To get there is a shit-ton of work. I'm not going to sugar-coat this process, and I wouldn't say that I know tons of women who are masters of their emotions. A lot of women may be emotional, but oftentimes they are owned by their emotions and are not the owners of their emotions. So if it makes you feel better, gentlmen, you're not as far behind the bell curve as it may seem. Both genders have their work cut-out for them.

I think the first kick to my chest was on a hike in June of 2007. I suddenly became very present to how heavy my body was. It was surreal. I'm a fan of hiking, and I was in good shape. But I was sucking air and struggling to move forward. I knew something was shifting in me, so I kept going. This is a longer story that I've blogged about before (and I'll tell you more if you message me), but by the end of the hike, I'm terrified and bawling on top of a mountain. All this fear welled-up inside me, and it came pouring out. The return hike back to camp was immensely easier and lighter, and I got a taste of some of the repressed emotions that I would have to move through in the initial part of my spiritual awakening.

But Wait! What About the Good Emotions?
By doing the work with the heavy negative emotions stuck inside you, you're cleaning house. You're getting rid of all the acid rotting you out, and you're making room for something more. The authentic/spiritual man fills himself with kindness, compassion, and love. These are the emotions that can open the world and other people to you. It doesn't matter if it's your social life or in your work, when you have these emotions mastered, people respond to you differently. You'll find less resistance in your life, and there's a deeper flow that becomes available to you.

I can write a whole blog about love, and I know it's something that men struggle to express. Love to me is so varied and multi-faceted that it too needs a great deal of time and commitment so that you can learn what romantic love can really mean, or brotherly love, or love of someone else's success, or even love of your own failures. It's enough to say that learning how to express love will open doors in your life that you had no idea even existed.

The Power of Vulnerability
Ultimately to step into your emotions and to be a master of your emotions has nothing to do with controlling them. It has everything to do with being vulnerable. In vulnerability, we have our greatest strengths. I have found that in those moments when I am most vulnerable that people will open their deepest, darkest, or most profound truths to me. It's astonishing. In that space, you'll find the people you need to support you and help you through because a lot of your current friends and connections probably don't know what to do with their emotions either. If you go through that doorway, you can begin the work to meet your emotions, to master them, and to take one step further in becoming authentic in your emotions and at comfortable with them too.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Past the Turning Point: Life Speeds Up

Spiritual awakenings that I've experienced, read about and seen in friends' lives often hinge on a specific timeframe. Things may feel like they've ground to a halt in that timeframe until what issue that needs to move moves. Usually at this point, most of us don't really feel like we're on the doorstep to an awakening. We're usually frustrated, pissed off, ready to give up, freaked out, or some other garden variety of upset emotions that we have when life isn't playing by our terms. But then it hits, you let go. You see the issue in a new light. Things shift and resolve and the whole world opens up to you. You're suddenly like, "Damn! What just happened? Was that really what this all was about?" And just like that, you're unstuck, and life goes faster.

Expansions and Contractions on the Path
I've talked about expansions and contractions as the usual process on the spiritual path that I've seen. In a contraction, virtually anything I touch explodes in my face. Even in the job world where I've had a magical touch at times to find awesome jobs, even there things blow up, and I can usually pretty much forget anything happening on the dating scene. During this phase, I've shrunk back to the lowest energy level I naturally hold, and I get to hang out with whatever fear is lingering on down there. If I work that through, then suddenly everything starts opening up again. New friends enter my life, recruiters hurl job opportunities at me, girls want to date me, and so on and so forth.

I've noticed that when the initial awakening kicks in, those cycles of expansions and contractions happen really fast. To the outside world, people will think you can't hold a job, stay in a relationship, or sit in one space for too long. It looks like you're out of control, lacking commitment skills, etc., but you're really changing fast. Most other relationships in your life won't be able to keep up during this time period. It becomes really important to expect this transiency. You just got unstuck. Good job! This is the other side of that coin. You're going to need to hold virtually everything lightly and give yourself plenty of room to explore yourself, what you can do, what you can be, and what fulfills you. If you have relationships that hold you lightly, those are the ones most likely to travel with you during this time period. Others that feel needy or draining will be anathema to you, and you'll most likely leave them.

That's Not My Experience At All
Everyone has different paths and experiences things differently, so I'd welcome any comments from people who have experienced the initial part of their awakening differently. If someone has had a history of being commitment-phobic, I could see the bigger turn in their lives of having to stay in a relationship because that's where their growth potential is greatest.

I don't have a commitment-phobia, although I don't seem to last long in romantic relationships (they tend to be really intense and fast; I feel like I pack a whole bunch of experiences into a few months with whomever I am with). Personally, I'd be happy to hang out in a job or romantic relationship I really liked for several years. Since my spiritual turning point, I've only been able to find one job that could hold me for a year. Contracting as a freelancer helped me during my initial shift, allowing me to work on small projects with a variety of different companies.

