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Jun 1, 2022Liked by Brandon Ward 😎

I saw this on another substack and I immediately thought of you and all of us bridgebuilders here for the love of humanity: "In an experiment in which [Cohen] varied the policies of the two parties, liberals expressed support for a harsh welfare program and conservatives expressed support for a lavish welfare program when they were told that their ingroup party supported the policy. Notably, these respondents did not believe that their position had been influenced by their party affiliation.

This motivated reasoning is heightened when we cluster into increasingly homogeneous groups. Our beliefs and values diminish as our group allegiance expands.

There is a way out of this, but it means we must step outside of our bubbles. The scariest thing about doing so isn’t engaging with the β€œother”, I’ve found, it’s the threat of losing group identity."

I know this isn't specific to the topic of masculinity, but then again, maybe it is. What if being a man is about the courage to move beyond what your "in group" is saying and stand in your truth, in your heart, in your integrity in a way that is honorable?

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WOW! This is awesome and so spot on. I've seen videos of people doing this too. Another example of why principles over parties really matter. I think this applies across the board too.

It takes courage to stand out of the crowd and risk losing the safety of the herd. My focus was around masculinity, but it for sure applies all around. I think the counter is having the understanding that we join another group when we do this - the fearless rebels who stand for truth.

The most excellent group to join :)

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Jun 2, 2022Liked by Brandon Ward 😎

Principles Over Parties. Agree. But can we have some more parties that are wholesome and innocent and full of joy? It could bring everyone together...A couple of years ago I was talking with hubby about how it seemed culture was BUILT around alcohol...where are the places for sober dancing that isn't a meat market - just a festival of joy and goofiness and good old fashioned fun?

Fearless Rebels Who Stand For Truth While Loving Humanity with Nobility, Honor & Love.

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We need these new parties very badly! I'm hoping to break down those barriers and empower us to live freely and dance to the beat of our own drum!

Good ol' fashioned fun!

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Jun 3, 2022Liked by Brandon Ward 😎

PLEASE! It isn't hard...improv games/skits, singing, dancing, poetry...nobody needs to be carnal in order to be creative, whole and free!

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Jun 3, 2022Liked by Brandon Ward 😎

People jamming on their instruments, without having to be good (but they can be) - outdoor picnics, storytelling, group painting...so much fun to be had in connection and joy without booze or sleeziness.

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Jun 3, 2022Liked by Brandon Ward 😎

Asheville would be a great spot to bridge build from both ends of the political spectrum and move beyond this or that to let's do this together with authentic sovereignty and interconnectedness and soulutions that are all-way win and uncoopted by the bigs.

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Jun 2, 2022·edited Jun 2, 2022Liked by Brandon Ward 😎

Yup, I love your invitation to men to reclaim the beautiful masculine while recognizing these are human qualities available to all of us when we need them. I read that 80% of women have a stereotypically female brain while 20% have a stereotypically male brain - and this has nothing to do with sexual orientation - you could be straight/CIS and still have the brain that is more typical of the other gender. Also, I think women tend to embrace more of the masculine more than they necessarily otherwise would when men don't do it in a sacred way. Sometimes we're like, "Oh okay, you guys aren't going to be heroes. Fine. I will. I've had a baby after all. Clearly I can do this if you won't." Lol.

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Spot on! Nature will always move to fill a vacuum and that's a great example. It's why things feel so out of balance to me as well.

Getting back to what feels natural, which will be unique for each of us is key. Too much is driven by societal expectations and norms. These do not honor the individual and the range of expression.

I've made many adult friends with women who are far more masculine than many men I know, so it really does depend.

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Jun 3, 2022·edited Jun 3, 2022Liked by Brandon Ward 😎

^ What you said. And I think your earlier reflections are removing the shame from being a man and from masculinity, but rather seeing that actually, you can be a BETTER man if you embrace qualities that are universal, but often associated with the feminine...when they are embodied in the masculine they taste, feel, smell, intuit differently, but they are what makes the difference between a man who is able to step up and take action to protect the innocent, risk his life for something truly noble and be a hero, without taking pleasure in the pain others, exploiting his physical strength or being sexually predatory/exploitative/capable of commitment.

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Exactly. It takes a lot of work on one's self to reach that point and finding the meaning to see beyond this world. There's such a joy that comes from living this way that can only be experienced. So many do not know this and I hope to share that perspective.

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Jun 1, 2022·edited Jun 1, 2022Liked by Brandon Ward 😎

~ Thetruthinbetween.substack. You'd make a great guest!

And another quote from their stack: "It requires an embrace of the nuance and complexity of life that stands outside the confined chambers of 280 characters, slogans, rigid ideologies and identities into a multidimensional 360 degree perspective. It is the courage to listen to another view with humility and curiosity. As Irshad Manji says to β€œstand your ground and create common ground.”

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This is brilliant - it's way easier to pick sides, repeat talking points, and scream at one another than it is to realize the nuance of these issues, creating complex solutions, and deploying empathy to truly hear the other.

We have a long way to go but we CAN get there!

