The Nurtured Man

Recently, as I watched newborn Enzo suckling peacefully and contentedly at his beautiful mother’s breast, I was struck by the notion that most men in our modern world have not been properly nurtured by the feminine.

Metaphorically, men are ‘pulled away from the breast’ much too soon.

That is, we men are quickly taught to resist the feminine. Be tough. Don’t cry. Don’t show your feelings. Only the strong survive. Play to win. Don’t be a mama’s boy. And on and on.

This cultural conditioning is so deep by the time that we are old enough to have intimate relationships, we believe that sex is about ‘taking’ pleasure in and from a woman, rather than receiving and revelling in the bonding, nurturing power of a woman’s sexual energy. We don’t allow ourselves to metaphorically ‘suckle on their breast’ -— to allow ourselves to be nurtured — for sustenance and growth. We resist that level of vulnerability. 

Perhaps this is why we have a world that is little more than a competitive sandbox. It seems as if many men are still children in men’s bodies. Or at the very least, act childishly, absent of sharing, gifting, feminine wisdom. There is no true equitable sharing across the political landscapes of our world, no nurturing of resources, no true cooperation or egalitarianism.

Men, of course, are their own worst enemies in this regard. We live in patriarchal societies and seem to want to keep it that way. But this simply becomes an endless Catch 22. It is patriarchal culture that pulls us away from the richness of the feminine too early in life, creating competition and possession as opposed to peacefulness and contentment.

No, little Enzo. 

Stay connected to your mother’s giving nipple as long as you can. Stay nestled against her soft, receptive skin. Rest peacefully there. Never let someone make you feel bad for receiving her kisses and her hugs. Revel in your mother’s nurturing presence and wisdom. Learn to see the world through her caring eyes. And learn to let every other woman in your life embrace and nurture you in the same way.

Then you will truly be a man.

Breasts Pt. 2: Burning Bras Revisted

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I was 16 years old when burning your bra was fashionable. I wasn’t developed enough to wear one. I was unsure of the political reasons for this craze and was not too interested in it.  In fact I was looking forward to wearing a bra, to going through that significant ‘rite of passage’.  I remember going to the Eaton department store with my sister and my mother for the important event. We tried on several bras, settling for ones that were basically flat with a bit of elastic.

Was I interested in burning my bra? No way! I was proud to be wearing this symbol of my developing womanhood.  It was a new level of status, and yet somewhere along the way this status symbol of femininity started to feel like a form of bondage to my true womanhood.

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Strangely, our Western culture demands that breasts must be hidden. When they are exposed they are ogled lustfully, with little consideration for the woman they belong to. Breasts are a desirable symbol of femininity, and yet also shamed. They are the symbol of softness of heart. They embody the sensitivity of our feelings and an innate generosity. Yet that generosity can be perceived as ‘risky behavior’ if we express it too ‘openly’.  In a patriarchal world, breasts make a woman feel like a unicorn in a world of horses. They ‘stick out’. Everyone can see them. And because we have to hide them, I wonder if we are able to fully experience them as the portals they truly are.  

Breasts represent our emotional nature, reveal our womanly shape, generate sexual stimulation and radiate a spiritual purpose—yet the torrent of mixed messages we receive are muddled and incongruent. Present day entertainment media tells us that only big, firm breasts are truly valued. A man is “lucky” if he is with a big-breasted woman. But woe to the woman whose breasts get saggy, the same cultural conduit cries. Wear a bra to keep them firm. And now we find out, after a 15 year study, that perhaps wearing a bra actually makes them saggier!

Burning the bra was a symbolic political act. Now there is evidence we can toss them for physical benefit. But I think there is a renewed and even deeper reason for throwing off this form of bondage.

I say to my sisters, take off your bra, lift up your chest, breathe deeply and free your breasts to speak to you. Let them be portals of soft, generous, heart-centered messages inside you. The same muscles that support your breasts also raise the solar plexus. This is the nerve centre for the upper body—which has wisdom to share. Lift your heart and listen for the grief, the joy, the fear, the shame, the love that may be hidden there. Bless your breasts for the message you hear and listen again. These messages will not harm you. Your breasts will only bless, nourish and love you, delivering compassionate truth from your core. Free them and feel them... and let them uplift you.

Enjoy.

Breasts Pt. 1: Naturally Nurturing

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Breast cancer is on the increase despite the insight of current research and new technologies.  Some of the strong causal links are: chemicals externally applied through hair dye and other “beauty products”; a steady diet of overly processed foods; high consumption of dairy products; lack of exercise; and wearing bras that restrict the muscles and tissues from functioning, which basically tells them to go to sleep. Perhaps the culmination of toxins and lack of use block normal stimulation and flow and restrict their natural ability to cleanse themselves. It makes me wonder: does their inner psycho/spiritual purpose also need our attention?

On a physical level, women’s breasts are designed to feed and nurture babies. It is interesting that despite this innate function, current data shows that only 50% to 70% of women in English speaking countries (Canada, USA, England, Ireland) breastfeed their babies. And even if they do, then only do it for an average of 4 months after birth. Knowledge of the amazing nutrition present in breast milk, such as hormones and vital fats for brain development, doesn’t seem to widely enroll women in this process. If breasts are for feeding babies, why is breast-feeding still so prevalently avoided?

Many women today are working mothers and return to the work place quickly after the birth of their baby. This can reduce milk flow and complicates feeding schedules. Breastfeeding under these circumstances is understandably difficult to continue. Some claim they stop because of their husband’s complaint about having to ‘share’ with the baby. Some stop because they do not like the negative judgment of breastfeeding in public places. Some say that claiming their bodies back from the baby is a power statement of taking control.

In a world where we have made women’s breasts bound, hurt, sick, manipulated, scarred, ogled, taken in vain, prostituted, cut off, banished, hidden, shamed, feared, abused, and used, it is hard to embrace their natural physical function, let alone their psycho/spiritual function.

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In their honored and prominent location over the heart, I believe breasts are also designed to be a portal of love. Like a gateway to the heart, the loving, radiant energy that seeks to come through them generates emotional connection. We could describe them as the eyes of the heart. My breasts also feel like windows: feeling and seeing the world from inside, deep in womanly wisdom, sensing and transmitting emotions.

When I feel my breasts I sense a soft, alive, richness—an energy that is delicate yet powerful. I sense that their beauty and sensuality provides others with warmth and tender blessings. Their message is, “Welcome to my world of peace, love and generosity—I see you.”  So I invite you to sense into your breasts. Inquire about their rightful place and full function. Affirm their physical and emotional/spiritual purpose. They are deserving of endless reverence and respect as beautiful givers of life and as the eyes, and window, of the Feminine heart.

Yes, they naturally nurture babies to a strong start in life, but they also naturally nurture connection, love and spiritual richness to all we come in contact with.

Enjoy.

Read Part Two HERE