Rest: Catching Your Breath
It will be so important to find moments to rest and spend time in refuges with spiritual communities, friends, and the like to catch your breath. Pausing to journal and to simply be are huge. You'll need to integrate all this change on every level of you from your mind down to your pinky toes so that body, mind, heart, and soul are all on the same page. It's been a bit of a struggle for me to do this. I often feel like I have re-realizations as a different part of me learns the lesson that other parts of me already know. So I continue to spend a lot of time just sitting and being, letting it all sink in. Deeper and deeper, and then the next thing in my life hits.

Today's lovely photo comes from my friend and reader, Becky Stiller. Please feel free to check out more of her beautiful work on this flickr link.

False Images and Ideas of Masculinity and Femininity

spiritual union, spiritual awakening, spirituality, image, nature photo, redwoods trees photo,
I wrote this blog post a long time ago, and I originally entitled it, "Authentic Male Energy." I was offering some of my perspective at the time about the journey of men towards wholeness. In truth, this is where we all are going--men and women--and I have little interests in creating new dualities around this topic. It's time for the battle of the sexes to be done with, don't you think?

My interests are in the authentic integration of all of our aspects. If you find usefulness in labeling something masculine and something else as feminine or masculine, that is fine. But do not get to caught up in this. Otherwise, you will quickly become mired in new levels of unconscious ego as you define your identity and define everyone else in your life in terms of how they do or don't relate to this identity. In many ways, embracing "masculinity" or "femininity" can become a divisive process instead of an inclusive one if you do so to make yourself feel good. If some part of you does not feel good as a man or woman, don't take a pain pill. See where that pain is coming from.

What Men Are Not

Men and women are not ideas, but we certainly have been taught to try and conform to a lot of ideas anyway. The idolized image for being a man is often controlling, oppressive, violent, power-hungry, rich, handsome, and dominating. Because so many guys have had these attributes and been in places of social prominence and visibility, they've become heavily associated with guys. Consider the types of men idolized in business, politics, comic books, TV, and so forth. There are also the idolized traits around what kind of lover men should be (someone who can endlessly have sex and please countless women). It's kind of the James Bond image who is a great "idea" to dissect in your journal.

Gentlemen, I encourage you to pause and write down the men you idolize, and then start to look at traits they have. See how you may have aspired or wished to have these traits yourself. Because ultimately, these ideas are just caricatures. They're not real, and men are exhausting themselves trying to fit these ideals.

What Women Are Not

On the other side, women have their own set of ideas and ideals they've bought into. And it is important to remember that we are buying into these ideas. For whatever peer pressure we experience, on some level, we believe in these ideas and cultivate them. We are responsible for the ideas we act out. As such, women have ideas around motherhood, beauty that generally relates to how to attract men and their resources, ideas about their sexuality (which is usually leaning towards abstinence and self-denial), submissiveness to men, and plenty more. So, ladies, just as I suggested to the men, I encourage you to write down the women you idolize. What traits do they have? What traits do you think you should have? What traits do you think you shouldn't have?

While the image of the Super Mom who is also a successful businesswoman is fairly new, it is becoming an increasingly powerful one. It's taking much of the idolized "male" traits and handing them to women. And while financial independence is an important part of women becoming whole and in their power, too often women are simply acting out the insanity that many of us men are having to undo in ourselves.

Peeling Away False Ideas of Masculinity and Femininity

The layers of false ideas about masculinity and femininity are many. They can be found even in spirituality. Many women have embraced these ideas of "the Goddess," and now they are defining themselves against that idea, which isn't really any better than the Happy Housemaker or the Super Mom. It's just a new game for the ego to hide in.

As such, the encouragement on the spiritual path is to look at why you've bought into an idea about how you should act as a man or woman, and then determine what you think this will get you. Is it money? Is it social approval? Why do you think you need these things? The deeper you go, the more you can undercut the whole story. It's like going down to the root of a weed. If you just chop the top off, it will grow back.

And it is likely to grow back multiple times because you'll notice how committed you are to having a gender identity. Many people get stuck on the fear of not knowing who they'll be as well as a fear of being abandoned by others who cannot accept them as they are. As such, they keep playing the game of being manly or acting femininely. On and on, it goes.

Coming Into Wholeness as Men and Women

I could outline all the false images and ideas of femininity and masculinity all day, but it's enough to say that they're there and we've been committed to them. To come into wholeness is to embrace all aspects of ourselves. You can say that you are embracing your masculinity and femininity, but I still find this too cumbersome of a delineation. Typically, women are categorized as the "receiving" energy and men as the active or "giving" energy. But we all have both aspects outside of the procreation paradigm, which is where a lot of this has its roots. So embrace your ability to receive and give, and I encourage you to embrace choosing how you want to act. Whether something is manly or something is feminine is almost totally a social contrivance, and those of you who are in the LGBT community already know this. So act how you want, and don't worry about what others think because others are going to continue to have thoughts and judgments regardless of how spiritual you are. What matters most is that you act and live from a place of love and not trying to create a new set of somehow better definitions about being a man or a woman. You already are what you are. Embrace it. Enjoy it, and let others worry about their own definitions while you live the life you really want to live.
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