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Jun 1, 2022·edited Jun 1, 2022Liked by Brandon Ward 😎

Yup - and I LOVE your VOICE on creating sacred, uplifting noble/honorable masculinity! The whole top half of your piece I could have cut and pasted and said, "This." I feel like the win/win solutions are never the ones that can be politicized. That's why they go unnoticed until PEOPLE create them. For example, abortion would be an unnatural maternal instinct if a mother knew she was safe and well-provided for to have her baby. So instead of targeting women's rights, I say target the conditions that lead to women getting pregnant in situations that would cause them NOT to feel they could safely have and provide for their babies. The fear of our innate selves is another one you touched on. And I think the polarities of suppression in "the church" with permissiveness to the point of women trying talk themselves into being "okay" with situations they are NOT okay with (ie sex without commitment,) is another area where nuance is key. Because cultivating wholeness and health around cultures of consciousness and consent is not going to look the same on a societal scale as it is for an evangelical, but it would result in people tending to have sex they felt good about, which would lead to them being far more likely to A) use birth control (those who feel guilty are less likely to and B) be less likely to get an abortion out of fear of being shamed. Then to add on to that, there is the issue of when ensoulment happens, and I used to be pro life ine the typical sense but I had some stories shared with me and learned more about "soul contracts" and how babies are often in and out of the body during gestation until late or even until birth, which along with my belief that even if you think it's wrong, it's still a woman's choice up until viability - just like you can't force someone to donate an organ to save someone's life - but I think without cheap sex and drug addiction and people getting drunk in order to have intimacy because our culture doesn't know how to be intimate, whether on a platonic or physical level in a whole, raw, natural, vulnerable way...without those factors...that plus making sure women have the economic support they need, whether from husband/partner or other source and I think it would be very, very rare. And similarly with guns, like you said, whole people are not easily manipulated, whether by the government or being prone to violence from their disconnectedness and perhaps mental illness and/or social isolation.

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Jun 1, 2022Liked by Brandon Ward 😎

There is so much richness in there! Have you thought about starting a model for reclaiming sacred masculinity at for boys that isn't Christian specific offers a path for kids to discover their sacred connection to life and to the beautiful possiblities for them as a man?

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Nailed it! I'm working on some structure to offer content, coaching, and support for men. Going to look at starting locally and also building more of an online community.

It would also be open to women who want to empower their own masculinity, learn how to nurture their partners masculinity, or potentially in any sons they may be raising.

This is something I've dreamed about but finally feel ready to do.

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What an amazing concept! Are you thinking singles, couples? In my partnership I already have a well developed masculine side and my husband has a well developed nurturing side; however communication is something he had NO training in. He felt very locked inside himself for a long time, being both sensitive and compassionate and overwhelmed but also not having the tools to express himself...sometimes he wouldn't even be conscious he was having a feeling when he was...It took a lot of letting go for a long time until we reached the point where he really, really trusted me. Now I'm able to be very direct, as is my nature, but without overtalking...I've learned to listen better for when to let things go and when to give him some form of a cue that something is going on with him emotionally and either let him know I'm available if he wants to talk, occasionally tell him I think it's important for him to open up, but usually he is now an expert and goes off and does his own thing to deal with it. Morning pages and EFT helped him alot. Now he is intuitive and really receptive to feedback as long as I give it in shorthand :) Like you he was raised by a single mom and when I met him had a very negative view of masculinity (I think he still struggles with it, but it's alot better.) It has never made sense to me that one gender would be superior to the other either way. It actually took me longer to learn how to relate to women than to men, as I enjoy the playful idea realm as opposed to the things that women very generally tend to talk about. I've found most women I get along with are either deeply spiritual or have a well-developed masculine side and also found it easier to talk with men than with most women.

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I see a lot of men who struggle with this as single motherhood has become so prominent and men are negating their responsibilities as fathers to pursue the endless life of Peter Pan.

I'm going to start simple but would look to offer a few different types of programs related to where people are in their journey, so it would be for singles, couples, and men.

This type of work is hard but the fruits can be unbelievable. I'm happy to hear y'all have found some things that work for you.

Both genders bring power to humanity and we all have components of each within us, but in different balances. When we get out of balance related to our natural state we all struggle. It happens often it seems.

My wife is very similar in that she can much easier relate to men than women. She has a very logical approach to things and that was always a roadblock for her. Sounds similar to you :)

I'm sharing your substack with her to sign up!

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Jun 2, 2022Liked by Brandon Ward 😎

I'd love to see exploration of how freeing the inner child can actually elevate joyful respons-ability. I once had a coach tell me what she saw as my marketable thing was how to be a free spirit without blowing up your life. When I used to be on facebook a lot of my friends were single because alot of the people in my demographics RE marriage, family etc I found were interesting in just kind of keeping up with their responsiblities and if that is all there were to life, I would die - I literally cannot be to be alive only to maintain. I HAVE to self-express and connect to that LIFE spark of interconnectedness and sacredness and freedom. And I kind of think lack of responsibility or overresponsbility both come from disonnection from free spiritedness that is wholesome and operating with discernment, integrity, healthy self-respect, respect for others and their others.

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Love this idea and I'm very much the same. I'll look to plan an episode around this as I had some ideas I was kicking around but this helps clarify it! Great suggestion, Lily :)

You do seem to have a great talent for being a free spirit while anchoring it to reality very important!

Too many of us are living in extremes either joyless and burdened or untethered and ineffective.

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Jun 3, 2022Liked by Brandon Ward 😎

THANK YOU! "joyless and burdened or untethered and ineffective" So well said I'm laughing.

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Jun 2, 2022Liked by Brandon Ward 😎

I'm honored :) I hope your wife enjoys my nerding out, as well as the more soulful, intuitive stuff!

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That's exactly why I think she will like it!

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